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How To Spot The Best VCs: Talk To The Founders Who Didn’t Succeed

Most venture capitalists who have raised more than a single fund have a few success stories. Those who don't, of course, don't usually get a shot at a second fund. For entrepreneurs, gauging VCs by these past investment successes can be difficult. A common process when vetting VCs is to talk to people who have worked with them. But founders should dig past the wild success stories, the IPOs and ...

How Networking Led to the Origin of Origin Ventures

Origin partner Bruce Barron on the importance of networking   I recently participated in the Israel Cancer Research Fund’s (ICRF) Revolving Tables event in Chicago as a mentor. ICRF is an international charitable organization whose mission is to support cancer research programs in Israel for the benefit of Israel and all mankind. The Revolving Tables event is a networking event for young professionals. Following a one hour cocktail reception, the ...

Introducing the Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership

We are excited to announce that Origin Ventures co-founders Steve Miller (through his family’s REAM Foundation) and Bruce Barron have provided the naming gift for the Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership within the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. Read more about the gift. The mission of the Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership is to infuse entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking across every academic discipline of ...

Origin Ventures Sales Summit Recap

In March, Origin Ventures invited portfolio company sales leaders and guests to our 2018 Sales Summit in Park City, UT. The 25+ attendees discussed sales strategies, hiring, organizational structure, sales tools, and much more. We expect the sales summit to be a launching pad for continued conversations among portfolio company sales leaders. We would like to thank the attendees for spending the day with us, and the presenters for sharing ...

The New Frontier: Entrepreneurship in Utah

With last week’s (confidential) filing of Pluralsight’s imminent IPO and the rising speculation that Domo will file for IPO any day now, the world is finally seeing what we at Origin have known for some time: there’s something special going on in Salt Lake City. Although Origin Ventures began as a Chicago-based firm, we actually have two offices – our primary one in Chicago, and another in Salt Lake City. ...

We Don’t Play Games With Our Investments – Our Investment in Gamer Sensei

Origin made a seed investment in Boston-based Gamer Sensei, an esports platform company, as part of a ~$4.1m oversubscribed round in the fall of 2017. Gamer Sensei’s flagship product pairs top esports players (“Senseis”) with gamers looking to improve their skills for fun or even to compete professionally. The esports category is exploding. Just a $100m market in 2015, esports has enjoyed ~40% YoY revenue growth since, and is projected ...

Why I Joined Origin Ventures: Prashant Shukla

“At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished. It's about what you've done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It’s about what you've given back." - Denzel Washington It’s not like me to write something like this. But it has become somewhat of a tradition at Origin Ventures, and it does give me an ...

The Video Advertising Journey – Our Investment in ViralGains

Spending on digital video ads has continued to rocket forward. In 2017, an estimated $23.8B[note]https://www.statista.com/statistics/272856/worldwide-online-video-advertising-spending-forecast/[/note] will be spent on video advertising worldwide, representing 82% growth over the same figure in 2015. With click through rates on pre-roll ads at 0.4% (i.e., 1 click every 250 ads[note]https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Innovid_2016_Advanced_Video_Benchmarks_Final_US_Updated_2_26_16.pdf[/note]), marketers have accepted that video advertising is largely used for “building awareness,” and not “direct response.” But what happens when brands employ better data for ...

Fighting the Internet’s Bad Guys: Why We Invested in AppDetex

In the 10 years since the first iPhone was released, the number of applications in the Apple mobile app store has swelled to over 2 million. There are another 2.2 million apps on the Google Play store. There have been 268 billion total mobile app downloads, which have generated over $77B in mobile commerce every year. Consumers’ time spent in mobile apps has increased 114 percent since 2014. Unfortunately, while ...

Why We Invested in Fountain (Formerly OnboardIQ)

Between contract workers, the new on-demand and “gig economy,” and traditional hourly workforces, nearly 60% of the American workforce is employed on an hourly basis. Despite the growth in hourly workers, software solutions for the Human Capital Management (HCM) market have historically focused on salaried employees. Incumbent applicant tracking systems are designed to enable recruiters to hire a specific individual for a specific salaried job. But hiring is different for ...
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