July 30, 2021
SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs
The Lead
Sponsors of special-purpose acquisition companies are reducing the time to find an acquisition target and adding funds to the gross proceeds raised as the SPAC frenzy cools, says RiverNorth Capital Management CEO and Chief Information Officer Patrick Galley. SPACs are also setting their sights abroad as the market evolves.
Full Story: Crunchbase (7/29) 
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Today In Startups
The Securities and Exchange Commission has paused processing initial public offerings registrations by Chinese companies while it develops new risk guidance. Chinese companies seeking to sell shares in the US will be subject to additional disclosures in response to China's recent regulatory restrictions, SEC Chair Gary Gensler says.
Full Story: Reuters (7/30),  Bloomberg (7/30),  The Wall Street Journal (7/30) 
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An indictment unsealed by the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan charges Trevor Milton, founder of electric truck company Nikola and its former chief executive, with two counts of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud. The indictment said Milton provided investors with false and misleading information about the company.
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (7/29) 
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Ro introduces DTC mental health platform
(John Moore/Getty Images)
Direct-to-consumer health startup Ro is expanding into mental health, debuting a service called Ro Mind. Consumers will be able to get prescriptions to treat generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder if they meet certain criteria after completing a questionnaire and a consultation with a provider.
Full Story: MobiHealthNews (7/27) 
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Make Your Startup Better
To better understand and improve the customer experience, it's important that you collect the right data. Peter Boyd, founder of PaperStreet Web Design, says emails are a must to proactively communicate, while Brian David Crane, founder of Caller Smart, recommends making it easy for customers to leave feedback and voice their opinions.
Full Story: Small Business Trends (7/29) 
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Founders can manage their startup's risk by keeping the initial idea simple to limit failure points, constantly testing ideas and understanding when a solution won't work, advises Abdo Riani, founder and CEO of VisionX Partners. "Fortunes aren't made by carefully thinking and analyzing for decades and then making one big bet," Riani says.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (7/29) 
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Funding, IPOs and Acquisitions
When Entrepreneurs Fail
Construction-technology startup Social Construct will wind down operations this year, and employees' last day will be Sunday. Co-founders Ben Huh and Michael Yarne cite the pandemic as the reason for the closure, noting that investors became skittish last year over falling rent prices and people potentially fleeing cities.
Full Story: The Real Deal (7/30) 
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The big outcomes -- successes and failures, usually come from what is surprising and unpredicted, rather than what is expected and predicted.
Abdo Riani, founder and CEO of VisionX Partners, writing for Forbes
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