I’ve been following a few sites this past year related to the importance of relationships, from large brands and partners or ecosystems to early-stage technology investing. I’ve spent a lot of time this past year with entrepreneurs, worked with a colleague through an Angel firm over at MIT’s Entrepreneurship Center, and made several visits to Dogpatch Labs, created by Polaris Venture Partners, for a variety of presentations. I’ve attened UltraLight Startups Boston meeting and made several trips to New York and the Bay Area talking to major technology brands, investors, and entrepreneurs of all types.

David B. Lerner

The first cool set of tools comes from David B. Lerner’s blog that focuses on startups, venture capital, angel investing, and university entrepreneurship programs. He continues to develop some interesting tools that are then crowdsourced to the startup and investment communities for tweaking. Fresh on the heels of his map of Silicon Alley’s early-stage venture ecosystem comes one for the Boston Area.

These maps continue to get updated as readers post in. I for one suggested he add Beacon Angels to the Boston map. Here they are in their latest version, or you can go to David’s blog for the latest version of Boston and Silicon Alley.

David B. Lerner’s Early-Stage Investing Ecosystem Map of Boston

David B. Lerners Map of Early-Stage Tech Investor Ecosystem for Boston

Source: David B. Lerner


David B. Lerner’s Early-Stage Investing Ecosystem Map of Silicon Alley

David B. Lerners Map of Early-Stage Tech Investor Ecosystem for Siicon Alley

Source: David B. Lerner


Venture Hack and AngelList

The next valuable tool is Venture Hack’s extremely useful AngelList that offers a tremendous amount of utility, and its star is rising. I was at Supernova Hub in Philadelphia last week and AngleList was highly promoted there during investment-focused panel discussions. AngelList is a community of angel investors that may come together (or not) on various types of investors. It’s a community where entrepreneurs can increasingly pitch their ideas to a list of Angel invetsors instead of approaching each one individual, in hopes of seeking capital.

angel list

Source: AngelList


Valdis Krebs

Valdis Krebs

Source: networkweaving

The final tools I want to highlight come from the work of Valdis Krebs. First, I’ve known Valdis for a few years through a mutual networking group. Valdis is based in Cleveland, Ohio (where I myself grew up) and runs a blog called TNT- The Network Thinker.  He also collaborates on a blog with June Holley (from Athens, Ohio), and Jack Ricchiuto (also from Cleveland) called networkweaving.

Valdis Krebs

Source: Valdis Krebs and networkweaving

Valdis is the Founder, and Chief Scientist, at orgnet.com, is a management consultant, researcher, trainer, author, and the developer of InFlow software that focuses on social and organizational network analysis [SNA/ONA]. He measures knowledge exchange, information flow, emergent communities, networks of alliances and other connections within and between organizations and communities. His most prominent work has been around Cleveland’s Slavic Village real estate collapse, its relationship to the U.S. mortgage crisis, and how Slavic Village’s mortgages were packaged into Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) and then remixed into Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs), either real or synthetic. Slavic Village was part of a synthetic CDO called ABACUS 2007-AC1 that is the focus of a criminal charge brought on by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Goldman Sachs.

Valdis Krebs's Map of Cleveland ABACUS

Source: Valdis Krebs 2010

Valdis’s work has been instrumental in highlighting the intricacies of networks and their relationships for both positive and negative means. While I was writing a report on the Android Ecosystem last year, we toyed with the idea of a network map for Google. Valdis has recently stated that it’s not the hubs of a network, or the relationship between hubs that is most import, as it is the details of the spokes. His work was often referenced at the Supernova Hub conference in Philadelphia last week as well.

Whether we are talking about mapping early-stage tech investments or the mortgage crisis, nearly every major activity today is connected in some form or fashion to a network ecosystem. We are in the network age as a species. But it is more than the physical networks of bits and bytes and voice, data, and video transmission; it is also about the relationship networks we have today, and more importantly the social ones.

– Randy Giusto