Blog / author: Jonathan Crowder

By Jonathan Crowder on January 4, 2019

It takes a village…  That phrase is so overused that it borders on cliche.  But when it comes to building innovation ecosystems — it’s true.  As more and more cities strive to craft themselves into tech powerhouses, they come to realize that the recipe for a vibrant startup community is pretty complex, and changes with your surroundings.     It’s a mixture of culture and social standards that encourage reciprocity, a service-first mindset, and a community that challenges entrepreneurs to think on a grand scale. It requires local institutions like universities, or companies both small and large, to churn out talent.  A great example is how Microsoft, Amazon and Google have become product manager talent factories, the spillover of which has become a great boost to their local startup communities.     It also requires that large local corporations play other important roles as well, serving as early pilot customers or strategic investors for startups that will become disruptive forces within their respective industries.  It’s for these reasons that startups in a given city tend to specialize in a given industry or industries, in order to take advantage of the compounding effects of their local community.  We’ve already begun to see the effect of this in places like Boston, Atlanta and Nashville.   But as a venture capital firm based in Texas, we often find ourselves pondering the question of which specializations our local startup communities are developing.  The Dallas startup ecosystem is rapidly expanding, and while there are a number of exciting things happening, we’re particularly excited by the telecom expertise here, and the ways that knowledge base will translate to the upcoming IIoT revolution that will transform the utility space.   A few weeks ago, we traveled to Houston for the Houston Exponential Capital Summit to watch Houston stake...

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By Jonathan Crowder on August 20, 2018

For decades, GE was known as one of the world's most effectively managed companies. Their leadership training programs were the envy of most of the Fortune 500, and GE alumni could command a significant premium in the job market. Now it looks like those days are long gone...

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By Jonathan Crowder on July 30, 2018

All successful companies experience a set of inflection points that dramatically impact the trajectory of growth. I'm excited to congratulate BioLum Sciences on reaching their next major inflection point, thanks to their announcement that they've been invited to join JLabs @ TMC.

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By Jonathan Crowder on February 7, 2018

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Selecting a partner is one of the most important and difficult decisions most entrepreneurs make. But when that partner happens to be a venture capital firm, which brings money to the table but also likely requires some measure of control, the dynamics become even more complex. If you’re going to give up some equity on your cap table, you’d be well served by finding an investor who brings skills you couldn’t easily hire or outsource using a quick google search...

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By Jonathan Crowder on August 24, 2017

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We spend a great deal of time trying to understand which traits are the best leading indicators that a person has what it takes to build...

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