Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | April 26, 2015

A Hundred Years of Darkness

The Armenian Genocide has been hidden in plain sight for a Century.

Yet today that it marks the one Hundred years since it’s savage rage erased the lives of countless Armenian people — we must remember that it should never happen again.

And if memory is the only thing we have of this Holocaust of 1915 — we should use this to remind others, because it serves a purpose far greater than the appeasement of today’s revisionists of History wherever they might come from…

Minorities, cultures, and religions cause differences to come to the forth. Should we stifle that? No because we remember what happened last time we did this. A Genocide happened. And the bloody animals that perpetuated the massacre of mostly Armenian children, are wanting to erase their deeds from public memory…

And yet all around the World today, we memorialize this GENOCIDE.

We remember the victims of Genocide by laying a simple flower in their memory.

That’s All.

People of difference — all over the world can feel safer today, knowing this as a fact.

We should never forget the Armenian Genocide

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

Forgetting the Armenian Genocide is a Crime all over again.

Let’s Remember the Armenians.

It is finally high time we dispel the darkness of 100 years of denial.

A century of Darkness is long enough.

armenian genocide children starved

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | April 26, 2015

only connect

Only connect

Connecting to others as human beings is all this Life’s all about…

Yet we fail to realize it and live up to it.

We are generally barricaded behind walls of electronic communications, messaging, emails, and stand off relationships at arms length.

This causes a general isolation.

The rise of isolation, difficult socialization, and addiction is a generalized symptom of a deeper sickness in our advanced societies.

I make friends easily and yet these new found friends are always evaluating the benefits of the relationship as if it has only a business value as opposed to human value and often times under the weight of addiction to Googling the Reality in front of them instead of trusting their eyes.

And some of them, act like rabid dogs if things don’t manifest the way they imagined…

They transport the flaming experience of the net into the personal space of relationships at their own peril…

It appears that their addictions are part of the transference and reaction formation projected onto me. Sad…

It is evidenced by the way we live — always on, waiting, waiting … and then hastily responding to the next message arriving at the tone of the beep, that we are deeply conditioned to behave like stupid Automatons without Moral Compass or Logical Reasoning.

We are always on social media, email, and on our cellphones — yet we fail to be human even for a moment of much needed clarity for correct decisions.

Our social network connections number in the Thousands but our real friendships are nowhere near the number of our hands.

We are lonely and feeling increasingly disconnected and alienated at the same time that we are far more “connected” than ever before and yet other “real humans” are nowhere to be found.

We can create a meme and send it out to span the globe in twenty seconds, but if we need physical help we might never find it in real life.

Our digital live are marvels of involvement and cultural connections but we avoid intimacy at any cost.

When was the last time you got a hug from another person?

Our smartphones are getting increasingly smarter while we are getting increasingly dumber.

We use FB, Tinder, and Match, to connect and to go dating, but we are afraid to respond and carry a conversation if anyone speaks to us in the supermarket.

Our telephones are full of contacts yet we are playing games on them and sexting, instead of talking with each other.

Our houses are full of junk but our hearts are empty.

Our consumer habits are constantly growing and we are always directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

Consumption has become an addiction because our life has become so meaningless and soulless.

It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We are communal breeders. We are Social animals as aristotle strove to remind us.

We need to connect and love.

The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster’s — “only connect.”

But we have created an environment and a culture that cuts us off from connection, or offers only a parody for it as that found on the Internet and today’s Antisocial Media and ultra-antisocial Networks.

The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before.

Bruce Alexander — the creator of Rat Park — says that for far too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from the various forms of addiction bedevilling our lives.

We need now to have a public conversation and talk about social recovery — how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is falling upon us like a thick fog.

But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us personally, but a politically charged issue that encompasses our economic choices and our political alliances.

It’s an issue that is so powerful and toxic that doesn’t just force us to change our minds, but it causes a rethink of the foundations of our consumerist culture.

And mentally we understand it and we have our mind to account for it — but that’s not enough.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

It’s an issue so powerful and elemental, that it forces us to change our hearts.

So I follow the Axiom of E.M.Forster “only connect” and allow the chips to fall where they may.

You know the Good Ones will self select and declare themselves.

As for the Losers….

Recently, I gave a talk on angel investing in the current startup market to a group of really savvy Super Angels in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley area of California inside the Google campus, and then we held my annual Super Angels retreat in the Marconi park near Mill Valley.

I had founded many years ago the Mill Valley Angels network and this is our annual get together to reminisce, reinvigorate, and reimagine the World.

A world that included all super Angels, some great Founders who had multitudes of exists and Great Returns, and a few Entrepreneurs who had graduated to become early stage Venture Capitalists.

This time around there were also a few “new heads” in the room from the Great Banks, who had the temperate impression that that the market is overheated, the slop is getting dirty, and the waters ahead are going to be rather choppy.

And their naturally concerted suggestion was that we should exit en masse.

Their solid Banker’s Advise can be summed up in this: “Exit the frothy Market of Illiquid Assets now at any cost — before the whole ship is in danger of foundering…

I agree we may look back on 2015 as the point in this cycle at which we entered a bubble and overvalued tech startups. Investors are definitely paying higher prices for seed and venture deals, and despite a growing number of “unicorns” (startups valued at $1 billion or more), strategic buyers aren’t paying a commensurately higher price to buy these startups.

As an angel investor in so many more than hundred deals and an individual LP in more than twenty venture funds, I have a lot riding on the market for tech startups. Not a week goes by without me making a capital call, re-upping an existing or making a new investment. In addition, the real day to day Life and my Ecosystem, hinges on the continued vitality of startups, growth companies and those who fund them.

So my friendly Goldman Sachs Bankers, and my Investment Banking colleagues, and even my Lawyers, tell me that now would be a great time for me to step back, leave my existing chips on the table, because as an angel, there aren’t many other liquidity alternatives, and sit out this exuberant period.

But I’m disregarding that advice for now.

Here are a few reasons for why I’m continuing to invest and increase my exposure to the Early Stage Deals as opposed to anything else…

And here are the ABCs of Angel Investing:

A) The most important reason we do what we do and in a way that we do it, is that myself like most all other Angels — we aren’t typically Banker-Wankers, or even rational economic actors as mainline economists would describe us. However we are driven by both Moral Sentiment as Adam Smith would suggest and by Emotional Intelligence as I always say…

When I commit to invest in a Dream, in an Idea, on A Founder, or even in an Angel Fund and on my own Mutual Angel Venture funds or a single unique startup — I’m generally thinking I’m making at least a 10-year bet. And sometimes I take Twenty year bets too…

I can do this because I don’t have to return investors’ capital in a set timeframe, which enables me to focus on 10- 20- or even 30-year blocks of time, and how my strategy will unfold and yield opportunities over the long term. Value Investing in StartUps requires to be able to see across the Horizon towards the Founders Dream of a City of Light… cause this is what a “Great-Company-to-Be” represents for me.

A senior banker recently asked me what kind of return rate I seek on my investments. The simple answer is: I don’t. Sure, I consider how many multiples of my original investment I can possibly return (also known as cash-on-cash return) and have to believe the company has a chance to return a massive multiple. Yet, I don’t measure the success of a venture by the return on my cash – and that’s not economically rational. I don’t believe I’ve ever made an angel investment solely for direct economic outcome.

To me, it isn’t about getting in the right deal — it’s about being in the flow. I don’t invest on the theory that this founder will make me money on this company. I invest on two theories: that this is someone with whom I want to be in business and that this founder will make me money at some point, either directly or indirectly.

B) Angel investing should be continuous rather than one-and-done, yet I think this applies selectively and in three specific ways: a) I seek out co-founders I expect to be able to back in two, three or even four ventures because these are people who are unstoppably compelled to start things. b) For great companies, the first investment is usually not the only investment needed, so I expect to have opportunities to reinvest (double down). c) As the market changes from hot to cold and back again, I may reinvest at a lower, higher or even at the same price — but will never re-invest in a Company that has lost it’s way.

I believe angel investing generally only makes sense at some scale and in filling up the space by populating all of the system and the network with smart bets.

Intelligence Rules Here: In other words, either build a big “Angel Bet” (c) portfolio or go home to the Mass Market Tracking Funds. It’s remarkably unlikely for an Angel Investor to stumble into an investment in Twitter without also investing in other less illustrious startups along the way… An angel’s ability to add value to and understand the value of startups should increase the more Angel investments that Angel makes. I’m not suggesting a straight line, but experience and network effects matter the most in this market.

When playing Roulette and this game is akin to this StartUp Angel game — you need to populate the Reds or the Greens to beat the House and increase the Odds of Success. Therefore spreading out your chips is a good policy and preferable to anything else at the very early stage. My first investment into a startup is generally a simple 50K.

That is the great majority of my Angel investing in seed stage and I stick with it. Usually I never go to the StartUp after that. Unless they are Exceptional like Twitter. Never cross that thinking line is an important caveat — but I always help the Founders to go find this company for M&A, or this VC for cash, and I generally help with Network introductions to take them upstream to the the next level and to the Institutional and VC investors for follow on investments.

And when I erase my own Panoism Rule and plan from the start a long term value Investment — I give a 20% to 30% of what I expect to deploy into that company given analytical progression. I also spread out the investment into a “burn-rate” over twelve months to make it last but also because I expect to fund the “Truly-Great-To-Be” company three times with each round likely to be far bigger than the last, enabling me to double down on the winners while walking away from the Losers.

The same holds true for the early stage funds. For instance, I founded and invested in the first Angel seed fund to be run as a Mutual Fund. This was an early stage “ANGEL” fund of $21 MM to grow Companies all around the Ecosystem taking on the best of breed StartUps from the Top Accelerators of the land. And I proactively committed to raising a second follow up fund because I saw how fast my other co-investors were quick to commit, despite the lack of proof points on the first investments. I discussed this and came to an agreement that because the first fund was a seed fund, they all assumed that they would be investing in the second fund without those proof points. The Super Angels had already made the decision to invest in follow-on when they saw a good thing. So this is is a Good Metric to expect from all Angels.

C) I want to see You and I don’t want to see your deck. Am saying this because I want to see you’re a DEC. I’m not sure this is a reasonable approach, but I am sure that if Kim Kardashian breaks the Internet and causes all the StartUps to crash and burn tomorrow, I’ve made enough connections to Driven, Energetic, and Charismatic (DEC) people, that I will continue to have intriguing opportunities elsewhere. These Founders, Co-Founders, and Funders, have made me more valuable as an investor in what I perceive to be a virtuous cycle than if I had stuck to the Old Model of Super Angel Investor.

Today, and in a typical day this happens at least for a couple of hours each day, – the more often I help good founders, funders, and companies alike, the more recognition, clout, and value I gain for my long term Strategy. Yet in a surprising twist — the more value I give away, the more value I gain.

I am literally “A River To My People” and that experience that I attained by helping others succeed, helps broaden my network and causes me to be described as a Boon to All I come in contact with.

This becomes an enthusiastic following for Me, and the more I help founders, investors and companies to succeed in a combination of Ways that do not involve me making moneyed bets in their fortune — the more Returns come to me. Strange How This Works…

Do This And See For Yourself.

Iterate…

Reiterate This…

The “C” in DEC seems redundant, but for me charisma in a founder is essential, because they must recruit followers — whether it’s an investor, co-founder, employee or customer. Founders must have something magnetic. Sadly that requirement doesn’t apply to the angels and Investors they have to work with…

In short, while current valuations indicate that we’re in a bubble, there’s an abundance of DECS founding or ascending the ranks of great tech startups right now that I’d like to work with. That informs how I try to behave in this market and it also encourages me to stay in the market and keep plugging away.

It’s also worth noting that I generally only invest where I’ve known the founders for at least a year — but then again, I’m not always economically rational, am I?

But since we look for new Angels all the time — it is best to find them here by growing them organically from Entrepreneurs who succeed and have great exits with our help. I call it to: Nurture the Nature and here is how it’s done…

Teach new Entrepreneurs in our Companies to grow a Strategic Thinking to succeed:

To get angel investors to invest in your start-up, you have to make sure you understand their motivation. You also have to make yourself stand out somehow, and ensure you can succinctly articulate your vision for the business and why it has the potential to grow into a significant company.

Here are the best ways to follow in order to make your pitch successful:

A. Big Problem You Are Solving

You need to clearly explain why your proposed product or service is solving some big problem or important unmet need in the marketplace. Here are key questions to consider:

  • What is the problem?
  • Why are existing solutions inadequate?
  • How does your solution differ from the competition?

B. Market Opportunity Is Extra Large

Angel investors typically want to invest in businesses that have a large market opportunity and can grow to be very big. Here are important questions the entrepreneur needs to address:

  • How big is the addressable market opportunity?
  • What data do you have to back up your claims about the total addressable market and growth rate?
  • What percentage of the market do you plan to capture, and over what time period?

C. Founders Are Suited for Success

For many angel investors, the founders/management team is the most important factor in determining whether to invest or not. So try to convey the following:

  • That the founders are passionate, dedicated, and have integrity
  • That the founders have relevant domain experience
  • That the founders can work well together and are complimentary
  • That the founders are strongly motivated

D. Pitch & Demo

An image, demonstration, or prototype goes a long way in giving the angel investors a powerful understanding of your business. Be sure to come pitch&demo to the SEATTLE ANGELS : http://www.meetup.com/Seattle-Angels

  • Highlight the differentiating features compared with your competition.
  • Strive to present a great user interface or product look and feel.
  • Discuss the key intellectual property and technology underlying your product.

If you have beta testers who have used your product, discuss the learnings you have gained from their feedback.

E. Angel Investors

The best way to get the attention of an angel investor is via an introduction from one of their trusted colleagues. Start by using LinkedIn to see if you have any connections to the investors. Angel investors can be found through:

  • Angel Networks and Lists [ http://www.meetup.com/Seattle-Angels ]
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Angel investor University networks [ Harvard Angels ]
  • Venture capitalists
  • Investment bankers
  • Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter

Once you get the introduction, here is what your email to the angel investor should include:

  • The name of the person who referred you to the investor.
  • Short bullet points about what your company does, what problem it’s solving, and any early traction its gotten.
  • Information showing the founders to be competent, passionate, and experienced.
  • A 2-3 page Executive Summary or 15-20 page PowerPoint investment deck.

F. Great Pitch Deck

You need a great PowerPoint presentation/pitch deck when presenting to angel investors. It needs to tell a compelling vision and story. This deck should be no longer than 15-20 slides, and contain the following key information:

  • The overview of the company
  • The problem you are going to solve
  • The market opportunity (and that it is large and growing)
  • The management team
  • The technology and intellectual property
  • The product or service
  • The revenue/business model
  • The marketing strategy
  • Any early traction, market validation, or early customers
  • The competition and your advantage over the competition
  • Financials and projections (and be prepared to answer questions on underlying assumptions)

G. Don’t Dos, When Pitching to Angel Investors

Avoid the following:

  • Don’t give the investor a 50-page plan to review. They don’t have the time.
  • Don’t say you have no competition.
  • Don’t show unrealistic or uninteresting financial projections.
  • Don’t ask the investor to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
  • Don’t present unrealistic valuation expectations for your company.
  • Don’t underestimate customer acquisition issues.
  • Don’t underestimate competitors.

These are only some of the mistakes that many start-ups make…

H. Prepare, for the Pitch Meeting

You typically get one meeting to impress a potential investor. So make sure you are prepared for the meeting by doing the following:

  • Practice your pitch in front of an audience and get feedback.
  • Review the investor’s LinkedIn profile and website.
  • If you have common connections on LinkedIn, ask those people for any insights on the investor.
  • Review what portfolio companies the investor has invested in.
  • Be prepared to answer questions concisely.

I. Early Traction or Adoption

Demonstrating that you have gotten early adoption or paying customers puts you far ahead of entrepreneurs who just have an idea or business plan. So, if you have an app, get as many downloads of your beta version that you can get. If you have gotten good press or good reviews, make sure to share that. Customer testimonials can also be helpful.

J. Financials and Projections

Angel investors will want to understand the financials of the business and any financial projections. So be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Do you have detailed financial projections for the next three years?
  • What are the key underlying assumptions for the projections? Are they reasonable?
  • What are the key cost components for the product?
  • What are the unit economics and gross margins?
  • What will be your monthly “burn” rate (expense rate)?
  • How much capital are you raising?
  • How long will that capital last?
  • What will you be able to prove with that capital?
  • What is your desired pre-money valuation for the company?
  • What is the cost of customer acquisition?

So these are the ABCs of Angel Investing that you might be able to benefit from along with a few pointers for when going upstream to the institutional and the VCs that are always sure to follow on the steps of the successful Angel Investors.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

Join me Tonight in a celebration of Angels those Super Investors of the Ecosystem of StartUps in the most Innovative of cities around the world — Seattle.

Join Me Here: http://www.meetup.com/Seattle-Angels/

And RSVP right here: http://www.meetup.com/Seattle-Angels/events/221395763/

Over the past 50 years, trade, diplomacy, environment, energy, and climate policies, have all been decided behind closed doors – with little input from the people who will be most affected by the outcome of the negotiations.

Today the TPP trade deal is animating the people all over again about this serious issue n all of our Lives.

Somehow the Executive thinks that people are children and are not to be trusted with the TRUTH about what policies are coming down the pike.

This is mainly because Policy design has been driven by technocrats, lobbyists, and lawyers, who have consistently ignored or were simply uninterested in people’s priorities. As a result, clean air, renewable energy, and green spaces have all too often been sacrificed to the notion that environmentally friendly legislation increases costs and red tape for businesses and ultimately hurts the economy.

And from what gets leaked out about the TPP this is an evil Trade Deal as far as the Environment is concerned.

Key congressional leaders agreed on Thursday on legislation to give President Obama special authority to finish negotiating one of the world’s largest trade accords, opening a rare battle that aligns the president with Republicans against a broad coalition of Democrats.

With the deal reached on the Fast-Track Authority for Obama on Trade Accord called TPP we are certain to oppose it.

And in what is sure to be one of the toughest fights of Mr. Obama’s last 19 months in office, the “fast track” bill allowing the White House to pursue its planned Pacific trade deal also heralds a divisive fight within the Democratic Party, one that could spill into the 2016 presidential campaign.

With committee votes planned next week, liberal senators such as Sherrod Brown of Ohio are demanding to know Hillary Rodham Clinton’s position on the bill to give the president so-called trade promotion authority, or T.P.A.

Trade unions, environmentalists and Latino organizations — potent Democratic constituencies — quickly lined up in opposition, arguing that past trade pacts failed to deliver on their promise and that the latest effort would harm American workers.

The deal was struck by Senators Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the Finance Committee chairman; Ron Wyden of Oregon, the committee’s ranking Democrat; and Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. It would give Congress the power to vote on the more encompassing 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership once it is completed, but would deny lawmakers the chance to amend what would be the largest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, which President Bill Clinton pushed through Congress despite opposition from labor and other Democratic constituencies.

While supporters have promised broad gains for American consumers and the economy, the clearest winners of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would be American agriculture, along with technology and pharmaceutical companies, insurers and many large manufacturers that say they could also expand United States’ exports to the other 11 nations in Asia and South America that are involved.

President Obama embraced the legislation immediately, proclaiming “it would level the playing field, give our workers a fair shot, and for the first time, include strong fully enforceable protections for workers’ rights, the environment and a free and open Internet.”

“Today,” he added, “we have the opportunity to open even more new markets to goods and services backed by three proud words: Made in America.”

But Mr. Obama’s enthusiasm was tempered by the rancor the bill elicited from some of his strongest allies. To win over the key Democrat, Mr. Wyden, the Republicans agreed to stringent requirements for the deal, including a human rights negotiating objective that has never existed on trade agreements.

The bill would make any final trade agreement open to public comment for 60 days before the president signs it, and up to four months before Congress votes. If the agreement, negotiated by the United States trade representative, fails to meet the objectives laid out by Congress — on labor, environmental and human rights standards — a 60-vote majority in the Senate could shut off “fast-track” trade rules and open the deal to amendment.

“We got assurances that U.S.T.R. and the president will be negotiating within the parameters defined by Congress,” said Representative Dave Reichert, Republican of Washington and a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. “And if those parameters are somehow or in some way violated during the negotiations, if we get a product that’s not adhering to the T.P.A. agreement, than we have switches where we can cut it off.”

To further sweeten the deal for Democrats, the package includes expanding trade adjustment assistance — aid to workers whose jobs are displaced by global trade — to service workers, not just manufacturing workers. Mr. Wyden also insisted on a four-year extension of a tax credit to help displaced workers purchase health insurance.

Both the Finance and Ways and Means committees will formally draft the legislation next week in hopes of getting it to final votes before a wave of opposition can sweep it away. “If we don’t act now we will lose our opportunity,” Mr. Hatch said.

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday morning, Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury secretary, and Michael Froman, the United States trade representative, pleaded for the trade promotion authority.

“T.P.A. sends a strong signal to our trading partners that Congress and the administration speak with one voice to the rest of the world on our priorities,” Mr. Lew testified.

Even with the concessions, many Democrats sound determined to oppose the president. Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, condemned the bill as “a major step backward.”

The A.F.L.-C.I.O. and virtually every major union — convinced that trade promotion authority will ease passage of trade deals that will cost jobs and depress already stagnant wages — have vowed a fierce fight. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. announced a “massive” six-figure advertising campaign to pressure 16 selected senators and 36 House members to oppose fast-track authority.

“We can’t afford to pass fast track, which would lead to more lost jobs and lower wages,” said Richard Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. “We want Congress to keep its leverage over trade negotiations — not rubber-stamp a deal that delivers profits for global corporations, but not good jobs for working people.”

In all, the bill sets down 150 negotiating objectives, such as tough new rules on intellectual property protection, lowering of barriers to agricultural exports, labor and environmental standards, rule of law and human rights. Reflecting the modern economy, Congress would demand a loosening of restrictions on cross-border data flow, an end to currency manipulation and rules for competition from state-owned enterprises.

Businesses and business lobbying groups lined up behind the bill as fast as liberal groups and unions arrayed in opposition. “With facts and arguments, we’ll win this trade debate and renew T.P.A.,” vowed Thomas J. Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

It all made for a dizzying change of tone in a Washington where partisan lines have hardened. Republican leadership fell firmly behind T.P.A. Business groups battling the president on climate change, taxes and health care urged Congress to expand his trade powers.

But a sizable minority of Republicans — especially in the House — are reluctant to give the president authority to do anything substantive. Whether Republican leaders can get their troops in line, and how Mr. Obama can round up enough Democratic votes, might be the biggest legislative question of the year.

Mr. Reichert, the Republican lawmaker, said 20 or fewer Democrats currently support the measure in the House; last year, House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said he would need 50.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the third-ranking Democrat, said he will demand the inclusion of legislation to combat the manipulation of currency values, especially by China. “China is the most rapacious of our trading partners, and the stated goal of this deal is to lure these other countries away from China,” Mr. Schumer said. “It’s not at all contradictory to finally do something with China’s awful trade practices.”

Mr. Brown said the negotiating objectives must be turned into solid requirements. “I don’t think negotiating objectives without more enforcement mechanisms get you very far,” he said. “Negotiating objectives are, ‘Hey U.S.T.R., try to get this,’ and they’ll say, ‘We tried.’ We need something better than that.”

Others appeared dead set against the accord.

“Over and over again we’ve been told that trade deals will create jobs and better protect workers and the environment,” said Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania. “Those promises have never come to fruition.”

The good news is that new citizen participation is emerging, especially in developing countries, with new voices and fresh ideas entering the debate. Around the world, citizens are demanding that their governments listen to them about environmental issues and put their needs and priorities first.

For years, the debate around environmental action in the United States and Europe was characterized by a focus on abstract principles and by political infighting.

To some extent, this was understandable.

Opposition to environmental action – from the fossil-fuel industry, political parties, and portions of the media – has been formidable.

But the result was a discussion that was far removed from the issues that are most important to ordinary people. Instead of discussing how ineffective public transport and polluted air was making life worse for billions of people, the talk centered on carbon trading, emissions trajectories, and the industrialization of China.

Fortunately, the discussion is now being brought back down to earth. In less than 35 years, some 66% of the global population will live in cities. Much of this urban growth will occur in developing countries, especially in Africa. In Latin America, nearly 80% of people already live in urban centers.

For city dwellers, the environment can be an existential priority. If droughts continue to threaten the water supply of São Paolo, for example, Latin America’s most populous city could be at risk of urban failure. This crisis – and others like it – provides an opportunity for citizens to take control and deploy innovative solutions that might inspire others.

When national and municipal governments ask people about their priorities and needs, the answer is clear.

Chile’s government set a precedent in the region by meticulously mapping citizens’ priorities on the environment and climate. According to the government’s poll, air pollution is Chileans’ top environmental priority (33%), followed by waste (21%) and noise (11%).

Costa Ricans also see air pollution as an environmental priority (22%), followed by waste (20%) and water (17%), according to a poll conducted by the United Nations Development Programme. In China, environmental protection is increasingly becoming a top public concern, as evidenced by a journalist’s recent self-financed film about air pollution, which attracted 200 million viewers in a single week. In today’s world, people expect more from their countries and cities than growth and shopping centers.

An IDB poll of 5,000 citizens in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, and São Paulo revealed that they want more transparency in city government, more participation in decision-making, and a better quality of life. This poll, along with those from Chile and Costa Rica, shows that citizens understand that climate change will affect them. They want governments to do more, not less, to protect the environment. The TPP deal is really bad, mainly because it destroys local jobs and puts people in danger of serious catastrophic and chronic unemployment. BUt it is an evil bill because it allows foreign corporations to sue the US government and the US states over developing fossil fuel resources in public lands, seas, and underground of the sea bed floor or even all the protected Arctic refuges and the National parks.

Now that the cryptic Executive has done his job — he can pass the spoils of Secrecy and Lack of Transparency to the Corporations he chooses to benefit.

Definitely Not Cricket.

That TPP is a horrible deal…

Let’s nix this noxious bill right now.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

As we develop a better understanding of ordinary people’s needs and priorities, those negotiating a global agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year would be wise to take note. Opaque decisions and unexplained priorities are unlikely to receive public support. For that reason alone, it is crucial that governments make their citizens’ concerns the top priority.

Chile has set a positive precedent in the developing world by carrying out extensive consultations on its national climate commitment for Paris. Mexico and Brazil have launched formal consultation processes, too. Other countries in the region might follow suit.

National and local politicians are being held to increasingly higher standards of environmental protection. A new era of citizen involvement and public scrutiny has begun, creating opportunities for truly inclusive environmental action that promise to achieve more than elites negotiating behind closed doors ever could.

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | April 16, 2015

Not So Green Seattle…

In  the article bellow by the New York Times, you get a sense of the Big Issues surrounding Climate Change and Fossil Fuels, and the looming battle between the forces of darkness vs the forces of Light.

You could also get a glimpse of the sea battle shaping up  to take place here.

Further You also get to experience the the background of the Environmental Parliament’s decision to focus it’s current US activities to Seattle and the Arctic…

Read the Article bellow:

Oil Company Lease Stirs Revolt in Green Seattle

From the New York Times — Written by MARCH 13, 2015

“” Seattle, the environmental messaging never stops here, whether from a city-owned electric utility that gets nearly 98 percent of its power from sources untainted by carbon (and is not about to let residents forget it) or the fussy garbage collectors who can write tickets for the improper sorting of recyclables.

So when a lease was signed allowing Royal Dutch Shell, the petrochemical giant, to bring its Arctic Ocean drilling rigs to the city’s waterfront, the result was a kind of civic call to arms. A unanimous City Council lined up alongside the mayor to question the legality of the agreement with the Port of Seattle, a court challenge was filed by environmental groups, and protesters, in bluster or bluff, vowed to block the rigs’ arrival — though the exact timetable is secret, for security reasons — with a flotilla of kayaks in Elliott Bay.

“You have signed a lease that will amount to a crime against the planet,” said Zarna Joshi, 32, a Seattle resident who was first to speak at a raucous three-hour public meeting this week before the port’s commissioners. The meeting was packed mostly with opponents and punctuated by the occasional dissenter, pointing out the hypocrisy of protesters who had arrived to denounce Shell in vehicles running on gasoline.

The oil drilling rig Kulluk in May 2012 at a shipyard in Seattle. In December 2012, it ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska while being towed to Seattle for maintenance. 

Officials at the publicly owned port, which has branded itself as a global maritime gateway “where a sustainable world is headed,” have strongly defended the lease, saying the two-year contract would bring in millions of dollars of revenue and create hundreds of good jobs on 50 acres that Shell would use just west of downtown. The decision to allow oil exploration in Arctic waters is in any case federal policy, noted Peter McGraw, a port spokesman, not anything that the port or the city or the State of Washington can alter.

“The port did everything right,” said a lawyer for the Port of Seattle, Patrick J. Schneider, at a court hearing on Friday defending the lease. “It is an outstanding steward of the environment.”

At the center of the dispute lies a tangle of questions about the politics of climate change. Since Shell will not be drilling or exploring for oil anywhere near Seattle, but merely parking for the night, so to speak, can or should the company be denied a berth because of what might or might not happen thousands of miles away off the north coast of Alaska, or what could take place years in the future if burning fossil fuels — maybe produced by Shell, maybe not — raises sea levels or causes other havoc? Lawyers for the port, in court filings, have said opponents are waging an “intense” political campaign that will falter on the rocks of a narrow contractual dispute.

Opponents of the contract, though, said that protecting Seattle’s environment, in the broadest sense, means taking on the fight everywhere. Whether there may be harm from greenhouse gases, or possible environmental damage from an oil spill or other accident in Alaska, to which Seattle is deeply connected in its economy and history, what Shell does in the Arctic, they say, will not stay there.

“Hosting the Arctic drilling fleet in the city of Seattle is an activity that, if successful in drilling and extracting oil from the Arctic, will almost certainly mean that all of the industrial land in Seattle will be under water, and is completely inconsistent with the region’s and even the port’s goals,” said Mike O’Brien, a Seattle City Council member.

Shell used a private shipyard here for repairing its arctic equipment in 2012, which required no public hearings. The difference this time is the involvement by the port, where the commissioners run for office and contracts are public documents. The city’s Department of Planning and Development, under a request sent this week by the City Council and the mayor, is looking at whether the port’s lease, signed with a local company, Foss Maritime, which would manage the terminal site with Shell as the tenant, is consistent with the legal designation of the terminal’s use for “cargo” handling. That decision is expected in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit by the Puget Soundkeepers Alliance and other groups, including the Sierra Club, is challenging the process under which the port reached its decision. In a hearing on Friday before a King County Superior Court judge, the opponents argued that Shell’s use will not be for cargo handling, which is the defined use for the terminal.

The judge, Mariane C. Spearman, pressed lawyers on both sides to explain what exactly Shell would be doing at the site and whether fears of environmental harm were real or speculative, particularly because the rigs are not actually here yet. She said she would rule within the next week whether the case could proceed.

If the lease is revoked, there would probably not be another space on the waterfront big enough to hold the huge rigs, said Mr. O’Brien, the City Council member. A spokesman for Shell, Curtis Smith, said the company had not looked at alternatives. The two rigs Shell plans to bring in — the Noble Discoverer and the Polar Pioneer — are enormous, one more than 320 feet tall and the other more than 500 feet long.

Mr. Smith said the company also remained committed to exploring for oil in the far north. “We have reason to believe the acreage offshore Alaska is home to some of the most prolific, undeveloped hydrocarbon basins in the world,” he said in an email. “As a result, we are advancing our plans to drill in Alaska in 2015 — dependent, of course, on successful permitting, clearing any legal obstacles and our own determination that we are prepared to explore safely and responsibly.”

Shell has spent more than $4 billion on its efforts in the Arctic, but last drilled there in 2012 after a series of setbacks, including the grounding of a drilling rig, the Kulluk, off an island near Kodiak in the Gulf of Alaska. That mishap has also given fuel to opponents like Ian Siadak, who spoke at the lease hearing on behalf of a group formed within the last few weeks called the Coalition for Port Accountability.

“It is up to you whether you will be known as the commissioners who stayed true to their enthusiastically green campaign promises, or the commissioners who sold the planet to Shell Oil,” he said, in demanding that the lease be revoked — within a deadline of two weeks. If that does not occur, he said, “your position will be clear, and we will take further public action.” “”

But back in Seattle things are not as they appear…

This week I have invited the Director of the Port of Seattle in a Public Discussion at the cathedral of St Mark’s and hope to see some of you there:

You can RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Environmental-Parliament/events/221713628/

Yours,

Dr Kroko

The Port of Seattle support of the Dirty Oil Driller SHELL by offering safe harbour for it’s Arctic Drilling Fleet — proves that Seattle is not so green as it likes to think…

Arctic Drilling Protest in Dutch Harbor

Shell Oil Rig Beached

Seattle Kayaks SHELL NO .ORG

Six Greenpeace Climbers Scale Shells Arctic-Bound Oil Rig

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | April 16, 2015

Moving On…

Climate Change has it’s adherents…

Sunny Seattle is one of them.

With the warmest winter on record in Seattle and diminished rainfall — it becomes sweeter to be there.

But being in the East and in the other Washington is rather bad with the freak snowstorms and the New York arctic frost winter.

Forget about Boston… and New England, where the polar bears are set to move in now that their Arctic home is trashed.

SHELL is going to be drilling in the Arctic and in the Chuckli sea — so we have to round up the polar bears lest they get in the way of development.

The SHELL people might have to shoot the white furry beasts — if they interfere — and since this is not something we want to see… — we’ll gather all of them and put them on an ice rink inside the Boston Zoo.

At least that is a plan…

Some plan.

So let’s get all the polar bears and transport them to New England for their winter habitat and at least get them out of the way of SHELL in order to give the oilers, some room to drill-baby-drill.

But it is not the polar bear habitat that is worrying me.

It is the Human Habitat.

With all this Nonsense, it seems an eminent understanding, that doing something to stop Global Warming is needed.

And as it turns out, some people have been connecting the dots.

They have been seeing the patterns, and reading the writing on the wall.

And instead of reacting like Noah and going out to built a big wooden boat to have a floating zoo for the rising tides, and gathering along all the polar bears along with the Seattle Zoo Elephants, and all of creation — to move them to a higher place — they are simply moving on to a better mental place.

Others say Change is imminent and leave it at that.

And the smartest men in the room are buying up Real Estate high up, in Mount Ararat…

Yet it appears that amongst some intelligent Life-forms in America — there is some measure of agreement that the movement away from fossil fuels and towards renewable resources of energy, might be the the way to reduce our carbon footprint, to manage the CO2 we place on the burdened biosphere, and to give us room to breath and survive.

These intelligent life-forms, see how our atmosphere is ravaged and our runaway global threat of an unstable climate and fast rising temperatures competing with faster rising seas is under way — and are scared shitless.

And they also see that as fossil fuel resources get cheaper and cheaper by the day, as air pollution worsens, and as concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of Man — we are finally waking up to smell the roses, and are making our plans to move on to Mars.

My friend Elon Musk is really planning this trip and we might have to built the new “Noah’s Ark” big enough with booster rockets to escape gravity, and big-ass solar sails to sail through Space — so that the space faring Animal Zoo gets to Mars unscathed.

But what about the rest of us?

What about You, your ex, and your Mother in law?

Would You want to stay behind?

Especially if Earth’s temperature and atmosphere goes the way of Venus?

Coal, oil, and natural gas, at their lowest prices in decades are giving a new MEANING to the world “energy economy” and runaway Climate Change.

With temperatures rising above the 2 degree threshold already — we are looking at 7 degrees of warming by 2030 if not sooner.

Yet not all is bad news, because some hope is emerging.

At long last we will be able to sunbathe and swim in downtown Seattle. The whole of Puget Sound will be opened up to summertime tourism development and the pink palace of Oahu will be moved to Alki with the everlasting pink daquiries served under pink umbrellas on the beaches of Seattle.

Who wants to fly to Hawai when the paradise is upon us right here?

The tropical economy of these islands will collapse and they might have to go back to Taro root agriculture and bananas — but that is another story.

There will be other changes too.

Some of them more serious than others…

People might miss the Winter months.

[ I don’t believe this… ]

Thailand as a tropical vacation destination will become overrated and people are going to stay home and swim again in the Boston Harbour.

Another Tea party will ensue…

Finally, the coal, oil, & gas economy, fueled largely by coal and oil, is eventually going to be seen as the source of our problems.

And people are going to be asking for it to be replaced.

Replaced with what?

Maybe replace it with something cleaner?

And then simply as the old infrastructure falls in disrepair…

We might change it with better, cleaner, newer stuff.

The future is uncertain.

And uncertain as it is — it might at least be powered by Clean Energy.

Maybe by solar and wind energy and not by “Clean Coal” — that is if we have our way.

There is a glimmer of hope there…

And this hope rests on us.

We like to create a Future for All.

And we see this as a Good Goal.

If we can also get all of you reading this to jump on the bandwagon of Renewable Energy — we might just create a positive future and a virtuous trend.

And if we create a positive trend — others will see this.

When people start trending this way, and further reinforcing this movement, then we have won.

This then becomes an evolving trend.

A positive upwards spiral of virtue.

A thermal lift…

It’s a good thing to dream…

But in order to create this trend we have to focus.

We need to focus on meeting not only the needs of the people — but also meet the falling prices of fossil fuels.

We need to meet these low prices of coal, oil, and gas — for all renewables.

Conditioning of economic values of New Energy, at par — is the only solution.

Rising adoption for renewables with fast falling prices, coupled with the certainty of maintaining these low prices for renewables longterm — is the start.

Removal of all Fossil Fuel subsidies is another element in this strategy.

Making the dirty oilers pay for their pollution is mandatory. Carbon Taxes will come into view. Cap&trade will appear in front of all the legislatures. And some might pass it — not like Washington state’s comedic efforts, but more like New England and British Columbia…

Polluter-Pays mandates will become common.

Adding up the costs of the pollution to the fossil fuel energy is going to be mandatory.

After all these are economic costs, and what you measure — you manage.

We’ve got to built a traditional Darwinian green field for the Energy resources to compete.

That’s how You built a level playing field where the best Energy wins.

Because only when the wind, solar, sea-electric, geothermal energy, tidal&wave, and energy efficiency management movement; meets the countervailing trend away from coal, gas, oil, and nuclear power — we stand to survive.

And maybe  we can pull this off…

Because Hope dares to imagine and the facts are on the ground for a few exciting trends:

The price of solar photovoltaic panels has declined 99 percent over the last four decades, from $74 a watt in 1972 to less than 70 cents a watt in 2014. Between 2009 and 2014, solar panel prices dropped by three fourths, helping global PV installations grow 50 percent per year.

Over the past decade, world wind power capacity grew more than 20 percent a year, its increase driven by its many attractive features, by public policies supporting its expansion, and by falling costs. By the end of 2014, global wind generating capacity totaled 369,000 megawatts, enough to power more than 90 million U.S. homes.

National and sub-national policies around the world are shifting to support renewables and put a price on carbon. These include 70 countries with feed-in tariffs; two dozen countries with renewable portfolio standards (RPS); 37 countries with production or investment tax credits for renewables; and some 40 countries implementing or planning carbon pricing.

U.S. coal use is dropping – it fell 21 percent between 2007 and 2014 – and more than one-third of the nation’s coal plants have already closed or announced plans for future closure. Meanwhile the Stowe Global Coal Index – a composite index of companies from around the world whose principal business involves coal – dropped 70 percent between April 2011 and September 2014.

For the world as a whole, nuclear power generation peaked in 2006, and dropped by nearly 14 percent by 2014.

In the US, the country with the most reactors, nuclear generation peaked in 2010 and is now also on the decline.

In China, electricity generation from wind farms now exceeds that from nuclear plants, while the growing coal use — appears to be peaking.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

Old Infrastructure is being replaced all over.

The massive restructuring of the global economy along new energy generation is under way.

Initially this energy transition was driven by government incentives, but now it is also being driven by the market.

Still Fossil Fuel companies turn their biggest profits ever and with low prices of their dirty energy they seem to preclude the renewable future.

But the “NEW” is rising.

With the creation of new and agile capital markets today, that are favoring solar and wind energy in many locations, the trend is becoming visible and the growth of renewables is accelerating.

Our Climate is warming up much faster than anticipated — and this might be coupling and reinforcing the moving trend away from fossil fuels.

After all, everyone who breathes cleaner air, drinks cleaner water, and benefits from a more stable climate will come out on top as the energy transition proceeds.

PPS:

For the Activists amongst you and for the strong swimmers — please keep on reading.

Should You be in Seattle and interested to join the Environmental Parliament to help along this nascent trend — join up here: http://www.meetup.com/Environmental-Parliament/

What do you guys think about a flotilla of kayaks?

This Summer we are going surfing in Puget Sound with our boards, kayaks, canoes, and maybe a flotilla of Noah’s Arks to blockade the SHELL oil drilling rigs from leaving their Seattle berth to go to the ARCTIC to destroy the polar Bear habitat even further.

Your sea-kayak is needed along with you, to become part of, and manage this giant flotila of protest against a fast warming planet and the unequivocal Climate Change.

Seattle Kayaks Shell No

Seattle Kayaks RISE UP sign

Seattle Kayaks SHELL NO .ORG

Come Along and Be Counted, because when there is warm sunlight, clean sea, and easy nature, it is easy to be a friend to all and here is where it all starts if you want a career with the Environmental Parliament, but above all — if you want a future for the Human Race.

‘The Balance of Democracy, Liberty and Security for an Advanced Governance of the Internet Commons”

Dr Pano Kroko, speaks today on the most pivotal issue of Liberty vs security.

Dr Kroko is a SuperAngel, Innovator, and CEO of Evropa  [Democratic, Libertarian, Private Social Network].

Abstract:

LIBERTY VS SECURITY = This is a Rebuttal to the Talk of General Keith Alexander of NSA who spoke in Seattle last week about Cybersecurity, Personal Security, and the Threat of Information… Today Dr Kroko will speak about the Real Security and the privacy protection for Internet Communities, and specifically the means for building Evropa, which is an open Social Network with Privacy and liberty. Evropa is a communications and business network, designed to bring Europeans and all global citizens together for building stronger Social Network Connections. All Communities can share this stand-alone network as a “swarm” that strengthens communities in the event of cyber attacks, it creates resilient infrastructure, it builds command and control independent systems, and it builds resilient search and rescue and comity defense network mechanisms that due to their own independence will be up and running even at the event of a major cyber attack.  Bio: Passionate about sustainable economic development, Dr Pano Kroko, is Chairman of the Environmental Parliament, a global community which discusses issues including environmental politics, climate change, enviro activism, carbon pricing, enviro-science and natural resources. An author and social entrepreneur, Dr Kroko was previously CEO of Seattle Wireless Inc. He has worked extensively in carbon and energy finance, including green bonds financing for the power sector. He is also the current Managing Director of Green Capital Inc. Dr Kroko lectures worldwide on mobile technology, the internet, green technologies, innovation, finance and entrepreneurship.

He is also an Angel Investor globally and locally with Seattle Angels Network: www.meetup.com/Seattle-Angels/

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

See You at the City Hall of Bellevue tonight at 8pm…

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | April 14, 2015

Dr Rowan Williams Climate Change Response

This is the lecture of 13th October 2009 at Southwark Cathedral, in London sponsored by the Christian environmental group Operation Noah and by the Environmental Parliament of the UK.

Here Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, sets out a Christian vision of how people can respond to the looming environmental crisis.

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

It is time to take Action Now.

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | April 14, 2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams in Seattle

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and then Head of the Anglican Church when the Environmental Parliament organized the massive Demos and Activist led Conference to help the COP process of the UN to reach a Global Climate Deal in Copenhagen back in 2009, was on hand in Seattle to help us lead the charge for Climate Equity and Climate Justice in North America today…

He came over and offered his homily this Sunday morning in the best weather time, of this past weekend…

He spoke eloquently at St Mark’s cathedral about the need to be Men & Women of our time but to not forget to be the People needed for ALL TIME. And Climate CHange is a problem for all time and we are called to solve it by acting ethically in facing the situation and acting strongly to avert the looming catastrophe for the lesser ones and the ones least responsible…

And as we are facing the catastrophic effects of Climate Change today —  we best remember that out of the chaos and the morass we have a distinct responsibility to built order.

And as Christians, we have to recall that this is our Garden and we are responsible for it’s upkeep and cleanliness and for all the species living here…

It was a Good Day when we spoke about Milestones, Projects, and Mutual Friends in need of support but above all else it was a time of Remembrance of victories & past defeats, and of the need to be vigilant to win the Future by fighting for it.

Here is a small tribute from the Environmental Parliament struggles in Copenhagen back in 2009 and Dr Rowan Williams response to the journalist questioning him why he marches with the EP activists for Climate Justice:

You’ve got to see his response here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnpiY0Hcweg

Yours,

Dr Kroko

PS:

Today Dr Rowan Williams has retired as Archbishop of the Global Anglican Church and is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the CHRISTIAN AID charitable organization and also the Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge, but is also an unequivocal opponent of inaction in the face of Climate Change and a rousing Spirit in the defense of the people of the planet and of the Environmental Parliament work across the globe…

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | April 14, 2015

What Colour is Your Exit?

Let’s Discuss and Learn from the Author of the book: “What Colour is your Exit?” –Dr Pano Kroko about what is that makes a Successful StartUp Exit.

Seattle Angels

Seattle, WA
221 Angels

This is a Group about Angel Capital Investing in Science and Technology StartUps.We are a congregation of Early Stage Funders, who provide Angel and Early Stage Finance, to a…

Next Meetup

Cyber Security Discussion with StartUps @ Bellevue Town Hall

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015, 6:00 PM
15 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

It’s a Talk about Strategic Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions and Fold-Ins.

What about the following useful Liquidity Events in the Life of a StartUp?

Private exit?

Acquihire?

Merger?

In today’s fast evolving StartUp world, it is important to remember that Strategic, Private, Acquihire, and M & A Exits — outnumber the public market IPOS by upwards of One Hundred to One… There is a Reason for this and Reality is a Good Starting point to address. So it is good to learn the dynamics Merger & Acquisition Discussions for Tech StartUps and for all other growth sectors of the economy. This is an opportunity for CEOs of both StartUps and well established companies to interact, find common ground, and practice their combined interaction, syndication, and M&A communication skills. We’ll take an Investment Banking perspective to find your sweet spot for an Exit or for an M & A opportunity, with yourself and your company assets and growth plans, as collateral for Change… Practical and Actionable Intelligence along with Interactive Simulation of our M&A Activities ensues and helps identify the Tell-Tale signs of a good fit between prospective partners in any M&A activity.

This is an interactive and participatory exchange mapped out in a game board that teaches and impacts all of the participants through an M & A real life scenario. It’s like running a Harvard Business School M&A case simulation in an hour, but without the HBR fees and the famous East Coast lack of humour…

Join us to grasp and digest Opportunities…

The Strategic Acquisition Environment for Seattle Startups in 2015 is hopefully rosy.

After a banner year in 2014 with $1.5 billion in new funding for startups, Seattle also posted a great year of exits with 47 acquisitions and 7 IPO’s. 2015 has already begun to show good results in acquisitions, such as Zomato’s  for $55 million purchase of Urbanspoon.

Given the number of acquisitions that have taken place, and the continued growth of Seattle startups during the current M&A wave, it is worth noting the role of strategic acquirers in the Seattle region. As the competition and rivalry among tech firms continues to heat up, acquisitions enable companies with sufficient resources to buy vs. build. Top 2014 US Acquirers like Yahoo!, Google, Apple, and Cisco have led the tech acquisition space as they consolidate adjacent technologies necessary for building a base for their future organic growth.

Seattle startups attract national attention

While only two of the top 15 are in the Seattle region, it’s clear the Pacific Northwest has attracted national attention. Over, 2000Seattle-based startups have been acquired, representing nearly $31 billion of exits. While the strategics located within Seattle have been active, 90 percent of the companies acquired went to acquirers outside Seattle, including Google, EMC, Yahoo!, and Cisco, a company known for its acquisition growth strategy.

Software a key sector for acquirers of Seattle startups

The biggest acquisition space for Seattle has been in software, particularly within enterprise software. SAP’s 2014 acquisition of Concur for $12.1 billion is by far the most demonstrative of an enterprise software roll-up into a Strategic acquirer from Seattle. Other focal areas include mobile, curated web, and e-commerce, which enabled acqui-hire solutions for strategic talent.

Additional sectors poised for strategic exit

Seattle’s continued early stage investments in cloud, mobile and analytics will be a draw for future strategic acquisitions.  Specifically, Seattle has seen a shift in the number of investment rounds in analytics, networking, and EdTech. Key companies funded were Socrata, Deep Domain, Context Relevant, and API Metrics, Koru, Code.org, while some of the traditional industries as general software and games lost share of rounds. However, big winners in 2014 dollars were in healthcare, including Juno Therapeutics with $310 million in funding, which recently raised a $212 million IPO.

Early stage investments made in 2014 and B2B/enterprise solutions with emphasis in cloud, mobile, and analytics pave the way to great acquisitions for strategics. Specifically, strategics looking to add to product portfolio, add new customer segments, or looking for add to their talent base relative will continue find value in Seattle startups. Such exits are critical for refueling the economic development engine, so stay tuned for updates on exits, IPOs and acquisitions.

exitstop 15acquirersmarket segmentsnext hot thing

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