Blog

  • VCs and angels take aim, entrepreneurs caught in crosshairs

    It's time for VCs and angels to set aside their differences, in part because they are largely cosmetic. Note: this post was originally published as a guest column on Fortune Term Sheet on December 4, 2013 No topic fuels more discussion and debate within the early-stage investment community than the dynamics between VC and angel investors. Are they natural enemies or complementary players in an increasingly diverse funding ecosystem? Or both? AngelList's introduction of…

  • Bullish on Boston: Why Biotech (and More) is Booming

    I spend a lot of time in Boston these days. So do many of my partners. In fact, half of our partnership serves on boards in Boston, and we have about two dozen Boston companies in our active portfolio. This is not a new phenomenon—NEA has always been among the most active VCs in Boston—but today we’re spending more time here than ever before. Why? Because we’re seeing more opportunity here than ever before. This might sound counterintuitive at a time when many in our…

  • By the Numbers:  A Big Deal for Big Data as Monsanto Buys Climate Corporation

    Today’s announcement that Monsanto will acquire Climate Corporation for about $1B is a big deal for many reasons: by the numbers, it’s one of the year’s largest M&A transactions for a venture-backed company, coming from a sector few would expect and a buyer far afield of the ‘usual suspects’ for a tech acquisition of this size. The company is an outlier, in almost every sense of the word. Through several rounds of financing and some very graceful pivots,…

  • Lessons from NEA Studio

    Over the last six months, I’ve worked alongside several colleagues at NEA to launch NEA Studio, a 14-week incubator program to help professional designers start their own companies. Led by NEA Partner Dayna Grayson, our core project team developed the program objectives, designed a curriculum, selected seven “designer founders” from around 100 applicants, and assembled a cast of tech veterans to serve as program advisors. The thesis of the program was simple: Design is now…

  • Signal or Noise? NEA’s Experience with Signaling Risk in Seed Investing

    *This post is a follow-up to my “Ask a VC” interview with Leena Rao at TechCrunch who posed the question, “Why does a $2.6 billion fund make seed investments?”  NEA is one of the largest VC firms by assets under management, and has quietly become one of the most active seed investors in the industry. Launching a seed program was controversial, both within the firm and throughout the seed investment community. The primary concern was “signaling risk”,…