Distributed Ledger Technology and the Future of Life As We Know It

From time to time, some of my good friends whom I have known for a while guest post on my blog.   I am en route to Italy and Trace Schmeltz gave me something interesting to post.  He is an attorney with Barnes and Thornburg.

If you don’t know Trace, he helped out James Koutoulas tremendously when Jon Corzine stole money from his clients at MF Global.  Trace is an expert on financial regulatory law.  He has practiced in Chicago for a long time.  He’s working with the state of Illinois to make sure crypto regulation is correct.

Here is his post.  Given all the hype on crypto currency and blockchain, I thought it was timely.  Especially because I ripped into ICO’s yesterday.

Take it away Trace:


Distributed ledger technology or, as it is commonly called, the “blockchain,” is essentially an account Continue reading "Distributed Ledger Technology and the Future of Life As We Know It"

Last Chance to Sign Up For The Fall 2017 Venture Deals Course

Kauffman Fellows and Techstars are running another cycle of the Venture Deals course with me and Jason Mendelson. Signups close tomorrow as the course runs from 9/24/17 – 11/13/17. The course is free to everyone.

The seven-week course, which is about five hours of work each week, has the following agenda.

Week 1 – Introduction of key players/Form or join a team

Week 2 – Fundraising/Finding the Right VC

Week 3 – Capitalization Tables/Convertible Debt

Week 4 – Term Sheets: Economics & Control

Week 5 – Term Sheets Part Two

Week 6 – Negotiations

Week 7 – Letter of Intent/Getting Acquired

Over 10,000 people have taken the course at this point. We’ve gotten universally strong positive reviews and have made plenty of new friends from people who have gone through the course and connected with us.

If you are interested in raising venture capital, I encourage you to sign up

Continue reading "Last Chance to Sign Up For The Fall 2017 Venture Deals Course"

Seattle Screenings of For Here or To Go?

Amy and I have been big supporters of a movie about immigration called For Here or To Go?

With our friends at Boundless, we are sponsoring a week of screenings in Seattle. We are supplying a bunch of free tickets and – when they are used up – will still have a set of paid tickets available.

It’s playing at the Landmark Theaters Crest Cinema Center from Friday 9/22 to Wednesday 9/27. If the topic of immigration is important to you, this is a great, powerful, thought-provoking movie.

If you want to bring a big group or spend some time with Rishi, the creator of the movie, just email me.

The post Seattle Screenings of For Here or To Go? appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

The G7/I7 In Torino, Italy

This weekend I will be going to Torino, Italy.  Torino is the sight of the information part of the G7 conferences that take place throughout the year.  You can see a link to the entirety of the G7 here.  I was invited by the US government to attend.  I will be advising the I-7, which is the G-7’s strategic advisory board on innovation.

For my part, I am going to be discussing the future of work.  That made the Economic Club of Chicago’s discussion on Karl Marx even more interesting.  It’s also why I have been listening to a lot of podcasts from different points of view on how autonomous vehicles will affect us or if we should have a basic income guarantee.  What happens when technology crosses borders and makes them irrelevant when it comes to “work”?  Can you have a Continue reading "The G7/I7 In Torino, Italy"

Our favorite pitches from Alchemist Accelerator’s 16th batch

 Alchemist Accelerator, known for its specialty in working with enterprise startups, held its 16th demo day at Microsoft’s offices in Mountain View, California. 18 startups pitched ideas ranging from more traditional marketplaces to frontier aerospace technology. Addressing the packed auditorium before the pitches began, Ravi Belani, managing partner at Alchemist, reasserted his core… Read More

TalkIQ raises $14 million Series A to give enterprises AI insights into voice communication

 There’s no shortage of startups building their brands around AI for enterprise. And within the enterprise, few spaces are as competitive as AI-powered voice analytics. TalkIQ is the latest company in the space to carry home a large round of financing with promise. With $14 million in Series A funding, the TalkIQ team is hoping its proprietary tech stack and engineering-heavy team will… Read More

Are Ideas Linear in Finance?

Listening to Ben Horowitz speak at the Chicago Venture Summit, he made a point which he’s made before.  Venture capitalists invest in really bad ideas.  But, if those ideas work it would be pretty cool.  He used AirBnb as an example.  You are going to rent out a room in your home to someone using a blowup mattress.

That is a bad idea.

In finance, we are a lot more pragmatic.  We are solving actual problems when we invest in a startup.  Usually a person has experience with it.  They have felt the pain.  They build software to solve it.

Are there bad ideas in finance?

There certainly are.  I suspect as we start to see a lot more innovation on the back office/process side of the business where 67% of the costs are we will see a lot of bad Continue reading "Are Ideas Linear in Finance?"