Similar to my previous post on “science links”, I have decided to use a blog post a week to share various interesting business articles that I have read recently. The articles cover a variety of topics but many will focus on Entrepreneurship, Angel Investing, and Venture Capital, which are areas where I am active in the Greater Vancouver entrepreneurial ecosystem. I’m also interested in topics such as corporate governance, diversity in the workplace, and finance so undoubtedly there will be articles pertaining to these topics on occasion.
Without further adieu, here are the “business links” for the week.
To start with I share two articles on the star-up uBeam. uBeam is a wireless charging device that uses sound waves to send power to your phone, computer, or anything else that needs charging. The technology starts with a uBeam transmitter that converts energy intro ultrasound waves above the frequency that humans can hear. The first article notes while the technology is ground-breaking (i.e. read as “unproven”) that uBeam has raised more than $25 million in funding from investors including Mark Cuban, Tony Hsieh, Marissa Mayer, and Marc Andreessen. The second article is more a rant that uBeam and other startups with unproven science / technology are raising huge sums and getting tons of traction on nothing but dishonest PR, while great ideas that have huge potential are sitting by the wayside trying to rise above the noise.
Why Mark Cuban Called This Futuristic Start-up a ‘Zillion-Dollar Idea’
How Putting $10M into UBeam Illustrates Everything that is Wrong with Tech Investing Today
How Myers Briggs Predicts Your Entrepreneurial Calling
Summary: ESTP’s make the ideal entrepreneurs. One of the biggest personality traits of ESTPs that sets them apart is the propensity to take risks.
Note: I take this article with a pinch of salt; while the Myers Briggs framework has been useful for me to get a better understanding of myself, I am acutely aware of its limitations. First, many people do not neatly fall into the categories and are often on the cusp of one or another. Second, people change over time. Third, people learn how to moderate and adapt. I am an INTJ, a “master mind” which is diametrically opposite ESTP on three out of four dimensions; yet, I am an entrepreneur, though it took me years (of learning to overcome my introversion) to get to this point.
Venture Capital Comes to Canada as Private Companies Raise a Record Quarter
Summary: A slew of new venture capital funds have launched in the country in the past year, while U.S.-based funds are increasingly turning to Canada to invest in start-ups. Data from PitchBook, a private equity and venture capital database, shows that Canadian private companies raised record $881 million in the first quarter of 2016, spread out across 103 different funding rounds.
Mid-Market M&A Tumbled in First Quarter to Lowest Point Since 2009
Summary: The middle market is facing the least hospitable M&A climate in years. With confidence low, credit tight and politics uncertain, the volume of deals that closed in the first quarter fell to levels last seen in the wake of the Lehman Bros. collapse.
The Start-up Failure Rate Among Angel-Funded Companies
Summary: the image says it all; 50% of start-up go out of business by year 4-5.
Japan’s Softbank has revealed some exciting details on India’s hottest startups
Summary: One of the most active investors in India, Softbank owns stakes in e-commerce major Snapdeal, ride-hailing app Ola, hotels booking app OYO Rooms, groceries delivery start-up Grofers, real estate portal Housing, and mobile advertising firm InMobi, among others.
Robin Wright: A Movie Star and a Maths Expert Fight for Equal Pay
Summary: comparing two people working in the same job, with the same background and qualifications there a gender pay gap of 7%.
4 Social Media Tips & Templates to Save You Time
Summary: #1 Image templates, #2 Headline / Posting template, #3 Social Media Reporting, #4 Strategy and Planning.
Bonus Reference (for Freelance Writers):
This pdf reference is useful for freelance writers to get an idea of what the market rates are for different types of freelance assignment. Though the data is from 2005 – 2006 (sorry!) don’t forget that wages have been stagnant for most of the last decade so I would warrant the rates are still in the ballpark of what they are now. If anyone knows where to find updated data I would love to hear from them!