Founders Flash


Is Britain the new digital frontier?


Chief Executive of Tech City UK, Gerard Grech, wants leading marketers to view Britain as the new digital frontier. In a speech to ISBA, a group for British advertisers, Grech urged collaboration between Britain’s marketing and technology sectors, stressing that the success of digital technology businesses is crucial if Britain is to remain competitive on the world stage. The union of these two sectors, he said, is already driving innovation in areas such as programmatic trading, big data and ecommerce. Tech City UK is also continuing initiatives to reach the consumer at a targeted micro level (smartphones, tablets, etc.), and working closely with several household brands to accelerate the Internet of Things space.

New COPPA Guidance from FTC Significant for Apps and Platforms


On July 16, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance clarifying compliance issues relating to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA regulates the collection of personal information from children less than 13 years of age online and carries stiff penalties for online service operators who do so without “verifiable parental consent.”


In recent years, the costs and risks of COPPA compliance have soared for start-ups as the app and mobile economies have developed. The agency has also amended its rules dramatically by limiting the types of information that may be collected or making it harder to collect such information. This latest guidance appears to be a practical response by the agency to some concerns.

What Exactly is Crowdfunding?


Crowdfunding, the use of online platforms for investment syndication, has exploded in popularity in recent years – both as a tool and as an industry. Recent estimates indicate that crowdfunding platforms raised an excess of $5 billion in 2013 alone, nearly twice the amount raised in 2012. This explosive growth will likely continue as crowdfunding platforms receive increasing media attention and gain broader investor acceptance.


Entrepreneurs, of course, will leverage every viable investment source to fund their start-ups. If you’re a start-up founder, no doubt you’ve heard the buzz about crowdfunding. But how much do you really know about this dynamic – and constantly evolving – new investment opportunity?

Founders Flash


Some highlights from this week’s articles:


“It’s not about where you went to school or what degree you got. It’s about your ability to solve problems and be creative.” – 10 Questions: Joe Sullivan, chief security officer, Facebook, Chanelle Bessette, Fortune


“It’s not that all Canadian founders lack aggressiveness and boldness. It’s just that there’s very few who have it.” – U.S. investor Paul Singh: Canada’s tech startup scene needs ‘aggressiveness and boldness’, Quentin Casey, Financial Post


“Interdisciplinary platforms are a key to innovation, and innovation is how we will change the world.” – Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Tech, Natalie Panek, The Next Women Business Magazine

Watch Now: Start-up Advice on the New Founders Workbench YouTube Channel


As part of our ongoing efforts to provide start-ups and emerging companies with free business and legal resources, we’ve launched a YouTube channel as another way for entrepreneurs to stay current on the latest trends, ideas and challenges facing today’s start-ups.

Steve Davis Discusses Angel Investing with NY Angels Chair Brian Cohen


During a fireside chat at the 2014 New York Venture Summit, Goodwin Procter partner and Founders Workbench contributor Steve Davis met with NY Angels Chair Brian Cohen to discuss angel investing. According to Brian, angel investing is slowing down, and since 90 percent of all money for start-up seed investing comes from angels, start-ups better bring their “A game” if they want to land early backers.

Founders Flash


What Aereo ruling means for tech


The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Aereo effectively shut down the service due to complaints of copyright infringement. This decision could mean trouble for “sharing economy” companies like Airbnb and Uber, which have also come under scrutiny by regulators. Just as Aereo was deemed to essentially be a cable company, regulators may decide Uber is a taxi service and Airbnb a hotel service, subjecting each tech company to its corresponding industry’s rules and taxes.

Founders Flash


Founders Flash


Our favorite articles from the week explain why it’s never been a better time to create a luxury start-up, explain how one start-up in selling America on solar energy, discuss the merits of starting up in Pittsburgh, and advise how to build a globally successful start-up.


Happy reading!

Start-ups and Digital Innovation: A Video Q&A with Nima Behkami of Merck’s Digital Innovation and Outreach Program


In the latest video of our Founders Workbench Advisory Board interview series, Board member Nima Behkami, Director of Strategic Alliance at Merck’s Digital Innovation and Outreach (DIO) program, provides advice for start-ups, particularly those in the digital health space, discusses digital innovation and the figure of digital health, and gives his take on the best resources for start-ups.


Watch the video below and check out our YouTube channel for more in the Advisory Board interview series.

Founders Flash


The “sharing economy”


Our favorite articles from the week discuss the sharing economy and the legal challenges faced by start-ups such as Airbnb. Read more about:


- Just how fast Uber and Airbnb are growing

- Opposition to Airbnb from property owners in NY

- How tech companies in the “sharing economy” are affecting traditional markets