Day: June 1, 2021

VC University ONLINE: June 2021 Cohort Begins Today!

VC University ONLINE: June 2021 Cohort Begins Today!

Launched in 2019, VC University is an educational certificate course, jointly operated by NVCAVenture Forward, and Startup@BerkeleyLaw

VC University ONLINE participants learn the nuts and bolts of venture finance through self-paced lectures, interactive assessments, virtual office hours, monthly webinars with faculty and industry experts, and interviews with leading venture capitalists.  Serving more than 200 participants, the June cohort will mark our seventh sold–out course.  

One of VC University’s goals is to democratize access to quality VC education. Since the program’s inception, Venture Forward and Startup@BerkleyLaw have reserved at least 10% of seats for full scholarship recipients, awarded to aspiring and early-career investors, from historically underrepresented and underestimated backgrounds. 

Thanks to the generous financial support of several VC firms committed to creating a more diverse and equitable VC ecosystem, we’ve been able to expand the number of full scholarships we can offer: of the 200+ participants in the June 2021 cohort, we awarded 43 full scholarships to talented, early-career VCs!

We’ve also been able to expand the scholarship itself: in addition to covering the cost of VC University tuition, the full scholarship now also includes a highly-rated 3-month mentorship component. New to the June cohort is our Life Science Scholarship track, which offers focused resources and support to our scholarship recipients who are pursuing careers in life science investing.

We receive hundreds of scholarship applications for each cohort, leading to a rigorous and competitive selection process. In keeping with the scholarship’s goal of supporting underrepresented, aspiring VCs, we consider demographic factors, such as race, gender, ethnicity, veteran status, (Read more...)

Wade Chambers, Kevin Wang and Wei Gan | Building Company Culture

This post is by Greylock Partners from Greymatter

Greylock partner Saam Motamedi is joined by engineering team leaders to discuss the wide-reaching topic of company culture. Wade Chambers, CTO and SVP of Engineering at Grand Rounds Health; Kevin Wang, VP of engineering at Abnormal Security; and Wei Gan, the co-founder and CTO of Ribbon Home, talk about the various ways they define and apply culture; how they differentiate between company-level and team-level cultural norms; and more. grows its drug synthesis AI platform with a $4.6M seed round

Polish computational chemistry outfit has raised $4.6M to expand its quest to bring theoretical drug molecules to reality. Its machine learning systems predict the best ways to synthesize potentially valuable molecules, a crucial part of creating new drugs and treatments. went on stage at Disrupt SF 2019’s Startup Battlefield, where they explained the difficulty faced by the drug discovery industry, basically that they come up with lots of theoretical treatments but can’t actually make the molecules.

The company’s system enters play when you have some exotic new compound you want to make in order to test it in real life, but don’t know how to make it. After all, these molecules are brand new to science — no one has created them before, so why should anyone know? creates a workflow starting with ordinary off-the-shelf chemicals and provides step by step instructions using known methods of how to go from A to B… and to C, D, and so on (it’s rarely simple).

The company leverages machine learning and a large body of knowledge about chemical reactions to create these processes, though as CSO Stanisław Jastrzębski explained, they do it backwards.

“Synthesis planning can be characterized as a game,” he said. “In each move of this game, instead of moving a piece on a board, we break a chemical bond between a pair of atoms. The goal of the game is to break down a target molecule to molecules that can then be bought on the (Read more...)

Startups In The Land Of Gold: The Japanese Ecosystem Unveiled, Part 2

This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and a Crunchbase user. We are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc. 

This story is the second in a series of articles covering the Japanese startup ecosystem edited by the Japan Cabinet Office. You can find part one here.

*The startups in this article were selected by the local consortium and the accelerators in charge of support programs. They are not the only ones that represent each region.


Osaka / Kansai Expo 2025 will accelerate innovation in Japan

Back in the eighth Century, Kyoto in the Kansai-area was the capital of Japan for more than a thousand years. Kyoto prospered with cultural and historical art: temples, shrines, trade, restaurants, and traditional entertainment like geisha. Next door to Kyoto, Osaka rules the present Kansai-area. The population is second to Tokyo. It was once called the kitchen of the nation. Products such as crops, agricultural products, and marine products gathered from across the nation. The reason is very simple; Osaka is geographically located in the very center of Japan.

The consortium of Osaka, Kyoto, and the beautiful bay area Kobe have now collaborated together to form a partnership to support startups in the Kansai area. The population of these three (Read more...)

4 Tips from a Venture Capitalist for Entrepreneurs Seeking Investment

This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and a Crunchbase user. We are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc. 

Let’s face it: Fundraising has never been easy, especially for early-stage entrepreneurs or new fund managers. 

On one side of the table sits millions of dollars. On the other, an unproven idea. Your job is to convince the people with the millions that your idea is worth the investment. It’s daunting, to say the least. 

Then COVID-19 hit, which made fundraising even harder. Now you’re doing the same unnerving pitches through the shaky lens of a video camera. 

Even worse, the percentage of capital going to early-stage companies — with fundraising size of $5 million and below — has been dwindling over the past decade. And last year, only about 160 venture capital funds were raised in the U.S. by emerging managers, the lowest amount in the past eight years.

To successfully raise money in this environment, you have to take a long-term view of the process.

Fundraising is not a one-time event. It doesn’t start the day you put your deck together and end when the money is safely in your bank account. It starts long before you need an investment, and it never ends as long (Read more...)

Commencement is today

This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog

Actually, it’s every day. We talk about graduation as if it’s the end of some journey, but it’s the beginning of one. The chance to see the world differently, to contribute, to understand.

I hope you’ll get a chance to check out what my friends at Akimbo are doing. They’re persistently, consistently and generously showing up to create learning cohorts that actually cause real and long-lasting change. (They’re hiring.)

The altMBA has already demonstrated its impact. More than five years, 70 countries and 5,000 graduates so far. The First Priority Deadline for applications is today, June 1st, for altMBA’s October 2021 session

Bernadette Jiwa’s Story Skills Workshop is back for its seventh session. You’ll discover that while reading one of her bestselling books will open your eyes, it’s the work done with others that’s remarkable. People are often surprised by the mutual support and feedback that they can find online. It begins tomorrow.

If you’re on your own and feeling the stress between freelancing and entrepreneurship, it may be that you’re actually a bootstrapper. Bootstrapping is a different way to look at your work, the chance to build an organization of some scale without going to a bank or finding a rich aunt to back your project. The Bootstrapper’s Workshop is back for its sixth session. You can enroll today and it begins on the 15th of June.

Also open for enrollment today is Alex DiPalma’s breakthrough podcasting workshop. The ninth session begins in about six weeks. Check (Read more...)

The Globalization Of Venture Capital Investing

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

I’ve written a bunch about the globalization of the startup economy. You can start and build a tech company almost anywhere these days. That has been true for at least the last decade. But until very recently, raising capital for your startup was significantly easier if it was located in the major startup hubs, most notably Silicon Valley.

I believe the pandemic changed that equation dramatically and USV’s “deal log” is a great example of that. When I look at all of the opportunities we are currently considering plus all of the investments we have made this year to date, what stands out most to me is the location of the founders and teams. It seems to me that about half of our “new deal activity” right now is happening outside of the US. And very little of it is in western Europe where most of our non-US investing has been for the last decade.

This is a big change from where it was just last year and the year before. The emergence of raising money and supporting investments on Zoom has made it possible to have a much broader reach than was possible a few years ago.

What makes it easier for USV is our thesis-driven model of investing. We know exactly what we are looking for in new opportunities in wellness, education, financial services, climate, and crypto and so we can react to opportunities that fit into our thesis pretty much anywhere in the world. And we are (Read more...)

Goldman Sachs leads $202M investment in project44, doubling its valuation to $1.2B in a matter of months

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a lot in the world, and supply chains are no exception. 

A number of applications that aim to solve workflow challenges across the supply chain exist. But getting real-time access to information from transportation providers has remained somewhat elusive for shippers and logistics companies alike. 

Enter Project44. The 7-year-old Chicago-based company has built an API-based platform that it  says acts as “the connective tissue” between transportation providers, third-party logistics companies, shippers and their supply chain systems. Using predictive analytics, the platform provides crucial real-time information such as estimated time of arrivals (ETAs).

“Supply chains have undergone an incredible amount of change – there has never been a greater need for agility, resiliency, and the ability to rapidly respond to changes across the supply chain,” said Jason Duboe, the company’s Chief Growth Officer.

And now, project44 announced it has raised $202 million in a Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Emergence Capital. Girteka and Lineage Logistics also participated in the financing, which gives project44 a post-money valuation of $1.2 billion. That doubles the company’s valuation at the time of its Insight Partners-led $100 million Series D in December, and brings its total raised since inception to $442.5 million.

The raise is quite possibly the largest investment in the supply chain visibility space to date.

Project44 is one of those refreshingly transparent private companies that gives insight into its financials. This month, the company says it crossed $50 million in annual recurring (Read more...)