Business Category Archives - General Assembly Blog | Page 21

Times Have Changed: Do You Really Need VCs to Launch A Startup?

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Gal Josefsberg is the VP of Product Development at SocialChorus and instructor at GA in San Francisco. In this blog, Gal describes the changes in fundraising needs throughout the years and how you can get your startup off the ground without VC buy-in.

Back In My Day…

I started my career in 1997.  Back then, the internet boom was just starting out and companies were launching into insane valuations over night.  It seemed like everyone was putting together a new site and then going IPO for hundreds of millions of dollars.  Of course, we all know how that ended.  The bubble burst and websites like eToys, pets.com and others lost their insane valuations just as fast as they earned them.  However, what few people remember about that age is that simple sites (and they were very simple back then) like eToys and pets.com needed millions of dollars to get off the ground.

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Eye On Alumni: Joe Wilkinson

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Crossfit enthusiast Joe Wilkinson ran into one issue while training members at his local gym: painful bruising around the collarbone from barbell reps. Enter his creative solution: WilkWear, a padded collarbone compression shirt made to protect your collarbone and reduce bruising.

After 10 weeks in GA’s Product Management course, Joe was able to gather a strategy and plan to research, create and launch WilkWear. To support Joe’s campaign and learn more about the product, check out WilkWear’s Kickstarter here, and forward this link to your network.

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Counterintuitive Business Thoughts from MOO.com Founder Richard Moross

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This week in London, we attended a talk given by Richard Moross, CEO and founder of MOO.com. The event was implemented through Startup Grind London at the Cass Business School, and was a fireside chat about how Moross revolutionized a 500 year-old industry: printing!  To boot, it was Startup Grind’s six-month anniversary in London; each month they have a successful speaker connect to and inspire a  group of entrepreneurs.

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SXSW Giveaway Recap

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Meet Katie Frank, the lucky winner of our SXSW Interactive trip giveaway. Here’s her recap of the exciting long weekend:

My friends and I had an excellent time in Austin. We stayed on a charming ranch complete with bear skin rug and a fridge full of meat and beer. We rode a pedi-cab to the outskirts of town to stuff ourselves with amazing barbeque and walked through a suburban neighborhood observing chickens and cactii. We mingled with interesting people at the events General Assembly graciously invited us to, and attended exciting talks about the future of technology. All in all it was an extremely welcome break from the New York winter, a relaxing vacation, and an invaluable learning experience. Thank you so much General Assembly!

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Fundraising on AngelList: 4 Tips to Get Noticed

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Are you using AngelList to its full potential? Ash Fontana, Head of Fundraising at AngelList, recently stopped by GA to share best practices for connecting with investors on the site. Some of the key takeaways are listed below. For more details and examples of best practices, watch Ash’s talk here.

1. Build a Good Profile

Fill in as much information as you can. AngelList was designed to eliminate any possible mistakes being made on your end; like presenting information illegally or making it difficult for investors to digest your profile. There are convenient tips listed in each field you need to fill out — read them all. Lastly, don’t use fluffy language. Stick to the facts and state your credentials clearly.

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A Peek inside L.A.’s Flourishing Tech Companies: Nasty Gal, The Honest Company, Fullscreen and TOMS

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On February 28, 2014, 10 aspiring tech entrepreneurs, winners of General Assembly’s LA Tech Insider’s Look Tour, embarked on a one-day exploration of L.A.’s most promising tech companies, traveling from Downtown to Culver City to Santa Monica, where they visited their headquarters and held discussions with founders and technical leaders. A special thank you to NastyGal, The Honest Company, Fullscreen, TOMS and Launchpad LA for supporting our winners on their adventure.

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Ben Horowitz on “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”

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Ben Horowitz, one of the most respected entrepreneurs in tech, stopped by General Assembly in New York for a fireside chat. He spoke with Steve Stoute, CEO of Translation, about navigating the most challenging of circumstances in pursuit of startup success.

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General Assembly Raises $35 Million in Series C Round

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Since our launch in 2011, General Assembly has made tremendous progress towards our long-term vision: Creating a global community of individuals empowered to pursue the work they love. General Assembly has already touched hundreds of thousands of lives, with a community of more than 100,000 students, including an alumni network of more than 6,000 graduates of our courses across eight campuses.

While our progress has been tremendous, our work has barely begun. Our mandate, our deepest organizational responsibility, is to support these alumni not just now, but for many, many years to come. It is this obligation that led to our new round of funding for General Assembly, designed to ensure that we will be able to educate students and help decades of alumni yet to come. Led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), this round represents over $35 million of investment, with participation from other investors including GSV Capital, Rethink Education, Maveron, and Western Technology Investment. IVP is an incredible firm, with an awe-inspiring portfolio including Twitter, Omniture, Netflix, Akamai, Soundcloud, and Snapchat. Todd Chaffee, general partner at IVP, is joining our board, and we’re proud to partner with the firm as we continue to expand our audience and scope of offerings.

While we look toward the future, I also want to recognize General Assembly’s team today. We have 250 amazing, talented people, working tirelessly from outposts across the globe. Working at a startup is a constant challenge and I’m proud of what our team has accomplished. Our ability to continue to invest and grow is due to their commitment to General Assembly and to our students; they are the most crucial element of our collective success to date.

While a financing round is a milestone, it is hardly an endpoint. We want to build General Assembly to still be thriving 75 years from now, and have mountains of work to do to continue to serve our students, alumni, and the countless individuals we have yet to reach. There will be new courses, new campuses, and new audiences to come. We look forward to sharing them with our growing global community.

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LA Jobs and Java

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How do you take your coffee? Milk, sugar? How about a spoonful of career advice? We’ve partnered with Timeout LA to offer career counseling for people interested in exploring jobs in technology, business, or design.

Each week we will select a coffee shop in LA and send a team familiar with the LA startup scene to help people find their path.

We’ve created the ultimate cheat-sheet for you below to get some quick facts on some of the best coffee spots in LA. To learn more about the vibe of each place, check out the full write-up on Timeout LA.

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Why I Did Not Go To Jail

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This post originally appeared on Ben Horowitz’s blog.
We’re excited to host Ben on March 5th in NYC for a Fireside Chat. RSVP here.

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A lot of people have been asking me what my upcoming book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, will be like. Here’s a piece that I wrote for the book that did not make the cut. I still think it’s a pretty good story and gives you a flavor.

I just tell the truth so I’m cool in every hood spot
21 years and I ain’t ever met a good cop
—Drake, “I’m Goin In”

After we transitioned the business from Loudcloud to Opsware, we needed a head of finance. Therefore, when the CFO from one of the best-run enterprise software companies became available, I jumped at the chance to hire her.

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