"To be merely useless, indeed, is perhaps the highest eulogy that can ever justly be bestowed on a regulated company" Adam Smith
"To be merely useless, indeed, is perhaps the highest eulogy that can ever justly be bestowed on a regulated company" Adam Smith
I have been thinking a lot about risk recently, in preparation for a course I am thinking to teach on "Assumptions, Risks and Forecasting".
Peter Drucker defined a business as a set of assumptions, where the key task is to know the assumptions. Risk as I define it is "variance in cash flow" and not the traditional economic, government, market and technology risk factors most people think about. Those factors are not risks unless they impact cash flow. One of the benefits of this approach to risk is that one does not obsess about risks such as competitors until one sees their effect on cash flow in terms of customer attrition, average selling price, repeat purchase rate. However, notice that all the numbers that show the effect of competition are hopefully all on your weekly/monthly KPI dashboard. Effectively, the assumptions captured in the KPIs are the risks. Note that all the "risks" in the business are properly identified at the time the assumptions for the first forecast are prepared.
In "How to Start a Startup CS183B", Marc Andreessen makes an interesting point about risk:
"So you come in and pitch to someone like us. And you say you are raising a B round. And the best way to do that with us is to say I raised a seed round, I achieved these milestones. I eliminated these risks. I raised the A round. I achieved these milestones. I eliminated these risks. Now I am raising a B round. Here are my milestones, here are my risks, and by the time I raise go to raise a C round here is the state I will be in. And then you calibrate the amount of money you raise and spend to the risks that you are pulling out of the business. And I go through all this, in a sense that sounds obvious, but I go through this because it is a systematic way to think about how the money gets raised and deployed. As compared so much of what's happening these days which is “Oh my god, let me raise as much money as I can, let me go build the fancy offices, let me go hire as many people as I can.” And just kind of hope for the best. " (excerpted from genius.com; my emphasis)
At each inflection point one should have a clear idea of what assumptions are being confirmed and "eliminated". A roadmap/timeline of assumption confirmations would be an interesting idea in an investor presentation. Sure to raise money because of the quality of the insight, except maybe with Andreessen.
A previous post on the assumptions and risk theme: Business Model Assumptions.
Image credit: de.wikipedia.org
Perhaps because Google won a big contract to provide Office apps to PwC (the large international accounting firm), they have recently launched a PR campaign all over the web for "Google Apps for Work". An example of the PR is this Silicon Alley Insider story, "Google shares its plan to nab 80% of Microsoft's Office business". A sentence in the article caught my attention:
"Google is constantly looking at how people are using Apps and trying to entice them to use it more."
Google is renown for using data in its product analysis, which perhaps makes the above quote mundane. However, I think it points out the problem with Google's approach to software. Data only describes current usage. If we examine saving a file in Google Docs, Google sees it saved online, perhaps Google sees it downloaded to the computing device...but Google never sees it then saved in Dropbox. You might ask why someone would prepare a document in Google Docs and save it in Dropbox. There are probably ten good reasons, none of which show up in Google's user data.
Microsoft recently launched a new Outlook app for iOS 8, which I tweeted :
Nine days later, I think that Outlook is probably the best mail iPhone app ever...and it includes a good calendar app. If the Outlook calendar app had appointment multiple alerts I would stop using a calendar app. What I particularly like about the app is the seamless integration with Dropbox and Google Drive, both of which I use daily. (Dropbox holds the docs I produce and Google Drive holds third party documents.) It also seamlessly integrates Gmail and other mail providers.
I am not a Microsoft fan boy. For many years I competed with them and I intentionally avoided their products. The only nice thing I could say about Microsoft was to my entrepreneurship students--"Microsoft is an excellent example of monopoly, which economists tout as an attractive business model". With the passing of time I have mellowed on Microsoft. (A tweet rather than a full blog post shows that I am still conflicted.) I tried the new iOS Outlook partly because in 25 years of using email, I have never found an email app on any device that I really liked until the new Outlook. However, let's get back to Google.
How was Microsoft able to develop such a great new mail app, while Google is still constrained by its data. The answer is quite simple. Most of the design and code for the new Outlook came through an acquisition, where the previous company was not constrained by the corporate mindset of a Google or Microsoft or F500.
I imagine when the Microsoft execs saw the other company's mail app, they just thought OMG and quickly bought the company. I commend Microsoft for admitting somebody understood the customer better and did a beautiful design. I wish Google would make some app acquisitions, get a better understanding of the user and perhaps learn more about UI design. BTW I use a lot more apps from Google than Microsoft, but I hope that Microsoft's new acquisition has some new ideas for other apps. Today I am less hopeful about Google.
There was much discussion this weekend about Jerry Neumann's article, "Heat Death: Venture Capital in the 1980s", which chronicles the evolution of the venture capital industry from its start in the 1960s.
One interesting part of the article was how the industry learned about the difference between market risk and technology risk. Market risk is "will people buy it" and technology risk is "will it work". In the current period, VCs generally take market risk and avoid technology risk.
However, as I thought about this dichotomy, the logic of "do something better" kept coming back to me. This approach minimizes both risks or at least frequently does, by taking an existing technology and customer base and offering something better. Google and Apple computers would be examples where the state-of-the art was advanced a bit but there was little breakthrough in terms of technology or customer base. (Amazon might have been an example of market risk and Akamai might have been an example of technology risk when they launched.)
Perhaps one is well served to understand where the business concept is on the continuum of both market and technology risk and to realize that great opportunities may exist with small changes in the market or technology risk factor.
HBS Working Knowledge has an interesting new working paper by Gerald Carlino and William R. Kerr, "Agglomeration and Innovation". The paper discusses the academic literature and the authors' views on the factors that explain the geographic concentration of innovation. Not surprisingly, innovation concentrates in metropolitan areas. Innovation is defined in a classic way as "invention that is commercialized", which in the vernacular would be described as entrepreneurship. Other findings from the article are quoted below:
Setting aside the academic speak, innovation and entrepreneurship benefit from:
The article should be required reading for politicians. Most government support for entrepreneurship appears to be mis-directed or wasted.
Note: While Miami has made progress in developing the entrepreneurial community, certain theoretical requirements still need to be further addressed.
To paraphrase William Faulkner, I do not know what I think until I read what I wrote. Reading yesterday's post got me thinking about Google. In yesterday's post I wrote:
"I have been using Feedly as my RSS feed reader since Google shutdown Reader (which prompted me to use single product companies for all my important apps, e.g. Dropbox, Evernote, etc.)."
There are two exceptions to my use of apps from single product companies:
However, maybe these companies are single product companies or should be.
As the market has evolved Microsoft has become a two product company--Microsoft Office and gaming. Office is reportedly the largest profit generator and gaming is in many ways the product new users see. I do not believe there are any real synergies between the two product lines except that both products require excellent programmers. Therefore, logically they could be separated into two separate companies and some say more value would be created for investors.
The Google case is a bit more complicated. Google has two major products in my opinion:
I think the jury is still out on Google Drive. If I did not use GMail on my phone, I would see no benefit to Google Drive over Dropbox or Evernote or 20 other products. (Opening a doc attached to a GMail and storing it for retrieval from the iPhone is easiest with Google Drive.)
I would love to ditch GMail in favor of a standalone mail app, but the ten new mail apps I try each year always have problems that bring me back to GMail. Would I give up Google search? Yes, in a minute. Google works and it is a little bit better than Bing and all the others, but I am nervous about how much Google knows about me, the search still lacks a lot of features I would like to see (e.g. academic articles showing up as preferred results based on my profile), and the ability to restrict sites from showing up in the results (e.g. Entrepreneur magazine).
Search and GMail probably have more compelling common characteristics than Office and gaming. The common characteristic is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) where GMail offers comparatively better search because of Google's expertise. However, I suspect that search is not a sustainable advantage in mail apps. I suspect that Amazon could duplicate high quality mail search in a year or less given their own work on search. Also, I suspect the mail search would improve faster if that was the sole objective in improving the AI. What this logic argues for is that Google should spin out GMail as a separate company, leaving Google as an AI/search company. (The spinoff agreement could still give Google certain exclusivity for a pre-determined amount of time.) Given the increasing popularity of notifications and messaging apps, GMail may be at its highest possible valuation today. Driverless cars and 100 other products based on AI could all be spun out. A more narrow focus to the continued development of the specific AI would probably produce better results (which Google could license back in the spinoff agreements).
If Google and Microsoft were to follow my advice and each spinoff one of their two major businesses, then almost every major software applications company would be a single product company. Hmmm, interesting.
Note: One could argue that both search and GMail rely on expertise in distributed processing, cloud computing. Therefore, they should not be separated. Were this to be the strategic insight to explain Google's development of both products, then Google has a much bigger issue because abnormal returns, even with scale, are quickly disappearing from the cloud space.
This weekend I read two very informative articles on startups.
The first article from Venture Beat, "How the tech elite teach Stanford students to build billion-dollar companies", is about the new course at Stanford. This article deals with Class 1 which discusses deciding if you are an entrepreneur. A video of the lecture is included.
The second article comes from Steve Blank's blog. The article, "Watching Larry Ellison become Larry Ellison — The DNA of a Winner", discusses the character traits of Larry Ellison the founder of Oracle who recently resigned as CEO.
The articles are both very well written and easy to understand. The points are worth considering for tattoos so you do not forget.
If you teach entrepreneurship, Dropbox is a great case because it illustrates the startup concept that some ideas are features, some ideas are products and some ideas can be companies. The Brooks Review re-opens this question with a recent article, "Dropbox is a Feature".
The article mentions Steve Jobs' comment during his attempt for Apple to acquire Dropbox:
"Jobs smiled warmly as he told them he was going after their market. “He said we were a feature, not a product,” says Houston."
Jobs post-acquisition integration of Dropbox clearly saw it as a feature, similar to iCloud on steroids. If Microsoft had bought Dropbox they would have seen it as a product, similar to SharePoint. However, products or features do not make companies and Dropbox, to date, has become a successful company with a multi-billion dollar valuation.
Dropbox now faces much intense competition from Google, Amazon and Microsoft. This competition has encouraged Dropbox to offer new lower prices for certain services. Always concerning when a company is forced to lower prices due to competitive pricing. Such reaction suggests that the product has become an undifferentiated commodity.
If I was at Dropbox I would be thinking about how they built a company and did not get trapped as a feature or a product. The vision that overcame feature or product should be restored. Just competing on price is insufficient to keep building a company.
Also, I think I signed up for Dropbox the very day it launched and have now used it for all my file storage for years. Effectively my digital life is on Dropbox. I sure hope Dropbox can figure out its path to continue as a company and not get caught up in "feature" or "product" or competitive pricing.
Previous stories on Dropbox are in the Related Articles below.
Last night and today I have been inundated with capital raising decks for early stage companies. Each one was just terrible and these were not student powerpoints. My students do much better decks than were prepared by mature executives some of whom are "serial entrepreneurs". These weak decks had several characteristics in common:
Below are three recent links to good advice on how to do an investor pitch and the fourth one is my all time favorite from Sequoia Capital.
I teach the Sequoia deck in all my entrepreneurship classes. I like the simple but elegant approach. Suggests that someone put real thought into the document.
In a Timothy Lee interview of Marc Andreesseen, Andreessen says:
“…growth companies go public much later. Microsoft went out at under $1 billion, Facebook went out at $80 billion. Gains from the growth accrue to the private investor, not the public investor”
Tomasz Tunguz in a post, “The Five Forces Shaping The Fundraising Market”, reports that:
“Startups require 50% of the capital of 12 years ago to become publicly traded companies or reach twice the revenue on the same dollars invested.”
Putting these two ideas together we realize that the capital efficiency of recent tech investments has enabled the private investors (venture capitalists and private equity) to manage capital requirements more easily and keep for themselves a large amount of the value that used to accrue to public company investors. So what was the factor to explain the emergence of crowd funding for equity?
Crowd funding permitted investors not able to secure limited partnership interests in VC and PE funds the opportunity to invest and garner the returns of high growth companies that were no longer available in public market listings. While many, myself included, have found fault in recent years with financial markets, market makers do demonstrate an amazing ability to innovate to provide the desired returns to a specific group of investors.
This Fast Company post,"Startup Failing? You Might Be Asking The Wrong Questions" is an excellent article on thinking, learning and mentoring. Today I will just discuss working with a mentor.
Last week I did two mentoring events. The first event was the Women's Success Summit, produced by Miamian Michelle Villalobos. 300 women and me. What could be more fun? In a 30 minute session anyone in the audience had 30 seconds to describe their business and their problem and then I was supposed to give advice. Out of 7 questions, three people asked for specific solutions to problems. The other four had ideas and wanted to know how to turn them into a business. The three with specific questions could benefit from a mentor. The other four souls should probably come to one of my workshops on how to develop a business concept. They were pre-mentor.
The second mentoring event was the monthly session hosted by the FIU Pino Entrepreneurship Center. This group was all male except for my good friends Lauren and Karyne from Pino Center who organize this event. Four thirty minute mentoring sessions. 1 person had a specific question (his second startup). One person had a fully developed business concept and he wanted to stress test it before he talked to investors. That's fair and I think he got some good advice. 1 person without a business concept (workshop candidate) and one wacky person idea that will never, ever get done. . Doable, but one in a billion. Not suitable from mentoring.
As Fast Company said:
"There are plenty of people who'd love to help you with your business; you just have to ask, but they don't have time to waste helping you figure out what your actual problems are. Get the most out of a potential mentor by approaching them with specific questions you've already identified and they've probably answered for themselves."
I struck out the point about "time wasting". Mentoring is not a billable hours business, but you get more benefit from the mentor the more well thought out the question. If you are not sure whether you have a business concept, you probably don't and you are a workshop candidate.
I would like to do a radio show where people call in with questions about how to grow their business. Weekly co-hosts with specialties. Sponsor/advertising inquiries welcome.
The Miami Herald blog, The Starting Gate, written by Nancy Dahlberg provides the best coverage of the Miami tech scene. The Starting Gate has excellent coverage of events, company fundings and infrastructure development. Infrastructure would include new incubators, new venture capital funds and the other types of organizations required to support entrepreneurship.
Yesterday's article in The Starting Gate, "A closer look at four organizations nurturing the ecosystem", highlights four infrastructure projects:
Lab Miami (an incubator) and Endeavor (a venture capital fund) have backing from the Knight Foundation. The Knight Foundation also has a program to provide seed funding to early stage companies. The program, Knight Prototype Fund, provides grants up to $35,000 for companies to develop demos. In a perfect scenario, a company could be awarded a grant from the Knight Protype Fund, move into Lab Miami to work on its demo and then be funded by Endeavor. Effectively,the Knight Foundation has funded all the key parts of the startup ecosystem in Miami. Particularly insightful on their part is that each piece of the ecosystem is a private sector type initiative, which is the same way that Israel successfully launched itself as a high tech hub.
I commend the Knight Foundation.
The Jobs Act legislation that permits equity crowd funding was approved by the SEC in July 2013 and went effective this week. This legislation allows companies to publicly solicit equity investment from accredited investors. The key legal change permits "public solicitation" of investors without the need to use registered securities brokers and their big brothers the investment banks.
Crowd funding was perhaps first popularized by Kickstarter, which prior to the SEC approval used the model to raise donations for projects. It has quickly been copied to raise money for charities, scholarships and other worthy causes. (I believe that Vittana was the first organization to use crowd funding, to provide student loans outside the U.S.)
Two noteworthy equity crowd funding platforms are AngelList and CircleUp. AngelList focuses on tech startups and investment opportunities are organized by syndicates, backers and accelerators. A sample backer at AngelList is Jason Calcanis and a sample accelerator is Techstars Austin 2013. In either example, an investor would participate in all the investments made by Jason or Techstars Austin. Such diversified investment is critical in early stage investing given the risk (and in any other investment portfolio).
CircleUp focuses on consumer products and investors select individual companies to invest in. One interesting feature of CircleUp is that it promises "access" to partners such as P&G and General Mills.
The evolution of equity crowd funding will be interesting to watch and I see several trends developing:
There will also be many new spinoff opportunities such as rating agencies for crowd funded equity funds, "mutual funds" for equity crowd funding so investors can invest in 10-20 funds and, of course, the new consultants, marketing experts and newsletter offerings. (There is always an opportunity for more pundits and "experts" :)) An opportunity that I find interesting is to build the software infrastructure and website support for the equity crowd funding organizations. A Red Hat, open source, "best of class" model might have a real future if this funding model becomes as popular as I think it might.
The issue that equity crowd funding needs to handle well is the due diligence process for each investment. While a site like AngelList has very experienced investors behind it such as Jason Calcanis and Techstars, most sites should document a rigorous due diligence process to reduce the risk of fraud. Personally, I never thought that the SEC would see past this risk and approve the necessary regulation, but apparently the Obama White House gained meaningful securities law experience sorting out the financial crisis of 2008. (The other issue of some importance may be "conflict of interest". How does a celebrity or lead investor decide which investments they offer to the "crowd" and which ones they keep for just themselves.)
As I understand the new regulations I may no longer be required to post a warning, but....I do not provide investment advice and this post is not a solicitation for investment in any organization mentioned here.
Additional articles on equity crowd funding:
This post originally appeared in The Starting Gate, the Miami-Herald blog by Nancy Dahlberg on entrepreneurship and the SFL tech scene. This post has been reformatted. Each post in the three-part series will appear first in the Miami Herald and then be reblogged here.
The development of an entrepreneurial company can be understood in terms of the natural conflict in the objectives of the company. I believe the three most important conflicts to understand and manage are:
Revenue Growth versus Cash Flow
A healthy business should be trying to achieve maximum growth in revenue without running out of cash and cash reserves for future operations. Essentially a company balances the risk of generating revenue growth against the risk of going out of business due to no cash. Many struggling companies sacrifice revenue growth to conserve cash, which generates a death spiral to oblivion.
There are many benefits to revenue growth:
Recognizing the importance of revenue growth, how do we manage the risk of not running out of cash? There are two techniques that I use:
1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Customer acquisition cost is the marginal cost to acquire a new customer. As soon as a company starts to see traction in their market they should begin determining CAC. Over time CAC will stabilize and many industries have been shown to have fairly standard CAC. Once there is confidence in the CAC for a product, then it becomes highly predictable how much budget (cash) needs to be put at risk to achieve the desired revenue growth. (Note: using CAC a company is able to determine if a problem is the number of new customers, the spending to acquire the customers or simply a budgeting issue.)
2. Add-on Sales
The cheapest sale to achieve is typically the sale to an existing customer. These add-on sales are another, less cash intensive way to accelerate revenue growth. Most early stage companies overlook the opportunity for add-on sales as they struggle to grow revenue from their initial product. A good example of the add-on strategy is a premium priced software product where the customer pays additional money for an expanded feature set.
My last advice on how to manage the conflict between revenue growth and cash flow comes from Texas Hold’em poker. Professional poker players typically never go “all in” unless they know with a high degree of certainty that they have the winning hand. Unless you have a very high confidence that you understand the CAC, do not bet all your cash on forecasted revenue growth. Even then, I would hold a cash reserve in case of Murphy’s Law.
[The next post, on Wednesday, Sept. 18, will be on the conflict between customer and shareholders.Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/the-starting-gate/#storylink=cpy ]
Brad Feld has a good post today, "Being a Great CEO", which references Fred Wilson's thinking on the same subject-"What a CEO Does". These two experienced VCs conclude that great CEOs do three things:
In Brad's post he includes the list of behaviors a startup CEO recommends, which is shown below in the left column. My additional interpretation is in the right hand column. I added 8 to what I consider a better list than either VC, although I think 5 is the important behavior omitted by the VCs. CEOs must insure customer focus throughout an organization. As customer experience becomes more broadly defined to include customer service, social media and many other areas, I believe a customer focused CEO becomes increasingly important.
I believe that the hardest part of teaching entrepreneurship is helping students to identify good, large market opportunities. I am a collector of techniques for identifying market opportunities. For example, abundance-scarcity and functional fixedness are easy to use techniques to identify opportunities. A new technique I have found is "blatant-urgent", which was first described by Michael Skok of North Bridge Venture Partners. Michael describes the technique as follows:
Perhaps Dropbox illustrates blatant-urgent well. Dropbox started in 2008 to provide online backup. At that time computer backup was still a problem (blatant). With the emergence of the user with multiple devices (laptops, phones, tablets) not only was backup a bigger problem, but synching content on these devices became an urgent, compelling problem. Now you know why Dropbox was so successful.
Why is market opportunity so important. This study of venture capital decisionmaking shows that market opportunity is their most important factor, surpassing management team. Not everyone will need venture capital to do a startup, but VCs are students of the successful startup as this post describes.
Recently there has been a lot of press about the startup community in South Florida and Miami in particular. There was the editorial in the Miami Herald "Miami's Silicon Beach", Brad Feld speaking at Rokk, the One Community One Goal report and the Miami Herald-FIU Business Plan Competition to mention a few. All of this activity is good to foster interest in startups here in Miami. There is, however, one problem.
In an article, "America's Leading Metros for Venture Capital", the following chart prepared by Zara Matheson of MPI shows the amounts of venture capital invested by city. Miami does not rank in the top twenty U.S. metropolitan areas. Provo, Utah, Phoenix and Pittsburgh have more venture money invested than Miami.
If Miami wants to create a vibrant community for startups we need to attract professional venture capital firms to Miami. When Israel started its high tech community the government created a pool of funds and then turned the management over to foreign private venture firms. Perhaps the government and the private sector in South Florida need to pool their capital and invite 2-3 venture firms to manage the money for local investment in startups. The venture firms selected should specialize in seed and Series A investments. Early stage investing is very local where firms invest typically within 1-2 hours drive. We do not need later stage firms because more mature companies can attract funding from anywhere.
The other thing that would help is if each local college and university had an incubator, including funding, to invest in student and faculty startups. Universities are a key part of almost every successful startup community. The students and resources of local universities need to be part of any master plan for Miami's startup community.
The entire collection of my posts on venture capital are here.
These are my personal views and do not reflect the opinions of any client, organization or university with whom I am affiliated.
I always tell my students that they should read the blogs of venture capitalists as a way to easily expand their knowledge of entrepreneurship. Successful VCs are students of new business concepts and the factors that lead to large new businesses. They study ideas and companies from the "napkin stage" through to market traction and scaling. A few VC blogs I especially like for their thorough analysis of issues are AVC, Both Sides of the Table and the posts of Michael Skok.
Josh Ellman has written an excellent post on consumer network companies, "“How will they make money?” is the wrong question". Josh is a Principal at Greylock Partners and formerly worked at Twitter and FaceBook. He cites four factors required to build a successful consumer network:
One of my pet peeves is all the silly new network concepts that have no future. I hope everyone will read Josh's post in its entirety and evaluate their new business idea against the four factors.
For some time I have been trying to understand why design firms are taking over responsibility for branding, advertising and communications for new products. All the top design firms (Ideo, Frog Design, Fuse Project, etc.) are startegically moving in this direction and having success. This blurb from the Frog Design website illustrates the point.
Thinking on product development and design has evolved over time. I believe it has gone through the three stages below:
While social media and the increase in available information is a fact, why did the best design firms need to so significantly expand their services into full fledged marketing type firms? A story on BBC News Business,"How to market your app yourself and take it front page" provides some insight. The following quote provides the necessary background:
"There are more than 800,000 apps currently on sale on both the iTunes App Store (for iOS) and the Google Play store, the two biggest marketplaces. It's estimated that 56bn smartphone apps will be downloaded in 2013. Yet overall, just 25 developers share 50% of app revenues, with 1 in 4 apps downloaded, used once and discarded. 67% of developers earn less than $500 a month from their apps."
In an intensely competitive market such as apps, marketing, messaging, branding and customer experience are all more important than product features or coding. The challenge is to get awareness for the product in a market of 800,000 competitors. Building the product to be a consistent customer experience is the reason that design firms are taking over "marketing" to insure their designs are commercially successful and their clients achieve their objectives.
Yes, product features are still important, but a great customer experience can overcome a less than perfect design or an early launch product with less than a complete feature set. Given the popularity of apps, customers are coming to expect a rich customer experience for products and services other than apps. All of that social media and other information can influence tires as much as apps.
If this customer experience approach to design appeals to you, I have worked with Fuse Project. They have a very integrated approach to design that defines a customer experience for a product or service.
For those long time readers who know of my views on marketing, do not be confused. This is a post on design and product development :) I have used this design approach with two clients in the last year and it is very effective.
This quote is from the first Related Article below.
"Most interesting change I observe in relation to customer experience today is how much of an importance it is growing in terms of the core business. As consumers’ relationship towards brands is now shifting more in favor of emotional (brand passion) and empirical(authentic experiences) levels of consumption rather than that of a mere utility, customer experience is becoming a significant, and with truly successful brands even dominant part of consumers activation."
The Related Article below on Design Thinking provides good background on the evolution of "design thinking".
The number of professionally run venture capital firms in Miami can be counted on one hand with fingers left over. This is one of the major reasons that Miami is a city of SMEs and few high tech startups.
A new VC has emerged in Miami, Medina Capital, organized by local Manny Medina who sold his Terremark business to Verizon for $1.4 billion. The new firm will focus on disruptive technology principally in cyber security, cloud computing, big data and storage. The focus is on early stage software companies. Typical investment is $10-20 million over the life of the investment. The firm's focus is not surprising given Medina's background in data centers.
I found the original story on PE Hub.