Connected car funds paving way for autonomous autos

Nokia Growth Partners shifted its interest in the smart car into high gear this summer when it announced its first deal from its $200 million Connected Car Fund. The firm co-led an $8 million investment in connected car service Zubie, with auto supplier Magna International. The startup, located near Charleston, South Carolina, sells a dongle… Continue Reading »

A Framework for Tech Startups to Understand Opportunities in the Retail Automotive Industry

For years we’ve shared our perspective with entrepreneurs and industry insiders on what it takes to build a successful software startup in the retail automotive industry. Now, we’ve distilled this thinking into a roadmap that we can share. We’ve even created a fancy video for those of you that don’t like pictures and long blog posts…. Continue Reading »

Connected Car: The Convergence of Mobile, Auto, and the Internet of Things

Press releases and conferences come and go in the tech world and many pass by without notice. For years if it was linked to the auto industry, Silicon Valley really didn’t notice. However, in the last few months, the rules have changed, and it’s because of one idea: The Connected Car. The reason is simple,… Continue Reading »

Attention Startups: The Automotive Industry Isn’t a Rust Belt Monolith

What do you think about when you hear the phrase “online advertising”  or “big data”?  How about “social network”?  Do visions of hoodie-wearing young entrepreneurs dance through your head? Each of these are massive parts of the startup tech sector.  In 2012, online display advertising was $12 billion; big data has become the new hot… Continue Reading »

The Rise of the Engineer Entrepreneur and This Golden Age of Entrepreneurship

Those that know me can attest to the fact that I’ve been running one kind of experiment or another since I went to Geek High– where we were required to design and run our own experiments.  Through college (glowing pickles and bi-axial loaded plastics) and into my early years in the dot-com world (credit card security… Continue Reading »

Labeled: Venture Capitalist (part 1) – Midwest, Michigan, or Ann Arbor VC?

There is an old joke about a pushy guy who jumps a line at a check-out counter and the clerk tells him to go to the back of the line.  The man retorts, “Do you know who I am?”  The clerk responds by getting on the PA system and announcing “We have someone here who… Continue Reading »

Labeled: Venture Capitalist (preface)

Labels can be a fantastic tool for recognizing who someone is, what they do, where they are from, and a host of other positive and useful references.  Doctor.  Governor.  Professor.  American.  Goat Roper.  Of course we also know that labels can be awful derogatory tools of bigots, classists, protectionists, and every other horrible thing mankind… Continue Reading »

What Makes RPM Different, or The Real Question to Ask a VC

I’m frequently asked by entrepreneurs and investors, what makes RPM different?  Every Venture Capitalist has some canned answer to this question that generally falls into one of these five categories (from here on “The Five Things”): Our Brand, look at who we are and what we’ve invested in Our Relationships, look at who we know… Continue Reading »

Series A Crunch: “We’ve seen this dance before and we know how it ends”

It’s a new year, and accordingly I have no New Year’s Resolutions, especially about blogging more. However, every once in a while there is a topic to compelling to ignore.  I’ve been sitting on this post for a month, unsure of how early stage entrepreneurs would react to the below sentiments and not wanting to… Continue Reading »

From “Napkin” to New Company

Like many good jokes, this one starts with a blonde walking into a bar… A blonde walks into a bar & sees two guys sitting at the bar drinking [name of scotch Marc bought] scotch.  She walks up to where they are sitting & gracefully grabs a seat next to one of the guys.  They… Continue Reading »