2010 was a pretty vibrant year for entrepreneurship
958_ 2/4/11 - Larry asks Brad Feld, founder and managing partner The Foundry Group to take out his crystal ball, but first a snapshot of 2010. Brad said, "2010 was a pretty vibrant year for entrepreneurship, certainly for software and tech entrepreneurship, around the country, but also especially for Boulder, Colorado. Programs like TechStars have helped on a national basis, they have lots of programs throughout the country now. This has really helped with early stage and first-time entrepreneurs. There's plenty of venture capital activity and plenty investments in young growing companies and there have been some very large investments in new leaders, companies like Twitter and Facebook, GroupOn, Zinga. Those companies have both raised a lot of money and they're very substantial business that are generating a lot of cash. We've had a great time together. David has been awesome to work with. He's living in New York right now, for the first quarter running the TechStars New York program, which is now the fourth city that TechStars is in, also Boulder, Boston, and Seattle. NYC is into week three now, off to a great start and he's having a blast. The premise behind TechStars initially, and the thing that David presented to me, that appealed to me so much was this notion of working with first-time entrepreneurs with a mentor driven approach. These types of companies have come to be knows as accelerators. It's a good word, a good description." Larry asked, "How is raising money, either angel or a larger VC investment, different in 2011 from 2010?" Brad replied, "Well, independent of when, raising money for a startup is hard. It's hard when you're at the very beginning and it's hard for 2nd or 3rd round it's even hard when you're raising expansion capital. The mistake that entrepreneurs make is they assume it's going to be straightforward - they expect it to be less difficult than it is. Then when it turns out to be a real slog, it's very difficult for them. So, I don't know that I have any good sense as to whether it'll be any easier or harder to raise money in 2011 because I think it's always hard." If someone is approaching the Foundry Group what shouldn't they do? Brad has advice for entrepreneurs who are seeking money...Listen now...
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