Blog: Forward Thinking

Often snarky, sometimes funny, thoughts and musings from Glen Hellman about Executive Development, Leadership, Startups, Washington DC Business and more.

Andy Powers, CliqueAPI The $50 Million Ponzi Scheme

Hello Kids! It's that time again where we check in with our old pal Andy Powers, CliqueAPI (AKA Communiclique). Just in case you've been living in a hefty bag, let me catch up. Communiclique (sometimes called Clique, other times called CliqueAPI because it's harder to hit a moving target) raised anywhere from $50-70 million dollars. In 2016 a court in the Commonwealth of Virginia ordered the company to stop raising money...

Attention Law Enforcement – Matthew Pugsley Chalant Health

Attention law enforcement, be warned that Matthew Pugsley, Chalant Health, CEO is on the prowl. There was a time where he took an actual job. It appears that he lost that job and is back raising money for his company that is a total scam (see this post). Matt's been evicted again and is seeking a new place to rent. Landlords be careful, this guy has been evicted for non-payment of rent about a dozen times (see post). By the end of this week, Matthew Pugsley, Chalant Health CEO, may get free rent. He is likely to get 3 hots and a...

Mia Culpa Jason Calacanis

Mia Culpa Jason Calacanis which I think translates from the original Italian to "That's my Coffee Jason Calacanis." For those of you who don't know, Jason Calacanis is a guy who heard the words of Horace Greeley, "Go West Young Man." Yes, one day this guy from Brooklyn, prior to the hipsterfication of Brooklyn, you know when Brooklyn was still inhabited with urban hillbillies, struck startup unicorn gold and then packed up his bags and moved about 400 miles north of Beverly (that's a Beverly Hillbillies reference). Why Mia Culpa? To catch you up from our last episode of Mr. Cranky...

Buckley Law wins Legal Judgement Against Trustify

Another legal judgment against Trustify is added to the pile. The once high-flying, never high-achieving, always unethical DC area startup has crumbled under the weight of hubris and debt. Buckley's award is just another loss in court. This latest judgment is for $245,945 awarded to Trustify's former law firm Buckley LLP.  It sucks for Danny Boice, Jennifer Mellon, and Trustify because no one with the possible exception of El Chapo needs a lawyer more than these crooks and yet most good attornies like to get paid. Legal Judgment Against Trustify $245,945 - Buckley LLP: Trustify's former law firm was awarded a...

Exec Cranky Rants On AdvisoryCloud Scam (Formerly ExecRanks)

Can we talk about the AdvisoryCloud Scam? Mind if I get Exec Cranky about the AdvisoryCloud Scam? First off what is AdviosryCloud and what is the AdvisoryCloud Scam (There ya go, I think I made enough AdvisoryCloud Scam references to get a good SEO ranking when people google  AdvisoryCloud Scam)? Advisory Cloud is a company that charges people who want a board seat but don't have the reputation, network, and/or credential to qualify to sit on a board, thousands of dollars to sit on their butts, twiddling their non-board advisory thumbs while waiting an eternity to become board members to non-existent companies...

Pitching Aspirin Inc

Raising Capital

The other day, I did a class on raising capital and pitching for money to a group of Ph.D. Students, Researchers, and Professors at the University of Maryland. As I went through the pitch, I kept referring to material that they could find on my blog that could prove useful. Here's a recap of curated articles I've written on raising money. Raising Capital Strategy - Getting ready to raise capital for your startup Are You Venture Capital Fundable - Do you really have an idea that will interest investors? The Best Time To Raise Capital - When is the right time to...

Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon Real Estate Shenanigans

Attention Police! Attention Authorities! Attention Anchorage Capital, other dopey Trustify Investors, and Trustify Creditors.  Be aware of the latest Danny Boice and Jen Mellon shenanigans. To catch up the readers new to this continuing saga, Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon started their life of crime, fraud, and embezzlement together by bamboozling investors into dumping $18 million in their company called Trustify. Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon then used that money as their personal piggy bank. Among other things, they used investor money to purchase this lovely house for $1.625 million in Alexandria, Virginia. Which according to Redfin is now for sale for $1.675 million....

The Startup Gurus or In Defense of Jason Calacanis

Last week, in an attempt to make a point, and in a lame attempt at humor, while making said point, I took cheap, but funny, at least funny to me, but probably not quite as funny to Jason, shots at Jason Calacanis. Let me apologize for one thing, as Startup Gurus go, Jason Calacanis is one of the best. The reason I took issue with Jason in that blog was questioning the value of a $500, four-hour meeting promoted to teach people how to become professional angel investors (see post here). Jason good-naturedly engaged in the dialogue and showed his metal. He...

Bullshit – Jason Calacanis Angel University

It's difficult to make money in Angel Investing. Most Angels lose money. For people who want to spend money to learn how to lose money, there is Jason Calacanis Angel University. Because if you're willing to flush cash down a toilet, why not flush some of that cash down the Jason Calacanis Angel University toilet. Wait just one cotton-picking minute Glenbo, you Cranky old fart...

Anchorage Capital Committed Fiduciary Malfeasance

A private equity company called Anchorage Capital is suing Trustify. They think they were cheated. To my eye, it appears that Anchorage CEO, Lance Ulrich, and junior, master of the universe wannabe, Adam Besvinick cheated Anchorage's limited partners. Anchorage Capital Committed Fiduciary Malfeasance when they invested in a steaming turd called Trustify. If you are a limited partner invested in Anchorage Capital, this tale might just give you pause. In May 2017, Anchorage Capital invested slightly over $4.7 million in the A-round of a little DC-based company called Trustify. Trustify raised just under $7 million in their prior two seed rounds,...