Retail app maker Tulip raises $40 million from Kleiner Perkins, others

(Reuters) - Canada's Tulip Retail, which makes an app for retailers, said on Tuesday it raised $40 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The Series B funding, which included existing investors such as Jump Capital, gives Kleiner Perkins' general partner, Mood Rowghani, a seat on the startup's five-member board.

Q&A with Troy Henikoff: Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

Q: Troy, you’ve started several successful companies. Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No! I got into entrepreneurship by mistake. Like many people, when I graduated from college I wasn’t exactly sure what to do next. At the time, PCs were just becoming a legitimate business tool. I’d seen a tech company in Boston I was interested in, but there wasn’t anything like it in Chicago. A friend suggested that I should leverage my previous couple of summers of programming and start a consulting company myself.

Brunonia: Always an entrepreneur

How do you become a successful entrepreneur? Troy Henikoff, class of 1986, shares his story.

“In hindsight I was always an entrepreneur, but didn’t realize it. When I was young, I had a love of sailing, and dreamed of owning a sailboat. So I cut lawns, washed cars; delivered newspapers. By the time I was ten, a friend of mine and I bought our first sailboat with the money we made.

The 5 Worst Things You Could Say to a Venture Capitalist

As a venture capitalist, I meet every day with two or three entrepreneurs who pitch me to invest in their dreams. (Last year, we reviewed more than 2,000 new companies.) Having done this now for 20 years across three funds, I’ve heard every kind of pitch imaginable. Here are five examples of what not to say to a VC:

I have a big potential customer that is just about to close.”

Kellogg Does Its Own Bay Area Startup

Mark Achler starts his first class with a video that Apple used years ago to introduce its iPad. As the MBA students in Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management watch the TV advertisment, they hear the voice of comedian Robin Williams from a scene in the film Dead Poets Society. Not until the very end of the 90-second spot does the Apple logo appear ever so briefly on the screen.

MAX Helps Musician and Brand Partnerships Go to 11

As digital continues to fragment audiences, artists and brands are looking to innovative platforms to deliver better targeted content that delivers on consumer satisfaction and business ROI.

With that in mind, the music marketing tech startup Music Audience Exchange has announced a $6 million funding round led by MATH Venture Partners and KDWC Ventures, along with G-Bar Ventures and Gregg Latterman, Founder and CEO of Aware Records.

Its goal is simple: to match brands with artists and music fans, and help musicians get paid.

Music matchmaker: Plano startup that connects brands and bands raises $6 million

A Plano startup that matches up big brands with musicians for ad campaigns has raised $6 million in a round led by two Chicago-based venture firms.

Music Audience Exchange, or MAX for short, uses a database of more than 2.4 million artists, 765 music genres and 200 consumer attributes, from political affiliation to hobbies to alcohol preference, to find the ideal match. The brands work with an artist who's featured in music-driven ads on Pandora, YouTube, Facebook and other streaming sites or social media apps.

Why It’s Okay to Tell Your Investors That You Don’t Have a Clue

Of all of the misconceptions about startup life, I think the most profound—and ultimately damaging—is the myth of the savior leader: the magical CEO who creates the perfect product/service and business model that erupts into a runaway success. The cold, hard truth is that it takes both time and much iteration before most entrepreneurs get it right.

Jiobit raises $3 million to make a new kid-tracking wearable

Jiobit, the Chicago-based maker of a small wearable device that helps parents keep track of their children, has raised $3 million, the company announced Thursday.

Its first product, which the company describes as a "smart tag for kids", will be available for pre-order later this year and will start shippping this fall, said CEO and co-founder John Renaldi. The funding will go toward production and monitoring of the wearable device, the company said.

Why Your Boss Is Still a White Guy

We’re not even talking about the right causes of the diversity problem in tech yet.

For the second year now, VC firm First Round Capital has released a fantastic “State of Startups” annual report. First Round surveyed over 700 founders and CEOs of technology startups to get their impressions on the current landscape of the startup world. The survey covers things like whether or not we’re in a bubble, how the IPO market is looking, and--yes--diversity in the tech world.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, you should definitely check out the report. It’s a relatively quick read and will give you a good fix for how folks are feeling about the environment we’re in today. But I want to dig into one particular topic that is near and dear to my heart: the fact that only 3% of venture funding goes to women and a measly 1% goes to people of color.

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5 reasons picking an investor is about more than the money

For those who follow the startup scene closely, it can be easy to get caught up in how much money a company is raising. But where the funding comes from can be just as important as the amount, because seasoned investors have a lot more to offer.

“Money is just money,” said MATH Venture Partners Managing Director Mark Achler. “The real value-add is our experience in scaling companies.”

READ MORE HERE

 

Startup Financial Modeling, Part 4: The Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Unit Economics

By Will Little and Troy Henikoff

In the first three articles in this series, we looked at the big-picture motivation for startup financial modeling, why it’s important to start with your assumptions, and how to practically build your income statement and custom detail tabs. Today, we’ll finish off the series by examining how to construct the final components necessary to complete your model, including a quick discussion of unit economics and how to best keep your model updated. Feel free to ping us on Twitter (@wclittle@troyhenikoff) with any questions.

Download a Copy of the Example Model

To make following along this final article easier, download a free copy of our example financial model here. Remember, understanding the nuances of your own unique business is critical, so only use this (and any other model you find online) as a guide while you build your own model from scratch.

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