10/10/11

Venture Capitalist Mark Suster On Getting An MBA

Here an extract from an interview to Mark Suster about the importance to get an MBA to work for startups or venture capitalists:

If I were 27 again and working at a start-up and was considering getting an MBA, I think I’d go to my boss and ask if I could spend a year in sales, 6 months in product management or marketing and 6 months in finance.  I’d keep my personal balance sheet positive and my future options open.  It’s hard to start companies and take risks when you’re $150,000 in debt.

07/18/11

Venture Capital in Italia: Art. 31 manovra fiscale

Venture capital (articolo 31). Per favore l’accesso al cosiddetto venture capital e sostenere l’avvio e la crescita di nuove imprese, si prevedono specifici incentivi a vantaggio dei sottoscrittori di «Fondi di Venture Capital» specializzati nelle fasi di avvio delle nuove imprese. Il venture capital è l’attività di investimento in capitale di rischio realizzata da operatori professionali e finalizzata a operazione di early stage o l’insieme dei finanziamenti (seed financing e start up financing) a sostegno delle imprese nei primi stadi di vita. Più in dettaglio, per favorire l’accesso al venture capital e sostenere i processi di crescita di nuove imprese tramite fondi comuni di investimento vengono esentati da imposizione i proventi derivanti dalla partecipazione ai «Fondi di Venture Capital» (Fvc), o redditi di capitale come proventi derivanti dalla gestione, nell’interesse collettivo di pluralità di soggetti, di masse patrimoniali costituite con somme di denaro e beni affidati da terzi o provenienti dai relativi investimenti. Peraltro, per i soggetti titolari di reddito d’impresa, la suddetta esenzione acquista efficacia previa autorizzazione della commissione europea. La norma individua quindi i Fondi di Venture Capital (Fvc) ai fini dell’accesso al beneficio suddetto. Si tratta di fondi comuni di investimento armonizzati UE, vale a dire fondi e società di investimento a capitale variabile (Sicav) di tipo aperto, costituiti nei paesi dell’Unione europea, che investono prevalentemente in strumenti finanziari quotati (azioni, obbligazioni, etc.), che investono almeno il 75% dei capitali raccolti in società non quotate nella fase di: sperimentazione (seed financing); costituzione (start-up financing); avvio dell’attività (early-stage financing); sviluppo del prodotto (expansion financing). Ulteriori caratteristiche che devono possedere le società destinatarie dei Fvc, sono: che non devono essere quotate; devono avere sede legale nel territorio di uno Stato membro dell’Unione Europea (o dello Spazio Economico Europeo), a condizione che abbiano con l’Italia un accordo che consenta un adeguato scambio di informazioni ai fini fiscali; e che non devono essere detenute in via prevalente da persone fisiche, sia in forma diretta che indiretta. Ma anche: che devono essere soggette all’imposta sul reddito delle società (o imposta analoga prevista dalla legislazione locale) senza possibilità di esenzione né totale né parziale; esercitare attività di impresa da non più di 36 mesi; e avere un fatturato non superiore ai 50 milioni di euro (in base all’ultimo bilancio approvato prima dell’investimento del Fvc). Toccherà invece a un decreto ad hoc del Tesoro stabilire, tra l’altro, le modalità di rendicontazione annuale dei gestori dei Fvc per rispettare le condizioni sopra vise, e le sanzioni per il mancato rispetto di tali condizioni.

03/28/11

20 Comuni Più ricchi delal Provincia di bologna nel 2008

 

# Comune Contribuenti Contributi Reddito Medio
1 SAN LAZZARO DI SAVENA 20.496 € 591.008.230,00 € 28.835,30
2 BOLOGNA 243.359  € 6.923.357.279,00 € 28.449,15
3 PIANORO 11.100  € 299.903.612,00 € 27.018,34
4 SASSO MARCONI 9.507  € 253.086.272,00 € 26.621,04
5 MONTE SAN PIETRO 7.003  € 185.065.509,00 € 26.426,60
6 CASALECCHIO DI RENO 23.021  € 598.648.413,00 € 26.004,45
7 CASTENASO 9.537  € 246.058.634,00 € 25.800,42
8 ZOLA PREDOSA 11.982  € 307.328.182,00 € 25.649,16
9 MONTEVEGLIO 3.316  € 84.675.290,00 € 25.535,37
10 GRANAROLO DELL’EMILIA 6.743  €169.189.932,00 € 25.091,20
11 CASTEL MAGGIORE 11.326  € 281.999.422,00 € 24.898,41
12 OZZANO DELL’EMILIA 8.322  € 200.169.926,00 € 24.053,10
13 CALDERARA DI RENO 8.334  € 200.185.973,00 € 24.020,40
14 BUDRIO 11.356  € 270.637.612,00 € 23.832,13
15 CASTEL SAN PIETRO TERME 13.196  € 313.442.734,00 € 23.752,86
16 IMOLA 44.612  €1.050.309.106,00 € 23.543,20
17 ANZOLA DELL’EMILIA 7.700  €180.528.046,00 € 23.445,20
18 SAN GIORGIO DI PIANO 5.329  € 124.845.607,00 € 23.427,59
19 ARGELATO 6.351  €147.852.453,00 € 23.280,18
20 SAN GIOVANNI IN PERSICETO 16.952  € 393.834.544,00 € 23.232,34

 In ordine per Reddito Medio. Dalla Fonte dati del Sole 24 ore

01/6/11

Mac App store

Mac App Store

Counting down for Microsoft & Ubuntu to copy…

Posted in Me |
12/10/10

iSight problems with flash.. solution

If you are encountering problems by using your Macbook’s iSight Camera with flash programs (facebook, youtube, chatroulette, etc..) is because Flash doesn’t find the “USB Video Class Video” correctly as your cam in settings.

Anyway you can find the solution here:

Detect in you flash settings if you can find two “Google” cams. If yes:

  1. Launch /Library/Application Support/Google/GoogleVoiceandVideoUninstaller.app that will remove them if you have them installed
  2. Update Flash version if it’s not updated (check on http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/)
  3. Launch the website you like and choose in setting “iSight Camera”

It worked for me!

Posted in Me |
12/8/10

The Irish Banking Crisis: A Parable

Great article from Umair Arque:

Once upon a time, there was a country where bankers disappeared. The bankers, fed up with regulation, dissatisfaction, and downright hostility, decided to unleash the planet-destroying superweapon in their arsenal: they went on strike, not once, but three times.

[…] the economy continued to grow. Though the money supply did contract sharply, neither trade, commerce, nor industry came to a grinding halt.

How? People created their own currencies, to substitute for the collapsing money supply. They kept using checks to pay one another, but then, people’s checks began trading within communities.

[…]

The country in question was Ireland — today, in deep crisis because of profligate banks.

So why were the Irish of yesteryear able to trade notes with one another, in lieu of credit issued by banks? Well, Ireland was curiously well situated for this kind of resilience. […] the Irish economy was characterized by intense, frequent, conversational personal contact: tight, dense, solid local knowledge circulating at high velocity within and across communities. Result? Borrowers and lenders could build solid microfoundations of trust.

In other words, when you’ve been chatting with Bill every night at the local pub for twenty years, you probably know whether his note is a good bet or not (and further, just how much to discount it to earn a sustainable and fair return, that neither fleeces Bill, nor robs you). Furthermore, if you’re the publican, and you’ve been chatting with me and with Bill, then you’re even better positioned to become a de facto arbitrator of notes — a bank. And that’s exactly the role that pubs began to play.

You might say that a radically decentralized, p2p financial system spontaneously arose. Instead of letting the bankers’ strike collapse their prosperity, people decided, simply, that they could get on with the day-to-day stuff of banking themselves. In slightly more formal terms, I’d suggest that they were able to take on, at least in tiny part, five of Robert Merton and Zvi Bodie’s six standard functions of a financial system: settling payments, providing information, setting incentives, pooling resources, and transferring resources. The bankers thought even one of six might have been impossible. It’s as if the economy settled into a new dynamic equilibrium: one where emergent, unpredicted — and totally unforeseen — behavior unlocked a very different kind of financial system. It wasn’t perfect; yes, foreign currency transactions were problematic, yes, moral hazard was an issue, and perhaps my reading, having not been there myself, is frankly erroneous. It’s not a utopian picture — just a very different one from mega-banking, with a very different feel, purpose, and structure.

And yet today, Ireland’s facing perhaps the most vicious austerity package in recent history. And as usual, the average Joe and Jane are being forced — not asked — to foot the bill for the profligacy of the financiers. So are their grandkids: hence, an entire generation is rumored to be on the verge on fleeing, instead of sticking around to get the shaft.

Now, here’s what I’m not suggesting: that you or I extrapolate directly and naively from history. Some social scientists have suggested that the Irish banking strikes might be a rare, telling natural experiment, that disconfirms the value of banks. I’d suggest it’s more like a parable — a tale that highlights deeper principles at play.

It’s not that Ireland can exit its troubles merely by vaporizing the banks, and letting pubs trade notes. Ireland 1970 is a far cry from the Celtic tiger of the 2000s. The Irish economy of the 70s was much smaller. The global economy wasn’t as tightly, sharply interdependent. The sheer velocity of stuff — not to mention capital — was radically slower. The staggering capital requirements of today’s projects — think billion dollar semiconductor factories — dwarf those of yesteryear.

[..]

The parable of the disappearing bankers gives the tiniest glimpse of a better way: a path to a smarter kind of growth, built on a different set of institutions — those that operate at micro-scale, instead of mega-scale, built on human relationships, instead of anonymous transactions, self-organizing, instead of “administered,” and that have the humanistic and the meaningful, instead of soul-crushingly trivial, hardwired into their very DNA.

Maybe, just maybe, banks need people a lot more than people need banks. […]

11/5/10

Starting your first company

A great mini-guide by chris Dixon. You can find the original here http://post.ly/19xRU

Things you should do when you are just starting up:

– make sure you have the right team. if you are doing a consumer web startup, you *need* someone on the team who is native web product person. if you are doing real tech, you need someone who is true native

– hire a good startup law firm (i like gunderson) and get standardized incorporation, vesting etc docs. it’s worth it. (but try to only pay $5K or so with promise to pay more later when you get funding etc).

– talk to everyone you can about your idea. collect feedback, criticism, maybe garner some allies along the way (even advisors which can help build your credibility).

– if you don’t already, read all tech blogs everyday. Techcrunch, gigaom, business insider, mashable, rww, etc. read vc blogs like fred wilson, mark suster, and eric reis. go back and read back articles

– start blogging & tweeting if you don’t already. don’t over think this. your blog posts don’t need to be shakespeare – just do minimal viable blogging. document your startup adventures, thoughts on tech, respond to others blogging/tweeting – whatever. just get out there and write.

– go to all good startup events and talk to

– how googleable are you? if you aren’t winning the first page of google when you type in your name, that means you aren’t doing a good job building your web

– try to work out of an office with other early stage startups. good energy.

– apply to ycombinator, techstars etc. no brainer to at least apply.

– if you don’t code, don’t try to teach yourself and code for your startup. partner with someone who is great at it. programming is an art & science and takes years to get good at.

– if you really want to do a startup, be ready to spend the next 5 years of your life doing it. if you aren’t ready for that level of commitment, don’t do it.

10/21/10

Superangels.. the new funding landscape

There is an interesting essay from the Paul Graham, about what’s changing in the funding market and startup environment. LINK

Here some extracts:

[…]

For decades there were just those two types of investors, but now a third type has appeared halfway between them: the so-called super-angels. [1] And VCs have been provoked by their arrival into making a lot of angel-style investments themselves. So the previously sharp line between angels and VCs has become hopelessly blurred.

There used to be a no man’s land between angels and VCs. Angels would invest $20k to $50k apiece, and VCs usually a million or more. So an angel round meant a collection of angel investments that combined to maybe $200k, and a VC round meant a series A round in which a single VC fund (or occasionally two) invested $1-5 million.

[…]

The no man’s land between angels and VCs was a very inconvenient one for startups, because it coincided with the amount many wanted to raise. Most startups coming out of Demo Day wanted to raise around $400k. But it was a pain to stitch together that much out of angel investments, and most VCs weren’t interested in investments so small. That’s the fundamental reason the super-angels have appeared. They’re responding to the market.

The arrival of a new type of investor is big news for startups, because there used to be only two and they rarely competed with one another. Super-angels compete with both angels and VCs. That’s going to change the rules about how to raise money. I don’t know yet what the new rules will be, but it looks like most of the changes will be for the better.

A super-angel has some of the qualities of an angel, and some of the qualities of a VC. They’re usually individuals, like angels. In fact many of the current super-angels were initially angels of the classic type. But like VCs, they invest other people’s money. This allows them to invest larger amounts than angels: a typical super-angel investment is currently about $100k. They make investment decisions quickly, like angels. And they make a lot more investments per partner than VCs—up to 10 times as many.

The fact that super-angels invest other people’s money makes them doubly alarming to VCs. They don’t just compete for startups; they also compete for investors. What super-angels really are is a new form of fast-moving, lightweight VC fund. And those of us in the technology world know what usually happens when something comes along that can be described in terms like that. Usually it’s the replacement.