Venture Deals 3rd Edition Teaching Materials

We are starting to work on the teaching materials for the 3rd edition of Venture Deals, which is coming out in the fall of 2016.

If you have either taught or taken a class using Venture Deals and are willing to talk to our publisher at Wiley about what kind of teaching materials would make the book even more useful, please send me an email.

As part of this, we are doing a refresh of the Ask the VC website so if you have suggestions for that, just toss them in the comments.

The Next Reboot VC Bootcamp

Signups are open for the second Reboot VC Bootcamp happening January 19-22, 2017. It will – once again – be at my house in Longmont, Colorado.

If you are interested, here are some reactions to the first Reboot VC Bootcamp.

Book: Startup Rising

On my vacation a few weeks ago, I read Chris Schroeder‘s book Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East. It was outstanding.

I had dinner with Chris recently in Boulder. We were introduced by our joint friend Ben Casnocha. Chris made the effort to come visit me in Boulder, which I always appreciate as it’s a way for me to be completely in the moment for an extended period of time when meeting someone new. We met at Wild Standard around 7pm and left when they closed the restaurant.

It was one of my most enjoyable conversations so far in 2016. I immediately felt a kinship with Chris. While we’ve wandered different paths, we’ve overlapped a lot including on this a16z Podcast about How Innovation Ecosystems Grow Around the Globe. I had a copy of Startup Rising on my Kindle from a while ago but had never read it. Our meeting, dinner, and long conversation inspired me to move it to the top of my infinite pile of books.

Chris goes extremely deep on the state of entrepreneurship in the Middle East. His travels through the region are extensive and his story telling, interviews, and examples are as well done as any that I’ve read in a book about entrepreneurship. It’s all prose – he doesn’t take the shortcut of just telling standalone examples or having others write segments about what they are doing. The people he spends time with – along with the businesses – come to life as he paints a rich picture of things that are actually going on and the people behind them.

But the book isn’t just storytelling. Chris creates a framework for how to think about the different participants in the Middle East startup community. He describes various challenges in different countries along with how entrepreneurs work around or through them. And he isn’t afraid to address difficult subjects, like religion and geopolitics, as he explores what was going on at the time.

Chris wrote the book in 2012 and it was published it in 2013. While it stands the test of time and is an excellent introduction to entrepreneurship in the region, I’d love to see a second edition updated for the current reality of 2016. But, for now, I view this as the definitive guide the entrepreneurship in the Middle East.

Taking My Running Up to Another Level

I spent the day yesterday with Seth, Ryan, and Jason at our quarterly offsite. We finished, as is our tradition, with dinner at Frasca, which involved a lot of wine. I rarely drink wine anymore as I never feel good the next day (I’ve switched to mostly drinking scotch.) But Frasca is a special place and the wine choices I end up with when I’m with my partners are spectacular.

I’m running enough now (around five hours a week) to be in a disciplined routine where I follow what my coach Gary gives me each week. When I went to bed last night, I knew I’d have a hangover in the morning and it’d be tough getting out the door. I had a one hour run – a typical Tuesday run for me after a long run on Sunday – that’s a combination of recovery and gearing up for whatever is really coming at me this week.

I was not surprised that when I woke up at a few minutes before 7am I felt like shit. It wasn’t the “I have a cold” feeling, but “Wow – I drank too much last night” feeling. I drank about a liter of water,went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, put my running clothes on, and Facetimed Amy. I had a fantasy that when I got off the line with Amy I’d feel better, but I knew it was a fantasy.

As I got out the door to start my run, I decided to punish myself today. I knew that I wouldn’t have any speed in me, so instead I took a right on the Boulder Creek Path and headed to Eben Fine Park. I knew that I’d be going uphill on a steady grade once I got to the park and by that point I’d feel completely crappy as the hangover started to burn out of my system. I also knew it would be worth it, as by the time I hit the 30 minute mark and turned around, I’d feel good.

And I did. I glided down the hill back toward home, hangover gone, legs moving, and sweat flowing. I let my thoughts go wherever they wanted to, and as some point I thought “Ok – I’m at a new level and ready to start thinking about a marathon again.” The breakthrough was that I got out there and did a real run even though it would have been easy to roll over in bed, moan, and go back to sleep at 6:50.

If you are a runner, I expect you know this feeling. It’s the redemption after a night of excess, followed by the joy of the next day when your system is recalibrated.

The sun is out, it feels like summer, and life is good.

New Registration Status at Foundry Group

We have some entertaining news to share with you today. We have recently registered with the SEC and are now considered Registered Investment Advisors. Did we do this so that we can have cooler business cards? No. Did we do this because our back office was lacking in purpose? Heck no.

We had to, per the SEC rules. And the reason you ask? Well, we can’t tell you that or we could possibly break some other SEC rules. So for now, just accept that your friendly neighborhood venture capital firm is now subject to a lot of new and stimulating paperwork.

Why are we even bothering telling you this? Because it will affect what we can say on the Foundry Group blog and personal blogs that we write. We’ll have to be careful with statements that we make about companies we invest in. We’ll also be cautious in what we write about our funds or the industry in general. According to the SEC rules, we can no longer write anything that “promotes” our funds. While we’d argue that we never try to promote our firm, but just write anything that comes to mind and try to have fun doing it, with our new registration status comes new responsibilities.

This will be a learning process for us and our goal is to bring you content that is still 100% transparent. Please be patient with us if there are hiccups along the way, or perhaps even questions that we can’t legally answer in the comment sections anymore.

And as always – thank you all for the support. We love what we do and the community, and our interaction with you through our blogs, is a big reason why. And, don’t worry, there will be a third VC video from us – someday.