In this week’s regional roundup, we have the dish on everything you should know from regional venture capital and cyber security to building a company that survives a dynamic tech market. For more on this series, read our introduction.
St. Louis Biz Journal: Big raises, new funds highlight year for venture capital in St. Louis
Not only are established investment firms like RiverVest, Prolog Ventures and Cultivation Capital still growing the St. Louis startup scene, but the city is well on its way to frontloading its venture capital list with new (and growing) additions.
Here’s some venture capital news from the Gateway City:
- Tom Hillman’s Lewis & Clark Ventures raised more than $71.3 million over the summer
- Cultivation Capital expanded with its new Tech Fund II and raised $4.75 million
- The Lindbergh Technology Fund from Capital Innovators and Arsenal Capital Management both kicked off with investments in St. Louis startups
This article asked four companies why they moved to Colorado from California. Their reasons can give Kansas City insights on what draws companies away from the sunny west coast startup scene (hint: talent’s a big factor).
Companies will move for:
- A work hard/play hard mentality and the Midwest work ethic.
- Natives that are familiar with their respective industries.
- A steady stream of top talent from nearby world-class universities
Silicon Prairie News: BuilderTREND’s founders look back on 10 years of insane growth
Omaha-based construction management startup BuilderTREND not only survived but made a success out of the 2008 housing bust while other companies went kaput.
- Have one underlying mission or purpose.
- Evolve with the rapidly changing tech and marketplace trends.
- Don’t lose touch with a sense of responsibility to your employees or community.
FeldThoughts: Are Individual Angel Investors Starting To Get Tapped Out?
Colorado-based venture capitalist Brad Feld is well-known in Kansas City as a co-founder of the international accelerator program Techstars. His blog is an excellent place to get an insider’s look at the decision-making processes and general viewpoints of a venture capital fund. In this post, Feld talks about his opinion on the idea that angel/seed investors are getting tapped out.
His main thoughts:
- Prolific/well-known angels are slowing down right now, but it’s part of a normal cycle.
- Capital is actually growing, but the number of companies seeking investment is outpacing the money.
- Even with “uncomfortable macro signs (of tapping out)” Feld says it’s difficult to draw concrete conclusions right now.
Inside/Outside: Talking advisory boards with Trey Bowles
In light of Startland’s recent decision to create an advisory board, we thought we should share some research on best practices. Trey Bowles, CEO of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, discusses what startups should consider when thinking about recruiting a board (advisory or otherwise).
Here are a few of the many tips and tricks from the podcast:
- Don’t give away board spots just to fill seats or give kudos to an investor. You might regret it later, because …
- Your board works best when it’s small. The concept of too many cooks in the kitchen translates to the boardroom. Bowles says to keep it less than 10 members.
- Choose your members carefully. Your board needs to share your company’s vision and culture, while still bringing unique perspectives and opinions.
- You want people who have time for you. Board members should be able to give you three to four hours a month.
Silicon Prairie News: Prairie Cloudware’s Daniel Carnes on the future of cybersecurity
Cybersecurity expert Daniel Carnes, CEO of Prairie Cloudware, dishes on what companies get wrong when it comes to security.
What you should know:
- Your cybersecurity people need to think like a red (hacker) team and have an adversarial mindset, not a protective mindset.
- Control access so you’re focused on the ‘tier-one threats,’ not the casual people.
- Security is ‘Job Zero’ – ingrained into your culture …