What are some ways you can keep track of startups you are evaluating/diligencing/investing in?

This is obviously a softball question that I’ve been Asked to Answer, as I’m the Founder/CEO of Gust. The answer, of course, is Gust—because that’s exactly the purpose behind the platform!

Gust is the infrastructure that underlies much of the professional world of early stage finance. It is used by hundreds of thousands of companies in 195 countries to organize all of their investor relations material; it is used by over a thousand angel investor networks, venture capital funds and startup accelerators to manage their deal flow and collaboration; and it is used by over 50,000 individual accredited angel investors in 75 countries to collaborate with their investor peers and keep track of the startups they are evaluating/ diligencing/ investing in. Read more

Managers: You Can’t Get Rid of the Bad Apples Fast Enough

Academic snobs such as myself often place a lot of value on hard skills when hiring. No news here. Of course, we also look for great attitude and fit, given that so much – if not all – one conquers at the workplace nowadays is the result of collaboration and teamwork.

While most people in managerial positions agree with this approach at a hiring moment, there are often different perspectives when it comes to a potential firing moment.

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Entrepreneurs Relish The Challenge More Than Money

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. On the average, the entrepreneurs I know are living on Ramen noodles. But one thing they all seem to have in common is a love for learning and change. They rush in with a passion to better the world, and money is just an indication of their progress.

The successful ones then invest their time and money in furthering their knowledge base. I’m not talking about academic classes, because at best these only teach you how to learn. In these days of rapid change, most experts believe that the facts college students learn as a sophomore are obsolete before they exit their senior year.

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Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
January 19th, 2014

What is a good site or Gmail extension for an angel investor to manage their startup deals?

Boy, do I wish there was a magical Gmail extension to let me manage my startup deals! Unfortunately, there isn’t (and since Google hasn’t fixed Gmail yet, if you’re actually a paying customer for Google Apps, instead of a free customer, you have strictly limited Gmail mail storage, and are not allowed to purchase more, at any price!) But I digress [harumph].

When I started my angel investing over a decade ago, there was no such thing as a site to handle the surprisingly-challenging process of keeping track of all the information regarding all the companies with which I was working. So I had to create one! Read more

Gust Quarterly Startup Map

If you could pick the top five countries with the most newly created startups, which countries would you choose? The United States? What about India, or Brazil? With thousands of new entrepreneurs creating startup profiles on Gust each month, we’re excited to share with you some of the major findings that are happening in the startup world. To capture the global reach of startup growth, we’ve put together the Gust quarterly startup map. The map visualizes all new startups profiles created on Gust between July 1st and September 30th 2013. We’ve highlighted some of the major industries, countries, and cities from across the world with the newest startup activity. Take a look below.

startup map

Entrepreneurs Must Not Confuse Action With Results

Too many entrepreneurs confuse actions with momentum and results. We all know someone who repeatedly tells us how “busy” they are, when it’s hard to see what they get done. Momentum is moving things forward (mass x velocity). Founders or employees in constant motion, but with no momentum, will never get off the ground.

It is true that motion in any direction is often better than no motion at all. But motion without momentum may be even less productive. For a more complete discussion of this phenomenon, see the book entitled “Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less”, by Brent Petersen and Gaylan Neilson.

So how do you fight this, and get real momentum going in your startup? Here are some key recommendations: Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
January 12th, 2014