Views from the Core

  • Nikkei Business Daily October 1, 2019

    The Digital Enterprise of the Future: Transitioning the Tech Stack

    Today there is widespread awareness in corporate boardrooms globally about the significant new value being created from the adoption of cloud computing, containers, big data and AI, and other components of modern technology stack.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily August 6, 2019

    The Importance of a Talent-First Approach in the U.S.

    In the last three decades we have observed several waves of expansion efforts by Asian companies, reportedly motivated by a desire to replicate their market leadership at home in the large Western markets and often starting with the U.S.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily June 10, 2019

    The Future of Venture: RAISE

    The face of venture capital is changing: from stuffy “old boy” Silicon Valley partnerships to scrappy, diverse San Francisco upstarts. In the last decade there has been an explosion of new venture firms.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily April 15, 2019

    Evolving the Internet from ‘adolescence’ to?

    Recently, while speaking with reporters at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee, the designer of the World Wide Web, spoke of how now is an important time to build a better web, to ensure its "journey from digital adolescence to a more mature, responsible and inclusive future."

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily February 23, 2019

    Corporate LPs & Venture Capital Firms: Finding Alignment

    Most global corporations that are headquartered outside of the San Francisco Bay Area are seeking to establish a persistent relationship with Silicon Valley. By virtue of their early venture investment decisions and ongoing governance roles, it is not surprising that many percieve Venture Capital (VC) firms as one of the best channels for insights and connections.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily December 29, 2018

    Four Success Drivers of Early Stage Startups

    The democratization of entrepreneurialism continues at a rapid pace, encouraged, in part, by mainstream media sitcoms and reality shows showcasing Silicon Valley. It’s also being fueled by the staggering amounts of capital that are available to fund new companies, not just here, but in tech innovation hubs around the world.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily November 3, 2018

    The Future of Retail is Here And It’s Frictionless

    In just the past nine months, Amazon soft-launched its first Amazon Go cashier-less retail store, opened three more locations and announced a commitment to 3,000 stores across the U.S.. It is now clear that the convenience and novelty of cashierless shopping is no longer a “Future of Retail” concept....

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily August 24, 2018

    Scooter Explosion: Solution or Disaster

    With Uber, Lyft and several other global competitors at the forefront, venture funded disruption of the transportation industry continues at a rapid pace. As the foundational ride sharing marketplace matures, a natural and rapid development of adjacent businesses follows....

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily July 13, 2018

    Cloud Computing Pioneers

    After over a decade of limited migrations to the cloud, major bricks and mortar as well as technology companies are now making a fundamental migration to public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily May 28, 2018

    Forging Successful Partnership Deals in Japan

    Forging significant partnership deals in Japan is quite different than in the US and other parts of the world. Many Silicon Valley startups trying to close their first significant deal with a Japanese partner experience frustration and usually failure....

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily April 4, 2018

    Evolving Role of Angel Investors in Silicon Valley Ecosystem

    Silicon Valley has a long tradition of executives who became wealthy when their start-ups succeeded and decided to invest their capital, advice and introductions in emerging entrepreneurs in the earliest stages of start-up company formation and building. This “pay it forward” movement to create the next generation of tech entrepreneurs defines the original Angel investor profile...

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily February 20, 2018

    Just Add Machine Learning

    Machine learning applications outside of traditional tech applications to mainstream business functions are becoming quite exciting. We're seeing a continued shift from away from what are traditionally high volume but low skill and complexity workforce efforts towards employing cloud software services and machine learning solutions...

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily December 28, 2017

    Seeking Work-Life Balance for Long-Term Results

    Corporate work policies such as “go home by 5PM” are being widely tested and greatly debated. Given recent incidents of “karoshi” and a continued culture of accountability based on “facetime," it might appear that this issue is one peculiar to Japanese business culture....

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily November 14, 2017

    ICOs: An Emerging Perspective

    Initial coin offerings (ICO) have become a popular topic. So much so that several of our Limited Partners have recently requested our point of view on this fundraising vehicle and whether it will eventually disintermediate venture capitalists. Before we share our perspective, let’s first establish a basic definition...

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily September 12, 2017

    Next Generation Mobile Marketing

    In the U.S., mobile marketing is more critical than ever for consumer brands as they continue to experience rapid migration of all types of professional and personal apps. The mobile marketing space has become very crowded and most user acquisition campaigns are overly expensive and often ineffective...

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily July 28, 2017

    A Framework for Evaluating Security Start-ups

    While security start-ups represent a large and growing opportunity for investors and corporate customers, the field is also littered with security companies that are unable to demonstrate efficacy, differentiation or ability to scale. At Core Ventures Group, when evaluating opportunities and assisting portfolio security companies, we categorize our investigations into three key areas: 1) founders, 2) technology and 3) security business factors.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily May 19, 2017

    Pioneering AI in FinTech Solutions

    Most Silicon Valley investors anticipate technology trends by staying close to the most audacious entrepreneurs in their network. We are no exception and are delighted to occasionally showcase the world-class founders we rely on. Today we'd like to introduce you via interview to Adal Flores, Founder and CEO of Kueski, the leading fintech company in Mexico.

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily March 30, 2017

    A Silicon Valley Headline That Will Not Go Away: Where Are All the Women?

    Silicon Valley considers itself a meritocracy. As we wrote in our last column, the role of immigrants in creating technology companies that drive wholesale market transitions and ultimately massive market values has been remarkable. Immigrants’ success in Silicon Valley is a testament to an ecosystem open to vision, intelligence, hard work and hustle...

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily February 14, 2017

    Silicon Valley’s Love Affair with Immigrants

    Joanna Drake Earl General Partner, Core Ventures Group Silicon Valley is a terrific place to realize the American Dream. From its earliest chapters in the mid-1900s, Silicon Valley has been an environment uniquely friendly to ambitious self-starters who may have big ideas, intelligence and chutzpah, but not much more. In many traditional US industries like...

    Read full article
  • Nikkei Business Daily January 31, 2017

    Top 5 Common Silicon Valley start-up misunderstandings about Japanese Corporates:

    Joanna Drake Earl General Partner, Core Ventures Group In our last column, we published the top 5 common Japanese misunderstandings that we see in Silicon Valley. We thought it appropriate to take the reverse angle and share the most frequent misunderstandings that Western start-ups have about doing business with Japanese companies. “Despite, Japanese companies’ reputation...

    Read full article
  • 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...

    Read full article
  • 2Q16

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

    Because our first filter when evaluating new investment 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.

  • 1Q16

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

    In the middle of devaluation of the Silicon Valley bubble, 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.