Techbikers 2014—Mission Accomplished!

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.” —Mark Twain

We had three goals in mind this year

When we set off on organizing Techbikers 2014, for the third year, defined success as meeting these three goals:

  1. Get everyone IN and BACK safe?—?we recruited the riders, aligned the sponsors, and took care of the logistics. I’ll take the opportunity to give a huge shout out to Marie Stainhaler, James Mayes, Michael Willmott, Andrew McDonough, Barry Furby, Francesca Dean and Mark Jennings (!) for being incredibly passionate, professional and reliable in helping organize the ride.
  2. Raise a min of £50,000 for Room to Read?—?we were at merely £25,000 a week before the ride, but in true Techbikers spirit, we pushed and crossed our target during the lunch break of our last day of riding. Last I checked we are at £53,251 before including gift aid and corporate matching. We’re now looking to match last year’s £65,000 and break a new record funding for RTR. Donation page is still open at bit.ly/techbikers2014
  3. Have fun. The goal of Techbikers is to build a stronger startup community, based on real connections and camaraderie. We got an incredibly diverse group of people and we all feel like we have 70 new friends. We set two rules?—?safety first and we start as a group and finish as a group. Glad we managed to fulfill both!

It started with smiles

After months of conference calls, logistics, emails, tweets, practice rides (for some), all-hands meetings, and countless mindshare, the day finally arrive. After the initial drama that comes with herding 70 techies over the Eurostar (forgotten wallets, people arriving late etc) we all made it to Paris to kick off Techbikers 2014. Two hours on the train, 3 days on a bike.

The start line?—?Sep 19 2014

The full range of human emotion

We had mixed ability cyclists, but not even the experienced riders can say than Techbikers was easy. Our excellent camera man (and fellow Techbiker) Alex Blogg asked me if the first big hill was a piece of cake, I answered that it was more like a piece of hard bread.

We were cold and warm, happy and sad, defeated and elated. I am sure that some of us experienced “Flow”:

Flow, also known as Zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.

For example, this here’s a video I took with Google Glass going down a hill on day 2:

Weather can also be tricky, and though we got incredibly lucky for this time of year, the heavy showers on the 2nd day, added a bit more difficulty to a long day. We cycled 123km on September 20th, half of it in the pouring rain.

Ominous clouds and thunder?—?time to take out the rain gear.

The freedom of the open road

Getting off your laptop and getting on your bike is a lot like entrepreneurship. You are climbing up a hill, in the rain, all alone, and you just know you have to get to the top. You start sweating from places you didn’t think could sweat. Everything hurts but you just have to dig deeper to find the strength to keep going. Quitting is not an option. That effort is what makes you appreciate the beauty of nature and the freedom of the open road. It clears your mind and ironically, it feels easier to process things on the road than in the office.

Breathtaking views as you cycle along over 100km a day

Images taken #throughglass

Sunrise over the Seine river near Vernon, France.

Getting inspired by others

Sam Strong broke his ankle two weeks before TechBikers but decided to do the ride anyway, with a hand cycle. When I asked him how was it at the end of the ride, he said it’s the hardest thing he ever did.

Michael Willmott and Chris Mairs did ??Techbikers? on a tandem bike called Genevieve. Chris is blind and is Michael’s angel investor. They smoked me and many other riders up the hills.

Chris and Michael on tandem techbikers 2014

Michael and Chris on the tandem bike?—? Chris is blind, and is also Michael’s angel investor

Tom Alterman and and David Young did 320km on Boris bikes?—?each one weighing 23kg. Tom may have broken the world speed on a Boris bike going down hill?—?Top speed on that Boris bike was 64.1 KPH!

David Young (who is fluent in Mandarin) posing with Chinese tourists at the Eiffel Tower

Dan Cobley was in a custom made Brompton in the colors of Room to Read. The bike is getting auctioned to raise more money for charity?—?bit.ly/bromptonride.

Drummond Gilbert rode on his red Brompton for the third year. He forgot his cycling shoes at home and ended up cycling in flip flops (thongs for the brits) with his little speaker blasting music.

William McQuillan did Techbikers on a single speed bike. Imagine that up a big hill. He pledged to wear a pink tutu if he reaches more than £1,000 and luckily we got to see him as a cycling ballerina for 3 days!

The best Techbikers yet

This is the third year we did Techbikers, but it was the best one yet. I’m incredibly grateful to the 4 sponsors (Yandex, Google for Entrepreneurs, Fried Frank Technology and GetTaxi) as well as supporters Seedrs and MailJet, the 1,623 donors, 70 Techbikers riders, and all of the friends and family that welcomed us at the finish line, in what was my happiest moment of 2014.

GREEEEEEN!

70 Techbikers smiling in Greenwich, London after 320km of cycling

It’s not what you do, it’s who you do it for, and why.

The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment

When Chad Pytel introduced me to Bryan Helmkamp, CEO/Co-founder of Code Climate, I knew that I had to pay attention.  Chad is the CEO of thoughtbot, a consulting firm that makes web + mobile apps for early-stage startups.  The two companies had been working together for a while, especially as both are deeply embedded within the Ruby on Rails developer community, with a strong following for their respective offerings.  As an Advisor to thoughtbot the past couple years, I’ve come to place a lot of weight and trust in Chad’s opinion.

So I chatted with Bryan about Code Climate’s service, which provides automated code review (originally Ruby, but also JavaScript and now PHP).  It essentially gives developers another set of eyes on every commit. Their platform leverages data and algorithms to help developers make their code faster, secure, maintainable, and bug-free.

The stats behind what Bryan and the team had accomplished while bootstrapping the business were incredible, including signing up over 1,000 paying accounts and analyzing over 30,000 code repositories EVERY DAY. In the three years since launching the business, they’ve become the clear market leader in SaaS static analysis.

But what impressed me most is what happened next.

I shared a link to Code Climate with a number of CTOs/VPs of Engineering in my network, both inside and outside the NextView portfolio, just asking for their quick opinion.  I expected to hear a balanced set of positive and negative feedback, after which it’s my job to sort through it as part of our diligence process.  Instead, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Their teams were either already customers or they had immediately become customers after learning about it.  Just a sampling of quotes from these responses:

  • “I think it’s a great service for developers. I consider it a must-have default for most projects.”
  • “I’m quite bullish.”
  • “I can definitely see it being pretty big.”
  • “I really like CC, and we’ve integrated it nicely into our workflow.”
  • “It’s indispensable.”

Today Code Climate is announcing that they’ve raised a $2M round of financing, led by us at NextView Ventures.  Joining us in the syndicate are Lerer Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Fuel Capital.

Code Climate talks about a world where static analysis is as critical to every developer as GitHub and their text editor/IDE… and this new capital will help make that vision a reality. Chad Pytel at thoughtbot, many of the NextView portfolio companies, tens of thousands of developers, and I are already believers.

The post The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment appeared first on GenuineVC.

The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment

When Chad Pytel introduced me to Bryan Helmkamp, CEO/Co-founder of Code Climate, I knew that I had to pay attention.  Chad is the CEO of thoughtbot, a consulting firm that makes web + mobile apps for early-stage startups.  The two companies had been working together for a while, especially as both are deeply embedded within the Ruby on Rails developer community, with a strong following for their respective offerings.  As an Advisor to thoughtbot the past couple years, I’ve come to place a lot of weight and trust in Chad’s opinion.

So I chatted with Bryan about Code Climate’s service, which provides automated code review (originally Ruby, but also JavaScript and now PHP).  It essentially gives developers another set of eyes on every commit. Their platform leverages data and algorithms to help developers make their code faster, secure, maintainable, and bug-free.

The stats behind what Bryan and the team had accomplished while bootstrapping the business were incredible, including signing up over 1,000 paying accounts and analyzing over 30,000 code repositories EVERY DAY. In the three years since launching the business, they’ve become the clear market leader in SaaS static analysis.

But what impressed me most is what happened next.

I shared a link to Code Climate with a number of CTOs/VPs of Engineering in my network, both inside and outside the NextView portfolio, just asking for their quick opinion.  I expected to hear a balanced set of positive and negative feedback, after which it’s my job to sort through it as part of our diligence process.  Instead, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Their teams were either already customers or they had immediately become customers after learning about it.  Just a sampling of quotes from these responses:

  • “I think it’s a great service for developers. I consider it a must-have default for most projects.”
  • “I’m quite bullish.”
  • “I can definitely see it being pretty big.”
  • “I really like CC, and we’ve integrated it nicely into our workflow.”
  • “It’s indispensable.”

Today Code Climate is announcing that they’ve raised a $2M round of financing, led by us at NextView Ventures.  Joining us in the syndicate are Lerer Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Fuel Capital.

Code Climate talks about a world where static analysis is as critical to every developer as GitHub and their text editor/IDE… and this new capital will help make that vision a reality. Chad Pytel at thoughtbot, many of the NextView portfolio companies, tens of thousands of developers, and I are already believers.

The post The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment appeared first on GenuineVC.

The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment

When Chad Pytel introduced me to Bryan Helmkamp, CEO/Co-founder of Code Climate, I knew that I had to pay attention.  Chad is the CEO of thoughtbot, a consulting firm that makes web + mobile apps for early-stage startups.  The two companies had been working together for a while, especially as both are deeply embedded within the Ruby on Rails developer community, with a strong following for their respective offerings.  As an Advisor to thoughtbot the past couple years, I’ve come to place a lot of weight and trust in Chad’s opinion.

So I chatted with Bryan about Code Climate’s service, which provides automated code review (originally Ruby, but also JavaScript and now PHP).  It essentially gives developers another set of eyes on every commit. Their platform leverages data and algorithms to help developers make their code faster, secure, maintainable, and bug-free.

The stats behind what Bryan and the team had accomplished while bootstrapping the business were incredible, including signing up over 1,000 paying accounts and analyzing over 30,000 code repositories EVERY DAY. In the three years since launching the business, they’ve become the clear market leader in SaaS static analysis.

But what impressed me most is what happened next.

I shared a link to Code Climate with a number of CTOs/VPs of Engineering in my network, both inside and outside the NextView portfolio, just asking for their quick opinion.  I expected to hear a balanced set of positive and negative feedback, after which it’s my job to sort through it as part of our diligence process.  Instead, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Their teams were either already customers or they had immediately become customers after learning about it.  Just a sampling of quotes from these responses:

  • “I think it’s a great service for developers. I consider it a must-have default for most projects.”
  • “I’m quite bullish.”
  • “I can definitely see it being pretty big.”
  • “I really like CC, and we’ve integrated it nicely into our workflow.”
  • “It’s indispensable.”

Today Code Climate is announcing that they’ve raised a $2M round of financing, led by us at NextView Ventures.  Joining us in the syndicate are Lerer Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Fuel Capital.

Code Climate talks about a world where static analysis is as critical to every developer as GitHub and their text editor/IDE… and this new capital will help make that vision a reality. Chad Pytel at thoughtbot, many of the NextView portfolio companies, tens of thousands of developers, and I are already believers.

The post The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment appeared first on GenuineVC.

The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment

When Chad Pytel introduced me to Bryan Helmkamp, CEO/Co-founder of Code Climate, I knew that I had to pay attention.  Chad is the CEO of thoughtbot, a consulting firm that makes web + mobile apps for early-stage startups.  The two companies had been working together for a while, especially as both are deeply embedded within the Ruby on Rails developer community, with a strong following for their respective offerings.  As an Advisor to thoughtbot the past couple years, I’ve come to place a lot of weight and trust in Chad’s opinion.

So I chatted with Bryan about Code Climate’s service, which provides automated code review (originally Ruby, but also JavaScript and now PHP).  It essentially gives developers another set of eyes on every commit. Their platform leverages data and algorithms to help developers make their code faster, secure, maintainable, and bug-free.

The stats behind what Bryan and the team had accomplished while bootstrapping the business were incredible, including signing up over 1,000 paying accounts and analyzing over 30,000 code repositories EVERY DAY. In the three years since launching the business, they’ve become the clear market leader in SaaS static analysis.

But what impressed me most is what happened next.

I shared a link to Code Climate with a number of CTOs/VPs of Engineering in my network, both inside and outside the NextView portfolio, just asking for their quick opinion.  I expected to hear a balanced set of positive and negative feedback, after which it’s my job to sort through it as part of our diligence process.  Instead, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Their teams were either already customers or they had immediately become customers after learning about it.  Just a sampling of quotes from these responses:

  • “I think it’s a great service for developers. I consider it a must-have default for most projects.”
  • “I’m quite bullish.”
  • “I can definitely see it being pretty big.”
  • “I really like CC, and we’ve integrated it nicely into our workflow.”
  • “It’s indispensable.”

Today Code Climate is announcing that they’ve raised a $2M round of financing, led by us at NextView Ventures.  Joining us in the syndicate are Lerer Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Fuel Capital.

Code Climate talks about a world where static analysis is as critical to every developer as GitHub and their text editor/IDE… and this new capital will help make that vision a reality. Chad Pytel at thoughtbot, many of the NextView portfolio companies, tens of thousands of developers, and I are already believers.

The post The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment appeared first on GenuineVC.

The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment

When Chad Pytel introduced me to Bryan Helmkamp, CEO/Co-founder of Code Climate, I knew that I had to pay attention.  Chad is the CEO of thoughtbot, a consulting firm that makes web + mobile apps for early-stage startups.  The two companies had been working together for a while, especially as both are deeply embedded within the Ruby on Rails developer community, with a strong following for their respective offerings.  As an Advisor to thoughtbot the past couple years, I’ve come to place a lot of weight and trust in Chad’s opinion.

So I chatted with Bryan about Code Climate’s service, which provides automated code review (originally Ruby, but also JavaScript and now PHP).  It essentially gives developers another set of eyes on every commit. Their platform leverages data and algorithms to help developers make their code faster, secure, maintainable, and bug-free.

The stats behind what Bryan and the team had accomplished while bootstrapping the business were incredible, including signing up over 1,000 paying accounts and analyzing over 30,000 code repositories EVERY DAY. In the three years since launching the business, they’ve become the clear market leader in SaaS static analysis.

But what impressed me most is what happened next.

I shared a link to Code Climate with a number of CTOs/VPs of Engineering in my network, both inside and outside the NextView portfolio, just asking for their quick opinion.  I expected to hear a balanced set of positive and negative feedback, after which it’s my job to sort through it as part of our diligence process.  Instead, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Their teams were either already customers or they had immediately become customers after learning about it.  Just a sampling of quotes from these responses:

  • “I think it’s a great service for developers. I consider it a must-have default for most projects.”
  • “I’m quite bullish.”
  • “I can definitely see it being pretty big.”
  • “I really like CC, and we’ve integrated it nicely into our workflow.”
  • “It’s indispensable.”

Today Code Climate is announcing that they’ve raised a $2M round of financing, led by us at NextView Ventures.  Joining us in the syndicate are Lerer Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Fuel Capital.

Code Climate talks about a world where static analysis is as critical to every developer as GitHub and their text editor/IDE… and this new capital will help make that vision a reality. Chad Pytel at thoughtbot, many of the NextView portfolio companies, tens of thousands of developers, and I are already believers.

The post The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment appeared first on GenuineVC.

Hospitals- The Key to Healthcare Reform [Guest Post]

Interview with Chip Kahn, CEO of Federation of American Hospitals

US elections are six weeks away and “Obamacare” is the wedge issue of the 2014 campaign. The Republican controlled majority in the House has voted 55 times in four years to repeal the Affordable Care Act. However, the $3 trillion (and growing) American healthcare system absorbs nearly 1/5 of total GDP, triple the allocation of some other OECD countries.  Hospitals represent the largest component (32%) of this spending. Chip Kahn, CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals (www.fah.org), the industry association representing 6,000+ hospitals in the US, discusses healthcare payment changes and the potential for IT disruption.

Number of US Hospitals

The US healthcare sector, accounting for nearly one fifth of GDP, is undergoing systemic reform. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is part of a broader initiative to increase coverage and improve outcomes. Despite initial technical setbacks and the limited number of states that enacted expanded eligibility for federal/state Medicaid program for lower-income individuals (currently 26 states and the District of Columbia), by 2016 ACA is on target to reduce the number of uninsured Americans from 55 to 30 million. 

US Health Insurance Coverage

The health reform law directly links payment with patient outcomes and efficiency of service. FAH estimates that by 2017, 8% of base DRG payments may be at risk as hospitals are expected to implement the following:

  • Electronic Health Records
  • Quality & Value Improvement
  • Patient-Centered Care

“This rewards high performers and directly impacts revenue. The environment has become much more accountable. Information is critical to minimize penalties and avoid revenue loss for failing to meet quality and efficiency standards.”

Helathcare Allocation

According to Chip:

“This represents an opportunity for Israeli technology companies. IT systems across the ecosystem require much better coordination and integration. There is plenty of room for smaller companies to provide auxiliary services that enable better inter-operability.”

While the political debate has focused on Medicaid expansion, most coverage in the US is employer-provided, and more and more employment-based plans are requiring individuals and their families to pay higher deductibles and bear more of the initial cost. This responsibility for upfront dollars is having an enormous impact on consumer behavior. “This has significant implications for IT startups, as consumers need better tools to enable efficient use of the healthcare system.”

Within a few years, Chip anticipates there will be physician and hospital based comprehensive records for every American. Already, the health information for three out of five Americans is contained in an Electronic Health Record.

EHR Adoption

“Treatment will be incredibly enhanced with an immense body of information available to the caregiver. There will be greater decision support to better inform physicians. Some of this will depend on technologies that enable the seamless free-flow of information and inter-operability among different care-giver groups. With so many more people accessing coverage and preventive services, there will be a material health effect on the population. Over time, management of care across the continuum will improve. However, there may still be about 8% of Americans without health coverage in 3-5 years.  This, combined with higher out-of-pocket costs for many Americans, will cause significant social impact.”

The Road to Our Investment in Bridj

Mass transportation is the largest single source of travel within metropolitan areas across the globe, but our current fixed infrastructure approach hasn’t changed since the 19th century.  Here in our innovation hub of Boston, the country’s oldest subway tunnel built in 1897 is still in use as part of the MBTA Green Line.  Each day thousands of people commute to work on a system that is literally over a hundred years old.

This year, though, a local startup called Bridj has been making headlines by taking a fundamentally new approach to thinking about mass transportation.  On the surface, the company is running mini-busses between popular commuter pickup and drop-off locations.  More fundamentally, however, Bridj is leveraging layers of technology including mobile connectivity + big data coupled with flexible vehicle assets to create a dynamic transportation network.  The startup utilizes machine learning algorithms to become smarter as more users enter the system, striving towards the goal of a “living, breathing, and thinking” transportation system.

Today Bridj announced that it has raised $4M from our team at NextView Ventures, alongside Atlas Ventures, Suffolk Equity, and many of the original ZipCar investors like Jill Preotle, Andy Ross, and Peter Aldrich.

Coming straight out of my first meeting with Bridj’s Founder, Matthew George, I called both of my partners to share my excitement about what I had been immediately convinced was our next investment.  Not only did Matt share a crisp and articulate vision about transforming the future of transportation, he was an extremely authentic founder who had discovered the opportunity through operating his own profitable bus shuttle business which he had started literally out of his own college dorm room.  And it is clear given the reception that the company has received since launching the beta service that it has struck a chord with consumers – I see it daily in the feedback tweets of riders using the service.

All investments which we make become a journey along with the Founders.  I know that this one is going to be particularly special because of Matt, his vision, and the real impact he’s going have on the lives of people living in cities around the world.

The post The Road to Our Investment in Bridj appeared first on GenuineVC.

bigtincan

bigtincan has transformed the way business is done on mobile devices. The company’s innovative mobile content enablement solution, bigtincan hub, is a unified set of productivity tools that enables...

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bigtincan

bigtincan has transformed the way business is done on mobile devices. The company’s innovative mobile content enablement solution, bigtincan hub, is a unified set of productivity tools that enables...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]