The Fort - Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC

Jonothan Perrelli Fortify VC Part 1

Meet Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC I first met Jonathon Perrelli (commonly referred to as JP) in late 2011 at a Founders Institute (FI) graduation. Twelve companies graduated and pitched that day. After many of the pitches, JP provided, what seemed to me at the time, expert commentary. He was electrifying, funny, talked about all the big things he had done in the past -- his friendship with Sean Parker (as in -- you know what’s really cool, a billion dollars -- played by Justin Timberlake in the Social Network Sean Parker… that guy), his connections with 500 Startups and other big Silicon Valley icons. So I approached JP, introduced myself, and talked for a while. I was impressed. He told me about his fund, Fortify.VC and why it was like bringing Silicon Valley to DC. We both liked one of the companies that pitched, HugeFan. In my excitement to do a deal with this guy (who I mistakenly assumed was a sophisticated investor)…. I decided to place a bet on HugeFan and that I’d rely on this “professional” to do the due diligence. JP went on to invest in two of the companies presenting that day, HugeFan and Feastie.  I put $25,000...

Wolves of Startupland

Wolves Of StartupLand – #DCTech-style

The Wolves Of StartupLand What's wrong with Mr Cranky? Why is he always crying Wolf? Is he like Peter in Peter and the Wolf? Are there really Wolves in StartupLand? Is he just crying Wolf? Absolutely YES and on Thursday's for the next few months I'm going to make my episodic case to that end in a series of blog posts that detail what puts the Crank in Mr Cranky. Why is he so mean to that poor startup founder.  Why is he such a bully. Although I prefer to think of me as more of a Proceed With Caution Sign than a bully but that's just me. You make up your own mind. Over the next few months, I'm going to be dedicating my Thursday Blog Posts to multi-part stories telling the tales of The Wolves of StartupLand.  I'm talking about the people who game the system, fudge the truth, may have squirreled away with the money of others...

Danny Boice Trustify Legal Issues

The Danny Boice Trustify Demand Letter Affair

Danny Boice Trustify Demand Letter So there I was. Minding my own business. When out of the blue. A knock on the door. The FedEx guy hands me one of the greatest gifts I've received since my grandma bought me socks and underwear for my birthday. Here was a poorly constructed, Demand Letter from someone who claims to be an "attorney," representing Danny Boice Trustify. I've requested permission to reprint the letter in full and sadly I have received no such permission so under the doctrine of fair use I will highlight some of the more ironic passages of this long rambling 5 page letter. The letter came from Anthony M. Conti, esquire of Conti Fenn & Lawrence PLLC of Baltimore. Mr Conti's letter dated April 12th was ominously labeled: URGENT - FOR IMMEDIATE REVIEW. The subject: Re: Demand to Cease and Desist Defamation of Daniel Boice and Trustify And very respectfully addressed to: Dear Mr. Helman: The opening: "I am writing on behalf of my client, Daniel Boice, to demand that you immediately cease and desist from continuing to publish false and intentionally disparaging statements about Mr. Boice and his company Trustify." Oh my...

Dumb Startup Ideas

King of the Startup Apps

King of the Startup Apps Mr Cranky is the new King of the Startup Apps because I've got a bunch of great ideas. that I'm proud to announce will join the new incoming cohort of the Brake Decelerator. Brake for those who are unfamiliar, is a Super-de-duper 1776 DC-like decelerator.  Like 1776 we say we're a Venture Fund and we're not. In fact the only thing holding Brake back from being a 1776 rival is that unlike Evan Burfield, the guys who run Brake actually have had profitable exits and not a record of being booted by investors from the only companies they ever founded. Oh and we don't unintentionally invest in crappy companies...

Buzz to Biz Fool

Mr Cranky’s Buzz to Biz Ratio

What is the Buzz to Biz Ratio say you? It's the ratio that measures the correlation between company buzz and the value of a business. It's the fact that real companies understand that time, money, resources are precious and any resources dedicated to things other than designing, building, selling and supporting the best damn product possible is wasted energy. The Buzz to Biz ratio is the metric that separates a great company like ZoomData...

Mr Cranky's Legal Defense Fund David vs Goliath

Mr Cranky’s Legal Defense Fund

Help with Mr Cranky's legal defense: If you're a reader of my blog, you know that I'm a satirist, a humorist and a snarky commentator.  If you appreciate these posts, you may be interested to know that my free speech is under attack. Yesterday I received a demand letter to cease and desist commenting on a company and it's founder. The letter demands I produce the supporting evidence that is the basis of the opinions and facts presented in a number of my blog posts and to remove and retract statements that the complaining party finds offensive. Unless I receive evidence that controverts my prior posts I have no plans to retract them and I will not be bullied into silence now or in the future. I welcome the presentation of any credible evidence that contradicts the facts as I know them. To date I have received no such evidence. If I ever do, I will gladly publish them with an apology and a retraction.   Since I have no reason to believe I have erred in my posts, I have engaged legal counsel to represent me. If you appreciate a voice that speaks out, I ask that you make a donation to my gofund.me campaign to cover...

DCTech STartups

Revisiting the 100 DC Tech Startups I Don’t Hate

Aww those  DC Tech Startups. Got to love them or hate them. In today's post we ((we love calling me we) look back at the 100 #DCTech Startups we as in I don't Hate. Way back in April 2014 I made a friendly wager with the Washington Post's Steven Overly that I could name 100 DCTech companies that didn't make me want to vomit. Thusly (he said with grand pomposity of one who refers to himself as we),  the 100 #DCTech Companies I Don’t Hate: The Steven Overly Challenge was born. I lost that wager because at the time I was only able to come up with 42 companies. Probably because most of the good companies aren't stupid enough to be constantly yelling, "Hey! Look at me!" at the local tech press like DCInno or Tech.co or Techally.Dc.(look for the upcoming Mr Cranky post on the Buzz to Biz Ratio). Most of the good companies hide in the isolation of caves and come out when they've made it. Now 3 years after the challenge, I...