FEATURE STORIES

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000IN YOUR FACE RISK

by John Jonelis – “Oh, you’re an angel investor! Isn’t that risky?” I hear such drivel all the time. Are people afraid of outsized returns? Or perhaps they don’t understand risk, don’t know how to measure it, or how to take control of it. Yet all that is quite easily done and it’s a real charge to play the game using a Monte Carlo simulation (MC). I’ll show what’s likely to happen if you follow three simple rules. Then I’ll break one rule—just a little bit—and we’ll use the simulator to see what happens.

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

by Mark T Wayne – Howard Brookins Jr, the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, was biking along Cal-Sag Trail when a squirrel darted into his path. [The Washington Post] The squirrel wrapped itself in the spokes of the alderman’s bicycle. According to the alderman, “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge.” [The Chicago Tribune]

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000TRUMPED

by John Jonelis – Political outsider elected president! Nationwide shock! Emotions run wild! Markets in turmoil! Worst riots since Orson Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast!

Loop Lonagan watches the mayhem on television. People on the streets shout lewd obscenities—carry hate signs—crawl over cars—destroy businesses—throw bricks at police. “Da theater of dee absurd,”  Lonagan mutters, “Did deeze folks even vote?”

He continues his impromptu soliloquy. “Why don’t deeze malcontents all move t’ Greece?”  Ah, Greece—where socialism is in full bloom and the weather is gorgeous. “Maybe President Elect Trump will offer free one-way luxury cruises to da Mediterranean and make da Greeks pay for it.”  Lonagan figures that will make everybody happy.  But then he reflects that Greece is bankrupt.  Socialism didn’t work there.

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000NO GOAT

by John Jonelis – “The longest championship drought for any continuously operating pro team in North America – nay, the world…we never truly thought this would happen. We joked about not seeing the Cubs win it all in our lifetimes. We said that with grins when we were young. We reached middle age, and we said it with blank faces. We grew old, and it curled off our lips like, yes, a curse.” (Rick Telander – Northwest Herald)   Yup, that about sums it up for me. A hundred and eight years! Why should anything change today? Somehow the Cubs will find a way to lose this thing.

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000ALIEN ABDUCTS FISH, THROWS FISHERMAN BACK

by Ron Kaszubowski – “Then me and my salmon get lifted by a glowing ray into some giant saucer-like ship that smells like fish inside. A tiny man in a silver suit approaches me carrying a long stick with knobs and buttons. He points it at me and the salmon I caught, and babbles something I can’t understand. Then in a flash, I drop like a lead sinker back in the river. But the alien keeps my fish!”

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bobs-bad-poetry-swtIN YOUR FACE RISK

by John Jonelis – “Oh, you’re an angel investor! Isn’t that risky?” I hear such drivel all the time. Are people afraid of outsized returns? Or perhaps they don’t understand risk, don’t know how to measure it, or how to take control of it. Yet all that is quite easily done, and it’s a real charge to play the game.

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bobs-bad-poetry-swtHOW BAD IS IT

by Loop Lonagan – Lotsa people keep tellin’ me good things about Bob’s Bad Poetry so I’m checkin’ it out. Yeah, yeah, I know what yer thinkin’. But there’s no law against an angel investor goin’ in fer high culture. That’s right, I like literature ‘n’ modern art too—’specially the abstract stuff. You got some problem with that, bud? Hey, me fodder and me mudder’s both Irish ‘n’ both poets, so’s I got it in da genes. Maybe you already figured that out from da way I talk.

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IMAGINED HORRIBLES

by Larry Hayward – Make a wish—that the corporate venture investment world continues to grow.  Strategic investors are an increasingly vital source of capital for many entrepreneurs.  Who else will put up the cash?  Ask yourself,  “How many financial venture capitalists are investing in material science these days? Or cleantech?  Or hardware?” Not many, right?  So let’s discuss finding corporate investors that understand an entrepreneur’s needs for flexibility and ubiquity.

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THE SAY/DO RATIO

by John Jonelis – You lose him. Jack Heyden was your father, your brother, maybe your son. A deep, intimate relationship. You know his profession—not the details, just what he did for a living. Normal so far. Then things start to turn.

His business colleagues invite the family here, and you all come, nerves raw from the shock that death brings. You arrive early, numb from the flurry of duties, people, and rituals that clutter such times and obediently take your seats in front, gazing about the room.

You have no idea what to expect.

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5 STARTUPS WE LOVED FROM TECHWEEK

by Jeff Segal – Marketing and startups actually have a lot in common. Marketing is about problem solving, and startups are founded to solve problems. Marketing is about storytelling, and every startup has a story. A great marketing campaign and a successful startup both make people say, Wow, I wish I’d thought of that!

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SOURCING STRATEGIC INVESTORS

by Larry Hayward – Large strategic corporations are playing an increasingly critical role in financing important technologies. A strategic, in many cases, wants just the opposite of the typical venture capital operation. What happens when an angel, a venture capital firm, and a strategic invest in the same company?

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LIAR

by Howard Tullman – We say what we’ll do and then we do what we said we’d do. It couldn’t be more straightforward. You don’t get to be truthful some of the time or at some later time.

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CANCER STOPPER

by Jayson Kurfis – A protein, CRR9, serves as a nexus for tumor cell survival. It’s located on the cell surface, making it an accessible drug target. By developing antibodies to the CRR9 protein, Essential Biotechnology has devised a method to kill therapy-resistant tumors.

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THROW THE BUM OUT

by John Jonelis – Mark T Wayne hurls his cigar to the barroom floor and grinds it under his heel. “Lonagan, you’re a consummate ass!”

“Shuttup ‘n’ have anudder whiskey.”

“You sir are heavily inebriated.” Wayne’s voice resonates above the noise of the crowded bar. “I know better than to get tight oftener than once in three months.” He lifts his chin and peers down his nose at Loop Lonagan. “It sets a man back in the esteem of people whose opinions are worth having.”

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DON’T GET DOWN—GET BUSY

by Howard Tullman – If you run a startup you’ll hit a wall or screw up big-time at some point. It goes with the territory. What doesn’t is letting yourself get stopped. Adversity doesn’t need any help. There are things you can do to right the ship—and the first is to right yourself.

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THIS AIN’T NO LEMONAID STAND

 

by Loop Lonagan – What if y’could combat starvation by producin’ yer own meat ‘n potatoes—and do it right at da local food bank? Hey, I’m lookin’ at a real working prototype here. What about a solution to student debt? Or, maybe fer yer next birthday party, ever’body plays laser tag with drones? Or learns music real fast? Or gets a little help rememberin’ stuff. I can use summa that.

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ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY

Innovation in Offering the Ordinary in an Extraordinary Way

by Kenneth C. Bator – Let’s talk about a product that nobody wants to need. Can you transform the customer experience and make shopping for it enjoyable? Now that would be an innovation!

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BLOOD CENTER

by Jayson Kurfis – Blood Center holds over one hundred issued patents in the US and abroad. The strong patent and license activity helps “bridge the gap” from basic research to commercialization. The institutions most successful spin-off, GTI Diagnostics currently owned by Immucor, is focused on blood-based diagnostics. The company sold to a private equity firm in 2008 for approximately $20 million dollars and sold two years later to Gen Probe for $53 million.

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MAY THE FOREST BE WITH YOU

by Neil Kane – If there was ever a way to combine high tech and high touch, this company epitomizes it. This is a creative group that hit it out of the park by innovating on technology while also providing a substantial impact return, all with one of the most gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing product lines you’ll ever see.

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CLEANTECH TRUTHS DEBUNKED

by Larry Hayward – There has been an evolution in Cleantech. Old technologies required the end user to pay more for their use. Many required subsidies or incentives to be competitive. That situation is turning around. Here are three examples:

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TOO MANY FOUNDERS

by Seth Temko – There definitely can be too many founders. It affects the success of the company, the happiness of the founders and the financial results they may achieve personally. The nasty term DILUTION becomes many times worse.

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THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF STARTUPS

by Howard Tullman – Getting a business off the ground is difficult enough. Don’t commit the mistake of making it more complicated, too.

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KILLER SHILLER

by John Jonelis – Loop slams his empty glass to the table. “Them guys never agree on nothin’. Fama gave us that crazy Perfect Market Hypothosis.” He spins his index finger around his temple—an unmistakable and insulting gesture.

Ludditis raises his voice a notch. “Perfect Market Theory—it settled science.”

Loop: “Well, I guess a guy’s gotta believe in somethin’. I hate t’ contradict a good Chicago boy but that theory is a load o’ bunk. Shiller proved it.” Loop stops. Cocks his head. Switches to a conciliatory tone. “Okay Don—Why doncha explain it to us in simple terms, so’s we understand?”

Don raises himself erect in his chair. “I try. With you, is not so easy. It go like this:”

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PAVLOVIAN PT

by Loop Lonagan – Ever’body’s gettin’ new knees, new hips, and what not. It’s an epidemic of elective surgery. And I’m talkin’ big money. An investor definitely wants in on a trend like this, but what’s da best play?

Take Jonelis, my good friend and boss. Da guy up ‘n’ gets two brand new knees—AT DA SAME TIME! Seems crazy, don’t it? What’s he s’posed to use fer legs?

So right away I gotta play bigshot. I invite John to my penthouse fer da whole rest ‘n’ recovery thing. Yeah, you guessed it—I wanna play Da Good Samaritan over Christmas. I figure they’s gonna carry him in on a stretcher ‘n’ I’ll be da hero that arranges fer all sorts o’ people t’ help out while he’s bedridden. Shows how much I know.

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THE VENTURE CANOE

by John Jonelis – Out on the water, I sing THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD. I often belt that out when afloat. It never fails to elicit loud whining, accompanied by hands clasped to ears and impassioned shouts of, “Stop it—stop it!” What’s wrong with these people? Can’t folks face the inherent risks of investment? Let me explain…

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DON’T ASK WHY—ASK WHY NOT

by Howard Tullman – When we’re born, we’re only afraid of two things – falling and loud noises. From then forward we learn to be afraid of other things and too often allow those fears to keep us from stepping out and taking the kinds of risks that are essential to succeed.

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THE PRICE OF THEIR TOYS

by John Jonelis – The radio crackles, “Cherokee Six, rock yer wings and rock ‘em good.” Jim Kren ignores the command. We’re no Cherokee Six. Is the controller looking at another airplane?  The sky is lousy with traffic converging on one tiny airport and special rules apply. Keying your mike is tantamount to declaring an emergency.  Aviation is full of moments like that. The entire air transport system won’t function unless responsible people break the law in just the right way.

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THE DRAGON LADY AND THE BIG BAD DUCK

by John Jonelis – This big bully shows up. All da little kid’s call ‘im da Big Bad Duck ‘cause he wears a funny thing on his head, sticks out like a beak. He wants to play fer da Elephants. Pretty soon, he says he oughta be captain. He’s got a real regulation soccer ball instead o’ that cheap kickball they been usin’.

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