Earlier this year, San Francisco-based venture capital firm Riverwood Capital invested US$ 20 million in Omie, a Brazilian start-up that provides small and medium businesses (SMBs) with an AI-powered business management software. Omie’s genius idea was to focus on small firms, not served by larger management software services. By automating business functions, the company essentially eliminates the massive amount […]
The venture and innovation worlds are focused on idea-based venture development. They spend money on incubators and very-early-stage venture capital (VC) seed funds in hopes of building giant ventures from seemingly promising ideas and technologies. But is this wasted capital? Can angels, incubators, venture developers and universities see potential before it is proven? Or can they show more results […]
Patents are open letters (litterae patentae) that act as property deeds. Similar to a land survey they pen down and describe an idea in detail with the aim of demarcating its borders. In exchange for such full disclosure the innovator gets the right to exclude unauthorized use for 20 years.
Patents are a relatively new instrument that was first introduced […]
It is difficult to pick up a major business publication today without reading about how venture capital and venture capitalists develop unicorn ventures, privately held start-ups valued at over $1 billion. This publicity prompts entrepreneurs to ask how to get VC, rather than if they should even seek it, or when.
The reality is that very few get VC
Venture capitalists […]
The staggering fortunes created by unicorn tech startups has led to a pursuit of the entrepreneurial dream. But while many people pursue the entrepreneurial dream, many more remain wantrepreneurs – dreaming the dream, but never taking the steps to make it a reality. One factor often cited (though by no means the only one) is the fear of failure […]
Experts in the field of entrepreneurship recently met at the LSE to discuss reform strategies proposed in a new policy brief, which seeks to promote entrepreneurship in the UK. Mark Sanders, associate professor at the Utrecht University School of Economics, presented on behalf of the Financial and Institutional Reforms for Entrepreneurial Society (FIRES) research team, following the publication of its seven step […]
Creativity – the generation of new and useful ideas – is seen as essential for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs need to be creative day in and out to navigate the uncertainties, constraints and challenges that starting, growing and managing a business involves. Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, once said: “Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it […]
An important question that a few people want to ask: what kind of future will the next generations face? According to a recent study, for the first time in human history, younger people are now enjoying a lower standard of living than their parents in advanced economies. On top of that, their job prospects are changing dramatically.
With the introduction […]
The growth of shared, flexible urban workspaces for startups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is now a striking, and very visible feature of British cities. Over the past decade or so, startups and small firms in retail, manufacturing, arts, the cultural industries and the digital economy have been making creative use and re-use of urban spaces – through […]
For over two years we’ve been concerned about the fall in investment rounds to UK businesses. So we are pleased to see this decline abating in our analysis of equity investment activity in the first half of this year, as well as a record level of cash invested.
But, as usual, beneath the surface there are some interesting undercurrents. The fact that later-stage […]
Naveen Jain is the co-founder and executive chairman of Moon Express, one of the four enterprises vying for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The project, also called Moon 2.0, offers a $20 million prize for the first privately-developed spacecraft to land on the moon, travel at least 500 meters across its surface, and transmit photos and video. Moon Express bought three launches […]
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have long been established as an effective mechanism to generate employment and promote economic growth, and have been the focus of political, business and management research. Despite their undisputed importance and significant empirical research in this area, there is still neither a universally accepted definition for SMEs — with significant variations in different countries […]
Does participating in a business accelerator offer a shortcut to startup success? It can help, but it’s no guarantee, according to Peter Kirby, the CEO of Factom Inc. He spent three months in 2015 under the wing of Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley accelerator program, despite a colleague’s warning that he would be wasting his time. The colleague […]
Billionaire Peter Thiel has never lived in New Zealand and has no intention of doing so. In fact, Thiel has only visited New Zealand four times. But he has New Zealand citizenship. How did he get it? Basically, he bought it.
More precisely, New Zealand’s minister of internal affairs waived the normal requirements for naturalization in Thiel’s case. You normally need to […]
Photo provided by Sherry Coutu
In Sherry Coutu’s world, the word SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) would be abolished, because they offer only a static snapshot of a company’s scale. “You’re either growing or shrinking,” she says. Sherry is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and advisor who founded the Scale Up institute (among many other ventures) to provide support to […]
Robot by geralt, Pixabay, under a CC0 licence
The debate is quite old. Machines, and then robots, have always brought fears and fantasies about unemployment and the brutal disappearance of skills and meaning.
With the rise of the so-called industry 4.0, fear is back. I believe that more than ever, it is a justified fear. Technology has never been more likely […]
Children eating lunch at school, by USDA, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
The purpose of education is to produce happy, healthy, impactful lives, and let society reap the benefits. At first glance, this may not seem controversial, but taken to its radical extreme, this purpose statement — the core tenet of my company, Socos — leads to a fundamentally different approach […]