Archive for the ‘Technology’ 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!

New Colorado Meetup for “Infopreneurs”

As the knowledge economy grows, there is a new breed of information entrepreneurs or “infopreneurs” that is emerging.   The Internet is really just one big platform for creating these new information-based businesses.  And there is very little upfront investment or infrastructure needed.  Unlike any time prior in history, entrepreneurs can create multi-million dollar businesses just by packaging and selling their information online.

Although the barriers to entry are low, there are so many skills you need to learn and so much technology that it can be overwhelming.  It is hard to do alone.  My friend, Roger Glovsky, fellow lawyer and entrepreneur, just started a new meetup called “InfoCrowd” to support entrepreneurs who want to start, grow, and manage an information product business.  “Infopreneurs” include authors, speakers, publishers, coaches, consultants, and content marketers.

The InfoCrowd group will host monthly meetings, masterminds, and of course, online information. For information or to attend the inaugural meeting, go to http://www.meetup.com/InfoCrowd/.

September 20th, 2012     Categories: Company Running, Technology    

Zayo Group is Hiring

My friend, Dan Caruso, CEO of Zayo is hiring.  And unlike many companies, he is looking for recent college grads.  Dan is a great guy and the folks that I’ve meet at his company are as well.  In his words:

“Amazingly, in this economy it is hard to fill key positions.  Zayo occasionally looks to fill senior positions.  Usually though, we are looking to complement our veteran team with recent grads who have engineering, IT, construction project management, and finance backgrounds.  We are looking for ambitious, hard working and entrepreneurial people, especially women and minorities as well as Iraq/Afghanistan veterans.  We are an ideal home for those who want to accelerate their career development and hone their entrepreneurial skills.

We are looking for the following positions:

  1. Senior Product Management
  2. CFO for internal business units
  3. Recent grads in engineering (learn how the Internet really works)
  4. Recent grads in IT (learn Salesforce.com and GIS)
  5. Recent grads with an interest in operational finance
  6. Construction/project management who understand telecom projects (or recent grads)
  7. Recent grads with an interest in technical sales”

If you are interested, send your resume to Kellie Lemmel at Kellie.Lemmel at Zayo dot com.

January 29th, 2012     Categories: Company Running, Education, Technology    

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    

Call For All US-based Open Coffee Clubs

About 4 years ago, I founded the Boulder Open Coffee Club.  It’s been a massive success with about 50-70 people attending each event.  The popularity of it, in fact, has led to the creation of a Denver Open Coffee Club by local entrepreneur Michael Sitarzewski.

The Coffee Club has become a real local hub where we’ve gotten to know each other and help each other learn from each other’s experiences.  It’s been a ton of fun, too, and we’ve even got some airplay on TV recently.

From time to time, I get an email from another open coffee club telling me about what they are doing.  I’ve done a poor job keeping track of all the OCCs in the US and I am wondering whether or not it would be worthwhile to create a network between them.

If you participate in an OCC, drop me a line or leave a comment.  I’d like to see who else is out there.

February 2nd, 2011     Categories: Company Running, Technology, Venture Capital    

Marketing 2.0 Bootcamp. In Boulder. And It’s FREE

For all of you out there interested in metrics-based marketing (and if marketing is your thing, you should be interested), here is a must attend event.

Sponsored by Trada, Silicon Flatirons, CU Marketing Department and SendGrid, this event promises to share their collective knowledge along with a host of great speakers.

Tickets are limited to 75 people.  This is going to be an intimate event.

The website for the event is here.

 

January 19th, 2011     Categories: Company Running, Entrepreneurship, Technology    

ADD-on-CON

ADD-on-CON is back this year and it’s going to be a great conference.  Before I get into the nitty gritty, let me invite you to a Jason deal for registration:  SuperSecretAddonConDiscount

This year will be an especially meaty discussion, in part because of the amount of press about how the Web is Dead.  I say “no.”  But I do think many things are changing quickly.

The best summary I’ve seen of the discussion is actually from the conference’s two founders Robert Reich and Fraser Kelton.

Enjoy the conference.  It should be a great event.  The conference is on December 8 and 9. In Mountain view California. And this years sponsors include Google, Mozilla and Opera.

November 19th, 2010     Categories: Technology    

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