Startups + roundup: deep tech tips for SaaS VCs,... + roundup: deep tech tips for SaaS VCs, toxic fundraising, student visa startup options


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If someone said “start up” while we were playing a word association game, I would respond with “fundraising.” (I bet you would too.)

Asking people for money is an important part of any founder’s journey, but Collin Wallace, CEO of Techstars, says it can also “precipitate your demise.”

For example, raising a round to revitalize engineering, sales and marketing sounds positive, but what if the company itself has a negative unit economy?

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“Most of the time, it’s not a lack of cash that gets in the way of a company and its ability to achieve scale,” Wallace writes in TC+.

“It is better to ask: do we have crowding problems? Product problems? Process problems? People problems? Is my business model fundamentally flawed?”

In this article, he examines four scenarios that often lead entrepreneurs to look for new money and explains why it is much more important to “get a clear picture of what is causing losses”.

Thank you for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager,
@your protagonist

Software investors should (re)learn these 3 ideas before getting into deep tech

As VCs have “turned software investing into a low-margin financing game,” the net positive could be that so many are “unable to move forward and invest in the next big thing: deep tech,” according to Champ Suthipongchai, co-founder and general partner at Creative Ventures.

A SaaS mindset is simply irrelevant to deep tech investing, meaning traditional VCs need to recalibrate their behavior (and expectations) before diving in.

“The first software investor mantra just doesn’t make sense in the world of deep tech,” Suthipongchai writes.

“This kind of magical thinking is exactly why their software playbook is doomed to fail.”

Blank Street cracked the code to make coffee shops attractive to VC

Blank Street, coffee, startups, venture capital

Image Credits: Getty Images

Tech investors don’t tend to back brick-and-mortar companies because they have so many literal moving parts: SaaS startups can’t get a flat tire or fail a health inspection, and they certainly don’t need foot traffic.

“But Blank Street claims to have cracked the code to allow a chain of more than 65 brick-and-mortar coffee shops to have the right metrics to attract venture capitalists,” writes Rebecca Szkutak.

“They recently closed a $20 million Series B round in a year where fundraising has taken a nosedive — even for companies with low overheads.”

Ask Sophie: Can I start a startup if I’m in the US on a student visa?

lone figure at the entrance of a maze hedge with an American flag in the middle

Image credit: Bryce Durbin /

Dear Sophie,

I just found out that I have been accepted into an American university, which was my first choice!

One day it would be my dream to create my own startup in the US. Is there any foundation I can lay to make my dream come true?

— Future-oriented founder

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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