Views from the Core

  • Nikkei Business Daily December 8, 2016

    Five Common Misunderstandings about Silicon Valley Start-Ups:

    The accelerators in Silicon Valley are largely organized to help outside founders who don’t have much experience with Silicon Valley startups or who don’t have a local network and, therefore, need help navigating fundraising, sourcing talent and general company building...

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  • Nikkei Business Daily October 18, 2016

    How to Avoid Being a ‘Business Tourist’ Part 2

    In Part I of this editorial, we outlined a framework for determining what aspects of Silicon Valley innovation are strategic to your company, and how to map those areas to specific objectives and Silicon Valley modes of engagement. With that framework in place, the most critical next step towards being effective with Silicon Valley start-ups is to develop trusted relationships...

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  • Nikkei Business Daily October 4, 2016

    How to Avoid Being a ‘Business Tourist’ Part 1

    It seems that most global business leaders, regardless of industry, realize the relevance of the ongoing innovation engine coming out of Silicon Valley and are now wanting to understand and engage with urgency. But too often we see ...

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  • Nikkei Business Daily August 9, 2016

    Beware of Falling Knives II

    How can one tell when one is facing a “Falling Knife”? Usually the investment or acquisition is presented as a “very special opportunity to get in on a hot deal.” This kind of overture is the quickest indicator that new investors are being sought as investors or acquirers “of last resort.” We know this because...

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  • 2Q16

    View from the Core (excerpt from Letter to LP's)

    Because our first filter when evaluating new investors is exceptional founders, we are often asked how we define exceptional. We work against an established, but constantly evolving definition and employ an evaluation methodology that focuses on personal characteristics, training and market and domain expertise, startup experience and work style. While the first and final criteria may seem “soft”, at the earliest seed stage when there is nothing but an idea and founder experiences, we rely most on our instincts around the founders’ people power and capacity for learning and adapting.

  • Nikkei Business Daily May 31, 2016

    Beware of Falling Knives I

    At Core Ventures Group, a Silicon Valley based venture capital firm with strong ties to Japan, we have been concerned about an overheated startup financing market since 2014. We witnessed the signs of a technology bubble reaching its peak and now, quickly deflating: start-up valuations are dropping 50%-75%, engineers are choosing higher salaries over more...

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  • 1Q16

    View from the Core (excerpt from Letter to LP's)

    In the midst of another Silicon Valley bubble deflation, it is worthwhile revisiting the underlying causes and amplifiers. One reason that private start­up valuation inflation continues is a lack of a systematic instruments for shorting private tech stocks. If there were such a mechanism, there would be more persistent and healthy downward pressure on private company valuations. Another factor is the widespread market information disparity that is currently exacerbated by a wave of nontraditional investors (corporate and overseas) setting prices as they play a growing role in early and late stage start­up financings. In short, information travels slowly and outside investors are often the last to know.