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Founders Flash: Baby Boomers Finding a Home in Emerging Tech

As the baby boomers hit – and pass – the (formerly) standard retirement age, the global workforce will need to continue absorbing the dramatic rise in employees over 65 for the next 10 to 20 years. A company in South Korea has found the solution to that problem; EverYoung, a technology services firm, only employs those over 55 years’ old.

Founders Flash: The Answer Is Project Management

Ever since the term “Lean Startup” entered the business lexicon in 2008, businesses have followed a consistent trajectory: go flat or go home. The lean startup methodology follows the philosophy that if startup companies invest their time in building products/services to meet needs of early customers, they can reduce market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding.

Founders Flash: Creating, Maintaining Startup Culture

While growth is essential to a startup’s success, rapid and uncontrolled growth can often lead to unintended changes or mistakes. When a company begins onboard employees and build new teams, it’s important for the company culture to remain intact.

Founders Flash: Avoid These Common – And Costly – Hiring Mistakes

Hiring your first group of employees for your new company can be just as daunting as it is exciting. Trusting others with your company can be a big step for any founder, even without worrying about hiring the wrong person.

Founders Flash: How Entrepreneurs Tackle Parental Leave

When it comes to human resources practices and workplace policies, startups can notoriously lag behind. Whether it’s due to staff size or company culture, founders and startup leaders can struggle with creating HR policies.

Founders Flash: Where Are the Startup Jobs?

A recent study shows that new companies – startups – are currently at nearly a 40-year low.

VIDEO: Founders University: Stock Options – Definitions and Key Terms

Welcome back to Founders University, our core curriculum designed to provide startup founders with the basics needed to launch a company while minimizing costly missteps or mistakes.

For our next session of Founders University, we share an overview of Stock Options – notably how related terms are used and defined. In this course, partners John Egan and Lynda Galligan talk about some of the definitions and common terminology that are used for stock options.

Founders Flash: Shhhhhh! ‘Secret’ Social-Networking Service Goes from Anonymous to Defunct

A mere 10 months after raising $25 million from marquee investors – at a valuation of $100 million – the anonymous social-networking app ‘Secret’ shut down this week. You can bet the Flash took note of that precipitous shut-down. As always, we’re closely following crowdfunding news, but this cycle we’re seeing some backlash against the popular fundraising platform. The NY Times Magazine looks at jilted investors in the failed ZPM Espresso crowdfunding/KickStarter campaign (who are sharpening their knives), while Gizmodo is soliciting examples of fraudulent crowdfunding campaigns for a future compilation.

Check out these stories and more in this week’s Founders Flash!

  • How long does it take for a startup to go from $100 million to $0? If you are Secret, the anonymous social networking app, the answer is: 10 months. (Forbes)
  • What happens when a crowdfunding campaign fails to launch? If investors in the failed ZPM Espresso launch are any indication, they can get testy. (NY Times Magazine)
  • Crowdfunding is powerful and growing – but examples of fraud abound across the increasingly popular platform. Share any stories of fraudulent crowdfunding campaigns here. (Gizmodo)
  • Momofuku owner David Chang just launched Maple, a food-delivery startup looking to disrupt the food takeout industry. Will he do for food delivery what he did for ramen noodles? (Entrepreneur)
  • Gett looks to outpace Uber by offering services beyond transportation – including food, beauty and home maintenance. (TechCrunch)
  • VC firms looking for the next Facebook are recruiting ever-younger founders – beginning in college with mentoring and funding for startups with potential. (Wall Street Journal)

Founders Flash: Silicon Valley startups still searching for leadership diversity, Y Combinator says

The Flash this week looks at statistics released last week by Y Combinator during its semiannual Demo Day, and sees that its startup founders are overwhelmingly white and male. Though the lack of diversity in tech has been well covered, these numbers serve as a reminder of the need for diverse leadership among startup companies. The Flash also updates on an ongoing topic of focus for FWB: the JOBS Act. Recently finalized SEC rules should help startups raise capital through small public offerings – but we shall see if that is the effect. We also pull out some video footage of Box CEO and Co-Founder Aaron Levie explaining marketplace perceptions of the company, which went public in February (with Goodwin Procter representing the underwriter in the IPO). Check out these and others in our weekly roundup for Founders Flash!

Startups Take Note: Pinterest Will Allow Ex-Employees to Keep Vested Stock Options for Seven Years

Digital pegboard company Pinterest made big waves in the startup community by announcing that it would allow employees with at least two years of tenure to keep their vested stock options for up to seven years after they leave the company. By removing the standard 90-day post-employment option exercise period on most departing employees, Pinterest has made it far easier for its employees to keep their stock options if they leave for a new job.

What does this mean?

That’s the question we’re getting here at Founders Workbench, so we wanted to take a look at this from our perspective as advisors to startup company founders that often aspire to the kind of rapid business growth Pinterest is experiencing.We hope the following analysis of the background and legal implications of this decision provides helpful guidance in determining the merit of a program like the one Pinterest’s recently announced.