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...

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...

Peter Corbett

Peter Corbett… the grudge that keeps on giving

Awwww Peter J Corbett, now there's a name that hasn't crossed my mind in three years. Three years ago peevish Pete had a hissy fit which resulted in both of us earning the Washington Business Journal C0-Loser of the week. Here's what went down. One day, I was minding my own business, reading twitter and it struck me funny that Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategy Labs was tweeting interesting and unintentional-comedic tweets (since deleted but memorialized in this post: Peter J Corbett - In His Own Words).  For some reason Peter Corbett thought all of tweetdom yearned to know the status of his email box (was it email zero), his wiley stock purchases, and how cool was his new BMW. Now I thought that anyone tweeting in a public forum would not tweet anything they weren't proud of ...

Trustify

Dis-Trustify: Is #DCTech’s Trustify Trustworthy?

  What the heck's happening at DC Tech Darling Trustify? Now Trustify, previously and more aptly named Flim Flam is run by local DC Flim Flam man Danny Boice. According to Danny, he's a Harvard man without quote marks, but Harvard would say different. You'd think a "Harvard" man would have all the right stuff to right the Flim Flam ship? Glassdoor reviews say otherwise. As our President of these here United States would say...

Peter Paul and Mary - Mr Cranky Startups

Mr Cranky Startups – Where Have All The Founders Gone?

Mr Cranky Startups. It's a love hate relationship that reminds me of a song: Where have all the founders gone, Long time passing, Where have all the founders gone, Long time ago, When will they ever learn? At least I think that's how the Peter, Paul and Mary song went. Mr Cranky Startups Rant Lately, I've been wondering about the weakness in DC Tech startups. It seems to me that the rate of startup founders dipping their toes in the DCTech pond has slowed considerably. Yet before I am added to the list of purveyors of Fake News which is just another name for the Local DC Tech press, like DCInno, let me admit that this is kind of a trumpish statement, since I'm short of actual data and base my observation on feelings. Startups growth rates were up rapidly around 2008 and peaked around 2012. Today there is a lack of new startups and more importantly a lack of new quality startups (see The Startup Turd to Gold Ratio). Worse still, there are very few great startups like Hurdlr (who? you say. My point exactly) are operating in secret. In fact most great companies spend more time developing product and customers instead of wasting limited resources courting the local tech...

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...