Archive for the ‘Foundry Group Investments’ Category

Drones, Drones and Drones

I’m really excited about our latest investment in 3DRobotics.  In short, they are developing the leading technology platform and community around Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).  The official Foundry post is here.

I think that most people hear the word “drone” and picture war machines, Terminator movies, “Big Brother” surveillance and other uses that make many of our skins crawl.  That being said, I’m stoked that we are investing in technology that could be used for other uses.  Which ones am I most excited about?  In no particular order:

1. Agriculture monitoring:  Right now farmers either buy satellite photos, or pay humans to monitor crops.  What if drones could do this faster and cheaper and decrease our cost of food?

2. Search and Rescue:  Currently, there are some drones that do this type of work, but we’ve just scratched the surface.  I guess this will put the St. Bernards with the liquor barrels out of business…

3. Hyper-local delivery:  Imagine ordering from a local store and having your prescription or other product delivered within an hour.  Is this technology what allows local stores to compete with the Internet?

4. Persistent cameras:  I’m really excited about persistent cameras for both movie making and sports.  Once these platforms become more advanced, we are going to see perspectives that we’ve never thought of before.

There is perhaps one more use case that I’m most excited about.  And this one is personal.  My dad and I have flown remote controlled model airplanes since I was a young kid.  It’s really the one activity that he and I bonded over.  While I do love flying, it pales in comparison to the memories I have of looking up to my dad and enjoying just being around him.  We still fly to this day and as our skills decline with age, it will be nice to have the ability to fly vehicles that refuse to crash.  :) While certainly not a big market and not a reason to invest, it’s a great side affect and I’m really excited to share with him.

Thank you to CEO Chris Anderson for giving us the opportunity to work with him and the company.

September 26th, 2013     Categories: Foundry Group Investments, Technology    

Sympoz Launches Programs on Starting Companies

One of our portfolio companies, Sympoz has announced the launch of their programs targeting startup entrepreneurs.  Even better, the series stars some of my favorite people in startup land:  my partner Brad Feld, along with Brad Bernthal of the University of Colorado Law School and Mike Platt , partner at Cooley LLP.  We teach you everything that we know in this comprehensive video series.

Thinking about doing your first startup? Perhaps you’re a startup veteran, who has the bumps and bruises to prove it, looking to jump back in?

Let us help you maximize the opportunity and do it right.

Brad’s class, How To Light a Spark & Set Your Startup on Fire, is FREE for a limited time.  Brad has lived the startup story over and over. He offers straight-shooting advice: Does your idea have market potential? Is it the right idea for you? Brad’s raw and pragmatic advice will lead you to consider the competition, examine your motivation and be honest about your level of passion and commitment.

Brad Bernthal and I, who have for several years taught an oversubscribed course at the CU Boulder Law School, are joined by Mike in teaching, The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Company. In this class, which includes over 4 hours of instruction for just $29.99, we join forces to teach you things your lawyer and venture capitalist may not want you to know. How to turn an idea into a company. Who to partner with. How to seek out money and what to do with it when you get it. You’ll learn what to put in your pitch deck, what not to say to a VC, and 15 common mistakes that will kill your startup before it gets off the ground.  And a lot, lot more…

For those of you who have read Venture Deals, consider this a great summary of some topics in the book, but more heavy on the business side of equation, with the benefits of interactivity between you and the instructors.

Sympoz classes are perfect for busy people; you can watch the professionally produced, HD videos anytime, anywhere on the planet, from any Internet-connected device, as often as you want. The Sympoz learning platform seamlessly blends discussions into the class experience, enabling you to ask questions of, and participate in conversations with your class community, including your instructors.

So, what are you waiting for? Join us in class!

Organic Motion Powers Avatar Exhibit at Seattle’s EMP Museum

One of our companies Organic Motion is powering an awesomely cool exhibit at Seattle’s EMP Museum. By use of their marker-less computer vision platform, one can put themselves in the middle of James Cameron’s Avatar. Here is a great news report about the event including an intro from James Cameron, himself.

Also, here is an example of a person using the system to reenact a scene from Avatar.

June 20th, 2011     Categories: Foundry Group, Foundry Group Investments, Technology    

Our Investment in Attachments.me

Today we announced our investment in Attachments.me.

What is attachments.me? It’s a really cool company and one that I’m proud to be associated with.

Imagine that you remember someone sent you a document about a particular subject or a funny video.  You just don’t remember who sent it to you or what the email text was.  Now, you will be able to search by subject matter embedded in links and attachments, and browse by content type, not just by sender, and the results will include not just data in the email body itself, but in the attachments and links themselves.

This mailbox crawling technology will allow for a single searchable interface to automatically group and filter the structured data and documents in a user’s email archive.  This data will also be accessible via mobile applications for on-the-go access.  Attachments.me recognizes the fact that for most users, email is their de-facto filesystem, knowledgebase and personal information manager, and that better tools are needed to access and manipulate the extremely valuable data in the messages a user sends and receives.

We were investors in Stratify (Acquired: Iron Mountain) which changed the way lawyers worked the discovery process by automatically reading documents and creating subject matter-based folders. Personally, I’ve always had a “thing” for technologies that allow machines to read, interpret and make our information processing faster as humans.  I’m stoked to get to try it again in a very different manner in a different industry.  I’m even more excited to work with Jesse Miller and Ben Coe on it, as well.

March 2nd, 2011     Categories: Foundry Group, Foundry Group Investments, Technology    

Even Conan O’Brien Loves Our Portfolio Company Brightleaf

I thought I had seen about every possible way that a startup could market itself.  Until now.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present you Brightleaf’s marketing “materials” for their launch at LegalTech in New York this week.  (In all seriousness, they are doing a great job with their automated document platform and more instructive videos about what they are doing can be seen here.)


 

January 31st, 2011     Categories: Foundry Group Investments, Just For Fun, Law Firm 2.0    

Next Big Sound Powers Billboard’s Social 50 Chart

Today, Next Big Sound and Billboard announced the birth of the Social 50 which ranks the top 50 musical artists on the world’s leading social media sites.

Given the upheaval in the music industry in that it has moved away from radio spins and record sales as the sole factors in achieving success, it’s great to see the preeminent keeper of music charts, Billboard, agree that it’s time to start tracking other metrics to determine an artist’s reach.

Even more cool, however, is that our very own Next Big Sound is powering the charts that Billboard is using.

Check out the Social 50 here.

 

 

December 2nd, 2010     Categories: Foundry Group, Foundry Group Investments, Music    

Sifteo is Hiring a Head of Marketing and Game Designers

Our portfolio company, Sifteo, is hiring a Head of Marketing and some great game designers. These guys are making the next generation of gaming platform that also is right in the middle of the human computer interaction revolution. 

If you are interested in working for a really cool company and getting into the action early, here is your chance.

Here is the marketing job description.

And here is what they are looking for in game developers.   

October 31st, 2010     Categories: Foundry Group Investments    

Blur Conference is Coming

I’m excited about the upcoming Blur Conference showcasing thought leadership in the human computer interaction ecosystem.

As active investors in the area, we’ll be there in full force along with some of our companies.

Interested in the conference?  Check out Brad’s earlier post about it.

And see below for a cool promo video from Organic Motion. 

October 27th, 2010     Categories: Foundry Group Investments, Technology    

Brightleaf Unveiling

I’m very excited to be able to show you, publically, for the first time, what Brightleaf is up to. Here is their video demo. Cool stuff.


When we first invested in Brightleaf, we were convinced they were going to fundamentally change the way that template-based law was practiced. Nothing since our investment has diminished our enthusiasm. The response to their platform has been tremendous. The costs savings associated with their software has even outpaced our expectations.
Kudos to early success and wins at Brightleaf. Enjoy the video, folks.

September 28th, 2010     Categories: Foundry Group Investments    

Organic Motion – Sneek Preview

We invested in Organic Motion about a year ago and have been really happy with how far they’ve brought the technology forward.  For those of you who haven’t been introduced to them, they are the preeminent technology developer for marker-less computer vision solutions. 

They’ve recently made major inroads into the animation market.  The following two videos show some of what they are capable of.  The first video is a game that was developed by students at a German university using the Organic Motion SDK.  It’s great that folks are starting to innovate off of the Organic Motion platform.  The second video is an update, generally, about how the company is approaching the animation market.  Enjoy. 

September 16th, 2010     Categories: Foundry Group Investments, Technology