Author: Rich Foreman

500 Startups Batch 19 Demo Day

The theme for 500 Startups Batch 19 Demo Day was Valentine’s Day (although it technically was on February 15) and accordingly Founder, Dave McClure, kicked it off dressed as the Queen of Hearts. Batch 19 had 44 companies participated in two tracks, B2B and Fashion and Beauty. I’m always impressed with the diversity of 500’s startups. Almost half of the startups are international and over half the founders are woman and minorities. I wish I had the time to write about each startup but alas, I only have time to mention my personal favorites. So in no particular order…...

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TechCrunch’s 10th Annual Crunchies Awards

TechCrunch’s 10th Annual Crunchies Awards is Silicon Valley’s version of the Academy Awards. With the venue at the spectacular San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, the attire ranged from evening wear to hoodies (it’s Silicon Valley after all). Tech celebrity sightings included Yahoo Marissa Mayer, Atom Factory Troy Carter and 500 Startups Dave McClure. The emcee of the awards ceremony was comedian Chelsea Peretti who described sex as 3D printing using DNA. The event was kicked off by a witty opera performance by Laura Krumm that took jabs at President Trump and Peter Thiel (a high profile Trump supporter)...

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7 App Advertising Models

This article is originally posted on LinkedIn and is reprinted here with permission.  The mobile advertising market is at a pace to hit $100 B in 2016. Consequently, numerous mobile ad companies have sprouted up. The mobile ad companies are wooing developers with various advertising models that can easily be integrated into an app with their SDK. This post lists 7 mobile ad models. 1. Banner Ads This is what most people think mobile ads are. They typically will occupy the real estate at the top or bottom of an app. If the user taps the ad, all sorts of possibilities open up from watching a video to the option of downloading an app.  I personally think this is pretty ineffective method of advertising and cheapens your app.  Users have become blind to banner ads.   The dominant players for banner ads are Google’s AdMob and Chartboost. 2. Interstitial Ads These are inserted at transition points in an app like right before an app starts or in a case of a game after a level is complete. It’s like watching a commercial on television. It’s typically a video that can drop the user off to the advertiser’s desired URL or to download another app. Some of the mobile advertisers that use this model include TapJoy, RevMob, and Flurry. 3. Rewards Ads They are my favorite because it’s a win – win for all involved. The reward is triggered by some event...

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“The Original Business Plan Never Works…But that’s Okay!”

Howard Love is a startup legend founding or co-founding a total of 15 companies since 1985. Some of his most notable enterprises have been LoveToKnow, PageWise, and Flex Jobs. He recently released his new book, “The Startup J Curve” that outlines the life cycle of successful startups. While attending Colgate University, Howard and his venture partner changed the school’s computer network to a trading system. It evolved into a technical analysis and software charting package for users of the original IBM PC. They made an okay name for themselves and later got involved in software development tools. After moving to Silicon Valley, they named the...

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Margaret Mackenzie Empowering Female Entrepreneurs: Seeing is Believing

Margaret Mackenzie was interviewed at Startup Grind Sacramento at the Urban Hive last September and enlighten the audience with well-needed entrepreneurial wisdom. Currently serving an executive role in Astia, Margaret also consults several early-stage startups with a specialty in finance, IT and artificial intelligence. She served as CFO at Paymo (now Boku) and JustInvesting along with being CEO to 3 financial market corporations. Her focus has been identity, digital/mobile transactions, and FinTech. Born in Stockton and raised in Sacramento, Margaret founded her first startup named Paymo with the model that customers would be charged for their digital transactions on their phones rather than their credit/debit cards. Feeling that the idea was ahead of...

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Y Combinator COO Qasar Younis Discusses Entrepreneurship

Qasar Younis was interviewed at Startup Grind Sacramento and shared how he has climbed the ranks of the entrepreneurial ladder. He is the CEO of Y Combinator (YC), an organization that provides seed funding for startups while linking them with potential investors and acquirers. Qasar reached success through Talkbin that was originally backed by YC before being acquired by Google 10 months later. He than became Google’s product lead for business facing product and has assisted dozens of entrepreneurs turn their ideas into a reality via YC. Growing up in the rural environment of Pakistan and migrating to Michigan in the 80’s, Qasar’s initial background was in...

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Best Apple Apps and Games of 2016

Apple has announced their annual list of best apps and games on the Apple App Store for 2016 and here they are. App of the Year: Prisma App Store Editor’s Notes: Prisma’s gorgeous pictures are almost too cool for words, but if we had to pick one to describe our 2106 iPhone App of the Year, it’s would be “sublime.” Powerful AI re-creates our photos as breathtaking images that really look hand-painted, complete with natural textures and stylish, spontaneous strokes. The only thing more fun than experimenting with the effects is showing off the results to our friends. App...

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The Startup J Curve

In his book, the Startup J Curve, noted entrepreneur and angel investor, Howard Love, essentially states that there is no straight line from startup to sustainable success. Rather, it follows a J Curve where the company initially dips after it starts. The dip can occur for several reasons: Product takes longer to develop Customers don’t embrace the initial product The business model doesn’t quite work Love describes this dip as the Valley of Death. A young startup needs to be able to crawl out of it before they run out of cash. Much of his book describes strategies in...

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Mark Haney Reminds Entrepreneurs to be a Rock Star!

Mark Haney of Haney Business Ventures has founded or co-founded over 20 businesses with a focus on community-based values by offering opportunities for entrepreneurs and military veterans. He is a board member on the Sacramento Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Allegiant Giving Corporation which all are dedicated to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit of its region. Mark initially launched a successful video distribution company that expanded into a security/surveillance provider grossing over an annual $200 million with hundreds of employees. He also hosts a weekly radio broadcast, Entrepreneurs Unlimited which covers an array of topics related to entrepreneurship, business, startups and more. In a recent interview with Startup Grind Sacramento, Mark discussed his entrepreneurial journey. Born...

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Startup Lessons from Garage Ventures Bill Reichert

Silicon Valley icon Bill Reichert from Garage Technology Ventures recently spoke at Startup Grind Sacramento and offered some invaluable insight. With over 20 years as an entrepreneur and two public companies, Bill’s resume is quite impressive. Originally from Chicago, Bill grew up spending quality time with his grandfather who exposed him to the adventurous world of entrepreneurship. He was in Silicon Valley when the PC was first released and arguably ran one of the first app development firms in United States history, which was apparently amazingly successful but eventually “crashed and burned.” In 1992, Bill and his buddy helped save a failing organization called “The...

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