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September 23, 2016

Foundational Capital: #SOCAP16

[DISCLAIMER: this post is in no way associated w/ the VC firm Foundational Capital.]

Vodafone Nations

My first SOCAP was illuminating to say the least, and not just because I was excited to see what the world of Impact [Investing] was all about, but also because I got to hear firsthand what young companies in countries with little to no venture capital do to get off the ground. What do they do? What they have to. It turns out a big piece of that equation is working with private foundations and government entities, and so perhaps appropriately, I was keenly interested when the World’s second largest Telco invited me to their startup pitch [...]

 
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September 5, 2016

Online Marketing for Your Law Firm: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Altogether too many professionals think that online marketing is this simple method of seeking and selling to their target markets without paying proper attention to what it takes to reach that target audience. How you would market to boomers in need of senior housing would take a totally different approach to seniors seeking low cost housing. Yes, the generation is correct but the audience within that generation is totally different and as such, requires a totally different approach. When marketing for your law firm, there are ways to make effective use of the Internet and there are common mistakes which should be avoided at all costs. Here are some of the most common mistakes to be [...]

 
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July 22, 2016

The Opportunity of the City-State in the Data Age

To varying degrees most any adult understands the truth of: ‘everything is cyclical’. The following suggests that there is a case to be made for our civilization tactics and rationale circling back around to the city-state in the data age. The idea grew fuller for me at a Churchill Club event last week entitled ‘A World Awash in Data: Risks and Opportunities’, the speakers of which were Gordon Crovitz (partner NextNews Ventures, previously WSJ) and Anthony Scriffignano (Chief Data Scientist, Dun & Bradstreet).

Fittingly, the evening’s conversation started out with a mention of Hong Kong, and specifically that the Minister of Finance (Financial [...]

 
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June 24, 2016

Citizen Developers, Global Encryption, Local Housing: an SF Perspective

A funny thing happens in the world of startup events, sometimes if you look at what’s going on in parallel among separate agendas, you can find telling congruence. It’s definitely a function of how hard you look, but the following two SF happenings, from residents of opposite ends of Market Street, share a complementary overlap that rings pretty intuitive for me. It is no secret I follow, even live, this corridor on a regular basis (Market Startup Stroll), and in the 2nd and 9th posts of that ‘Stroll’ twitter series you will find the homes of the two residents I speak of here.

 

‘The Future of Encryption, Housing, and Regulation’

This event was [...]

 
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May 31, 2016

Community Interest Company (CIC) – do you want your startup to benefit the community you live in?

A CIC is suitable for those considering creating a startup as a social enterprise. The essential feature of a CIC is that its activities are carried on for the benefit of the community. 

So if you want your start up to benefit some part of your local community but do not want to go to the expense or the administrative hassle of achieving charitable status, then this may be the company for you. CICs also provide more flexibility than charities.

CICs are primarily intended to use their assets, income and profits for the benefit of the community they are formed to serve. They must therefore embrace some special features, as set out below.

Special Features

A community [...]
 
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April 7, 2016

Taking Stock: time for a legal MOT?

Anniversaries are a good time to take stock of progress. So on the anniversary of the first edition of Disrupts, why not carry out a legal health check on your start-up. It is not always easy to stand back from the daily demand of the business and adopt a more bird’s eye view of all of those things that are important but never quite get to the top of the to-do list. 

So, we have set out below some critical issues you may want to consider:

(1) Shareholders’ agreement These agreements anticipate certain possible key changes and provide reasonable solutions which protect the legitimate rights of all shareholders and make less likely future damaging disputes between them. Some of [...]

 
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October 23, 2015

Equity Crowdfunding: 4 Steps To Success

For small- to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and early-stage startups, accessing capital is crucial. Whether the funding comes from a bank, an angel investor, a ridiculously wealthy family member, or less conventional methods, most businesses will need access to capital during various stages of their development. The problem is that banks really don’t lend funds to SMEs anymore, angel investors are tough to find, and not everyone has that wealthy uncle either.  So how can you grow your startup or scale your SME to new markets?

The answer could be in equity crowdfunding. This financing model has begun to change the landscape for how smaller private businesses can find [...]

 
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October 22, 2015

Is The FDA Holding Back Innovation?

In today’s modern age, technology has been advancing global industries to a point where innovations are happening faster than ever before. With the interconnectivity and shared knowledge of the Internet, new tech inventions, and digital access to people around the world, we’re seeing a much faster growth rate when it comes to constant discoveries being made to help our lives become easier. The healthcare industry is no exception, and for good reason. No matter how much technological advancement occurs in society, a person’s health should remain the most valuable commodity, and these days people are looking for more valuable and cost-effective methods to monitor their [...]

 
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June 26, 2015

Facebook Users Can ‘Celebrate Pride’ With Rainbow Profile Photo Filter

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, making it legal in all 50 states. To celebrate this monumental step for equal civil rights, Facebook has rolled out a new tool that will superimpose a rainbow banner over your profile picture. Just head over to facebook.com/celebratepride to give it a try.

 
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June 19, 2015

New FCC Plan Will Allow Carriers To Block Robocalls And Spam Texts

The number of unwanted, automated calls I get is obscene. Maybe you can relate. But we may not have to deal with those annoying telemarketing systems much longer, as the FCC has adopted a new rule that gives telephone companies more power to prevent robocalls and spam texts from reaching consumers on landlines and mobile phones.

In 2014 alone, the FCC received more than 215,000 complaints from consumers about robocalls, which continue to happen without regard to the Do Not Call List.

The new rule allows your phone carrier to block robocalls and automated texts if requested by consumers. It also clarifies a consumer protection law passed in 1991 that bans telemarketers [...]

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