Founders Flash


Startup Trends in 2015


Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has invested in some of today’s most talked-about startups, shares its predictions for the startup community in the year ahead. Several trends that were already on our radar in 2014, including security, digital health, online market places, crowdfunding and bitcoin, are expected to continue shaping the industry, along with newer concepts like virtual reality, the full-stack startup, containers and DevOps.


Read more from “16 Startup Trends That Will Be Huge In 2015” (Business Insider).

Ryan Sansom Explains Strategic Investments for Life Science and Technology Companies


Many entrepreneurs have at least a topical grasp of the world of investors and capital finance. Much of this understanding, however, typically centers around more conventional financial investors such as high net worth individuals, angel investors, venture capitalists or private equity funds. Founders of healthcare startups often encounter strategic investments that require interaction with a very different entity: the “Corporate Venture Capital” investor.


Corporate VC investors are typically large publicly-traded or privately-held companies that either operate directly within the startup’s particular industry or consider the startup (or its technology) to be of unique strategic importance.


Founders Flash


Some highlights from this week’s articles:


“Mobile is not just an industry in and of itself. It is also the foundation upon which an impressive array of industries—new and old—have taken root and flourished.” – The Mobile Revolution: How Mobile Technologies Drive a Trillion-Dollar Impact, BCG Perspectives


“When you try hard to stay true to who you are—especially as a leader—Ibarra says you end up focusing your time and energy on what you know really well and you get into this ‘authenticity trap,’ which stops you from evolving.” – Why “Being Authentic” Is Holding You Back, Vivian Gang, Fast Company


“Sometimes a smaller, tight-knit community may serve you better, especially if the location in question has great programs and incentives (like grants and tax credits) for startups in your sector.” – Taking Your Startup to the Next Level Doesn’t Mean You Have to Take It Somewhere New, Amanda Parker, Entrepreneur

Founders Flash


Lean Start-ups


Our favorite articles from the week discuss how to build and operate as a lean start-up. Read more about:


-the lean start-up cycle in reverse

-Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes’ 3 lean start-up hacks

-how to be lean across the business

Founders Workbench Recommended Reads: 2015 Startup Trends


With 2015 now fully underway, we look forward to a year of exciting growth. During the holidays, we took the opportunity to relax and reflect, as well as to look forward and identify what might be on the horizon.


As we thought about the coming year, we conducted a scan of “what’s coming in 2015” articles on some of our favorite sites. This produced several worthwhile reads, and we wanted to share them with our Founders Workbench readers. Here are some of the posts we’re seen recently that provide interesting takes on emerging trends and what founders should look for in 2015.

Founders Flash Holiday Hiatus


We’re off the next two weeks and hope you’re enjoying some time off too. Happy Holidays! 

Founders Flash


Our favorite articles from the week discuss the strength of a transparent start-up, analyze the value of an exit strategy even if you don’t intend to sell,  introduce Amazon’s new one-hour delivery service, and list the nine highest valued start-ups.


Happy reading!

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Addressing Key Patent Question


At Founders Workbench, we try to provide regular updates of court decisions and other legal developments that may impact start-up founders. Patents have been a particular area of focus in these updates because of their central importance to the business model of so many of our start-up clients. If your company operates in the technology of software industry, it’s likely that you will benefit from an understanding of what’s happening with regard to patent law, regulation, and litigation.


Recently the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case addressing an important patent question. Goodwin Procter litigation partners, and former Supreme Court clerks, Willy Jay and J. Anthony Downs have written an insightful Client Alert that we wanted to flag for FWB readers because it examines an important issue that start-ups and other companies may encounter in patent infringement cases.

Founders Flash


Google Compliance and SEO


Google is constantly evolving its search engine algorithms to vanquish spam and black hat SEO practices. As a result of recent changes, companies are making major investments to bring their websites back in line with Google’s best practices. While the cost of rewrites seem unreasonable, keeping up with SEO is essential to beat competitors. Chris Abraham, a web strategy consultant, outlines what your company should be thinking about in terms of organic search optimization, and how to approach a new SEO strategy.


Read more from “Your competitors are doing SEO” (Biznology).

Founders University: Corporate Governance

Welcome back to Founders University, our core curriculum designed to provide start-up company founders with the basics they’ll need to get their company off the ground.

In our first session, we covered the basic differences between a C corporation and an S corporation. For our second session of Founders University, we share an overview of corporate governance by Goodwin Procter partner Dave Cappillo. In this course, Dave highlights the basics of a corporation’s governance structure, including the role and responsibilities of both shareholders and the Board of Directors.

Sharpen your pencils, let’s go back to class!