When Failing Feels Good (And It’s OK)

Nobody likes to fail.  It’s contrary to our nature. For founders failure can mean more than personal reputational damage.  It means much more than being wrong or not good enough; it means wasting a team’s time and losing investor money.   And, to just about everyone in the game, the prospect of those results are mortifying. [...]

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Venture for America

Venture For America Gala

Venture for America‘s Gala is coming up soon. It’s a killer event and a great organization to sponsor by buying a ticket. Venture for America’s 4th Annual Summer Celebration Date: Thursday, June 4th, 7pm-10pm Location: IAC HQ- 555 W 18th St Sponsored by: Barclays, UBS and the Wall Street Journal Featuring: Graham Weston Co-Founder & [...]

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Bear Bryant, Paul Bryant

On The Competency Of Teams

Over the past decade I’ve heard countless new managers tell me that their entire team is incompetent and, as a result, they can’t get anything done.  This claim is often made by folks at all stages of a management team – it can echo from middle management to the c-suite. When I heard this the [...]

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Interplay - Avatar

Seeking New Partner @Interplay

We’re looking to add our 4th partner at Interplay. It’s been a year since we added our last partner and now it’s time to expand the team again.  We’ve grown a lot over the last year.  We’ve added roughly 10 business lines, hired dozens of folks and built out our operating team.  But we’re nowhere [...]

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Why Speed Matters


Simply put, when there’s an opportunity I’m interested in pursuing, I tend to move as fast as I can through the required steps to complete the transaction.  Whether I’m making an investment, hiring someone or securing a partnership, I tend to prefer to zip along. This focus on speed isn’t for everyone, and in my [...]

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The Fundraising Rules Cover – 2012.11

The Fundraising Rules

Many of the world’s best entrepreneurs are bad at fundraising. At first, I didn’t understand why, since the skills used in fundraising are many of the same skills used to create businesses. Over time, however, the reason these athletes underperform became clear. They don’t possess a fundamental understanding of the fundraising process. They have the skills, but not the knowledge.

My mission in writing this book is to illuminate the fundraising process so that engaging these venture capitalists is no longer like walking in the dark.

I will provide a detailed account of both the key steps in fundraising and the rationale behind them. The information should help entrepreneurs see through the eyes of the venture capital investor, enabling them to better understand motivations of investors and how best to engage them.

Get the Kindle Version

“A practical guide from someone who has seen thousands of pitches - read it to get the inside track on how to get funded with the least amount of pain.”

Jeff Bussgang, General Partner | Author Flybridge Capital Partners | Mastering the VC Game.

"This is VERY CLEAR!"

Julien Smith, NY Times Best Selling Author & Startup CEO Trust Agent, The Flinch | Stealth Startup.

"This book is a clear step-by-step guide to the funding process and a great reference for founders preparing for that rite of passage."

Erick Schonfeld, Executive Producer | Former Editor DEMO | TechCrunch.

"The Fundraising Rules should be required reading for entrepreneurs raising a round of capital. These tools will increase your odds of successfully getting funded, raising the right amount of money at the right valuation, and starting off the relationship with your investors in the best possible way."

Jed Katz, Managing Director | Co-Founder Javelin Venture Partners | &


I breathe startups.  Most of my closest friends are my business partners and a day painting a whiteboard is only second to a day with my family.

I’m addicted.  I’m a serial founder & investor.  I’m the Founder of Interplay Ventures and a co-founder of DevSpark, Founder Shield, Fulton WatersNomad FinancialTruman James,  TwentyPine, and Venwise.

If you’re interested in using the same startup service providers that we use, we setup a site that will introduce you to them – check it out:  Venture Juice.

Here are some mottos I live by:

I think I’m having an impact.  My blog has reached enough folks to garner the attention and Business Insider who listed me as one of the 100 Most Influential Digital NYers.  I’ve also been included in the CVC30 – a list of the 30 most interesting members of the Columbia University startup community.  This blog has been syndicated or cited on, Mashable, Business Insider, OPENForum, AlwaysOn, PEHub, ReadWriteWeb, The Wall Street Journal and others.

As for interests, I really enjoy brainstorming new ideas, thinking about the future, tinkering with new technology, listening to rock ‘n roll, boxing, learning, documentaries and an occasional game of rock band.

I am married to my college sweetheart Laurie and have a daughter named Avery.