The Problem with Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest

Is Steve Case's Rise of the Rest making a big difference for the rest? What is Rise of the Rest? According to Steve Cases, Revolution Web Site: Rise of the Rest is a nationwide effort powered by Revolution to invest in and work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Steve Case and the Revolution team have logged more than 8,000 miles touring entrepreneurial communities by bus in 33 cities. The Rise of the Rest is all about creating a robust startup ecosystem in 33 cities, by going on a bus tour, awarding $100K to pitch contest winners in 33 cities. In addition, just like 99% of every other VC in the world, Rise of the Rest will invest in worthy startups outside Silicon Valley. Basically, it's the startup version of the American Idol tour. It spreads some money around, some temporary excitement, anoints one company, Queen for a Day.. and they bolt out of town. My problem with Rise of the Rest is it reminds me of the reason so many companies fail...

Evan Burfield – Startup America – K Street Capital Part 2

When you meet Evan Burfield, he looks you up and down and runs a quick algorithm. If the results indicate you can serve his short-term goals, you're a friend. If you have no apparent near-term value, even if you had helped him in the past, he deems you not worthy of his attention. That appears to be the formula. See a person, judge them from high to low in terms of the value they can perform in terms of his next goal. He's a brilliant analyst of short-term value and knows how to push the accelerator to get people to serve his goals. In this post, as in part 1 (seen here) and in upcoming Part 3 we follow this pattern and track the list of bodies that were pushed aside when value was extracted. Startup America - 2011 After Evan's second experience being fired by investors in the only companies he'd ever led and founded, he was once again, made available to industry. Yes sure, he'd been "promoted" to "Chairman of the Board," of Synteractive, a company that had no board supervision, but let's just say he was underemployed. In 2011, we find Evan, on the street, looking for some way to remain relevant....

1776 Woes – Benjamin’s Trouble With Benjamins

As 1776 faces more financial pressure, more employee attrition, the DC-based "coworking" space's savior Benjamin's Desk, a Philadelphia-based coworking space, is having trouble raising the Benjamins to close the deal. According to sources in Philadelphia, the deal was slated to close early this week but people at Benjamin's Desk are having trouble raising the capital. Word is that Steve Case wants to stop the bleeding cash and would like to see new leadership at 1776, a company presently run by Evan Burfield, DC's undisputed, inarguable, #1 nonprofit executive of...

Jonathon Perrelli Bottle

Jonathon Perrelli Epilogue Part 3 (revised)

Prologue to the Jonathon Perrelli Epilogue Two weeks ago, I posted the first of a 3 part series Jonathon Perrelli Fortify VC Part 1 with a follow-up Part 2 last week. Yup, there goes Mr. Cranky picking on a poor pioneer of DC's Startup Ecosystem. Not one of the people who protested about the series did so by refuting any of the facts presented in those posts. JP didn't respond to my request for information, nor did he reply in comments, except possibly under the pseudonym "goonsquad" in the comment section of the first post. All of the folks who protested my first two blog post protested with the same response...

angel investor

The Semi-Annual “Why Aren’t We Silicon Valley” Mr. Cranky Rant

It’s happening again.  DC Tech natives are restless.  The Jungle Drums are pounding. The Mindshare listserv is abuzz.  Why do DC Investors Suck! Why aren’t DC Angels more like Silicon Valley Angels.  Why can’t I get money? Why doesn’t anyone love me?  Why, Why Why? Waa, Waa, Waa! Want to know the answer? Well, here it is…… We’re not like Silicon Valley because we’re just like DC! Want to know why Silicon Valley isn’t like DC? Keep it under your hat but that’s because they’re not DC. Look we don’t have as many VCs as Silicon Valley. We don’t have as many experienced uber-exiteers who can take off their glasses and put on their capes to become Super Angel.  We don’t have the numbers or the focus. Giving-Back Uber-Exiteers– Silicon Valley has hundreds, perhaps thousands of Intel, HP, Sun, Oracle, Google, Apple, Paypal, Facebook, and on and on, senior execs with exits. We have a small handful of like-companies and from those companies, we have a few guys who give-back. The Give-backers in DC include many former AOLers; our most successful and visible exit. The AOL give-backers include Steve Case, Ted Leonsis, Mark Walsh. Doug Humphrey from Digex invests and mentors. You’ve got the...