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Investment sizing & valuation
VCs: light & shadow
Since Paul Graham launched Y Combinator in 2005, the field of startup incubators and accelerators has exploded in the U.S. and overseas, with new entries emerging in all manner of oddball shapes and sizes, from a 80,000-square-foot space in San Jose, Calif., dedicated to tech companies hoping to do business in China, to a program that offers entrepreneurs cash to develop their business in Chile. There are accelerators for green tech, health tech, ed tech, the cloud, and every other tech flavor du jour, and accelerators everywhere from Baton Rouge to Durham, N.H., as cities across the country lay claim to the title of the Silicon Valley of [insert industry here].
At any company level, the board of directors has a direct impact on the organization’s product strategy, hiring, fundraising and much more. And startups have to be very selective in choosing board members who will advise the company in the right direction. In the big company realm, both the media and the company’s shareholders have questioned Yahoo’s board, which continues to employ a floundering Carol Bartz as CEO and supports a bizarre product and business strategy. Then you look at Facebook, where founder Mark Zuckerberg has strategically assembled an all-star board to help the company grow as a public company and expand into new directions. Most recently, Facebook added Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings to its board, joining Marc Andreessen, Jim Breyer, Donald E. Graham, Peter Thiel and Zuck himself.
Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips met one day over tea in Bloomsbury to hatch a plan to shape a new economy. Somewhere along the way a new vision for innovation was born. Bottoms-up, informal, and black market economies may have something to teach the traditional economy about ingenuity, entrepreneurialism and human resilience.