Archive: Founders


Startup Insider: A Shocking Amount of Exit Experience

By Early Investing on August 23, 2021

For years, venture capital (VC) firms have favored founders who have experience leading companies to successful exits. “Look for founders with prior exits,” VC investors say. “They know what they’re doing.” But Drake Dukes, co-founder of data company Gravity, analyzed 992 unicorn founders and discovered only 3% of them had a prior exit. Andy Gordon can’t believe it. And this revelation is raising a lot…

Startup Insider: Trade Secrets vs. Patents

By Early Investing on August 2, 2021

A key part of a startup’s success is its defensibility — how it protects itself from the competition. It’s not enough for a company to offer a high-quality product. It needs to provide something that’s valuable and different from anything else out there. And…

The Disruptive Force That Shaped My Life

By Vin Narayanan on July 28, 2021

All startups have an origin story. So do all founders. These origin stories are important. They explain why a startup began. Or why we believe particular founders will be persistent, constantly fight for success and never give up on their…
Great technology means a great investment, right? It’s never that easy for investors interested in an early-stage tech company. And for investors like me who are enamored with the medtech startup scene, it’s even more complicated. That’s why I conducted an experiment with my primary physician last year. I wanted…

Focus on Traction When Investing in Startups

By Adam Sharp on May 4, 2021

Traction is by far the most important signal for startup investors. That may seem obvious. But when I started out, I was more excited about investing in breakthrough technology. I often overlooked a company’s traction when I made my investment decision. But really, there’s nothing more…

The One Thing All Good Founders Have in Common

By Andy Gordon on March 10, 2021

Why do founders become founders? There are certainly easier paths to wealth. Like what I do. A good startup investor makes more than a great startup founder eight out of 10 times. I should know — I’ve done both. And I’ve made a lot more investing…

WeWork Disaster Shows Crowdfunding’s Advantages

By Andy Gordon on January 6, 2021

Just this week, I came across an intriguing startup investment opportunity. A Philadelphia-based company was offering shared office space for physicians and related medical practices. Doctors — especially those just starting their practices — are often forced to accept expensive and long-term leases. It’s a real problem that…

The Technical Founder Myth

By Vin Narayanan on December 16, 2020

There are a lot of investing myths floating around out there. Here are a few common ones: You need a lot of money to invest.  Cheap stocks have more upside than expensive stocks.  You can’t make money when the market is crashing.

What the New Reg CF Limit Means for Founders

By Andy Gordon on November 5, 2020

I’m doing something different today. I want to give founders some advice. I’ve been alerting every founder I talk to about this. And I’m shocked that just a handful of them are aware of the biggest boon that has come their way in a very long time. So,…

What Went Wrong With Quibi

By Andy Gordon on October 22, 2020

In calling it quits, Quibi proved the adage that nothing guarantees success except success itself.  The company seemed to have everything going for it. A massive pool of capital — $1.75 billion worth. An A+ roster of investors that included Alibaba, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and…

Startup Investors: Watch Out for These Five Red Flags

By Adam Sharp on February 7, 2020

Adam Sharp lists his top five red flags to watch for when evaluating startup investments.
Corporate venture capital is growing like crazy. Here’s what founders and early investors need to know about it.

Startup Investing Master Class: How to Bag a Unicorn

By Early Investing on January 14, 2020

Unicorns are the ultimate prize for an early investor. Here’s how to identify and invest in them before everyone else does.

Startup Insider: A Successful Founder Must Weather the Storm

By Early Investing on January 13, 2020

In Part 2 of our Startup Insider interview with Alex Tynion, we discuss what makes a founder successful... and what makes them fail.

First Stage Investor​: Best of 2019

By Early Investing on December 23, 2019

The ​First Stage Investor ​team covered a lot of ground this year. Here are our favorite pieces of 2019.

Investing in “Firsts” Is Overrated

By Adam Sharp on December 10, 2019

New startup investors often seek out “first-to-market” companies. And being first to market can be an advantage. But it’s not a guarantee for success.