Hey everyone, happy autumn!
Princeton students are back on campus and in the swing of things. Meanwhile, Princeton alums all over the world are wishing they were still in school...
We will be back on campus on October 10th for a Q&A with Mike Wilner, co-author of Oversubscribed: A Founders Guide to Seed Fundraising.
If you are considering raising money for your startup, you won't want to miss it. Mike is an EIR at Chaac, a former founder himself, and has a wealth of practical knowledge to share with everyone. The Q&A will take place at 6pm at Princeton's eHub on Chambers Street.
We will cover the basic dynamics of seed fundraising from both a VC and founder's perspective, discuss when it's the right time to raise money, what investors look for, and how to create a sense of urgency for investors and not get strung along.
We hope to see you there!
Here is the latest from the Princeton startup ecosystem:
Princeton Founders in the News
Nucleos, an ed-tech company founded by Noah Freedman (P '12) that brings e-learning to areas with limited internet connectivity, received an SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation to bring better quality e-learning opportunities to incarcerated learners. Nucleos Awarded Competitive Phase I SBIR Grant from the National Science Foundation.
Rob Biederman (P ‘08), the founder of Catalant Technologies, published an article about how older companies can compete for talent with desirable tech companies. According to his research, 79% of executives agree that the future workforce will be structured more by projects than by job function, and a more agile hiring methods will help companies access top talent. Talent Has More Choice Than Ever: Why an Agile Strategy Helps You Access the Best.
Wired published an article featuring Karman Electric, an SF-based startup building the future of air vehicle travel founded by Chiranjeev "CJ" Kalra (Ph. D ’10). The article details how Karla proposes that ”A full-scale system could transport 10,000 people per hour for hundreds of miles between cities, cruising in close formation at speeds north of 200.” It’s a novel approach worth reading about. To Solve Flying Cars’ Biggest Problem, Tie Them to Power Lines.
Justin Zhen (P ‘12), co-founder of Thinknum, an alternative investment data platform, helped develop the Stocks Debate Challenge. It’s being used by hedge funds to find new talent outside the well-trodden channels of elite schools and rival financial firms. As Justin states in his quote in the article, ““There’s a huge war for talent. If you’re a hedge fund you need any edge you can get to find people.” New Tactic by Hedge Funds to Find Talent.
Troy Mestler (Ph. D ‘11), the founder of Skyfront, a startup building long-endurance commercial drones, penned an essay about how hybrid electric is the future of aviation. He explains that batteries are science – not engineering – and therefore battery technology is advancing at a slower rate than Hybrid-electric propulsion technology. A History of Lithium Ion or Why Hybrid Electric is the Future of Aviation.
Princeton Investors in the News
Leonard Schaeffer (P ‘69), the CEO of WellPoint, the nation’s largest health benefits company, participated in Wellth’s $5.1M venture round. Wellth uses financial incentives and principles from behavioral economics such as loss aversion to change behavior and improve treatment adherence in patients with chronic diseases. Digital Health Startup Wellth Raises $5M Venture Round and Announces Partnership with Florida Hospital.
Deborah Quazzo (P ‘82), the Managing Partner of GSV Acceleration, participated in an $800K seed round in Brewbike, a startup that makes and delivers cold brew on college campuses (you guessed it – using bikes). Brewbike started at Northwestern and will be expanding to additional campuses with the seed round. BrewBike Raises $800K To Bring Its Cold Brew to More College Campuses.
Fabrice Grinda (P ‘96) is one of the world’s most active angel investors, and he also makes investments out of his VC Fund, FJ Labs, which just invested in Dostavista’s $2M Seed round. Dostavista is a global crowdsourced same-day delivery service based in Russia. Targeting small and mid-sized online and offline retailers such as pastry or flower shops, Dostavista promises to deliver a package within hours of purchase, and aims to expand internationally with the round.
Jeffrey Wilke (P ‘89), Amazon consumer CEO, participated in the $5M seed round raised by Domicile, which caters to business travelers with lodging somewhere between a hotel and an Airbnb. The company’s model is to rent out luxury apartments in close proximity to the business districts in cities. With the new funding, Domicile plans to expand to two new cities in the next 6-8 months. Domicile raises $5M for business travel lodging from high-profile Seattle investors.
Thanks for reading, have a great day.
Luke Armour P '13
Founder, Chaac Ventures