Tag Archive: Founder Labs

  1. 382413887_762a52f166_z
    by Angie Chang

    Turning An Idea Into A Viable Product: The Founder’s Journey

    What marks a great entrepreneur is not necessarily the idea, but how well the idea is executed.

    By Jennie Lees (Product Manager, Google)

    The spark of inspiration strikes at the strangest times. Whether it’s a flash of insight in the shower, or a puzzle piece clicking into place, we all know the wonderful moment that marks the birth of a new idea.

    However, taking that idea and trying to make it actually happen can be a frustrating rather than a rewarding process

  2. 5385373731_836990903b
    by Angie Chang

    The New Girls Network: Building A Bigger Pie For High-Growth Women-Led Companies

    By Joshua Henderson (Director of Programming, Springboard Enterprises)

    There are incredible things happening in the startup world for women entrepreneurs.

    Media platforms like Women 2.0, The Daily Muse, EZebis and The Next Women are showcasing the talents and expertise of women founders and entrepreneurs.

    Investment firms like BELLE Capital, Golden Seeds, Phenomenelle Angels, KC Women’s Capital Connection, Illuminate Ventures,

  3. gummy-bears
    by Angie Chang

    Racism and Meritocracy

    By Eric Ries (Contributing Writer, TechCrunch)

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t have missed the recent dust-up over race and Silicon Valley. Like almost every discussion of diversity and meritocracy in this town, it turned ugly fast. One side says: “All I see is white men. Therefore, people like Michael Arrington must be racist.” The other responds, “Silicon Valley is a colorblind meritocracy. If there were qualified women or minority candidates, we’d welcome them.”

    I’d like to say a few words about this, but I want to do so under special ground rules.

  4. Sheryl-Sandberg
    by Angie Chang

    Sheryl Sandberg’s GHC 2011 Keynote: More Pearls of Wisdom

    By Baat Enosh (VP Operations, Founder Labs)

    For the past 4 years, I’ve been living and breathing “Women In Tech” conversations. I’ve been working with Women 2.0, Founder Labs, and the National Center for Women & IT, focusing on getting more women to get into computing and found startups.

    The conversation is complex and at time confusing. We are definitely in the middle of a revolution, and no doubt the outcome will produce a more equal and better world. But the question is — how do we get there? Which parts of the puzzle do we need to focus on, and how do we do it?

  5. tumblr_ls3y8eFEwc1qgkcgm
    by Angie Chang

    How To Get Tweeted By Dave McClure

    By Alicia Liu (Participant, Founder Labs)

    It all went down exactly a week before demo day.

    4:00pm: our team was getting ready to present our progress taking part in Founder Labs to Dave McClure, of 500 Startups, and John Malloy, of Blue Run Ventures. We were 4 weeks in, with only 1 more week to go before final demo day before an audience of investors and advisors, and we were scrambling.

    We had been exploring various ideas, everything from point-of-sale systems to social enterprise, and weren’t making much

  6. fl
    by Angie Chang

    Help Us Raise Funds To Make The Founder Labs Documentary

    By Resmi Arjunanpillai (VP Marketing, Founder Labs)

    Sponsor an educational video series from Founder Labs and get one hour of 1:1 time with startup luminaries and VCs like Steve Blank, Eric Ries and Ann Miura-Ko: Details here.

    Founder Labs is a pre-incubator focused on the first phase of launching a mobile startup. In five weeks, Founder Labs participants build a founding team, validate an idea and create a working prototype of their product, creating successful companies like Spoondate and Cake Health.

  7. tumblr_lrjogvaLl01qgkcgm
    by Angie Chang

    The Art of Customer Research (Challenges of Qualitative Investigation)

    By Sheba Najmi (Participant, Founder Labs)

    Customer research really is an art.

    I’ve seen fewer than a handful of excellent user experience researchers who have an innate knack for it. Unfortunately, more often than not, qualitative research is muddied by:

    • users wishing to please the researcher
    • unmindful leading questions by researchers, and
    • artificial settings and tasks that obfuscate true usage patterns.
  8. 5329025804_c5770781cb_z
    by Angie Chang

    Fostering More Female Tech Entrepreneurs

    By Ellen Lee (Contributing Writer, Intuit Blog)

    When it comes to women working in Silicon Valley technology businesses -— particularly women at the helm — the numbers remain painfully small.

    Less than 5 percent of tech startups are founded by female entrepreneurs, estimates Shaherose Charania, co-founder and CEO of Women 2.0, an organization that helps foster female tech entrepreneurs.

  9. 6231641551_541c96e583_z
    by Angie Chang

    Really Listening to Advice as an Entrepreneur

    By Daniel Palacio (Co-Founder, Authy)

    As an entrepreneur, you are constantly bombarded with advice on everything, from what you should be doing, to how you should dress. No matter who you talk to, chances are he/she will offer you some advice. Thus entrepreneurs seem to develop a shell around them, and most of the time, simply ignore the advice. This is completely rational: if you just took all the advice you received, you would probably end up dressing like Lady Gaga, and your product would look like a MySpace profile.

    However, not everything is binary.

  10. bescrappy
    by Angie Chang

    Peer-to-Peer Power Tools Rental Website Launched by Former Aerospace Engineer Priya Sheth

    By Priya Sheth (Founder, Be Scrappy)

    It’s been exactly a year since I decided to quit my job as an aerospace engineer in Los Angeles and moved to San Francisco to become an interaction designer. The move and transition didn’t come easy, but I was given a jump-start into entrepreneurship via the Founder Labs program.

    Being a designer on a Founder Labs team made me realize that I want to build my own company. This past year has been an amazing journey. I’ve realized how a firm vision, hard work and determination can push you to places you thought you could never go.

  11. tumblr_lnyhgssgmW1qgkcgm
    by Angie Chang

    A VC: Fred Wilson on Building Mobile Startups with Founder Labs

    By Ana Hevesi (Team Member, Founder Labs)

    Union Square Ventures partner and Founder Labs mentor Fred Wilson has worked closely with early stage companies for years. We caught up with him at his office to talk about his investment philosophy, the startup ecosystem, team dynamics and mobile startups.

    Founder Labs: What do you think some of the key areas for growth are in startups generally, and in mobile?

    Fred Wilson: There’s so much opportunity out there, its kind of hard to give you a couple of specific interesting categories, but in mobile, the most interesting applications on the market today are ones that can deliver an experience on a mobile device that you couldn’t have had on a desktop or laptop, whether that’s a geo-located experience, real-time, or one that takes advantage of the capabilities

  12. founderlabs_ss
    by Angie Chang

    Founder Labs Wraps Up Their First NYC Program

    By Joanne Wilson (Blogger & Angel Investor, Gotham Gal)

    Founder Labs, a five week intensive program built to help people incubate their mobile start-up ideas just completed their first program in NYC.

    Shaherose Charania is the force of nature behind this idea. Fred and I have been a big supporter of what she is doing. We both popped in a few evenings to hear where the companies were in their growth.

    I was really impressed with what each of them were able to create in 5 weeks time (without knowing each other before…

  13. Layout 1
    by Angie Chang

    6 Lessons on How To Pitch for Venture Capital

    By Sonia Sahney (Participant, Founder Labs)

    I’d like to share 6 lessons I’ve learned about building a compelling pitch for VCs, many of which were not initially intuitive to me.

    Lesson #1: Use pictures, not words —

    This may be counterintuitive to former bankers and consultants, but VCs expect a story with pictures and speak to ideas. They don’t like a lot of text on a slide. Here’s an example of a consulting slide (BAD). Here’s an example of a VC-worthy slide (GOOD). Obviously I’m making a broad generalization and the image I’ve labeled as “good” would need to be weaved into a cohesive story, etc.

    The point I’m trying to make is that your pitch shouldn’t feel like a book report; it should be exciting and visual. You don’t need to write your points out in bullet or table form on a page; you should be able to speak to your key points without prompts.

  14. tumblr_lmtescjgAq1qgkcgm
    by Angie Chang

    Customer Development: Where the Startup Rubber Meets the Road

    By Eric Cantor (Participant, Founder Labs)

    The brainstorms flow, the sketches come together with a final flourish, and the engineers reason through how the database schema can be perfectly laid out. But the tough news for most potential startups comes when they “get out of the building” and go find out if the product fits the market. Who are you serving exactly? Do they really want it badly enough to engage with it in these crowded times where there are 5 apps for everything? What problem are you solving? These questions and more needed to be answered as we intensify the Customer Development (“CustDev”) process during week 2 of Founder Labs.

    Getting Out of the Building

    The emerging movement around Lean Startup methodology embraces the agile, nimble, incremental build of a product, starting with a clear focus on customer needs and navigating the way to a business model and an ecosystem. This focus on solutions and customers, rather than technology or product, is one I’ve always followed, and has served well in a variety of sectors and segments including my last few years of work in Uganda, where rapid prototyping was a critical step in everything we attempted.

  15. startpic
    by Angie Chang

    Aspiring Mobile Startup Founders Wanted for Founder Labs San Francisco: Apply by June 24

    By Shaherose Charania (Founder & CEO, Women 2.0 and Founder Labs)

    Founder Labs San FranciscoLooking to start a new mobile venture? Looking for a co-founder? Want to validate an idea? Join Founder Labs in San Francisco: Apply by June 24.

    Founder Labs is a pre-incubator for new mobile ideas. Founder Labs is a 5 week pre-incubator focused on the first phase of launching a new mobile venture — building a co-founding team and validating a new idea. Recent Founder Labs alumni include Kimberly Dillon (House of Mikko), Rebecca Woodstock (Cake Health) and Raissa Nebie (Spoondate).

    20 aspiring startup founders form 5 teams, work for 5 weeks, 5 days a week moonlighting (after working hours) to validate a new idea and build an initial prototype. Founders learn key startup lessons such as Lean Startup principles, Customer Development and more, presenting progress each week to Visiting Advisors. Founders work closely with Mentors who have experience in the mobile space. Founder Labs is half male/female, half technical/non technical. For more info, visit www.founderlabs.org. Read about the program on Xconomy here.

    Supporters and mentors in the program include Dave McClure (500 startups), Eric Ries (The Lean Startup), Steve Blank (Customer Development), Theresia Gouw Ranzetta (Accel), John Malloy (Blue Run Ventures). Meet the Founder Labs visiting advisors and mentors.

  16. tumblr_lmexgkda9X1qgkcgm
    by Angie Chang

    All Hail The Team! An Early-Stage Startup Forms

    By Virgilia Singh (Participant, Founder Labs)

    All Founder Labs participants had to choose their partners for the next 4 weeks. It’s like a game of dodge ball, where you have to choose people based on compatible skill set and personality. And boy, was it an intense 2 hours!

    People teamed up based on a variety of reasons, from similar interests to pure likability. During this time we had Shaherose’s voice in the back of our mind “people matter, ideas don’t” — something we learned quite quickly.

    At the end of the day, the people you work with and the team dynamics that ensue as a result matter more than the idea you initially come to the table with. There were teams that were interested in education that ended up pitching ideas in online marketplaces. Others walked into the program with one very focused idea, but then ended up pivoting after finding a good group to work with.

  17. dave
    by Angie Chang

    500 Startups’ Dave McClure: Women Co-Founders and CEOs an Advantage

    By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

    Last week, Pemo Theodore interviewed 500 Startups Dave McClure along with several women co-founders in his portfolio: Prerna Gupta (CEO, khu.sh), Elizabeth Yin and Jennifer Chin (Co-Founders, LaunchBit).

    “Women founders or co-founders are probably 20-25% of the [500 Startups] portfolio. I think there is probably some bias in investing in what we know and VCs tend to be white males from finance or MBA backgrounds who invest in white males from finance or MBA backgrounds… You invest in things that you know. So for me, I grew up around my mom who was an entrepreneur and other people… and as we’ve got experience as women as founders and CEOs, we’ve gotten more comfortable with that…”

    “I do look for [women founders] now because it’s an advantage. My intent is to corner the market on awesome smart women founders because there are plenty of them out and if there is any bias whatsoever, we’d like to selfishly take advantage of that,” — Dave McClure, 500 Startups.

    Watch the whole interview with Dave McClure and some female founders in the 500 Startup portfolio:

    Read the transcript from Pemo here at EZebis.

  18. tumblr_llslh128H21qgkcgm
    by Angie Chang

    Founder Speed-Dating Focuses on People vs. Ideas at Founder Labs NYC

    By Sonia Sahney (Participant, Founder Labs)

    This past weekend marked the beginning of Founder Labs’ first NYC endeavor. Like many other entrepreneur-support programs, Founder Labs aspires to foster the development of start-ups that will change the world… However, Founder Labs differs from other programs in that it focuses on picking people pre-team, and creating a mash-up of individuals’ unique skills and talents.

    Part science experiment and part social experiment, the program combines 8 engineers, 4 designers and 4 business-focused people for 5 weeks. The program encourages the development of 4 person teams, and provides tender-loving-care in the form of mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs, investors and mobile experts.

    This is the stuff reality TV is made of, but hopefully ours is the uplifting, happy-ending kind of reality TV like Extreme House Makeover vs. the train-wreck, booze-filled dramatics found on the Jersey Shore or the Real World.