Monday, September 5, 2011

Top 10 outrageous statements made by entrepreneurs to a VC

I love entrepreneurs and their enthusiasm. But some of them just go over the top, way over the top. 

Each of these 10 statements gave us a chuckle around the office on the day they were made. It is my small compilation of some of the most outrageous statements entrepreneurs made in our conference room when pitching their startup. 

The list is far too long and I am sure many of you will have their own contributions. But these top 10 are the one that stuck in my mind over the years.

Top 10 outrageous statements made by entrepreneurs to a VC

1/ We are going to conquer the World

2/ We're going to make Google look like a neighborhood site

3/ People are going to get so hooked on this app, they'll pay $59.95 a month for it

4/ We are doctors, we can tell people to do anything, and they'll follow us

5/ We are running 4 startups at the same time, and each one will be bigger than Facebook

6/ MySpace was a great acquisition we missed. We could've made it bigger than Facebook.

7/ Investing in my company will make you so rich, you'll be thanking me every day for the rest of your life

8/ I need to raise $100M to buy up every competitor in my space and then I'll jack up prices

9/ I only need VC money to top off the $20M I got from my family

10/ Our Space program will only require $5 to $20M to launch and compete with the Russians.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Guest Post: Where are the Jobs? Try Venture-Backed Start-Ups

Guest Post by Mark Heesen, NVCA President
Today's announcement that there was zero net job growth last month is troubling indeed. I am very interested, as is the rest of the country, in the President's planned jobs speech to Congress next Thursday.  One the areas I would expect him to highlight as having the most potential for job growth is the start-up community.  As the country as a whole struggles to avoid a double dip recession, venture-backed start-ups are pulling more than their weight in hiring Americans.   
At, an online jobs posting site for venture backed start-ups, there were more than 14,000 open jobs listed in the second quarter of 2011.  From August 1, 2010 to August 1 2011, more than 40,000 jobs were posted on the site.  And that is just a percentage of the total venture-backed universe. 
Indisputable fact:  Every time a company receives venture capital funding, jobs are created. And as these companies grow, so does employment, especially at those companies that go public.  While venture-backed companies do fail and go out of business, the net job creation is always positive. 
As we approach Labor Day and search for a bright light in these uncertain times, it is becoming more apparent how vital these emerging companies are to the US economy and our recovery.  Public policies that support these companies are so very important and, as Congress returns from its summer recess, we hope their priorities will be in the right place.

Software firm develops humanoid robot

A software firm operating in the central Anatolian Konya province has developed Turkey's first fully domestic humanoid robot.
The robot, product of a two-year intense R&D process, can respond to questions, fulfill voice commands, make mathematical calculations, imitate human muscular system and movements, and recognize shapes and colors, Konya-based AkinSoft company's chairman told AA on Sunday.

Chairman Ozgur Akin said his company had been conducting R&D studies on robotics technologies since 2009.
Akin said that the recently-developed humanoid robot named "Akinci-1" had been designed in line with the human muscular system so that it could move like a human being.

Akinci-1 has been manufactured using fully domestic materials and its production has so far cost nearly one million Turkish liras (570,000 USD), Akin noted.

The chairman also said that his company had made a 5-year plan that envisaged a 10 million TL (5.7 million USD) investment for 5 years for Akinci-1.

"We are planning to present these robots to the market in 2015. They can be used in various sectors, for instance, they can replace sales assistants in supermarkets or guides in airports," Akin said.

VC answers to entrepreneurs' questions

Google I/O 2011: How to Get Your Startup Idea Funded by Venture Capitalists

VCs have to politely listen to outlandish claims

I love entrepreneurs and their "I can conquer the world" attitude. Today more than ever, with the cost of launching a startup being so low, and with databases with VCs email addresses readily available for all, we just get to see some outlandish stuff. I will one day compile my list of the top 10 most outrageous startup ideas I've ever seen, but in the meantime, enjoy this VC pitch by Ali G. It so reflects reality sometimes.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Steve Jobs - our prayers are with you

This picture of Steve Jobs was taken two days after he resigned as CEO of Apple.

In his resignation letter, Jobs said, the day finally came when he could no longer perform his duties.

This is a heart-breaking picture. Very difficult for many of us who are contemporaries of Steve, 56, and have lived by his journey. Our prayers are with you, sir.