Thoughts on startups by investors that
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Viewing all posts by Bob Rice

user Bob Rice Managing Partner,
Tangent Capital

Bob is Managing Partner of Tangent Capital, a registered broker-dealer and merchant bank focused on alternative assets and strategies. He is the resident industry expert on early stage and other private investments for Bloomberg TV, appearing daily as Contributing Editor on “Money Moves.” Bob is a Director of asset management companies with over $2 billion in AUM. Bob began his career as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and then became a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where his practice centered on financial products. He left the law in 1996 to found a 3D graphics technology startup that eventually became the publicly traded Viewpoint, provider of the web’s first “rich media” advertising platform. He has been an active angel investor and startup mentor since 2004. Along the way, Bob also served as the Commissioner of the Professional Chess Association and authored the business strategy book Three Moves Ahead.

Forget Crowdfunding: Why JOBS Matters

Posted by on April 6th, 2012

Most all the talk about the JOBS bill is about crowdfunding, seeding, and the ability to advertise private placements.  In my mind, other provisions are the really big news for young companies.

Those are the expansion of the size limits for “Reg A” offerings, and the newly created “regulatory on-ramp.”  Together, these have re-opened a door to capital that’s been

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Schooling MBAs (part I)

Yesterday I was a judge at the Northeast Regional Finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition, featuring teams of MBAs from some pretty fancy schools. The big idea is that the MBAs form imaginary VC firms, look at real startups, and get judged on how they handle due diligence, investment structures, etc.  So it’s the MBA “investors,” not the startups,

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I don’t file for patent protection often, but when I do, it’s provisional.

OK, the Most Interesting Man’s isn’t a lawyer, and his view is a bit simplistic. But he does have a point: in many cases, provisional patent applications can provide useful and inexpensive (if short term) protection for your brilliant new idea.

The #1 Angel Investing Mistake

The list of angel investing mistakes is an awfully long one, equally as long as the list for liquid investments, plus a bunch more.  On the too-aggressive side: believing the hockey stick, ignoring the management holes, and overestimating product acceptance.  On the too-conservative side: my favorite startup myth, thinking that .

You Have Competition – Ellen Weber” href=”http://videos.gust.com/video/You-have-competition;search%3Atag%3A%22know-thy-market%22″>because competitors exist,

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Movies, not Snapshots

Stopping by the First Growth Venture Network session today, I saw the usual great collection of startups and industry experts. It’s about the best forum for practical advice, mentoring, and support that an entrepreneur could hope to find.  As usual, there were lots of quotable quotes, but my favorite one today was from Jeff Bussgang, co-founder of Flybridge, who said:

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Angel Investing: The Real Make-or-Break Issue

We’ll get there, but let’s start here: I don’t believe in “angel portfolio theory,” which applies Wall Street’s favorite myth to the early stage world. According to this approach, the “smart” way to do angel investing is massive diversification, with scores of early stage bets.

There are several reasons that this common wisdom is more the former than the latter,

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Best Practices for Wasting Money

It seems that everyone is writing about best practices these days, and I certainly agree they should be followed whenever possible. There has been a disturbing lack of guidance on one of the most common activities of early stage companies: throwing money out the window.  So, I’m here to help.

Cohort Analysis

Don’t mean to disappoint you, but this idea isn’t nearly as devious or dark as the name implies.  It’s just a straightforward, really smart, thing to do.

The term derives from sociology: groups of people who share certain characteristics are “cohorts”.   Instead of focusing on average behaviors of a large population, cohort analysis looks to find and understand patterns among

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Outside capital: do or die?

A gigantic percentage of startup literature concerns how to raise capital.  But before you start on that PowerPoint, let’s ask this: do you really have to? Or is it still possible to bootstrap and build a company organically?

A long time ago in an economy far, far away. . .

Listen my children and you shall hear Of IPO dreams once held so dear Our forefathers’ jackpot, guaranteed to arrive Hardly a founder now alive Can remember that famous yesteryear

So begins, of course, one of the most famous poems of the entire startup canon.  And, a bit misty-eyed, this old war veteran can actually remember the glory days: Venture

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