Sunday, March 31, 2013

First of the Month Roundup for April: Angels win NAVCA Award; Micro Housing in SF, Seattle, NY, Boston; Cambridge Red Line Improvements

For the first time ever, the North American Venture Capital Assn. (NAVCA) has presented its top award to… angel  group? Speaking from the podium during the champagne and caviar toast at the Rainbow Room, NAVCA President Jacob Marley recognized the  Lake Wobegon Angels, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all their investment returns are above the median. I hear their franks, beans, and brown bread angel dinners in the church basement are a very great success. We can all learn a lot from these angels,” he said, before digging into his soufflé.
The History Channel series on the Bible sparked a vigorous exchange at Angel & Demon Capital Assn. (ADCA) dinner last month.  Asking “why aren’t there more women angels,”  Seamus G. of the Uncommon Angels stated “because most angels trace back to Moses, they see the Promised Land, but they never really get there.”  Jeannie H. of Garden Seeds opined that women trace back a generation further than Moses. “During the recent recession, angels more closely resembled the Pharaoh’s daughter, who managed to save a little prophet from the rushes on the bank.”
Micro housing developments for young technologists are now planned for San Francisco, with Boston, New York, and Seattle following. In an effort to help high tech entrepreneurs to find affordable housing downtown, these cities are planning to allow micro unit housing, with units consisting of 300 sq. feet or less. In San Francisco, they call them the Alcatraz Apartments.  “People ask me if they chose the name because the units will have a view of the island of Alcatraz,” said Chronicle Columnist Herb Caen. “I reply that it will show them the view from inside Alcatraz.”

 “We’ll name ours the ‘Sacco and Vanzetti Apartments,’” said a Boston Mayoral spokesperson.  “They spent seven years in similar housing not far from here (before going off to visit ‘Old Sparky’).”  Young entrepreneurs can rent one now for only $2K to $3K per month.” New York will name its units after tenement reformer Jacob Riis.

“They don’t really need to put kitchens in those units," says T. Row Row,  founder of the Cambridge Inn Ovation Center, noting that the ribs of his lean startup tenants were starting to show, so he added a soup kitchen to his Venture Cafe.  "They were having a hard time living on just the free coffee and beer", said Row Row, "Plus, we were tired of losing all the engineers to Google, just for the free food.  We expect them to be lean, but not that lean. Maybe the Salvation Army could locate a soup kitchen in the Innovation District. We would applaud that.”

(Note to our readers:  the Ovation Center was designed as a safe place for politicians and public officials to announce expensive new programs to rounds of ringing applause. The Ovation Center is located near the TechMoons Excelerator, an organization founded to drill young entrepreneurs in the excessive use of Excel spreadsheets.)
Sic Transit in Cambridge/Boston. America’s Technology Subway, Boston’s Red Line, is about to undergo some face lifting to support the Innovation Economy.  Here is the revised lineup of stops heading outbound from Boston to Cambridge.

Whitey Bulger (formerly Broadway).  New landscaping will include an equestrian statue of the man himself.  
Innovation District. Rumor has it that this will be renamed Thomas Menino once the mayor for life actually  leaves office in favor of startup guru Matt Lauzon.
Filene’s Basement (formerly Downtown Crossing).
Park Street.
Charles Street.
Central Square.
Haavard Yaahd.
Porter Square.
No Barneys (in Somerville).
Smith College/U. Mass.
Lake Woebegon
Santa Clara
Los Gatos
Larry Ellison (Hawaiian Islands)

Note that one popular stop is missing.  MIT and the City of Cambridge have requested the removal of the Kendall Square stop. “We want to encourage alternative transportation,” says MIT President Olivier Smoot.  First, we got the cars out of the square, now we’ll remove the pedestrians.”  Presumably remaining will be Segways, unicycles, and pogo sticks.  An alternative would be to name the stop after the F&T Diner, the place where all the real innovation took place 50 years ago.

“Originally we were going to repair the track and order new trains, but that costs money, so we starting this rebranding instead,” says MBTA senior system planner Maurits C. Escher.
 In the interest of promoting even greater cooperation between the Angel and Venture Capital communities, the Coughingman Foundation is requiring both groups to participate in a new musical production to open on Broadway in the Fall.

The Angel and the VC Should be Friends

(Tune from Oklahoma: “The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends.”  To view the video of the tune, the costumes, the dance steps, and the brawl click right here.)

The Angel and the VC should be friends,
Oh, the Angel and the VC should be friends,
One guy helps a firm to grow, the other tries to grab the dough,
But that’s no reason why they can’t be friends.

Funding folks should stick together,
Funding folks should all be pals,
Angels dance with the VC’s daughters,
VCs dance with the Angel gals.

The Angel is a good and thrifty citizen,
No matter what the VC says or thinks,
You’ll seldom see her drinking in a barroom,
--Unless somebody else is buying drinks.

But the Angel and the VC should be friends,
Oh, the Angel and the VC should be friends,
The Angel spreads his funds about,
The VC might dilute him out,
But that’s no reason why they can’t be friends.

I’d like to say a word for the VC,
Investing other’s money is his skill,
He could have left a small bit on the table,
But thinks if he don’t grab it,  Judd Fry will.

Funding folks should stick together,
Funding folks should all be pals,
Angels dance with the VC’s daughters,
VCs dance with the Angel’s pals.

I’d like to say a word for the Angel,
Negotiating deals has made her canny,
That VC talking with her in the corner,
Will find out quick that she’s no Ado Annie.

Funding folks should stick together
Funding folks should all be pals
Angels dance with the VC’s daughters
VCs dance with the Angel gals.

Funding folks will stick together,
Funding folks will all be friends,
Everyone will dance together,
That’s the way this story ends.

     -----     ------
We modestly describe this effort as after composer Richard Rogers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, but we suspect that they’ll be after us once they learn about it.

Prima Aprilis.  To the delight of our editors, this publication circulates worldwide, and rapidly.  Here in New England, April 1 is celebrated as April Fools’ Day, a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on one another. We wish a very merry April Fools Day to you, our readers, wherever ye may be.   

Kendall Square in the Golden Age of Innovation, 1961 - 1973


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