The founders of Smalls, which uses human-grade ingredients to make cat food, have clearly defined their roles and hold meetings to address important issues. "It's inevitable that we're going to have projects or goals that don't get hit, but the feedback loop -- making sure that we discuss why something didn't happen -- allows us to get better," co-founder Matthew Michaelson said.
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick plans to invest in e-commerce, technology startups and real estate in China and India through his new investment fund, 10100. Kalanick said the theme of the fund, which will also target education nonprofits, "will be about large-scale job creation."
Boxed Wholesale, which sells household products, is seeking a new funding round rather than accepting an acquisition bid from Kroger, a source said. Boxed attempts to differentiate itself from Amazon by offering a limited selection of bulk-sized products.
"Femtech" companies that provide services geared toward women are on the rise, with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan expecting market potential of $50 billion by 2025. Four-fifths of household health care spending is controlled by women, the firm notes.
A startup CEO can't afford to simply work in the background and let others take over selling responsibilities, writes Howard Tullman. Customers want to see a startup's leaders are engaged with their needs and are willing to stand behind the company's products.
Soft skills will be critical in the coming years, even as technological evolution continues to shape the business world, said Josh Bersin, principal of Bersin by Deloitte. "Empathy, communication, speaking, judgment ... these renaissance skills are the jobs of the future," he said.
The acquisition process is full of small details that can affect whether a deal is ultimately successful, writes Eric Tobias, a partner at High Alpha. Pricing models and customer terms and conditions are among the factors that can affect the outcome of a deal.
NatureBox, which makes and sells its own line of snacks, laid off 20 employees in December and is pondering funding options that could significantly dilute the holdings of current investors. "If we don't close a deal, the company would be in a really challenging position," said CEO Gautam Gupta.