Pioneer Square Labs’ Greg Gottesman on the studio model for high growth startups

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Randy Stewart. You were a Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group for many years but recently left to found Pioneer Square Labs. You employ a different model for building startups i.e. it is neither a venture capital firm nor an accelerator. How is this new model different or better? The traditional way of starting a company will remain the most common, which is you have an idea and bootstrap it or… Read More

AI is for real and intelligent apps is its vehicle according to Madrona Group’s Matt Mcilwain

artificial intelligence Q: You’ve been incredibly successful as a VC—you’ve had numerous major exits and been named to the Forbes Midas list several times. To what do you attribute your success? I think the most important thing about being successful in the venture business is being able to work with these great entrepreneurs. We try to find them at an early stage then roll up our sleeves and help… Read More

All your questions about startup fundraising for KPCB… Asked and answered.

money tub Start-up fundraising is hard. Despite ubiquitous headlines about unicorn valuations and how it’s never been easier to raise money in Silicon Valley, the process of raising capital can be gruelling, unpredictable, and non-transparent. To shed some light on best practices for successful startup fundraising, I sat down with my partners Eric Feng and Randy Komisar to ask and answer the… Read More

A Q&A with DFJ Partner, Bill Bryant, on “unicorn” valuations and startup investing

Adam Jacobs, founder and CEO of Chef (formerly Opscode) Pundits are painting a picture of doom and gloom for startups, saying it will be harder to raise money. What do you think? I think the next several months and possibly years will be challenging for raising capital. There has definitely been a reset. The market was over extended in an unhealthy way and we are seeing the impact across the board. The catalyst for this reset has been the collapse… Read More

Fewer deals and smaller checks: Startups suffered in Q1 as first-time financing fell 31%


While it’s never easy for entrepreneurs to convince venture capitalists to invest in their new companies, it was especially difficult during the first quarter of this year. Fewer startups received first-time funding, and those that were fortunate to do so saw smaller checks.

For the first three months of 2016, initial funding deals declined 16 percent to 297, and the total dollars invested fell 31 percent to $1.7 billion, according to the latest MoneyTree report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (based on data from Thomson Reuters).

Moreover, the average amount for first-time financing dropped 17 percent from $6.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $5.7 million in this quarter.

Source: MoneyTree Report

Source: The MoneyTree Report

Of the $1.7 billion of initial investments, software startups garnered $666 million (39 percent) across 121 deals. The next closest industries were media and entertainment, biotechnology, consumer products and services, and IT services, in descending

Funding by industry 2016 Q1
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ASO master class: Get up to 40K app downloads for free and other growth hacks (webinar)

app store.shutterstock_302135009

You could spend $10K to drive paid traffic and get some users — or you can growth-hack and land 40,000 downloads in just a few days. What’s the secret? Join top ASO gurus for this free half-hour master class in getting your app ranked, fast.

Register here for free.

“There’s this notion that you build a great app, and people will find it. Unfortunately that’s just not true anymore,” says Steve P. Young, ASO wizard and founder of App Masters.

Young, the host of the top mobile app podcast, has been picking the brains of hundreds of mobile developers since 2013. He’s successfully launched hundreds of new apps with his PR firm, And he knows what mistakes make an app sink — and more importantly, how to make it rise.

App store and app marketing optimization (ASO and AMO), Young emphasizes, is not optional any more. “With

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‘Allumette’ proves that virtual reality cinema is no joke


Allumette, a lovely animated feature by Penrose Studios, illustrates why virtual reality film should be taken just as seriously as traditional film.

The folks at Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival have already figured this out — both festivals showcased virtual reality this year. But in such early days, the quality of each VR experience varies wildly from project to project.

That’s why Penrose Studios — founded by Oculus’ first cinematic hire, Eugene Chung — surprised me yesterday. Here’s a behind-the-scenes teaser of Allumette:


Allumette is 20 minutes long — lengthy by VR standards, but it never feels drawn-out. The world Penrose creates for the viewer leaves you wishing it lasted a bit longer. The experience is like a good song in that way; you want to repeat it again right when it ends.

The film premiered today at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Penrose tells us a teaser of Allumette is coming “in the next few days” to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive owners. The

Penrose_Allumette (9)
Penrose_Allumette (13)
Penrose_Allumette (10)
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