4. The Startup Ecosystem “Key players” (Howard Tullman)

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Howard Tullman joins Nick to cover key players in the Startup Ecosystem, including:

  • Howard Tullman 3Fund-of-Funds
  • Placement Agents
  • Fundraise Brokers
  • Funding Platforms
  • Accelerators
  • Incubators
  • Colocs / Co-working / Startup Hubs
  • Media, Information & Event Outlets

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Howard Tullman 1

Howard Tullman 2







Howard Tullman Perspiration PrinciplesGuest links:


Key Takeaways:

1- Accelerators vs. Incubators

First I wanted to recap Accelerators and Incubators and highlight some of the key differences
  • Accelerators tend to have a very competitive selection process that involves a series of applications and interviews.  Incubators allow most startups that have the money to pay for the program to enroll.
  • Accelerators typically have a grant or provide funding to the startup, in exchange for equity or they may do a convertible note… Incubators usually cost money.  So the startup pays the person running the incubator to be a part of it.
  • Accelerators operate in cohorts, over a fixed time period.  So a group of startups are admitted to the cohort, they spend the next, say 3 to 4 months, in the accelerator, and then they “graduate” at the end.  Many startups will claim to have graduating companies that are prepared for a seed round.  Incubators typically do not have a finish date.  So startups can stay for as long as they are getting value from the services and programs at the incubator… assuming they continue to pay to be a part of the incubator.
  • Maybe you’ve heard of some of the more famous accelerators out there like Y Combinator or Techstars.  A side note that’s worth mentioning is that, in some cases, venture funds are created and focus just on graduates of these accelerators.  Like any rigorous selection process, the startups that get admitted to these cohorts are no joke.  Doesn’t mean they’re going to be successful, but it is a pretty rigorous filter… so some startup investors like to focus here b/c a portion of the vetting process is complete and they’re dealing with a team that has received some money, has access to great services through the accelerator and has a pretty powerful network from the accelerator.
2- Crowdfunding
So, the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in crowdfunding for equity.  Sites like OurCrowd, based in Israel, do this currently.  As we discussed on the Angel Investing episode, the JOBS Act does allow crowdfunding for equity, but the provision that contains that clause has not been enacted by the SEC.  Many think that it will at least in some amended form.  In the future IndieGogo plans to incorporate crowdfunding for equity into their platform.  So keep an eye out for news on the JOBS Act and, if the SEC takes action, look out for IndieGogo as one of the leading platforms.


3- Five Principles of a strong founder
The final point I wanted to review is what Howard said about the five things to look for in a founder…  b/c it’s all about the jockey, not the horse….
  1. Passion
  2. Preparation
  3. Perspiration
  4. Perseverance
  5. Principles
This is a list that he has used in evaluation of startup founders.  It’s not all he looks at, but they may be the most important characteristics to evaluate when it comes to the jockey.  Very worthwhile to make note of these and attempt to measure them when you are evaluating a startup for investment.  You know in the stock market, past history is not and indication of future results…  but what I’ve found with people is that past history is very indicate of future results.  It’s rare for someone with lack of integrity or work ethic to suddenly turn the corner.


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