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About Brad Feld
Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars.
Brad is a writer and speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship. He's written a number of books as part of the Startup Revolution series and writes the blogs Feld Thoughts and Venture Deals.
Brad holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brad is also an art collector and long-distance runner. He has completed 25 marathons as part of his mission to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states.
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Books By Brad Feld
Help take your startup to the next step with the new and revised edition of the popular book on the VC deal process—from the co-founders of the Foundry Group
How do venture capital deals come together? This is one of the most frequent questions asked by each generation of new entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, there is little reliable information on the subject. No one understands this better than Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. The founders and driving force behind the Foundry Group—a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information technology companies—Brad and Jason have been involved in hundreds of venture capital financings. Their investments range from small startups to large Series A venture financing rounds. The new edition of Venture Deals continues to show fledgling entrepreneurs the inner-workings of the VC process, from the venture capital term sheet and effective negotiating strategies to the initial seed and the later stages of development.
Fully updated to reflect the intricacies of startups and entrepreneurship in today's dynamic economic environment, this new edition includes revisions and updates to coverage on negotiating, gender issues, ICO’s, and economic terms. New chapters examine legal and procedural considerations relevant to fundraising, bank debt, equity and convertible debt, how to hire an investment banker to sell a company, and more.
- Provides valuable, real-world insights into venture capital structure and strategy
- Explains and clarifies the VC term sheet and other misunderstood aspects of capital funding
- Helps to build collaborative and supportive relationships between entrepreneurs and investors
- Draws from the author’s years of practical experience in the VC arena
- Includes extensively revised and updated content throughout to increase readability and currency
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist is a must-have resource for Any aspiring entrepreneur, venture capitalist, or lawyer involved in VC deals as well as students and instructors in related areas of study.
A comprehensive guide on creating, growing, and leveraging a board of directors written for CEOs, board members, and people seeking board roles.
The first time many founders see the inside of a board room is when they step in to lead their board. But how do boards work? How should they be structured, managed, and leveraged so that startups can grow, avoid pitfalls, and get the best out of their boards? Authors Brad Feld, Mahendra Ramsinghani, and Matt Blumberg have collectively served on hundreds of startup and scaleup boards over the past 30 years, attended thousands of board meetings, encountered multiple personalities and situations, and seen the good, bad, and ugly of boards.
In Startup Boards: A Field Guide to Building and Leading an Effective Board of Directors, the authors provide seasoned advice and guidance to CEOs, board members, investors, and anyone aspiring to serve on a board. This comprehensive book covers a wide range of topics with relevant tips, tactics, and best practices, including:
- Board fundamentals such as the board's purpose, legal characteristics, and roles and functions of board members;
- Creating a board including size, composition, roles of VCs and independent directors, what to look for in a director, and how to recruit directors;
- Compensating, onboarding, removing directors, and suggestions on building a diverse board;
- Preparing for and running board meetings;
- The board's role in transactions including selling a company, buying a company, going public, and going out of business;
- Advice for independent and aspiring directors.
Startup Boards draws on the authors' experience and includes stories from board members, startup founders, executives, and investors. Any CEO, board member, investor, or executive interested in creating an active, involved, and engaged board should read this book—and keep it handy for reference.
Let's face it, as founders and entrepreneurs, you have a lot on your plate—getting to your minimum viable product, developing customer interaction, hiring team members, and managing the accounts/books. Sooner or later, you have a board of directors, three to five (or even seven) Type A personalities who seek your attention and at times will tell you what to do. While you might be hesitant to form a board, establishing an objective outside group is essential for startups, especially to keep you on track, call you out when you flail, and in some cases, save you from yourself.
In Startup Boards, Brad Feld—a Boulder, Colorado-based entrepreneur turned-venture capitalist—shares his experience in this area by talking about the importance of having the right board members on your team and how to manage them well. Along the way, he shares valuable insights on various aspects of the board, including how they can support you, help you understand your startup's milestones and get to them faster, and hold you accountable.
- Details the process of choosing board members, including interviewing many people, checking references, and remembering that there should be no fear in rejecting a wrong fit
- Explores the importance of running great meetings, mixing social time with business time, and much more
- Recommends being a board member yourself at some other organization so you see the other side of the equation
Engaging and informative, Startup Boards is a practical guide to one of the most important pieces of the startup puzzle.
Startup Opportunities is the go-to guide for anyone with a great business idea. Whether it's your first business or your fifth, realistic assessment from the outset can save you a lot of time and money; why pour your heart and soul into a venture that is doomed to fail? Instead, position yourself to win from the very beginning. In this book, accomplished venture capitalists share their insight on startups and entrepreneurs: who will fail, who will succeed and why, and what you should do to give your business the very best shot at becoming a global success story. You'll learn how to evaluate your business with a critical eye, and how early customer development can be key in turning a good idea into a great opportunity. If you're serious about building a business that lasts, this book provides invaluable guidance that you really cannot miss.
More than five million people will launch a business this year, and many of them will be great ideas—yet few will be around in five years, and even fewer in ten years. A great idea is not enough to build a successful business. You need to fortify your idea with the proper foundation, and a scaffolding of good planning and early action. This book shows you how.
- Assess your business's viability using the 10x Rule
- Learn when you can quit your day job—or not
- Take the key steps to making your business succeed
- Discover the opportunities worth selling everything for
This expert author team has witnessed more than 30,000 pitches over two decades, and have participated in over 500 startup launches. Startup Opportunities gives you the benefit of their experience to help you start strong and stay strong.
TechStars is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator with operations in three U.S. cities. Once a year in each city, it funds about ten Internet startups with a small amount of capital and surrounds them with around fifty top Internet entrepreneurs and investors. Historically, about seventy-five percent of the companies that go through TechStars raise a meaningful amount of angel or venture capital. Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup is a collection of advice that comes from individuals who have passed through, or are part of, this proven program. Each vignette is an exploration of information often heard during the TechStars program and provides practical insights into early stage entrepreneurship.
- Contains seven sections, each focusing on a major theme within the TechStars program, including idea and vision, fundraising, legal and structure, and work/life balance
- Created by two highly regarded experts in the world of early stage investing
- Essays in each section come from the experienced author team as well as TechStar mentors, entrepreneurs, and founders of companies
While you'll ultimately have to make your own decisions about what's right for your business, Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup can get your entrepreneurial endeavor headed in the right direction.
His favorite personality was a “free spirit”: an obsessed individual with a vision of the future and the will to make it so, a rebel who creates the future with childlike enthusiasm.
Now, serial entrepreneur Dave Jilk and venture capitalist Brad Feld extract from Nietzsche a modern Art of War, connecting the dots to our high-tech business environment.
Each quick, digestible chapter expands on a quote from Nietzsche to stimulate your thinking about a vital aspect of entrepreneurship, and stories from entrepreneurs help make the ideas concrete.
Understand why hitting bottom might be the best thing that can happen, how your firm’s “artistic style” can align your organization, and the role obsession plays in your success—and your definition of it.
Glean insight and inspiration from every page of this surprising, approachable gem.
The Way Forward for Entrepreneurship Around the World
We are in the midst of a startup revolution. The growth and proliferation of innovation-driven startup activity is profound, unprecedented, and global in scope. Today, it is understood that communities of support and knowledge-sharing go along with other resources. The importance of collaboration and a long-term commitment has gained wider acceptance. These principles are adopted in many startup communities throughout the world.
And yet, much more work is needed. Startup activity is highly concentrated in large cities. Governments and other actors such as large corporations and universities are not collaborating with each other nor with entrepreneurs as well as they could. Too often, these actors try to control activity or impose their view from the top-down, rather than supporting an environment that is led from the bottom-up. We continue to see a disconnect between an entrepreneurial mindset and that of many actors who wish to engage with and support entrepreneurship. There are structural reasons for this, but we can overcome many of these obstacles with appropriate focus and sustained practice.
No one tells this story better than Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway. The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem explores what makes startup communities thrive and how to improve collaboration in these rapidly evolving, complex environments.
The Startup Community Way is an explanatory guide for startup communities. Rooted in the theory of complex systems, this book establishes the systemic properties of entrepreneurial ecosystems and explains why their complex nature leads people to make predictable mistakes. As complex systems, value creation occurs in startup communities primarily through the interaction of the "parts" - the people, organizations, resources, and conditions involved - not the parts themselves. This continual process of bottom-up interactions unfolds naturally, producing value in novel and unexpected ways. Through these complex, emergent processes, the whole becomes greater and substantially different than what the parts alone could produce.
Because of this, participants must take a fundamentally different approach than is common in much of our civic and professional lives. Participants must take a whole-system view, rather than simply trying to optimize their individual part. They must prioritize experimentation and learning over planning and execution. Complex systems are uncertain and unpredictable. They cannot be controlled, only guided and influenced. Each startup community is unique. Replication is enticing but impossible. The race to become "The Next Silicon Valley" is futile - even Silicon Valley couldn't recreate itself.
- Offers practical advice for entrepreneurs, community builders, government officials, and other stakeholders who want to harness the power of entrepreneurship in their city
- Describes the core components of startup communities and entrepreneurial ecosystems, as well as an explanation of the differences between these two related, but distinct concepts
- Advances a new framework for effective startup community building based on the theory of complex systems and insights from systems thinking
- Includes contributions from leading entrepreneurial voices
- Is a must-have resource for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, executives, business and community leaders, economic development authorities, policymakers, university officials, and anyone wishing to understand how startup communities work anywhere in the world
First published in 2012, Startup Communities became a blueprint for what it takes to build a supportive entrepreneurial community. Now regarded as a classic, the "Boulder Thesis" created and popularized by Feld within the book generated enormous media attention nearly a decade ago.
At that time, Boulder was an emerging startup laboratory—a hub of innovation building new tech businesses. It quickly accelerated into a world class ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Boulder's entrepreneurial density, combined with the geographic concentration of entrepreneurial activity around the Boulder downtown core, made it a hotbed of startup activity. Feld was and is still there, as a keen observer and one of its leaders. As he notes simply in the new edition, humans are wired to start things.
In a sense, that short Feld-ism accurately describes the startup revolution still taking hold throughout the world. Boulder is proof that innovation can happen anywhere, in any city. Thanks in part to the book, what happens in Boulder now leaves Boulder. Rapidly growing startup communities in Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, Kansas City, Nashville, and Indianapolis are just a few examples. Over the last decade, Feld has dispelled the myth that startups can only thrive in Silicon Valley.
Startup communities continue to pop up across the U.S. and around the world, prompting fresh new revelations and stories from Feld about what's happened over the last decade. Startup Communities 2e describes what makes a startup community ecosystem first click, then hum, and in time, excel. From Boulder to Beijing and beyond, entrepreneurial ecosystems are driving innovation. Startup Communities 2e discusses and the necessary dynamics and pre-conditions of building communities of entrepreneurs who can feed off each other's talent, creativity, and support.
In Startup Communities 2e, Feld will help you understand:
- The core principles of a vibrant startup community, re-examining his Boulder Thesis and exploring other historical frameworks.
- The attributes of leadership in a startup community that can help it thrive along with the classical problems any community will face during development.
- The importance of a university in a startup community, and how large companies can engage effectively with entrepreneurs.
- The importance of continuous improvement so growth does not stagnate.
- The common myths about startup communities.
- The opportunities to build startup communities in non-urban, or rural, places that are much less populated.
Entrepreneurs are always on the go, looking for the next "startup" challenge. And while they lead very intensely rewarding lives, time is always short and relationships are often long-distant and stressed because of extended periods apart. Coping with these, and other obstacles, are critical if an entrepreneur and their partner intend on staying together—and staying happy.
In Startup Life, Brad Feld—a Boulder, Colorado-based entrepreneur turned-venture capitalist—shares his own personal experiences with his wife Amy, offering a series of rich insights into successfully leading a balanced life as a human being who wants to play as hard as he works and who wants to be as fulfilled in life and in work. With this book, Feld distills his twenty years of experience in this field to addresses how the village of startup people can put aside their workaholic ways and lead rewarding lives in all respects.
- Includes real-life examples of entrepreneurial couples who have had successful relationships and what works for them
- Provides practical advice for adapting to change and overcoming the inevitable ups and downs associated with the entrepreneurial lifestyle
- Written by Brad Feld, a thought-leader in this field who has been an early-stage investor and successful entrepreneur for more than twenty years
While there's no "secret formula" to relationship success in the world of the entrepreneur, there are ways to making navigation of this territory easier. Startup Life is a well-rounded guide that has the insights and advice you need to succeed in both your personal and business life.
Cómo cerrar rondas de financiación con éxito es el manual de capital riesgo de referencia en Estados Unidos y va dirigido a empresarios, emprendedores noveles y experimentados, aspirantes a inversor e inversores senior, business angels, profesionales que trabajan o que quieran trabajar en la industria del capital riesgo o en family offices, abogados y, en general, a cualquier persona interesada en el ecosistema emprendedor, inversor y de las startups.
This book is a practical guide to evaluating your business idea and a must-read for all aspiring entrepreneurs.
-that if your new venture doesn’t follow the 10x Rule, you should not quit your day job and why
-how early customer development can transform a good idea into a great opportunity
-which opportunities are worth selling everything for
Brad Feld and Dr. Sean Wise have been assessing startup opportunities for more than two decades. They have witnessed more than 30,000 pitches and participated in more than 500 startup launches. Now two of North America’s leading minds in venture capital share how they determine which startups will succeed and which will fail.
This book is indispensable for anybody who has ever thought about starting a business or fumbled their way through giving advice about starting a business.