February 23, 2024


Most founders don’t realize they’re on the wrong track until it’s too late.

That’s because failure is something many entrepreneurs realize only in hindsight: the day-to-day work of building a startup requires a high degree of confidence — and, for some, denial.

Citing the movie Grosse Pointe Blank, this column by Haje Jan Kamps may “deliver a quick, spiritual blow to your head that changes your reality forever.”


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In his experience, some startups do this for three reasons: no way Get likes from investors:

  • the market is too small;
  • The team is not good enough;
  • This plan doesn’t make sense.

These are major issues, but the good news is: these are just survival issues for ego-driven founders. Those who can accept that they don’t have all the answers are able to turn to success.

On the other hand, people who look in the mirror and see Captain America smile tend to make terrible CEOs.

Have a great weekend – go touch some grass.

walter thompson
TechCrunch+ Editorial Manager
@your leading role

6 Fusion Investors Explain Why They Put All Their Money Into $10T

Illustration of a fusion reactor

Image Source: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Until December 2022, no one has achieved fusion ignition, the point at which a reaction produces more energy than is needed to produce it.

“There is still a long way to go, but net positive control fusion is no longer just theoretical,” writes Tim Deschant.

To find out what investors think about this nascent technology with a multi-trillion dollar TAM, he interviewed:

  • Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine
  • Phil Larochelle, Partner, Breakthrough Energy Ventures
  • Joshua Posamentier, Managing Partner, Congruent Ventures
  • Alice Brooks, Principal, Khosla Ventures
  • Wal Van Lierop, Founding Partner, Chrysalix Venture Capital, General Fusion Board Member
  • Thai Nguyen, Partner, MCJ Collective

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Upgrade AI travel products to first class

Male and female robots with floating tires swimming in swimming pool in front of city skyline, 3D rendering

Image Source: West 61 (opens in new window) / Getty Images

Eric Crowley and Adam Segall of global investment bank GP Bullhound say that when it comes to combining artificial intelligence with travel, “even a small lead is a big one right now.” important”.

Consumers today can create their own itineraries, but that still requires guesswork:

Can I walk from the hotel to the beach with my surfboard? Which restaurants near this convention center offer vegetarian options?

In this TC+ post, Crowley and Segall share advice for founders working on AI-powered travel products: “At this early stage, our company and other investors in the space we work with don’t expect perfection.”

Why Europe and Israel’s Unicorns Are Cultivating the Next Generation of Tech Founders

Tree colorful unicorns in a row on pink magic background wallpaper raster.Minimalist style place for text retro design

Image Source: mountain photography (opens in new window) / Getty Images

According to a report by global venture capital firm Accel, the “unicorn-generated talent flywheel” is helping Europe and Israel maintain momentum even as global deal flow and funding has slowed.

“Our data shows that 221 of the region’s 353 VC-backed unicorns have driven 1,171 new technology start-ups through their alumni,” said Harry Nelis, partner at the London-based firm. wrote.

A pick-up in public markets is boosting the secondary market for startup shares

CVC, Corporate Venture Capital,

Image Source: Shoes Donnel/Getty Images

Follow-on investment may be harder to come by, but Alex Wilhelm reports that a “combination of sell-side pessimism and moderate buy-side optimism” is driving “increased secondary market activity”.

Interpreting data from Caplight, Forge, Other Information and PitchBook, he concluded that the increase could signal a potential rise in startup valuations.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear how much pain startups need to go through to raise more money, and no one knows if they’re willing to accept that fact.”

Ask Sophie: Do I need 2 visas to work at 2 different startups?

Lonely figure at the entrance of a maze hedge with an american flag in the center

Image Source: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I’m in the US on an H-1B visa, but I want to quit my current job and pursue a couple of startup ideas: one with a few friends, and one by myself.

Do I need to get two separate visas to work for two companies? Can I transfer my H-1B to one or two companies?

— Dynamic Entrepreneur

UK increasingly hungry for more black professional venture funds

A row of white pencils and a black pencil lie on a white background

A row of white pencils and a black pencil, lying on a white background. Image Source: Emilia Manevska/Getty Images

Dominic-Madori Davis reports that black founders in the UK face a more difficult time than their counterparts in the US when it comes to securing venture capital.

“Only 30 black people received venture capital funding in the UK between 2009 and 2019, equivalent to less than 0.4% of all funding allocated to founders.”

She spoke to a number of investors working to grow the community, including Karl Lokko, co-founder of venture capital firm Black Seed, which recently announced a £5m debut fund.

“The wheels have started to turn, but we still have a long way to go,” he said.