Planning Blueprint

Business Planning

Planning for life. Planning for Business It either happens or we can direct the happening. That's a plan. You know what a plan is right? Planning involves three key elements. A plan is a noun, a verb and a date. That's it. That's all there is to planning: Noun - as in "I" will  Verb - as in "retire" by Date - as in "December 1" I will retire by December 1. That's the what of a plan. Everything else is just tactical details. The how of the plan. Many people go through business and life without planning. When you don't have a plan...

Mr Cranky Startup Technology Resolution

Mr Cranky’s 2017 Startup Technology Resolution

Mr Cranky and Startup Technology a match made in heaven. Mr Cranky's back and I've made my 2017 Startup Technology Resolution list for the coming year. For the past 2 years I've fortunately avoided the crank inducing bullshitocracy that is the DC Tech Startup ecosystem. I've been able to avoid the Faux Silicon Valley wannabe wantrepreneur festival celebrations of  stupid ideas, poorly executed and horribly explained. Then recently, with a slight case of FOMO a work assignment thrust me headfirst back into the ooze of DCs anemic startup ecosystem. So here's my resolution for 2017. I will not get upset when I see what I saw these past few months. What did I see, you say? Here goes: Yet Another Better Yelp - You know what's wrong with Yelp? It is widely used, casts a wide net, covering too many restaurants and other service providers with hundreds of reviews. What this world needs is a Yelp for dating. You see a Yelp-like app with far fewer entries, painfully and expensively self-sourced with an awesome ambiance filter that empowers couples to choose their date venue based on micro-targeted ambiance features...

DC Business Tech Online Reading List

Check out these blogs, newsletters and resources to keep up to date on the DC Startup and Tech Scene. They are ranked by their Alexa Global Ranking. Item Alexa Rank Link Facebook DC Tech 2 http://www.facebook.com/groups/washdctech/ Justin Thorpe's Moderated Facebook Group Capital Business 340 http://www.washingtonpost.com/capital_business Steven Overly and Other Washington Post Staffers Wash Biz Journal 1,856 http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/ Bill Flook makes this mostly Real Estate focused journal relevant to DC Tech. Tech Cocktail 27,923 http://www.techcocktail.com National Tech Blog HQd in DC InTheCapital 219,827 http://inthecapital.com/ In The Capital Tech Biznow 322,442 http://www.bisnow.com Local Tech primarily Government Tech Forward Thinking 380,900 http://www.drivenforward.com/blog Driven Forward's blog by me, Glen Hellman iStrategyLabs 468,850 http://istrategylabs.com/blog/ Peter Corbett and Crew's Blog Sisarina 801,588 http://sisarina.com/blog Melanie Spring and the Sisarina crew. New Atlantic Ventures 964,261 http://navfund.com/ John Backus and the NAV Team's blog FAKEGRIMLOCK 978,371 http://www.fakegrimlock.com DC's own treasure FAKEGRIMLOCK Social Matchbox 1,080,381 http://socialmatchbox.com/wp/ Robert Neelbauer's Mobile Tech blog Foster.ly 1,240,942 http://foster.ly/ Blogs by the Adam Zuckerman's Foster.ly crew Potomac Tech Wire 1,650,527 http://www.potomactechwire.com/ Paul Sherman's daily newsletter of local Tech and VC happenings. VC in DC 3,065,928 http://startups.typepad.com/ VC Grotech's Don Rainey's blog Winning Ideas 3,747,781 http://tienwong.wordpress.com/ Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor, Tien Wong's blog Amplifier Ventures 4,028,429 http://www.amplifierventures.com/ Local VC Jonathan Aberman DC Tech Events 5,083,913 http://www.dctechevents.com/ LA list of DC Tech Events Drinking Oatmeal Stout 5,169,663 http://drinkingoatmealstout.com/ Local Technorati Justin Thorpe Dingman Center 6,468,560 http://umddingman.wordpress.com/ Elana Fine, Dingman EIRs, Angels and Board Members blog Cheeky Fresh 7,123,794 http://www.markdrapeau.com/ Microsoft's Mark Drapeu General Business DC Blogs of Interest   CadreDC Blog 94,018 http://www.cadredc.com/blog/ Cadre's Derek and Melanie Coburn's blog about DC Busness and Business Networking VistageDC Blog 2,706,646 http://dc.vistage.com/blog/ Peer Advisory Vistage's Local business blog by local DC Chairs ...

Washington Executive: D.C.’s Role in the Technology Industry

WashingtonExec spoke with Glen Hellman, a Principle at Driven Forward LLC, about the role D.C. plays in the technology industry.  Hellman also reflects on the potential for start up businesses in the D.C. area. WashingtonExec: In what ways is D.C. poised to be the next hub of technology? Glen Hellman: The next hub is probably a misnomer for a couple of reasons. A) There is room for, and there are many, technology hubs today and B) The Washington Region has always been one of those hubs.

At one time, in the late 70s during the mainframe revolution, DC was Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley. Mainframe software companies like VM Software, Morino Associates, and Landmark Systems, were DC’s contribution to the first software companies on the planet.  We currently have more early stage companies, many of high quality, than I’ve seen in my 30 years as a DC-Techie.  The ecosystem is heating up with more networking, cross-pollination, and education resources. There’s density, energy and support.  And there are some companies in our 3rd tech wave that have come off successful IPOs like Living Social and Millennial Media. There are private companies like Opower that are appearing to be achieving impressive scale. (Read...

Top 5 Deals of 2010

In 2010 I've seen, coached, and reviewed pitches for over 150 companies.  I've worked with companies pitching at Cooley Godward's Capital Call, University of Maryland's, Dingman Center's Angels Network, MAVA, Fashinvest. (Updated Dec 2017) This year I've seen everything from shale-oil extraction technology to bicycle carbon trading with a passel of high fashion designers thrown in for good measure.  Add to that your usual SAAS, mobile apps and web stuff and there were a lot of companies with a lot of ideas pitching for money in 2010.  Out of all of the deals I've seen this year, I've chosen my 5 favorite DC-based companies and one honorable mention. Here they are in no particular order: Optoro (Lanham, MD) – Specialist in direct-to-consumer (D2C) remarketing of distressed inventory through multiple online channels including their own etailer; e.spot, eBay and other websites.  Optoro received $150K of financing from Maryland DBED in addition to a major investment from two undisclosed angel investors.  This is a great young entrepreneurial team of pedigreed Ivy League graduates who were high school buddies from St Albans High School in DC. (Still Rocking It!) Ringio - SaaS-based rich calling service that intelligently routes calls to any phone along with background information about...