The Exit (why VCs don’t own sports teams)

Over the last four years, I have had four exits per year. Wow, right? Except that an “exit” doesn’t necessarily mean a positive one. Thankfully, most of mine were positive. As an investor, an exit is not a super emotional event. If we make a great return, our investors say “thanks for doing your job.” […]

Enough money can solve any problem, including saving the planet.

Money can solve a lot of problems. Maybe not ANY problem, but it can solve a LOT of problems. In many ways, I am a gatekeeper between people who want to solve problems and people who want to invest in having these problems solved. Our startups are passionate about solving major built environment challenges to […]

Project Based Innovation: Project Data Manager

“The Project is the Enterprise”—I have been saying this for almost two decades. If you’ve read my previous articles, I speak to the facts around innovation in the built environment especially with regard to its structural differences. I had a professor once tell me that the industry follows the golden rule: “the person with the […]

Pastry Chefs and Pilot Projects

At Shadow Ventures, many of our Limited Partners (LPs) are investors in other venture funds that compete with us. The feedback on our competition is that they don’t provide much strategic value in helping their LPs screen and deploy new technologies within their companies. But there are two problems with the expectation that they should. […]

Conferences, Pitch Competitions, and Twitter

I must admit that I can be a little “old school.” To build a great, fast-growing company, your activities should be focused on acquiring customers, talent, and investors. I have tried to be open to understanding the “why?” of the activities in the startup ecosystem that do not accomplish these goals. But when I see […]

Go-to-market as a built-environment startup: How do you eat a woolly mammoth?

Desmond Tutu once said, “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” Not sure who is eating elephants, but I get the point. When you face an enormous task, it’s helpful to take just a little bit at a time. If you try to eat the elephant in one […]

Teaching Venture Capital to LPs

When I was first exposed to it in the mid ‘90s, venture capital was a different business. Back then, the mystique surrounding a venture capitalist was minimal. VCs were mostly successful tech entrepreneurs who decided they wanted to do something a little different. They weren’t following some sort of thesis that involved “odds,” they weren’t […]

The misalignment of enlightenment (and living with no regrets).

At our office, we have an indoor running track. It’s a converted gym, and it’s one of the coolest things about our office. I was walking on it yesterday having a phone call (yeah, it’s better than some sort of treadmill desk). The call was with an architect who was feeling stuck at his company. […]

ESG, OPM, and Startups

In many industries, the use of OPM (other people’s money) to fund growth is the norm. As a venture capital firm, that’s obviously our job. We deploy our limited partners’ capital into startups via a fund in order to deliver a return. While we have our own capital in the fund, the majority of the […]

R&D for Real Estate Owners/Developers

I previously discussed how The Cap-Ex : Op-Ex Conundrum is the foundational issue that keeps the building industry from innovating. The planet is still on fire, and the real estate industry (broadly) is the biggest single contributor to the carbon footprint. Innovation can solve this problem, but it hasn’t happened yet. But what type of […]

Lunch and learns are dead. Or are they?

What is a lunch and learn? I’m sure the term is used in other industries, but for the building industry specifically it is when a building product representative—or any vendor, for that matter—comes to an AEC (Architect-Engineer-Contractor) company and buys lunch for the team. In return for the free lunch, the representative gets to educate […]

Why the incubator system is broken.

When we launched Shadow Labs almost two years ago, I didn’t want to call it an incubator. Instead, we called it a lab. We still call it Shadow Labs, but when people ask us what it is, we usually refer to it as an incubator. The reason for my original preference was this: all the […]

The Cap-Ex : Op-Ex Conundrum

  I had two significant calls yesterday. One was with the owner/developer of a 10M+ square foot development and the other was with a president of a multi-billion-dollar building products manufacturer. There was a single theme to both conversations: How do we start optimizing the process of designing, building, and managing buildings? We reviewed several […]

Venture Capital and Carbon Neutrality

When I read an article yesterday criticizing the venture capital community for not being focused on funding innovation to support carbon neutrality, I got mad. And I anger-tweeted. Then I re-read the article to make sure I wasn’t overreacting. And you know, the journalist wasn’t totally wrong. The reality is that venture capital has historically […]

So Immature: A Digital Transformation Maturity Model

  Last week I was in NYC and had an amazing meeting with Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights. If you’ve never heard of CB Insights, you should definitely check them out. They are a next-gen industry analyst that has built software that tracks startup data and sells this data (alongside research and workflow tools) […]

We are a reflection of our Limited Partners

Yesterday, I had a typical day for a seed-stage venture capitalist. 6 calls with our incubator company CEOs, 1 call with an investment that we are trying to get over the goal line, and 2 calls with corporate venture capitalists. Then a myriad of meetings with my team to help troubleshoot anything that came up […]

A Startup Survival Guide to Tough Times

I remember the day in 2008 when my bank called me and asked for a meeting. I was running a startup that was gaining incredible traction—until 2008, that is. My startup was focused on the construction industry. The bank gave me notice on our line of credit; we had 30 days to pay back the […]

Finding the right coach for your pre-revenue startup.

Last night I was at dinner with a mentor, and we were discussing my goal of writing an article every day. So far, this goal hasn’t been easy, but it also hasn’t been the hardest thing that I’ve done. He asked me a great question: “why?” I told him that my purpose is twofold. First […]

Breaking News: Venture Capital is broken.

Venture capital is broken. It’s broken because fund managers don’t understand what it takes to succeed. They likely entered VC because it was trendy and they saw big money in tech, but they don’t know how to dig in and execute on the work. Like any business system, venture capital is a supply chain. Connect […]

Do the work!

This week I had a great conversation with a friend who does freelancing consulting. She was facing the challenge of hitting her income potential. She’s a one-person operation and has a fixed number of hours that she can work. So say she has 40 hours a week available and, accounting for other non-billable activities, can […]

Innovation has been killing the planet (part 2)

In part 1, Innovation is Killing the Planet, I discussed innovation’s role in climate change. Innovation has created abundance, and abundance has created waste. And unfortunately, the built environment is the #1 producer of waste in the world. Technology created this mess—but it’s also the solution. The next couple of blog posts will highlight the [...]

I’m an Expert! You could be too.

Building an effective team is one of the hardest tasks for any entrepreneur. It’s like how I shop for my house (yes, I am comparing people to furniture). I go out looking for a dining table, but end up finding a sofa that I love at a great price. I need a sofa too, but [...]

The psychosis of an entrepreneur

Going it alone as an entrepreneur is often a recipe for disaster. I’m not saying you don’t have what it takes; I’ve just seen far too many solo entrepreneurs fail. Startup success is not just about the entrepreneur and their idea. It has a lot to do with the environment an entrepreneur must operate within [...]

How to bootstrap and still scale your startup

I launched my first tech startup when I was 22. I was working in civil engineering by day, and coding on nights and weekends. I was both sales and development. I went full time at 25. I owned sales while my partner owned development. All of my initial sales — a bunch of $500-$5,000 web sites — were through [...]

Hire a Unicorn Salesperson.

If you are reading this because of the above title, you already need to adjust your thinking. My first sales hire was a total bust. I was 26 years old and came from a civil engineering firm. I hired someone on commission only — a terrible move. Would you work for someone with no base [...]

How to create a monopoly?

In fifth grade, we got an Apple computer at school. The computer was carted around from class to class in a wooden credenza with wheels. I was a nerd (which I always saw as a positive thing — I’m glad other people are starting to see it that way, too) so I was put in charge of [...]

Tell me your story, here is mine.

Most of my entrepreneurial career has been spent chasing markets. In the last few years, though, I’ve had the fortune of the market moving my direction. It’s a lot less exhausting and disappointing. And I’ve gotta admit — as a civil engineer/serial entrepreneur/author/investor, the story of what brought me to this point is pretty interesting. [...]

On being an investor.

I’ve been a full-time investor for the last three years. I do some paid speaking and advisory work here and there, but I make my living generating returns for myself and my co-investors. It is hard — very hard, actually — but it’s also the most fun I’ve ever had. It barely feels like work. [...]

The truth. A machine will take your job.

AI is overused and applied incorrectly 90% of the time, but it’s still real. And it’s here now. We’ll start to see real AI solutions hit the market in the next two decades. Artificial intelligence isn’t new — it’s just that we’ve reached a point in time where consumers are willing to interface with machines, [...]

Employee, Contractor or Consultant. How to hire the best fit.

I’ve built a dozen companies in my career, and I know that human resources decisions can be complicated. In my early businesses, I used contractors because payroll was a pain. It wasn’t just the tax burden; it was that calculating and managing payroll was a “non-value” effort. That’s not much of a problem anymore, since [...]

Innovation has been killing the planet.

The planet is on fire. Literally. Australia is in the middle of a particularly devastating bushfire season. I’m not here to debate climate change or how bad it is or isn’t; what I want to focus on is waste. If we don’t consume it in the first place, then we don’t have to worry about [...]

How I learned Customer Discovery from Law and Order

My recommendation to entrepreneurs embarking on customer discovery is to watch a few hours of Law and Order. The original, not the derivative work. See, I’ve traveled about 150 days a year for the last 10 years of my career. My Sunday afternoons “resting” on the sofa turned into binge-watching Law and Order on TNT. [...]

Four Appointed to Shadow Ventures Advisory Council

Shadow Ventures, a U.S. based technology venture capital firm focused on investing in seed-stage startups disrupting the $40 trillion real estate and construction markets, announced today four new members for its Strategic Advisory Council. The members form an elite group of influential leaders with robust and diverse backgrounds, who are collectively committed to the development […]

Startups, Here’s Everything you Need to Get Started with CRM

Welcome to the wonderful world of sales and marketing. If you’re a startup and need a foundational understanding of sales and marketing technology, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to get started with CRM. What in the world is CRM? CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Simply put, it’s a database […]

Business Networking #Fails to Avoid

This post by Andrew Ackerman originally appeared on Alley Watch. He graciously updated it to share 5 business networking fails we should all avoid to make networking a little less painful.  I am not all that easily annoyed but not everyone in the startup and investment worlds aren’t as easy going as I am. So […]

Shadow Summit Recap 2019

Last month, 200 executives in construction, design, engineering, and real estate descended on Atlanta for our second annual Shadow Summit. If you weren’t there, you definitely missed out, but this post will catch up on everything you need to know. Positive collisions Never heard of Shadow Summit, you say? We’ll you missed out. Our annual […]

Why Solar Tech Alone Just Isn’t Cutting It: An Interview with Extensible Energy

John Powers is the CEO of Extensible Energy and a member of Shadow Venture’s AEC/CRE Lab. We asked him to share more about his company’s work in solar tech, including what role renewable energy will have on the smart grid systems of the future. Read on to learn more.  Where would you place solar on […]

How former Yankee Mark Teixeira became the new voice for real estate placemaking

Mark Teixeira spent 14 years as a professional baseball player, including a season with the Atlanta Braves and nine with the New York Yankees. In that time, he won a World Series, became a three-time All-Star, won five Golden Glove Awards and three Silver Slugger Awards.  These days, he’s turned his eye to real estate, […]

AMA: Growth + Marketing Technology

Shadow Ventures' 'Ask Me Anything' series shares conversations between industry experts and our Labs startups.   Anand Thaker is an advisor focused on marketing technology and growth leadership. He is the CEO of IntelliPhi. Recently he had his fourth successful exit with an IP acquisition of their core Apollo platform to a top management consulting firm. [...]

The 1 Company That Embodies Everything We’re Looking For

A core belief of Shadow Ventures is that world-changing breakthroughs don’t all happen in Silicon Valley.Case in point? Earlier this week, I was in Austin, Texas for a private investor unveiling of ICON’s new 3D printed affordable housing solution. Late last year, Shadow invested (alongside Oakhouse Partners, Vulcan Partners, Emaar, and D.R. Horton) in ICON’s [...]

HAVYN Brings ‘Drama Free’ Package Delivery

HAVYN smart lockers offer durability and a small footprint. Two years ago, Mike Myers was working as a freelance product designer out of an office building on Market Street in San Francisco. “It’s not a great part of town,” Mike said, and nearly every time he received a shipment notification, the package would be gone [...]

Embue Brings IoT to a Market Ripe for Disruption

Image via Embue Robert Cooper is a serial entrepreneur whose first startup, a spinout from Cornell University, was acquired for 24X. Let’s just say, he was hooked, and he’s been building companies ever since. His latest venture, Embue, is a member of Shadow’s CRE Lab and blends Cooper’s passion for sustainability and the built environment [...]

Turns Out, It Is Easy Being Green

When Tommy Linstroth was 10 years old, he discovered an easy way to make money. After school, he scoured local constructions sites for the aluminum cans workers tossed aside during the day. Then he’d bring his collection to the grocery store, exchange the cans for loose change, and walk home feeling like a genius. That [...]

A Better Way to Rent with Rentivity

They say the first step to coming up with a solution is to deeply understand the problem. After decades in the real estate world, Mike Daniels was painfully familiar with the disjointed systems both residents and property managers navigate in order to accomplish simple tasks when trying to rent out a unit. What started as [...]

qlair Has One Mission: Cleaner Air

iqlair team at work. image source qlair is a Shadow Labs company focused on clean air management. Ellie Amirnasr founded qlair with two colleagues from MANN+HUMMELL, a global air filtration company. Because of their background, they knew what many of us don’t realize: Indoor air pollution can be up to five times higher than outside [...]

Creating a Digitally Mediated Project Communication Platform

In Architecture 3.0, I write about new opportunities for design and construction professionals to help shape the industry beyond their traditional roles. Additionally, digital technology is continuously transforming the industry, advancing beyond many workers’ understanding and communication skills. Technology moves formally analog information into digital data which moves seamlessly from office to trailer to the [...]

Startup Specialist Lakshmi Shenoy on Building in Second Tier Markets

Starting a new innovation hub is basically like founding a startup. That’s according to Lakshmi Shenoy who six months ago left her role as VP of strategy and business at 1871, a top-rated tech hub in Chicago. She's now CEO of Embarc Collective, a 30,000-square-foot coworking space set to open in Tampa Bay in March [...]

We Asked 10 AEC Experts to Rank Their Favorite Technology Tools. Here’s What They Said.

As one might expect in a STEM-heavy industry, AEC is full of technology tools designed to make it easier to design, build, and manage the built environment. So full, in fact, that it can be hard to keep up with the latest solutions on the market. That’s why we asked 10 built world experts to [...]

Sarah Kay Shares How Technology is Changing Workspace Design

Sarah Kay is a principal, director, and sector leader of Global Workplace Interiors at internationally-recognized design firm Woods Bagot. The firm, which calls itself a “People Architecture Company” has 15 studios across Australia, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Sarah is passionate about the ways building interiors can positively influence business and organizational [...]

5 Questions with Construction Expert Bill Speleotes

Bill Speleotes, P.E., SSM, CPMP, LEED AP has over 25 years of construction experience and has managed projects in institutional, educational, residential, and hospitality spaces. Among other noteworthy projects, Bill served as Facilities Director for Brooklyn Navy Yard. By implementing HVAC system improvements and upgrades in the 100 building, 300-acre facility, Bill shrank the Navy [...]

Cliff Moser Shares How Architecture Is Adapting to Smart Devices

The discipline of architecture has changed drastically in the over three decades that Cliff Moser has been practicing. The California-based architect was trained on pencil-and-paper drafting but adapted to technology throughout his career and now is considered an expert in Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. Moser, who authored the book Architecture 3.0: The Disruptive Design [...]

AEC Vet Arol Wolford Gives Us A Look At What’s After BIM

Arol Wolford got his start in the AEC technology industry before it was hot. In his 20’s, inspired by his engineer and entrepreneur father, Wolford founded Manufacturers’ Survey Group in 1975. He entered the construction information industry five years later with the founding of Construction Market Data (CMD), a construction leads and market data provider [...]

EvolveLAB’s Bill Allen On How AI + Machine Learning Will Change Construction

Bill Allen is CEO, and President of EvolveLAB, Disrupt Repeat, and On Point Scans. These firms synergistically help architects, engineers, and contractors optimize the built environment. He has over 14 years of experience managing technology for buildings in the AEC industry. Allen has worked with the latest technology for the AEC industry for over a [...]

5 Questions with Public Sector Expert Stephen Hagan

Stephen R. Hagan, FAIA CCM is recognized as an industry expert on technology innovation, real estate, and the construction marketplace. He spent over three decades in the public sector, ending a 37-year career with the US General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service (PBS), which he describes as “essentially the nation’s landlord.” PBS owns, operates, and leases [...]

How Dreamit UrbanTech’s Managing Director Identifies 5 Star Startups

Two years ago, venture fund and startup accelerator Dreamit Ventures, based in Philadephia, was trying to determine what their next industry vertical would be — they had previously launched a HealthTech-specific program to much success. After looking at market opportunities, venture activity, and potential startups, they settled on a new category they called “UrbanTech.” “We [...]

5 Questions with Construction Scheduling Expert James Norris

James Norris is the Director of Virtual Building at The Beck Group, an integrated architecture and construction firm that designs and constructs buildings by creating cross-discipline teams to achieve a more holistic building process. He’s also an advisor for BuiltTech Labs, founder of two startups, and an advocate for intuitive building design. He has experience [...]

5 Questions with Growth Strategy Expert Hans Ehrnrooth

With an architect mother and mechanical engineer father, AEC Lab's advisor Hans Ehrnrooth was born into the world of design and construction -- although it took him a little while to find his way back to the field. Raised in Finland, Hans began his career in business development with a paper machinery supplier. Next, he [...]

5 Questions with BIM Expert Luther Lampkin

Luther Lampkin, BuiltTech Labs’ BIM advisor, entered the AEC industry as a drafter in 2006. Late one night, he was stuck at the office working on a set of plans. A janitor, who had been cleaning up piles of discarded paper, walked over to Luther’s desk. “Hey,” he said, “have you heard about this new [...]

5 Questions with Architect and Author Randy Deutsch

Randy Deutsch, LEED-AP is head of the grad department at the Illinois School of Architecture, one of the largest architecture colleges in the country. In addition to research and teaching classes, he has been writing a series of books over the last decade that help to advance AEC, addressing where architecture and construction is leading [...]

The Truth Is Out There, says network dynamics expert John Taylor

John Taylor is a third generation AEC professional who has worked at universities for 11 years. He ran the Civil Engineering Network Dynamics Lab at Virginia Tech to help improve systemic change in the AEC industry, and currently runs the Network Dynamics Lab it at Georgia Tech with a broader mission to investigate phenomena occurring at [...]

Your building is talking. Are you listening?

Your building is talking. Eric Hall asks, “Are you listening?” Eric is Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Site 1001, a smart building performance and operations platform that uses the Internet of Things and data from various sensors as well as the building’s original information (like construction documents) to solve simple and complex problems with [...]

KP Reddy on The Culture of Innovation: For PMI Atlanta

KP Reddy on The Culture of Innovation For PMI Atlanta February 28, 2018   What does innovation mean to you? The best definition I’ve borrowed is that innovation is about creating abundance where there was once scarcity. If you look at the shared economy, that’s a perfect example. Technology freed up excess inventory to be [...]

The Locomotion Expert Who Dreams Of Flight

Barry Clark’s career has been characterized by tackling projects that on the surface seem straightforward – but in reality are deceptively challenging. As co-CTO of SoftWear Automation, he’s disrupting the $100B sewn products industry by replacing sewing labor with cutting-edge robotics. He’s also pursuing his Ph.D. in Robotics from The Ohio State University, with a [...]

What is BuiltTech? Why now?

K.P. explains BuiltTech and strategies to take advantage of the opportunity. K.P. Reddy is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in disruptive innovation. Built environment technology, also Known as BuiltTech, is the innovation through technology that provides the framework for the physical world around us. BuiltTech is what shapes the future of planning, [...]

Thornton Tomasetti President Asks, “Innovation: Theatre or Action?”

This post is written by Ray Daddazio, President of Thornton Tomasetti, from his notes that he took down during a lecture in January of this year. The event was sponsored jointly by Columbia University’s Business School in conjunction with Columbia Entrepreneurship, and was hosted by Chris McGarry, Director for Entrepreneurship in the University Office of Alumni and Development. Rita McGrath, a [...]

In Service Companies, There Is No Line Item for R&D

Originally posted on The Combine. Recently, Matt Gray, BuiltWorlds founder and co-chairman of Graycor, a 90-year-old, Chicago-area general contractor, interviewed The Combine Co-founder and Partner, K.P. Reddy. We captured the interview on video, which is important, because this interview is one of the very few times you’ll ever see K.P. Reddy in a collared shirt and a coat. Here’s the video. [...]

Civil Engineers Rule The Future!

When you hear the term “civil engineering”, your eyes and ears usually don’t perk up in anticipation like they do when you hear “new iPhone” or “driverless cars” or “Artificial Intelligence.” Instead, you think bridges, roads, dams, airports, traffic patterns…buildings. Civil engineers are boring, right? [Read more..]

Hitting the Iceberg

Hitting the Iceberg I have been a passionate entrepreneur since launching my first business at the age of 19. With my first IPO reaching a market cap of some quarter-billion dollars in my 20’s, I quickly learned how to take a good product idea and build it into a multimillion dollar enterprise. I also have learned [...]

Look to the Past for a Better Future

The AEC workflow looks nothing like it did thirty years ago. From paper and pencil to CAD and now BIM, Cliff Moser is a prime example of how to adapt and evolve in an industry that isn’t always receptive to change. Based in Oakland, California, Cliff is an architect currently using BIM to facilitate the [...]

Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

For Brian Skripac, the key to implementing new technology is to try not to get bogged down in the technology. Counterintuitive, right? But for him, tech is less about the “what,” and more about the, “how.” He asks, “How do we plan our work and work the plan?” In other words, it doesn’t matter so [...]

A Brief History of Corporate Innovation

sk anyone under the age of 25 today “who invented the mouse?” or “who invented the graphical user interface (GUI)?” and you may get a lot of blank stares and fun wild guesses. These two inventions were the sparks that launched the personal computing revolution, and both were invented by Xerox. What a great illustration [...]

Gender conversations over chai

I used to host this “salon” at my house called “Chai with KP” on Friday mornings. It was a time when people could get together and talk about different subjects, strengthen relationships and gain insights. One Friday morning, the topic of gender issues came up. It was a fascinating discussion that was completely eye-opening for [...]

H2H: How the “Human to Human” Marketing Approach Reveals Who We Are in Business and in Life

The H2H (Human2Human) concept has taken hold of the marketing sector. But it’s not just customers who benefit from an honest, personalized and straightforward exchange with another person? What’s really happening is that we’re living in a world of transparencies while we’re pushing away intermediaries and filters, both real and self-constructed. Now more than ever, [...]

How to Have Honest Conversations with Your Friends About Their Businesses

Business is all about relationships, right? So what happens when a friend comes to you wanting to know if you have any feedback on their incredible business idea? I get hit up by fifty entrepreneurs a day who are seeking my two cents about what they should do to make their ideas a reality. And, [...]

The Chameleon Factor

A couple of years I was CEO of a company called Software Automation, a leading robotics company in the apparel industry. But here’s the thing. I wasn’t an expert in robotics or apparel. So why was I in an industry I knew virtually nothing about? Because I’m sort of an expert… at becoming an expert. [...]

Atlanta is shaping the future of the Built Environment

  Join us during BuiltTech Week for lively panel discussions on topics within the built environment. The panelists include a mix of startup founders, corporate executives, built environment experts and more. Topics Include: Corporate Innovation: How BuiltTech is Transforming the Art of the Possible It’s All About the Data: Putting data to work to accelerate projects, [...]

Navigating selling your startup. Panel from Lat59 Estonia

With M&A increasingly becoming the likely outcome for most startups, what are the things that you—as a founder—need to know in order to generate acquisition interest in your company, navigate to a close and how to maximize the outcome? Moderated by K.P. Reddy, The Combine (Atlanta)

Why BuiltTech, why now? My talk at Lat59 in Estonia.

Exploring the Total Cost of Ownership: BIM for Life

The many ways in which technology has changed the approach AEC professionals can take to a given task or project is a theme that we’ve explored, but the people at BIMStorm are tackling the issue in far more complete manner. Their BIMStorm AEC Game Changers series is taking an in-depth look at how various advancements [...]

The Thornton Tomasetti Innovation Machine- An Interview with Rob Otani

The Thornton Tomasetti Innovation Machine We announced earlier that Thornton Tomasetti chose The Combine as their partner to take their most interesting internal innovations to market. We have since launched the first of those concepts – Konstru – and will be announcing several more later this year. The group within Thornton-Tomasetti that brings those ideas to the forefront is called CORE [...]

KP Reddy on Corporate Innovation, Atlanta, Emerging Tech Trends

The following article from a recent episode of the SE Tech Podcast Hosted by MMM Tech Law, in which co-founder K.P. Reddy discussed corporate innovation, The Combine, the computer mouse, Windows, Atlanta, and emerging trends in tech startups.

Things to think about when investing in a Venture Fund.

1. You must be an accredited investor. Meeting one of the accredited investor definitions (i.e., US$200K in income or US$300K joint income with spouse for the past two years, or US$1M net worth) 2. Meet Capital Call requirements. If you commit to $250k on a 5 year investment period, that means you have to write a check [...]

“Every Angel Investor Should Have an Investment Thesis” (Part 1 of 3)

You’re an Angel investor What kind of investments have you made? What kind of investments do you want to make? Why? Talk to any successful Wall Street investor or real estate investor, and they will tell you that they have a specific investment strategy that works for them. Angel investing is no different. Angel investing [...]

Renowned AEC entrepreneur KP Reddy takes on his next venture..

This episode of Venture sees us catch up with renowned entrepreneur KP Reddy as he takes on his new chapter. This tech incubator uses their wide breadth of expertise to nurture good ideas into great companies. Watch, as our special host, Matt Gray catches up with Mr. Reddy to see how The Combine is making [...]

Corporate Innovation: Theatre or Action? – A piece by Ray Daddazio

Thornton Tomasetti President Asks, “Innovation: Theatre or Action?” This post is written by Ray Daddazio, President of Thornton Tomasetti, from his notes that he took down during a lecture in January of this year. The event was sponsored jointly by Columbia University’s Business School in conjunction with Columbia Entrepreneurship, and was hosted by Chris McGarry, Director for Entrepreneurship in the [...]

VC Pride in funding the starving entrepreneur. 

Two recent encounters with young, new entrepreneurs have solidified a concept in my brain that I’ve known for a long time, but have not had the opportunity to explain until now. There’s this myth that being a startup founder is romantic and dreamy, like the starving grad student or starving artist motif. Until you’ve done [...]

Innovation Ecosystems and what we can all learn from Estonia.

In a couple of months I will be giving a talk in Estonia on Startups, Ecosystems and Innovation. 1500+ people are coming to a city that very few can find on a map. How have they consistently pullled this off? Focus focus focus. The entire ecosystem has made startups and innovation a priority.  I get [...]

Corporate Innovation talk at SXSW 2017

Talking Corporate Innovation at SXSW2017 with Soon Mee Kim from Porter Novelli.  Video Link

Solving the Dilemma of the Middle Aged Serial Entrepreneur

“What’s next?” That’s the simple question that serial entrepreneurs between the approximate ages of 45 and 55 ask themselves and hear from their peers. What’s next? The world is your oyster! You’ve got lots of options. You’ve got a solid net worth, a great network, lots of energy, wisdom from scars, battles, and trophies. What [...]

Civil Engineers Rule The Future!

When you hear the term “civil engineering”, your eyes and ears usually don’t perk up in anticipation like they do when you hear “new iPhone” or “driverless cars” or “Artificial Intelligence.” Instead, you think bridges, roads, dams, airports, traffic patterns…buildings. Civil engineers are boring, right? Civil Engineering is Not Boring On the surface, yes. But [...]

Just Say NO to Down Rounds

Sometimes, I’ll put good money after bad. Not this time. Recently, I’ve seen some proposed down rounds on some investments I made a couple of years ago. I was offered the “opportunity” in invest more at a lower valuation. Sometimes a down round makes a ton of sense. For one particular investment, I am opting [...]

The Corporate Innovation Lifecycle

Although it’s not named in this article, “corporate innovation” is getting close to being one of those buzzwords used in bingo games at Annual Kickoff Meetings around the globe. Of course every corporation wants to “innovate”, and the title of “Chief Innovation Officer” has become a thing. It sounds great. It looks great on paper. [...]

Thornton Tomasetti Taps The Combine to Commercialize Intrapreneurial Start-up Ventures

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm responsible for some of world’s most prominent construction projects, has partnered with The Combine to commercialize technologies under its internal innovation engine, TTWiiN. TTWiiN is a first-of-its-kind technology accelerator established to drive innovation in the Architecture / Engineering / Construction (AEC) industry and beyond. Together with The [...]

WSJ Interview featuring KP Reddy on Robotics

Reddy named IndustryWeek’s Manufacturing Leader of the Week

Serial entrepreneur and sewing-automation leader K.P. Reddy is IndustryWeek magazine’s Manufacturing Leader of the Week for June 6-12. Reddy, who earned his Georgia Tech civil engineering degree in 1994, is CEO of SoftWear Automation, a startup that is reinventing the sewing automation process using robots and machine vision. “If you look at [computer-controlled manufacturing] machines [...]

Five Keys to a Successful Industry 4.0 Transformation

In business, buzzwords are always in fresh supply. Every day, market experts come up with new and creative terms to describe new trends, products and services. People write books and articles about these trends and entrepreneurs scramble to create companies to exploit these new market conditions. The latest megatrend we have identified is Industry 4.0 [...]

Father’s Day Retrospect. What I learned from him…

My dad died suddenly when I was 15 years old. He was a bit of a trailblazer, the first of his friends to migrate to the US in the 1960's, landing at the University of Minnesota. I’m not sure how that process even worked—I can't imagine researching and applying was very simple. Then he moved [...]

Employees are the family you choose, not the ones you were given.

Not everybody is cut out to be a parent. Not everybody wants to be a parent. Same with management. Sometimes people become managers from a very intentional career path they have crafted over the years. Sometimes someone who never once expressed a desire to manage gets promoted and finds herself leading a team of 15 [...]

7 Reasons why Family Offices are Investing in Startups

This week I was at a Family Office conference. It was a great group of family and multi-family offices. There was a great appetite for private investments and specifically early stage. 1. Active Investment- FO have historical been passive investors and allocated high-risk:high-return through classic venture funds. The trend has shifted away from investing in [...]


Transcript Georgia Influencer: What’s the best reason and the worst reason to become an entrepreneur? K.P. Reddy: The worst reason is — “I want to make a lot of money. The entrepreneurs I know all drive nice cars.” The best reason is — “I want to carve my own path and not be dependent on [...]


Here are five takeaways from my recent fireside chat with Dana Barrett at General Assembly Atlanta: If you have a great idea and market but you aren't getting funded, look in the mirror. VCs get paid to write checks. All they're looking for is the right idea with the right risk tolerance. Technology is all about [...]

Why SX? #sxsw2016

  This has been year 2 of me giving a talk at SXSW. It is an eclectic and overwhelming event that is very different than most business events. Oops, I called it a business event. I was there for 4 days, and yes I had a lot of fun, but also did a lot of [...]

Is your startup merely a feature of AWS?

In a lean startup world of intense focus on Product-Market fit and Minimum Viable Product (MVP), many entrepreneurs are not asking a broader question about their work. What am I building?   The process of creation must always be mission oriented. The mission may not be specific but at least should be directionally correct. Capital [...]

8 Traits of an Investable Startup CEO

Investors talk about betting on the jockey, not the horse. By-the-way, it doesn’t hurt to race a fast horse. While this list is not exhaustive, it is a great place to start. How do investors evaluate the startup CEO? 1. Judgment – Investors analyze past decisions to predict future trends. Consider how your background reflects [...]

The Gap Funding Myth

In the world of startups, we continue to hear complaints about lack of funding. Most startups ignore the fact that the venture capital world is a marketplace. It's not quite as efficient as some markets, like the public market, because it’s driven by a manual effort to source, vet, and fund companies (the great promise [...]

Startup Ecosystems and such…

Startup Ecosystems and such…In my travels, the local evangelists are quick to share how great their startup ecosystem compares to all the other ones. This comparative analysis is always an effort to engage in funding conversations and how VCs should spend more time in their ecosystem. Everyone is the “best kept secret”. This is especially [...]

Natural Harmonics, a New Look at Working Smarter

My last post was focused on free will and how to effectively understand the concept to manage teams and your own focus. Another concept that I leverage is natural harmonics. With free will, it is about understanding ourselves and how we work our best on the tasks that we WANT to do, vs. NEED to [...]

Solving Pedestrian Problems is OK. Pedestrian Solutions are NOT.

So, this seems to be my current mantra until I get distracted to a new one. Past mantras have included... Write checks, write code or keep your day job. Great entrepreneurs are unapologetic about exploiting opportunity. Building an army is useless without an armory (cash!). All great disruption has a subversive first market that they [...]

1 Day at a Time and Free Will

First off, I am awful at time management but I think I am great at task prioritization. I also believe in Free Will and Natural Harmonics. For most of the people around me, these concepts sound like a broken record until they start seeing the results. I try very hard to communicate concepts to my teams [...]

Bad at School, Good at Learning.

I must admit that I was not the best student in school. It was very disinteresting and seemed more about paying my dues. Georgia Tech was truly about “getting out”. Surprisingly, I found myself being the best student when I started my first company. I was so afraid of having the wrong answer, I went [...]