Hello, startup founders!
You’ve set out to build something new with an unknown outcome. I think that’s one of the coolest things you can do in life — creating something from nothing to have a positive impact on humanity.
There’s something you should know — there are lots of times when you’re getting started where you’ll be best served by ignoring your intuition. A less clickbait-y way of saying that: there are a number of counterintuitive things that you should watch out for. Here are 6 of them.
Let’s hear what your intuition makes you think, and then why it’s…
If you are not what you produce, then what are you?
This question stumped me recently. When I share something about myself on Twitter or social media, I’m usually sharing something I’ve made — a blog post, an investment, a project, a song… Surely there’s more to me than the things I generate, right? I actually had to sit down and brainstorm a list of other things! In case you’re also production-centric, here’s a framework of non-production-based things that make you you.
You are born into the world with physical and emotional needs that your caregivers must satisfy for you…
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First, there was the Request for Proposal (RFP), a document used by organizations to solicit proposals and pricing quotes for a job or project. Then, Y Combinator popularized the Request for Startup (RFS), a way for VCs to…
Make Studios invests in SaaS startup Luxlock to give luxury retail salespeople tools to sell online as well as they do IRL.
The luxury retail industry faced a rough time during the pandemic. 90% of luxury sales occur in-store with a salesperson. But consumers are now shopping alone online, resulting in only 2% conversion rates and 35% return rates. This hit the industry’s sales talent especially hard.
Make Studios invests in healthtech startup Pollie to support women in their journey navigating complex chronic conditions.
There’s a problem that impacts an estimated 80% of women that can result in physical and mental health challenges like reproductive, digestive, and autoimmune disorders. And 70% of affected women go undiagnosed. The root of this problem is hormonal imbalance, and Pollie, an exciting new healthtech startup, is on a mission to support women through diagnosing, managing, and treating related symptoms.
TL;DR: I’m joining Make Studios as a Partner and awesome founders should apply. 👋
“You’re too early.”
Heard that one before? It’s the frustration-inducing investor response that early-stage founders hear on repeat as they seek to raise funding pre-traction. The rise of no-code/low-code tools and the decrease in infrastructure costs combined with the trendiness of startups means that there are just more deals for investors to look at, and more founders working on similar ideas. As a result, more and more traction is required to gain pre-seed, angel, or even accelerator funding, creating a growing gap in early-stage venture.
I worked on the frontlines of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in tech at Backstage Capital for over 4 years. I was the only White man on the full-time, core team during that time. Working closely with women of color, and more specifically, Black women, has been a life-changing experience.
I came into the work thinking I had strong empathy skills honed by years of practicing human-centered design. What I came to learn, however, was that there is no way that I can know or share the experience of women of color as a White man in America. The world…
You’ve got an idea for a product, service, app, or startup. Time to build it right? Nope! Wrong. It can be a counterintuitive experience, but you can test the demand for your idea before spending tons of time and money on it.
I’ve been enjoying a YouTube series from no-code pioneer and Founder of Apps Without Code Tara Reed. She got over 200 emails from interested customers for a new app idea after a single post on a Facebook group. And after following up with that initial customer list, she earned over $2k before completing or launching her app. …
A multi-city, one-day event series bringing knowledge, investment, and connection to underrepresented founders and the ecosystems that help them grow.
🎟 Buy tickets and apply for investment now! Cities and dates listed below.
Since the beginning of Backstage Capital, we’ve been looking for the right time to embark on some kind of tour to directly collaborate with local tech ecosystems. Our Founder + Managing Partner, Arlan Hamilton, has a career history in tour management for music artists, and IRL events have played an important role in our community building and portfolio support to date. And while remote teams (ours included)…
Backstage Capital welcomes Bryan Landers as General Partner alongside Christie Pitts and Managing Partner Arlan Hamilton. Among many responsibilities, Bryan will be building out Backstage’s platform and community in 2020, and you can get involved. Find out how at the end of this story.