Thursday, February 22, 2007

Venture Bracketology

This weekend I traveled to Toronto with a team of MBA students from Cornell who were competing in the Venture Capital Investment Competition.

Meet Jon, Mohan, Ash, John, Eric

The VCIC is a unique competition where the student teams act as if they are real-life venture capitalists and they analyze real companies. The whole thing is run by college basketball powerhouse The University of North Carolina. As all things in Chapel Hill are influenced by basketball, so is this competition. They have adopted the bracket philosophy in that the winner of each round advances to the next round. Fortunately for the Cornell team, they had such a strong showing that they won first place in this round and will advance to the next round at NYU!

Cornell Wins!

This is the third time I have attended this event. The first time was as an MBA student. The second time SightSpeed (then called QVIX) presented as one of the entrepreneurial teams. This time I attended as a faculty observer. It's a great event, and encourage every MBA student interested in either venture capital or high-growth entrepreneurship to attend.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blizzard Day

In my native state of North Carolina, two flakes of snow shuts the place down and gives everyone a snow day. In my current home in Ithaca, New York, it takes a snowy icy blizzard to get anyone's attention. Mother Nature's Valentine's Day gift to us was a record snow storm. Of course, I shot video:

Happy Snowy Valentine's Day

In all clouds there is a silver lining. Fellow entrepreneur (and practicing venture capitalist) Zach Shulman and I took an excursion in his burly 4x4 to Greek Peak, Ithaca's premier ski destination. With fresh powder on almost every run, and absolutely no lines, it was nice to have a snow day. Correction; It was nice to have a blizzard day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Big Idea Cash

Each year Cornell's student run venture capital fund BR Ventures holds a Business Idea Competition. This is a simple, fun way for aspiring entrepreneurs to move their business forward.

Is your idea worthy of $10,000?

This competition is easy to enter, and open to everyone. The best submissions are well written and easy to understand. As your friendly neighborhood entrepreneur in residence, here's what I suggest you explain in the first three sentences:

1. What do you do? (in simple language my mom would understand)
2. Why is your idea for a company special?
3. Why are you going to make tons of money?

The submission deadline is March 4th. If you have multiple ideas, you can submit multiple times.

Good luck!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Babies and Puppies

I often joke that the main thing people use SightSpeed for is videos of babies and puppies. Since baby Gage is wearing his puppy sleeper, his parents covered both topics in one blog post:

1 Month!!!

Hey guys! We've made it! We're now 1 month old to the day. Really we're 4 weeks and 3 days but who's counting? So, I thought I'd share with you what a typical morning looks like lately. Here he all his morning splendor. Enjoy!!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

One Hundred Year Old Haircut

I got my haircut yesterday at the Cornell Barber Shop. This place is frozen in time, in the best way.

They have been giving the same haircut the same way for 100 years. You can go in and ask them for whatever style you want, but you are going to get the same haircut as the crew team. Here's what happened to my shaggy locks:

Regardless of the limiting fashion options and the fact that a crew cut provides no protection against an Ithaca winter, the experience is pitch perfect. Everyone knows everyone. They don't have a phone and they don't take reservations or credit cards. They are going to either call you "coach" or "moose", based on your age. And they use hot lather and a straight blade to do the finishing shave. They have been doing it this way for 100 years, and will probably keep doing it for a 100 more.