Archive: First Stage Investor


Startup Insider: Trade Secrets vs. Patents

By Early Investing on August 2, 2021

A key part of a startup’s success is its defensibility — how it protects itself from the competition. It’s not enough for a company to offer a high-quality product. It needs to provide something that’s valuable and different from anything else out there. And it needs to make sure no one else can do what it’s doing. So when they’re starting out, all founders must make a choice about their defensibility. Do…

New Pick: A Better, Fresher Take on Indoor Gardens

By Andy Gordon on July 29, 2021

Modgarden produces elegantly designed modular gardens so that people can grow fresh produce in their homes. It has garnered awards and a growing number of believers since its founding in 2015. And CEO and founder Aamar Khwaja feels great about what he’s doing. But just as importantly, he…

Startup Insider: Venture Capital Learns From Crowdfunding

By Early Investing on July 26, 2021

Equity crowdfunding is often seen as the balancing force to traditional venture capital. Venture capital is exclusive and focuses on writing large checks to a few companies. Equity crowdfunding prioritizes inclusivity and the power of many small investments added together.  But what if there were a…

Cityzenith Continues to Meet High Expectations

By Andy Gordon on July 22, 2021

I first recommended Cityzenith in August 2019. The company enables users to design, monitor, control, analyze, optimize, predict, and collaborate on physical assets all from one application. In other words, it uses “digital twin” technology — 3D virtual replicas of buildings, infrastructure and other physical assets…

Startup Insider: Reimagining the Private Markets

By Early Investing on July 19, 2021

Scott Kupor is one of the sharpest minds in venture capital. He’s the managing partner of Andreessen Horowitz and the author of Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It. Kupor testified before Congress earlier…
There’s nothing more American than a comeback story. Rocky. Rudy. The Karate Kid. The business landscape is filled with successful comeback journeys. Walt Disney failed several times — and even went bankrupt once — before building the Disney empire. When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple in 1976, it struggled.

Startup Insider: Filling the Biopharma Funding Gap

By Early Investing on July 12, 2021

There’s a funding gap in medical research known as the “valley of death.”  When research begins, it’s funded by government grants and nonprofits. But drug research and development is very time-intensive. It typically takes around 10 years to bring a drug to market — and nine…

Startup Insider: (Don’t) Follow Your Passion

By Early Investing on July 8, 2021

Venture capital legend Marc Andreessen — founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of the earliest architects of the internet — has some advice for young people. Don’t follow your passion. “Your passion is likely more dumb and useless than anything else. Your passion should be your hobby, not your work.

This Data and Analytics Startup Is a Good Bet

By Vin Narayanan on July 1, 2021

If Warren Buffett reads this week’s startup investment recommendation, he might crack a smile. For years, we’ve poked fun at the Berkshire Hathaway CEO and his right-hand man Charlie Munger for their positions on bitcoin and missing out on the tech boom. But we…

Startup Insider: The Inside Track on Startup Accelerators

By Early Investing on June 28, 2021

When researching investment opportunities, investors need to review revenue numbers, market size, founder experience and other criteria. But what about accelerators? Some startups list their membership in a startup accelerator as a badge of honor. But what is an accelerator? And should investors take them into account when vetting startups?…
Andy Gordon first recommended Oracle Health to First Stage Investor members in February. The company is developing a long-term insertable cardiac monitor for heart failure.  Oracle has ambitious — but achievable — plans to get FDA clearance…

Startup Insider: Why Startups Shouldn’t Fear Amazon

By Early Investing on June 21, 2021

It’s Amazon Prime Day, which means millions of people across the world are scanning Amazon’s marketplace for deals on everything from portable ice makers to dog DNA tests. This shopping holiday has historically generated massive sales. On Prime Day in 2020, third-party sellers on Amazon made more than…
Cannabis use has been exploding across the country. But it’s a disjointed market.  Cannabis operators rely on software programs for their team communications, distribution, compliance documentation and more. And these programs are a tangled mess with no cross-communication. Operators typically spend $5,000-to-$7,000 a month…

Startup Insider: To Zoom or Not to Zoom?

By Early Investing on June 14, 2021

In Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, The Bomber Mafia, the author explores the concept of revolution.  Revolution typically doesn’t happen because of one person, Gladwell writes. It happens because of a community. And the community works best when people are in close proximity.  But in…

Don’t Look Backwards In Startup Investing

By Andy Gordon on June 10, 2021

Over the past five years, the top 25 venture capital (VC) firms invested in around 1,600 early-stage startups.  According to CB Insights, the sectors with the biggest increase in investments from VCs are fintech, enterprise software, enterprise analytics, pharmaceuticals,…
One of the most popular investing myths is that a good technical startup needs a co-founder who can handle all of the technology or software development. And the lack of a Silicon Valley tech wizard spells failure or doom. But that’s really outdated thinking. As Vin…