Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Are You Fundable?" Slideshow

Slides from the first public presentation of Are You Fundable? are now available.

What makes a Startup fundable? How to crack the Investors code and launch a billion dollar company. 

• What are Investors secretly looking for? • Who gets money the most? • Is age a factor? • How are startups valued? What's an Idea worth? • How do you become fundable?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Are You Fundable? - First Public Presentation Gets Rave Reviews

by Danielle Brody
Is your business fundable? Three panelists with diverse experience with startups and investing gave advice to help entrepreneurs answer this question at the Entrepreneur Small & Business Forum event on October 17. The panelists included Alan Brody, of events company Startupalooza, Alessandro Piol of AlphaPrime Investors and Tom Wisniewski of RosePaul Ventures.
First Alan Brody talked about the investor code from his new book Are You Fundable. Brody explained his hierarchy of who gets funded the most.
1. Serial entrepreneurs: This is a rare person in the startup world. Serial entrepreneurs have a track record. They’ve already started 1 or more successful companies and won’t have a hard time getting funded. One example, is Steve Jobs. When his company NeXT was on the verge of bankruptcy, he met Ross Perot at an event, they hit it off, and Perot offered him $20 million.

2. Pedigreed: This person has 5+ years expertise in their startup’s industry. They know it well, they have a product, customers and a growth market.
Story continued here.

Startupalooza Report by Danielle Brody

Report from the Event

Winner: Dino Dogan

Triberr, a brand influencer startup with high-profile clients, won the top prize at Startupalooza on October 15. The monthly event, hosted at Hive55 by CEO Alan Brody, brings investors and entrepreneurs together for quick trade-show style pitching that culminates in a pitch-off between the top startups. The winner receives an invitation worth $1,500 to a Private Equity Forum event.
Story continued here in
Judges gather

Pictures: courtesy Vikram (Sunny) Malhotra

Scores from the Event 

Juan Gonzalez InsightMedi

The judges were impressed with the high quality of pitches.

As a result, we had a very tightly contested finish with 3 finalists and 3 runners-up in the final shoot-out.

CREDACIOUS - Credibily ranking for online reviews.

Room - Private, secure online communities.

Strutz - Consumer podiatric products

Triberr - Managing & growing the blogger spokesperson community.

Boston Biomotion - High end physical therapy device.InsightMedi Secure private sharing of medical photography and visual data.

Mike Segal with Winner Dino Dogan, Triber

InsightMedi Secure private sharing of medical photography and visual data. 

The Winner was Triberr - spokesperson community manager.
Congratulations to Dino Dogan of Triberr who earns an appearance at the next Private Equity Forum at the Yale Club.

We hope you will be joining us again.
Our next Startupalooza is on Nov. 11 at WeWork at 28th & Park.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Danielle Brody Debuts on iBreakfast - The Lessons from Peter Thiel

Dear Reader - it is with pride and delight that I introduce me daughter, Danielle, the journalist and graduate of U. Delaware (the home of Joe Biden and tangentially, Bob Marley....!) who is now covering the digital media and Startup scene.

Danielle's first post on Peter Thiels' speech at Columbia and a review of his book Zero to One have made quite a stir!

See for yourself:

When the man behind PayPal and Facebook talks, we listen

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, spoke in conjunction with the release of his new book Zero to One last week at Columbia University. As an investor and entrepreneur, Thiel based the book on a course he taught at his alma mater, Stanford. Lucky for us, he pretty much gave the Cliff Notes of his book, which came out in the middle of September. But we suggest you read it anyway (we don’t want to hear any of those excuses about how you couldn’t “find the book” or the bookstore “didn’t have it yet.” We’re past that now.)
While not for everyone, Thiel calls himself “contrarian,” peeking into his libertarian ideals to tell you a lot about the way investors think.
For now, here are some takeaways from his recent talk at Columbia, in a list format. (It’s also free with no ads, which CliffsNotes doesn’t even offer.)
1. If you didn’t create Google, you aren’t going to
“I think that all the sort of ‘great moments’ .....
Continued on Jay Melone's, The New Haircut Blog

For a full report of Peter Thiel's speech at Columbia - her sample. (Go to Danielle's blog for more!)
Peter Thiel Discusses Zero to One at Columbia
Hours after PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel provocatively proclaimed Twitter to be “run by potheads,” he kicked off the release of his new book at Columbia University. The entrepreneur, investor and author shared his “contrarian” ideas from Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future on Wednesday, Sept. 19.
“Tell me something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on,” is one of Thiel’s favorite interview questions, he said, hinting at his innovative yet unconventional opinions and affinity for nonconformity.
Click for more more
[Originally written for Office Lease Center's blog]

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Invite to my UN Panel Tomorrow on Global Entrepreneurship

Please join me tomorrow at this Global Conference. Free to readers of this blog. Must preregister.

2014 World Forum on the Diaspora Economy
"Creating New Capital, Jobs & Wealth North-South"

When:  Friday 19, September 2014, 3pm - 6pm
Where: United Nations Headquarters, ECOSOC CHAMBER
Brought to you by the Financing for Development Business Advisory Group (FfD-B.A.G)
Please join my panel at 4pm. (See details below)
The conference is free to attend.  RSVP is necessary for guests outside of the United Nations
RSVP here or reply to by Sep 18. 

FRIDAY - United Nations 
SEP 19th, 3 - 6pm

Peter Thiel Speaks at Columbia: Contrarian, Aspergers and One-of-a-Kind

PayPal founder and Facebook investor opened up to an auditorium full of Columbia students last night.

His most compelling observations seemed to be that conformity is the enemy of Entrepreneurship and the high occurrence of Asberger types in the Entrepreneur camp. He also noted that capitalists are anti-competitive in the sense that they are always looking for monopolies - but you already knew that!

It would be hard to draw everyman lessons from what he said, except that when it comes to Entrepreneurship, being out of step with everyone else may be the first sign that you are on the right track.

It's a tricky lesson because being a contrarian doesn't also make you right. But Thiel has made billions by placing big bets on those rare people who can seem wrong but also be so defensibly right. Facebook was unfundable for its first two years - in both Boston and New York - but Thiel wasted no time writing the first $500,000 check before anyone else did.

His craziest bet - at least according to his limited partners - was Elon Musk's Space X. Aside from the fact that he knew Musk as a fellow PayPal founder, when he looked deeper into the business, it made a ton of sense. They had a champion at NASA who was happy to order rockets and who also got Uncle Sam to pay up front. SpaceX, as it turns out, was a great cash flow deal hiding under space exploration! As for PayPal, they were really out to create a new currency but tat the same were responding to a need created by eBay - how to make online payments to individuals.

On a personal level, Thiel is a Stanford grad, lawyer and chessmaster, who hated lawfirms and had an early life crisis that drove him to the "wild west" of the Internet.

If you had to draw an inference from his somewhat rambling philosophy of investing - what he looks for is something like this: a well-structured renegade thinker who has taken on a challenge that could go big and that has no easy competitor.

This sounds obvious enough until you realize that few investors go with renegade because they tend to go with what they know and understand. But we all know that the next big thing never is. As for the renegades themselves, let's just say they are not the most outgoing people either. Hence the title of the book One to Zero - as in one of a kind.

Fortunately, there are more conventional ways to understand Investors. You can get an insight on the rules and mindset of the Investor community from my forthcoming book Are You Fundable? which will be released - finally! - in early October.