Video Florida Gas Station Attack on 4 People Including 11YearOld Girl

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   US News Share this article Share Show Discussioncenter_img Video: Florida Gas Station Attack on 4 People, Including 11-Year-Old Girl Warning: Footage is disturbing – Viewer discretion is advised.By Jack Phillips October 2, 2018 Updated: October 2, 2018 An attack by two teenagers on four people, including an 11-year-old girl at a Florida gas station, was captured on camera and was released by the local sheriff’s office.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said on Sept. 28, that Brandon Clanton, 19, and Julia Napiontek, 19, attacked the four people when they were at a Circle K parking lot in Silver Springs.The victims told deputies that they didn’t previously know their attackers, and the attack was seemingly at random, according to the office. There is no motive for the assault.Napiontek is accused of pulling “11-year old girl out of the truck” and beating her, the office said.“Deputies pulled the surveillance footage from the store and easily identified the assailants. At the conclusion of the investigation, Napiontek and Clanton were located, arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail,” the office stated.Napiontek was charged with battery and aggravated child abuse, and Clanton was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and battery. The incident was captured Sept. 22, and the office released the footage on Facebook several days later, amassing tens of thousands of views.According to the office, “Clanton was actually out on bond at the time of this attack for a separate incident that occurred” in August. In that incident, he approached a 17-year old and hit him several times, forcing the victim to get seven stitches on his face.That incident was also described as an “unprovoked attack.” Clanton was charged with child abuse, the office said.Other details about the attack were not provided by the sheriff’s office. QualityAuto 720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video last_img read more

Stock photo of a carpenter at work Dominik Scyth

first_imgStock photo of a carpenter at work. (Dominik Scythe / Unsplash)  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   US News AMAZING!❤ A 62-year-old man donated his 100th gallon of blood after 22 years of giving to OneBlood! https://t.co/pnmt6bIxB6— News4JAX (@wjxt4) March 20, 2019 “Bless his giving heart,” someone else commented on the post. “Changed lives.”A scholarship fund was set up with much of the nearly $3 million he had saved up over the course of around 70 years of carpentry work.ABC Action News reported that every single one of the 33 people Schroeder helped with his generosity graduated from college debt-free.“All we ask is that you pay it forward,” Nielsen said. “You can’t pay it back because Dale’s gone. But you can remember him and you can emulate him.”ABC posted the story on its Facebook page, sparking numerous reactions. Show Discussion A frugal Iowa carpenter saved money all his life and then used his $3 million nest egg to put 33 strangers through college.Dale Schroeder grew up poor and didn’t manage to get a college education.“He was that kind of a blue-collar, lunch pail kind of a guy,” Schroeder’s friend Steve Nielsen told KCCI. “Went to work every day, worked really hard, was frugal like a lot of Iowans.”He never married and had no children. Before he passed away in 2005, he told his friend he wanted to use his money to help those less fortunate.“He wanted to help kids that were like him that probably wouldn’t have an opportunity to go to college but for his gift,” Nielsen told the news outlet.KCCI reporter Eric Hanson posted the story on Facebook, and someone claiming to have been a coworker of Schroeder’s commented. “I worked with Dale for 8 years at Moehl Millwork,” wrote Deb Sanders Harre. “What a great guy and a great gift he gave helping put so many young people through college.”center_img Share Thrifty Iowa Carpenter Saves $3 Million and Puts 33 Strangers Through College By Tom Ozimek July 18, 2019 Updated: July 18, 2019 “Thanks for being a hero! Who knows? I may be one of the lives you saved!” one person commented.“Thank you for saving all those lives,” someone else wrote. Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM “What an amazing thing he did!” one commenter wrote. “I hope those kids do pay it forward.”“What an amazing man!!” someone else commented. “Just when you think there’s nothing that can restore your faith in humanity, someone comes along to prove good people are still out there. I hope his ‘kids’ carry on his kindness.”“A simple man changed so many peoples lives,” another commenter wrote. “He left a legacy that I hope carries over throughout the years! God bless him.”Florida Man Donates 100th Gallon of BloodThe story of Dale Schroeder’s generosity recalls the case of a 62-year-old Florida man on March 18 donated his 100th gallon of blood.David Williams, a car mechanic by trade, has for the past two decades taken time out of his schedule to visit the OneBlood Leesburg Donor Center every week or two for a two-hour sitting each time, ClickOrlando reported.To mark the special occasion of his 100th gallon of donated blood, Williams received a birthday cake as a thank you.News4JAX posted the story on its Facebook page, to numerous comments. Share this articlelast_img read more

Oregon Wildlife Kicks Off 2014 Discovering Wildlife Lecture Series in Bend

first_img Google+ By CBN on January 14, 2014 Oregon Wildlife announces the initial lineup for its 2014 Discovering Wildlife Lecture Series. Each slide show presentation showcases a fascinating species from Oregon and provides the public with a unique opportunity to hear directly from and ask questions of presenting Biologists. On January 14 (6:30pm at COCC) Pat Matthews, wildlife biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will share information about the history and status of moose in Oregon. A biologist with ODFW for 27 years, Matthews has a personal interest in moose and has been able to work directly with this species. Moose in the northern Blue Mountains of Oregon are believed to have migrated southwest from Idaho. Beginning in 2008, six moose were radio collared to obtain baseline information on reproduction, habitat use, and seasonal movements.This lecture on moose and all upcoming talks in Bend will be held in the Hitchcock Auditorium at Central Oregon Community College – 2600 NW College Way, Bend, Oregon 97701. “Our Discovering Wildlife lecture series, along with our Firsthand Oregon field trips, are a great way for the public to learn about and enjoy the wildlife, resources and conservation challenges that make our state a special place,” said Tim Greseth, Executive Director of Oregon Wildlife. “We’re pleased to expand this important series beyond Portland, to Bend and Medford in 2014.” 2014 Discovering Wildlife Lecture Series (Initial Lineup)January 14: History and Status of Moose in Oregon (Bend) January 22: The Natural History of Pika (Portland) January 28: History of Rogue River Mainstem Dams and Native Fish (Medford) February 11: Forest Predators of the High Cascades (Bend) February 19: Natural History and Management of Red Tree Vole (Portland) February 25: Rogue Valley Deer Migration (Medford) March 11: Woodpeckers as Keystones of Forest Ecology (Bend)    Oregon Wildlife and ODFW are working together to implement the Oregon Conservation Strategy, a blueprint and action plan for the long-term conservation of Oregon’s native fish, wildlife and their habitats.About Oregon Wildlife Oregon Wildlife (formerly Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation) empowers the lasting conservation of fish and wildlife and the enjoyment of our natural resources. Since its founding, Oregon Wildlife has directed millions of dollars in funding to fish, wildlife and habitat projects throughout the state. About Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ODFW is headquartered in Oregon’s capitol city of Salem. The government agency’s mission is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations.For more questions or additional information, contact Tim Greseth, OWHF executive director, (503) 255-6059. Registration and membership information are available on the Oregon Wildlife website: www.owhf.org/discovering-wildlife-lecture-series. Past and future Discovering Wildlife lectures can also be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/orwildlife All presentations begin at 6:30 pm and admission is just $5 per person – free to Oregon Wildlife supporters. LinkedIn Pinterest Twitter Facebookcenter_img Oregon Wildlife Kicks Off 2014 Discovering Wildlife Lecture Series in Bend E-Headlines Share. 0 Tumblr Emaillast_img read more

Trump to Clinton Paying No Income Taxes Makes Me Smart

first_img Share. Google+ Pinterest E-Headlines LinkedIn 0 on September 29, 2016 Emailcenter_img Twitter Facebook By JOHN VOSKUHL, Bloombergrepublished from www.accountingtoday.comDemocratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called out Republican Donald Trump Monday night for paying no federal income taxes on some of his returns from decades ago.Trump responded: “That makes me smart.”The exchange centered on an issue that has dogged Trump throughout the campaign. He has departed from roughly four decades of tradition for presidential nominees by not releasing his tax returns. Trump says his returns are under an Internal Revenue Service audit, and he won’t release them until that’s complete. IRS officials say there’s no rule preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns, even when they’re under audit.On Monday, Clinton—who has posted nine years’ worth of tax returns online—speculated on Trump’s reasons for not releasing his. “There’s something he’s hiding,” she said, adding that it might be that his net worth is less than the $10 billion he claims, or that he hasn’t given much to charity, or that he owes money to Wall Street and foreign banks.“Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people—all of you watching tonight—to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes,” Clinton said. “Because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.”Earlier ReportThe Washington Post reported earlier this year that returns Trump had filed with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1981 showed that he’d paid no federal income taxes in 1978 and 1979. The Post reported that the same filings showed that he had paid $18,714 in taxes on $76,210 in income in 1975; he paid $10,843 in taxes on $24,594 in income in 1976 and he paid $42,386 in taxes on $118,530 in income in 1977.For 1978 and 1979, Trump took advantage of a tax-code provision popular with developers that allowed him to report negative income, according to the Post. He told the newspaper, “When you’re in the real estate business, you do have certain tax advantages.” Developers can depreciate the value of real estate to reduce their taxable income.Politico reported that Trump appeared to have paid no federal income taxes in 1991 and 1993, when his casino holdings were in trouble and regulators were monitoring his finances. “Welcome to the real estate business,” Trump said in an e-mail to the news website, via his spokeswoman.Little’ TaxTrump told ABC News in May that he works “very hard to pay as little tax as possible.”On Monday night, Trump responded to Clinton’s accusations by saying “politicians like Secretary Clinton” squandered tax money, making the U.S. a debtor nation. “We’re a serious debtor nation,” he said.The U.S. needs to repair infrastructure nationwide, but “we don’t have the money because it’s been squandered on so many of your ideas,” he said to Clinton.“And maybe it’s because you haven’t paid any federal income tax for a lot of years,” she said.“It would be squandered too, believe me,” he responded.Trump’s OfferTrump on Monday repeated an offer he’d made previously—that he’d release his tax returns if Clinton releases more than 30,000 deleted e-mails that her attorneys didn’t turn over to the U.S. State Department.Clinton’s campaign has said those e-mails, stored on a private e-mail server that Clinton used during her term as secretary of state, were found to be unrelated to her public role and were deleted. Her lawyers turned over thousands of e-mails that they said were work-related.After a yearlong federal investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said in July that Clinton and her top aides were “extremely careless” in handling classified information, but there wasn’t sufficient evidence of intentional wrongdoing to prosecute them. The Justice Department closed the case.Clinton on Monday called her decision to use the private server “a mistake.” Trump said it was more than a mistake, though, because it was intentional.Lawyers’ LetterTrump also repeated that he would release his tax returns when an IRS audit concludes. In March, Trump’s campaign released a letter from his tax lawyers saying his returns for 2002 through 2008 were no longer under audit, but Trump has yet to release them.Federal law bars the IRS or any other government official from commenting on an individual taxpayer’s tax returns—including whether those returns are under audit. So it will be up to Trump to announce when any audit of his returns has been completed.Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., told the Pittsburgh Tribune this month his father has withheld his returns “because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create probably 300 million independent financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that are going to distract from his main message.” But the elder Trump told ABC News: “I think people don’t care” about his returns.—With assistance from Lynnley Browning Tumblr Trump to Clinton: Paying No Income Taxes ‘Makes Me Smart’ By CBNlast_img read more

Capstone Partnership

first_img By CBN Twitter Tumblr Google+ Capstone Partnership Pinterest Email E-Headlinescenter_img Facebook on January 25, 2018 0 LinkedIn Share. Capstone Certified Public Accountants, LLC is pleased to announce a new partnership with Cale Pearson, President of Elite Management Training LLC. Cale has over 15 years of executive management experience. Most recently, Cale was integral in assisting a company grow three-fold as well as work through the growing pains associated with such growth. Capstone brought Cale in-house because of a need for more support to both Capstone’s clients and employees after their most recent acquisitions.Cale has been a client for several years and most recently, is working with Lance to develop his leadership team through Crestcom’s Bullet Proof Manager training. Through the leadership training, Lance determined, “Cale has a wealth of business savy, consulting and training experience. I believe our clients should relish the opportunity to be better business leaders and expand services for our clients.”With locations in Sisters, Bend and Redmond, Capstone is the only three city CPA firm in the Central Oregon region, and has a team of over 20 professionals including 5 CPAs to service their dedicated client bases. The rationale behind this partnership is for us to continue to bring a wealth of new expertise to the firm by aiding clients with both their financial and business management needs.Through Cale’s assistance, Capstone will be expanding services offered to their clients to include the following:⦁ Strategic Planning⦁ Succession Planning⦁ Financial Management⦁ Business Valuation⦁ Mergers &Acquisitions⦁ Project Management⦁ Interim CFO⦁ Leadership & Management DevelopmentFor more information or questions please contact:Lance Brantlance@capstonecpas.com(541) 382-5099Cale Pearsoncale@capstonecpas.com(541) 382-5099last_img read more

St Charles NICU Launches Family Centered Care Initiatives to Help Small Patients Flourish

first_img Simply being held and read to every day has the potential to help the tiniest patients thrive.That’s why St. Charles Bend’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has implemented two nurse-led programs to ensure prematurely born babies are cradled and exposed to reading as much as possible.Through the Cuddler program, volunteers spend time in the unit holding babies whose parents may have travel or work obligations, or who may just need a rest.Dr. Robert Pfister, the NICU’s medical director, said studies show that early skin-to-skin contact helps babies sleep better, cry less and have more stable heart rates and temperatures almost immediately. In the long run, they experience better weight gain, spend less time in the hospital and demonstrate improved long-term behavioral and cognitive development. Skin-to-skin contact has also been shown to increase breastfeeding success, and can even make certain medical procedures less painful for infants.“This is the soft side of medicine,” he said. “If you’re exposed to warmth and love, you do better. Human touch is healing.”The program now has 15 volunteers and on most days, at least one is in the NICU to hold babies. All volunteers receive the same background check as St. Charles caregivers, and parents opt into the program only if they’re comfortable with another person holding their baby.The NICU’s other new program—Reach Out and Read—has been shown to have powerful benefits not only for infants, but also their parents. Babies who are frequently read to starting as early as zero- to three-months-old can experience improvements in their acquisition of language and math skills.“There is no time when it’s too early to begin,” Pfister said. “The babies pick up the rhythm, tones and inflection. The more words they are exposed to, the better prepared they are to read.”While reading to every infant is important, it is especially impactful for NICU babies. A recent study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that reading to babies in the NICU can help parents develop the same feelings of intimacy that parents of healthy newborns cultivate in the days and weeks after a baby’s birth.“These are very traumatic times for parents and we’re really trying to focus on caring for the whole family unit, not just the baby,” said NICU Manager Randa Bates.Importantly, she noted, the benefits of reading for both baby and parents only happens when the reading is done in-person versus an audio recording. To support that, the NICU provides each family with a book, which is donated by organizations like Reach Out and Read and NICU Families Northwest.“We want families to remember their time in the NICU as the time they got to learn about and bond with their baby even though they were in this generally sterile environment that historically has been, ‘don’t touch, don’t talk,’” Bates said. “It’s about teaching parents to be parents of a medically unstable patient.”About St. Charles Health System St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,200 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities. 0 E-Headlines Share. LinkedIn St. Charles’ NICU Launches Family Centered Care Initiatives to Help Small Patients Flourish  on December 11, 2018 Twittercenter_img Facebook By CBN Email Pinterest Google+ Tumblrlast_img read more

Inside the Mind of a New York VC Scott Birnbaum of Red

first_imgWith sweetgreen, say, there was a generation of people coming of age that prioritized health and wellness, who, in terms of eating habits, were moving towards lighter meals and more vegetable-based meals, and a real growing concern for locally grown high-quality product that was sustainably farmed. They also wanted to feel connected to a part of the economy that doesn’t exist in our daily lives – for the most part, if you live in the city you don’t know farmers and you may have never been to a farm. But there was this longing for this return to how things were; there’s this renewed nostalgia for when things were simpler. And I think sweetgreen has tapped into that emotion. You also had to believe that they were going to solve the supply chain problem. Finally you had to believe that people would eat salads more often than burritos… I was willing to make that bet.It’s sometimes said that it can take 5-7 years before an investor in this asset class knows whether they’re any good. You’re coming up on 6 years now – how do you assess your own performance, and how have you changed as an investor in those 6 years? Great question! While I started writing my first angel checks 6 years ago, I’ve only been investing with real velocity for the past 3 years. Having said that, I think we’re doing a pretty good job. I’ve definitely learned some lessons specifically on how to assess people early on when there are really no data points. There are a lot of tactical things I’ve learned about structures of deals that work or are a ticking time bomb inside of the company – things like cap table issues, investor rights.While I think my perspective toward entrepreneurs has remained the same, I think I’ve fine-tuned the way that I interact with entrepreneurs especially during harder or more contentious, debated times.The big difference is that, as an angel or even early on as a fund, it was more about finding great entrepreneurs, great concepts, great markets, and making a bet and being helpful to them as a smaller investor in a round wherever I could. Now we’re making real investment of time and energy and helping the founders grow through and into the Series A. That means taking board seats or board observer seats, and having much more frequent check-ins with the entrepreneurs when things are going well or not. We also invest a lot more effort on business development, strategy, PR and being trying to be responsive to entrepreneurs based on the challenges they’re facing.It’s still (sort of) the New Year period – what trends are you watching closely in 2017? There are six sectors we really invest in: Future of Work, Future of Living, Food, New Media, Consumerization of Health, and NextGen e-commerce.If you think of the rapid changes happening in the world today each of those areas is going to undergo structural revolutions. For instance, WRI says there will be 9 billion people living in cities by 2045 whereas there are only 7 billion people on the planet today. Forrester says 6% of US jobs will be lost to AI and Automation by 2021 and the UN says that 70% of jobs in the developing world are at risk by 2050. So Future of Living and Work is a real thing that we spend a lot of time on.From a tech layer perspective, we’re looking at the application of early AI rather than AI development.There are still some exciting direct to consumer ecommerce categories.I think we’re going to see a renewal of the media business that will be very interesting in this post-election world exploring new monetization and production models.You’re on the Board of Seeds of Peace, which was built on top of the former Camp Powhatan in Maine. I’m a Camp Powhatan alum with a grudging respect for Seeds of Peace (because how could you not). Why is Seeds of Peace important to you and how did you come to be involved?Seeds of Peace is unlike anything else you will ever experience, truly. It’s important to me because I think the world is torn apart by entrenched opinions that are increasingly diverging. And when two people, whether Israeli or Palestinian, Republican or Democrat, or whatever they are, continuously hear the same feedback loop of their own self-reinforcing opinions, I think that creates a very dangerous world.Seeds of Peace has perfected the art of creating dialogue and using dialogue as a means to develop leaders. There aren’t many ways you can get involved in conflict transformation that give so much hope but when you sit with these kids and graduates you see what the world could be. One of the mantras as Seeds of Peace is “we refuse to know what is when we know what can be” and the experience at Seeds of Peace is the beginning of knowing what “can be”. It allows me to be involved in attacking to be what I consider to be one of the major existential threats to our civilization – broadly, the risk of people not speaking to each other. PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, Funding, Inside the Mind of NYC VC, Interviews, New York VC Spotlight, Venture Capital Tagged With: red sea ventures, scott birnbaum Welcome back to Inside the Mind of an NYC VC, a new series at AlleyWatch in which we speak with New York City-based Venture Capitalists. In the hot seat this time is Scott Birnbaum, Founder at Red Sea Ventures, who stopped by to talk about societal organizing principles from the days of feudalism to our modern age of techno capitalism, the importance of community in building a consumer brand, and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and how we’re all just now realizing that all we’ve ever known was a lie. If you are a NYC-based VC interested in participating in this series, please send us an email. We’d love to chat. If you are interested in sponsoring this series that showcases the leading minds in venture in NYC, we’d also love to chat. Send us a note.Scott Birnbaum, Red Sea VenturesBart Clareman, AlleyWatch: Tell us about your journey into the Venture business and how you came to found Red Sea Ventures? Scott Birnbaum, Red Sea Ventures: I started a software company my senior year of college, which was 1999. We were building really early cloud solutions for information sharing and collaboration across networks – sort of like a SharePoint extranet before Sharepoint existed. We were building that for Intel and law enforcement agencies.The former deputy director of the NSA was on our board. The founding CTO of OpenWave, which was the company that built the mobile browser for the original mobile phones, was our CTO. We had a pretty amazing team and we were selling some really interesting software.I ran that business with my cofounder for almost 7 years. After we sold the business I made good on a promise I’d made more to myself than to my grandmother to go to law school.I graduated and thought I would go start another company, but there was a certain pull to seeing what the law firm experience would be like, so I went and did M&A and project finance for 2.5 years. I learned lessons about myself and about working that were very different from those learned when I was running my own company.One was my endurance and honed my attention to detail, which is valuable when you’re an entrepreneur, though when you’re an entrepreneur it’s more about hustle than real detail. The third big thing was I learned about really large, complex transactions, which ended up being super valuable to being a VC and dealing with the corp dev practices of large acquirers.Ultimately I left the law firm to work on strategy at CBS. While I was there, I met with a lot of entrepreneurs looking to partner with CBS Local. I was doing most of the adtech deals, most of the content syndication deals; I was product managing a few new mobile products that we launched while I was there. It was a really interesting “utility player” experience.I found myself offering advice to many of those companies on whether they were right for CBS or not. I was also angel investing and participated in a few exciting deals. That experience confirmed my passion for working with and enabling founders in the pursuit of their mission.So after a year and a half at CBS I decided to launch my own venture firm focused on New York and Seed stage investing. It didn’t even occur to me that I should maybe try to join another fund given that at the time there were few funds in NY focused on that strategy.What inspired you to start your own company as a senior in college? That was the fourth entrepreneurial project I had undertaken. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, my dad was a serial entrepreneur in the fashion space. The dinner table conversations growing up were very often about business building, and I remember overhearing conversations with friends of his who were also founders who were working through concepts and ideas. I caught the bug from that; I loved thinking about opportunities and things that didn’t exist but could exist.While was in college, I was geeking out on tech, reading everything I could get my hands on about all the companies being launched in the late 90s. The ethos of technology, the types of people it attracts, the conversations taking place in the industry about the future, the promise of what the internet could deliver in this new industrial revolution – it felt massive to me, and it felt like such an exciting thing to be a part of.My cofounder and I spent a lot of time thinking of the internet as the enabling technology for the creation of a distributed infrastructure that could be applied to almost anything. We settled on its application to information sharing for government and healthcare. As it turned out, it was way too early for the healthcare market, but government was spending a lot of time thinking about those concepts and how they could be applied to organizations that needed information but never wanted to give up control of their information.You mentioned at CBS you had done some angel investing – what compelled you to “turn pro” so to speak and start a VC firm?As I mentioned earlier, there weren’t many funds focused on seed investing in NY and the realities of starting a company had changed dramatically from the decade prior when I launched my company. What cost us $5 million back then to set up cost approximately 5 times less in 2013 and that meant that the barrier to creation had dropped dramatically and that great new entrepreneurs would be able to pursue their dreams. It also meant that many of those entrepreneurs would be 1st timers. As a founder who started at 21 years old I appreciated the value of capital, guidance and support that venture funds often reserved for later stage companies. I thought that I could be a part of the enablement and acceleration of founders and their companies and could build a human platform that could contribute to their success. Also, there was nothing else that I actually wanted to do, that I felt passionate enough about.The entrepreneurial obsession that I had growing up made me constantly think of new business opportunities but as an entrepreneur you pick one product and dedicate your life to it for a decade or more. As I got older I realized I preferred to be a small part of delivering a lot of those products to the world rather than being a big part of delivering only one of those things to the world.Bring us to the present and your work at Red Sea – what is your investment thesis? The thesis is informed by a specific worldview. For the last thousand years there’s been a fairly consistent social contract that’s governed societal organization.That’s been, for the most part, a hub and spoke model beginning with the feudal system with the lord providing land for the villagers to farm and produce and then give that back to the lord. Then you had the city-state and then the nation-state and then a similar neo-feudalism with corporations controlling such large portions of the economy, building massive ecosystems around themselves.I think that system is breaking down – mostly because of technology. When you think about those evolutions, they’ve all been generally motivated by a change in technology. From manorialism /early agrarian capitalism, there was a point at which technology maxed out on productivity limiting growth. That led to consolidation, feudal lords invading other lands, trying to accumulate more lands because they needed to continue to increase capacity.Then, going into the city-state and nation-state, that led into mercantilism, which was not as much about producing as it was about trade. That led to real capitalism and the city-state, ushering in the industrial revolution, thanks to innovations in transportation technology, like the steam engine and manufacturing.Now, the internet has flattened everything. It’s given the edges of the network access to production capacity, to information, to the fundamental resources that were previously only the province of large organizations. Because of this flattening the capacity to produce and push of power out to the network edges, there is a major shift happening in how our society is organized and is going to be organized.We see traces of that societal reorganization already, don’t we? Absolutely. I think that early manifestations of that are the gig economy, the Uber-ization of the world, the shift to the freelance economy.I was remiss not to say – all of this has also been precipitated to some degree by the Great Recession of ’08. Large companies were previously organized under a social contract promising to deliver employment and income security, training, identity, pensions, and also an implicit promise to continue to hire and absorb new incoming groups of workers. But that isn’t happening anymore and Automation and AI will only accelerate that disintegration.I think we’re at the beginning of this revolution, and it means we’re shifting from this last phase of industrial capitalism to techno capitalism or information capitalism. In this new phase information is the resource and the internet can push that information to the edges of the network, which allows everyone to compete and act and build in their own siloes rather than having to be a part of these larger fiefdoms.You invest in a number of different verticals – some that are very obviously related (e.g., consumer internet and consumer brands) and others that are less so, (e.g., consumer brands and SaaS). Connect the dots for us – how do all these pieces fit together?If you take that worldview, the investment thesis is predicated on what this new world order is going to look like.That means the empowerment of individuals as (1) consumers and (2) workers. The SaaS plays that we make are businesses that are empowering small business and the individual worker to build their own businesses with a sophistication only previously reserved for large corporations.Prior to this era, as a lawyer or accountant or researcher or fashion designer you needed to be part of a large organization because of the resources they accumulated that allowed you to do what you wanted to do.Now, the internet and SaaS tools built on top of it allow you to push those resources out to the edge and allow you as an individual to operate with a level of efficiency that was previously reserved only for large corporations. Individuals, now you have the capacity to operate at that level of efficiency, and have control over their lives and destiny, which is a really, really powerful thing to be doing.I was a lawyer so I can speak to that specific experience. The average law student graduates with $100K in debt. That means that you are forced to prioritize your options (if you are lucky enough to have any) by going to a big law firm that will pay you a big salary.In exchange for that you’re working those 48 hour shifts I was talking about, have no control over your life, and if you’re about to go on vacation or attend your kid’s game you might get a call from a senior partner that says “sorry, we’re moving to a close so come into the office asap.”Very few people want to work on those types of deals in the first place, but many want those jobs because of the debt burden they face. Today though, the fact is the law firms aren’t hiring as many lawyers as they used. If you can empower those law school grads to operate as a solo practitioner, where they can work their own hours, decide how many clients and which clients they want to take on, have the resources they had at a big firm – research tools, billing tools, accounting tools, admin support, all the things you need that are not the core competencies of an attorney but are really essential to an attorney delivering on their expertise area – that becomes really powerful.So it’s a generational shift then? I think millennials in particular are not optimizing for the business cards, fancy cars, offices and the great line on the resume. They’re optimizing for a life experience that aligns with their values and allows them to live the kind of life that they want to live.I think of it as Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave.” It tells the story of people who are born in a cave, chained against a wall, and they see a game of shadows projected against the wall, and they think those shadows are people, their only reality. And then one day they’re unshackled and as they go out of the cave towards the light they realize everything they thought was reality was a lie. We’re in that moment in history. Where this emerging generation of workers are realizing that the game of shadows they saw their parents play into is not really the life they want to live and that there is something else out there. And that light at the end of the tunnel and that unshackling is the internet, which gave them access to information and a view into how other people are living their lives.What do you look for in an entrepreneur?One is, really high intellectual capacity. Capacity and desire for constant learning, a high degree of self-awareness, and humility.I look for vision, specifically product vision, I want to know that this is a team that has a thing they need to get out to the world and has a very strong perspective on what it is that they’re building – and that perspective aligns with who they are as people.I look for founder-market fit. I tend to shy away from founders that are building a business just because of an economic opportunity. The building of a startup is just too difficult if you’re motivated purely by money, it has to be something that’s driven by a burning need to create a specific thing. And I look for people who are really mission-driven, and are driven by a desire to have some positive impact on society.We try to get a sense of the founder’s personal background and capacity to overcome adversity.What mistakes do you see entrepreneurs make when they pitch you?The biggest mistake I see is when they are in pitch mode, and not in conversation mode. The most exciting conversations I’ve always had with entrepreneurs were really a debate around the decisions they were making, how they saw the world evolving and how they saw their product and their business fitting into that.When I’m investing, I invest in the team and the people. I like to get a clear sense of who they are and how motivated and passionate they are for the business that they’re building, which is very difficult to do when they’re running on script.And I recognize that it’s very difficult to go off script as an entrepreneur when you’ve been pitching hundreds of times. You just do it so many times that it becomes this sort of rote process. It’s not a knock on entrepreneurs; it’s a result of the process of fundraising. In turn, I view it as my job to find ways in the conversation to pull them out of that mode.Turning the tables around – what would your CEOs say about you and the benefit of having Red Sea Ventures as an investor and possibly on its board?The first thing they’d say is that as a firm we punch way above our weight and work very hard for our companies. We spend a lot of time and effort in a few concentrated areas of support like business development, strategy, PR, and assisting them with follow-on financings. I said earlier this venture game is about hustle and we like to match the hustle of our founders.I think they’d say that I’m one of the most supportive investors that they have. And supportive doesn’t mean I just tell them what they want to hear or pat them on the back – although I do a lot of that because I think it’s important. It’s so difficult to build a business so it’s important to remind them when they’re doing a great job and that the intensity of their effort is appreciated. You can see and feel it when someone’s going through a tough time and they just need to draw the energy from someone else to keep powering.It helps that I’ve invested in 38 companies and over the course of my career having either started or being involved in probably 70 or 80 companies, I have the benefit of having seen things play out in a variety of ways but still being young enough to relate to this new generation of founders.Sometimes I get to the point where I feel very strongly that the founder is not doing something the right way, they’re not thinking about the problem the right way because they haven’t pattern matched it. But I always temper that with the realization that the founder has more data points about their specific business than I will ever have. They’re on the ground talking to their employees, listening to customers, they’re seeing how product is developing, and they will never be able to relay all those points to me in the conversations that I have with them. So my position is always to give them insights into the data points and the history of the patterns I’ve seen across different examples, but at the end of the day recognize the decision is one that can only be made by them.I think that sets up a different dynamic than a lot of investors have with their founders.As someone who started a consumer brand I’m forever curious about consumer investors – what do you look for in a consumer play, and how do you gain comfort about investing in what is ultimately a hit-driven industry?Just want to reiterate that while we’ve invested in many consumer brands, we are not a consumer only fund. Some of most exciting companies in our portfolio are these SaaS companies building for the worker economy I mentioned earlier like WayUp and Casetext.Having said that, in our consumer companies, we look for a few things. One is, values alignment: the values of the company should align with the worldview and the values that I’m talking about. Two: I like to see that there is an early community being built around the product or company.Consumers are increasingly voting with their wallets, they’re deciding to buy products that are an expression of their own identity saying, “this brand represents the value set I’ve selected for my life.” Because of that emotional, values-based attachment to the brand, to the founders and what they represent, customers are more likely to overlook certain missteps in the product, because it’s about more than just the product.Side question: as an investor in Ample Hills Creamery, do you get a lifetime supply of ice cream?I don’t! I gladly pay for it. I do get a discount though.More seriously: help me understand investments in companies like sweetgreen or Ample Hills Creamery. What do you believe – and what do you have to believe – in order to get venture-level returns?You have to believe that there’s a movement behind the brand. You have to believe there’s incredible capacity for execution from the management team. Because of the capital-intensive nature of building these retail businesses, you have to believe that this is a category that is underserved, either in product or experience or ideally in both. And you have to believe you’re at the beginning of a consumer behavioral shift that’s supportive of that particular incarnation of the business. You also need to believe that there is tech DNA built into the company that allows it to scale in a way that other consumer brands won’t be able to. Inside the Mind of a New York VC: Scott Birnbaum of Red Sea VenturesApril 4, 2017 by Bart Clareman 738SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

8 ProblemSolving Practices Give Startups Success

first_imgReprinted by permission.Image credit: CC by John GoodridgePREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST If you find problem solving to be energizing, you could be the next great entrepreneur. On the other hand, if facing unforeseen problems annoys you and causes ongoing stress, don’t quit your day job. Creating an innovative new business is guaranteed to test your skills, patience and determination, and you need to derive satisfaction from the journey, as well as the destination.Contrary to a popular myth, problem solving is a talent that can be developed. To do it well requires a focus on several key activities and practices, including the following:Maintain a positive attitude, since startup problems are normal. If you feel angry or exhibit a negative attitude to the team about problems, you will jeopardize the potential success of your startup. Successful problem solving is often more a state of mind than any particular skill or process.Remember that learning requires listening more than talking. The first challenge for many aspiring entrepreneurs is to put aside their passionate advocacy long enough to acknowledge an existing problem. That means practicing non-defensive listening to key advisors, team members and customers. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t see one.Communicate openly about each problem and commit to fix it. Entrepreneurs who solve problems well don’t hide them from their teams or make excuses and publicly take responsibility for a timely resolution. It’s smart to outline initial actions, but not so smart to promise any specific solution until you can investigate the source.Don’t hesitate to call in an experienced advisor or mentor to help. Very few startup problems are unique. An experienced advisor, board member or investor has seen them all. You can save yourself countless hours of frustration and failed efforts by swallowing your pride, asking for help and following expert suggestions.Follow a disciplined analysis before jumping to conclusions. Make sure you have all the facts, as well as insights from relevant sources and outside experts. Don’t let your passions and emotions drive you to a quick judgment, and remember that there are always at least two sides to every question. Practice active listening to get all input.Track every problem. Problems become crises when affected people hear nothing or sense that no attention is being paid to the issue. Thus, a visible system is required for reporting to all relevant parties, which also keeps your focus on the problem until it is resolved.Set deadlines and measure and pay for performance. Remember the old adage that you get what you pay for. If everyone is incented to find new customers, there will be little focus on resolving problems with current ones. Make sure there are metrics for problem counts, resolution time and revenue impact.Analyze issues to prevent similar problems. Usually it pays to dig deeper on lost sales opportunities and negative customer reviews to resolve a deep-seated product deficiency or delivery channel issue. Make sure processes are updated, training is improved or priorities are communicated as required.The best entrepreneurs understand that solving problems is what a business is all about. Of course, problem solving is required for scaling and continued business growth. It never ends.Thus, every aspiring entrepreneur needs to develop a problem-solving mindset, and learn to enjoy both the problem and the solution. This mindset will help you develop and survive as a person as well, and build better organizations and communities. Isn’t it time you started celebrating problems rather than complaining about them? 8 Problem-Solving Practices Give Startups SuccessMay 26, 2017 by Martin Zwilling 253SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedincenter_img Filed Under: Advice, Resources, Strategiclast_img read more

6 Key Elements Of Marketing Content To Fuel A Launch

first_img Filed Under: Advertising, Resources, Strategic Tagged With: Michael Stelzner, SocialMediaExaminer Your marketing launch is the most important element of startup success these days, to get customer attention in this world of information overload. Yet it is the one element that too many entrepreneurs focus on only as an afterthought. Everyone assumes their product or service is so great that “word-of-mouth” will carry the day for them.Even great products need great marketing “content” to fuel the ascent of their online message. A couple of years ago, I saw a classic primer on the key elements of great online content that I like, in “Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition,” by Michael Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com.Michael delivers field-tested guidance on how to create the core elements of great content for your announcement, your webinars, blog posts, Facebook contests, newsletters, Internet TV, and other initiatives. It’s all about content that will bring the masses to your business:Highly relevant.To get to the core of what’s relevant to customers, you need to know them well. Use your content as a way to make a connection between your business and things that matter to them. The more frequently you can deliver content that meets the needs and desires of your customers, the more relevant you will become to them.Educational.Helping customers discover new ways to solve common problems can quickly build you a loyal following. Your content must continue to deliver new ideas. In simple terms, this is where you share your knowledge, as well as the guidance from other experts, for free.Easy to digest. A conversational tone should be the basis for all of your content. Highly relevant and educational content if irrelevant if you can’t make it easy for people to understand. Common approaches include the use of metaphors, tell stories, and always stay on topic.Visually appealing. The eye is just as important as the mind when it comes to customers. The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is still alive and relevant. Make sure your paragraphs are short. Use callouts and bullets to help the reader speed through your content.Conversation inviting.Great content is conversation. If you want to connect with customers, put aside your writing formalities. Your language doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s pretty simple to do. Simply speak out loud. Then write it down. The message should spark a side conversation between friends, and a follow-up comment to you.Lacks a sales angle. Great content shouldn’t have any obvious marketing messages or sales pitches embedded inside of it. If your content is about your specific product or service, that’s not great content; it’s marketing collateral. People won’t flock to marketing materials.Creating these core elements is a lot easier if you can team with outside experts to help you. They have what your readers seek – important, worthwhile knowledge, and some experts already have a large following of their own. They are a shortcut that can put you far ahead of your competition.Some experts are so instrumental that they are called “fire starters.” These are people who have so much influence that their endorsement can ignite your efforts nearly overnight. The best potential fire starters have the eyes and ears of people who closely match your ideal base. Nurture these relationships, and provide generous value to them in return.Every marketer throws around the word “content,” but few have mastered the art and science of creating useful, thought-provoking, and viral content. Great content doesn’t happen by accident. Start early in your planning, build your own skills, or find the best expertise you can afford. There is nothing more devastating than a good business that fails to launch.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST 6 Key Elements Of Marketing Content To Fuel A LaunchJuly 17, 2017 by Martin Zwilling 332SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

Planning for the WorstCase Scenario

first_imgIn the face of a recession and general economic uncertainty, many companies are starting to strategize and prepare for worst-case business scenarios. This planning, while unusual and difficult to quantify in terms of a return on the investment, is conditioning the companies for the pressures of the unknown. Usually, these scenarios can be described as extremes, and while they’re unlikely, they can have a catastrophic impact on a business.More than anything, scenario planning will spread awareness from the top of the command chain, all the way down. Additionally, it will instill a sense of confidence in your employees in the event that something disruptive does happen.There isn’t a set rubric of guidelines when it comes to scenario planning. Consider your business’s particular situation, and think accordingly. For example, if you believe that there is a specific threat to your company, plan with this in mind.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more