Why You Can’t Replicate Silicon Valley

Why You Can’t Replicate Silicon Valley

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Silicon Valley is the nickname for Santa Clara Valley, the South Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. In the last years, the term has become a synonym for innovation. Research parks often dream out loud of...
Where Does Start-up Success Come From?

Where Does Start-up Success Come From?

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP What primes startups for success is a question of heated debate. There is obviously no sure-fire recipe, no ten-step plan that makes a fledgling venture the next Google. Here are some thoughts about a simple checklist if a startup...
Is Venture Capital a Giffen Good?

Is Venture Capital a Giffen Good?

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP I updated this post for Enterprising Investor. See it at: http://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2014/10/23/is-venture-capital-a-giffen-good/ Economist Sir Robert Giffen stumbled upon a curious thing: Low quality foods experienced...
Stop Pitching Ideas

Stop Pitching Ideas

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP In the past, I have heard pitches of “the next big disruptive idea”, “the future of social networking,” or an idea “ten times better than Facebook” (seriously, I am not making this one up). Entrepreneurs seek to attract capital with...
Angel Capital is Wasted

Angel Capital is Wasted

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Angel investors have the reputation of being the better VCs. Less greedy and complicated when it comes down to due diligence, deal terms, checking up on progress, and altogether more willing to open their wallet. An ideal scenario for...
Baby Black Swans

Baby Black Swans

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Black swan events are now a staple of our daily vocabulary. Popularized by Nassim Taleb’s book “The Black Swan” (2007), the term is a metaphor for a totally unexpected event that catches the observer on the wrong foot. After the...
The Fallacy of Failing Fast

The Fallacy of Failing Fast

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Failing fast is a paradigm loosely associated with the Lean Startup method. I mention this here with venture capital and angel investment because there are some reservations before wholeheartedly embracing the notion of failing fast....
What’s Your Plan For 2030?

What’s Your Plan For 2030?

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP When drafting a business plan, we usually project a few years into the future. Conventional wisdom asks for a five-year forecast. More often than not, we come up with a graph that in some form exponentially speeds up towards the upper...
Mind Over Capital

Mind Over Capital

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Günter Faltin, author of the book “Kopf Schlägt Kapital” (German, “Ideas Beat Capital”), held the keynote at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin in 2012. Under the heading “The Art of Entrepreneurship,”...