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Showing posts in the "Entrepreneurship" category

10 Years of Techstars

By Chris Marks I still remember the first time I talked to David Cohen about getting involved in the Techstars program. It was back in 2007. I made the 4 block trek to see him in his small basement office, sat down across from him, and gallantly offered my services. He looked back, and said something along the lines of, “Cool.” This was followed by a relatively long silence (many would consider this awkward, but...

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The Evolution of a Leader

By Chris Marks Founding a start-up and running a large high growth company are two roles that come with completely different job descriptions. They require different skill sets, different temperaments, and tend to attract different types of people. As a result, it is no surprise that so few early stage entrepreneurs transition to successful large company CEOs. But there are founders who have made the transition. And what they will tell you is that it...

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This Stuff is Hard (w/ Joshua Hunt)

by Chris Marks When I partner with entrepreneurs who are raising venture capital for the first time, I know that I am going to have to help them adjust to a new, and often difficult, environment. Every entrepreneur is optimistic — it comes with the territory — but the fundraising process can be long and disheartening for even the most confident CEOs. I have found that there are two keys for any entrepreneur raising capital: balance and...

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Fighting for Leadership

The punchline of this post is an ask to donate to a very deserving non-profit called Access Opportunity, an organization that is helping build the next generation of leaders. I hope you will take the time to consider their cause. Thanks.

-Chris

Over the course of the past winter, I found myself dealing with an issue in my prior fund’s portfolio that tested me as an investor, and as a person. As with most things in the start up world, once the problem arose, there was no easy fix. The one thing that was apparent, was that it was going to get worse before it got better. I buckled in, knowing full well what was ahead. Turmoil within a...

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Turnpikers

By Chris Marks If the Colorado start-up world can occasionally feel a bit small, the Boulder world can feel downright tiny. Having worked with Colorado start-ups and officed on Pearl Street for over 15 years, I am intimately familiar with the phenomenon of the “Boulder Bubble.” Which is one of the reasons that Turnpikers is such a welcome addition to the local tech scene. Hosted by two Colorado entrepreneurs, Luke Beatty and Danny Newman, Turnpikers features a weekly...

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The Power of a Reboot

By Chris Marks Everyone struggles with being authentic. It comes with the territory — not only when you are part of a start-up, but when you are part of the human race. The world of venture capital is no exception. Recently, I had the honor of discussing this topic with my good friend Jerry Colonna of Reboot.io and Bryce Roberts of OATV and Indie.vc. It was a fun and engaging conversation. If you are an entrepreneur...

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Managing Millennials: Thoughts from a Colorado CEO

Alan Sage is the co-founder and CEO of Digabit, Inc., a software company providing web-based libraries for technical documentation and parts catalogs. He is a successful serial entrepreneur with 20 years of experience leading software development and sales teams. I’ve been working with Alan since 2009, and have always been impressed with his commitment to company culture. I am honored that he has decided to share a few of his thoughts on the Blue Note Blog.

– Chris

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” -George Orwell There have been numerous articles and blog posts about the Millennial generation, and about managing Millennials in the workplace. While there may, in fact, be some differences between the generations currently in the workforce, I believe that these differences are irrelevant to how you run a company. I believe...

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Surviving Game 7

Toby is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kapost, the leading software platform for B2B content marketing. He is also a Washington Capitals fan and a Duke alum — all of which shine through in this post. Toby carries the distinction of being the only entrepreneur who I have ever invested in and played hockey with (a short-lived dynasty in the local YMCA Men’s League). He has written on the Blue Note Blog before, and I’m thrilled to have him back.

– Chris

I’ve been watching the recently completed Washington Capitals – NY Rangers NHL playoff series (I’m from Washington and a Caps fan). The Rangers won (cheers Mark Solon) in seven games, winning the final game in overtime. Analysts pointed out that it was the only playoff series in NHL history that went to overtime in game 7, and had all 7 games decided by only one goal. It was, they argued, the closest playoff series in NHL...

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Three Stages of Start-up Leadership

Toby is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kapost, the leading software platform for B2B content marketing. I love the company, and I love Toby. He is one of the most transparent entrepreneurs I have ever worked with — which has been amazing.  And, to be honest, has been absolutely terrifying at times… Through it all, he has taught me a lot about the type of investor I want to be, and the type of entrepreneur I want to work with. I’m thrilled to have him share his thoughts on leading, both as a CEO and as a Co-Founder.

-Chris

My business card and my email signature list my title at Kapost as “Co-founder and CEO.” It’s the title I’ve held since we started the company five years ago. Our company has changed a lot in those five years; we’re over seventy people now. During that time, I’ve come to realize that the title really didn’t apply at the start of our business, and I’m hoping that it does not apply now. Specifically, I’ve come...

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Deconstructing a CEO

John is a serial entrepreneur who has been building tech companies focused on solutions for retailers and consumer product companies since the early 2000’s. I first met John when his company, Bawte, was a member of the 2014 Boulder TechStars Class (learn more at www.bawte.com). About a month into the program, John talked to me about how the program had changed not only his business, but his views on what it meant to lead a team as CEO. John lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with his  wife and two daughters and you can follow him on Twitter @Jackovin.
-Chris

On July 14th I found myself in my Jeep set to make the 10 hour trip to Boulder, CO. My company, Bawte, had been accepted into the 2014 Techstars program. Other than leaving my home and my family, I really had few concerns. I had been a CEO for over 10 years…been starting tech companies since the early 2000’s. I had already been through a lot. Now, no one has every experience under their belt,...

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