Category Archives: Uncategorized


While just one in 10 VC investments achieves a successful exit or next stage funding, a small team of upstarts has quietly come up with a way to significantly increase the odds of identifying whether a startup has a decent shot at succeeding.

After two years of internal work, the Microsoft Startup Predictor has proven to have a 75% success rate in predicting a future funding event.

The Startup Predictor is an AI-powered prediction engine conceived and developed by Series A – The Podcast host Jim Brisimitzis, Sonal Mane and Pushpraj Shukla.

In this edition of Series A, the trio detail development of the tool that can save VC’s millions of dollars by providing them an exclusive tool to dramatically increase the success of their investments.

Developed by a startup team inside Microsoft, the Startup Predictor combines the power and expertise of the Microsoft Startups group in the United States and Canada and the Microsoft Market Intelligence & AI team.


Can a company change the face of advertising while doing good at the same time?  The founders of Chicago-based Do Good Media are doing just that.

In this edition of Series A – The Podcast, we visit with co-founders Jerome Shimizu and Michael Sheng during a visit to startup epicenter 1871.

“We provide publishers with billions of high-quality, incremental advertising opportunities,” the company says.   But what exactly does that mean?  The answer depends on the customer, Sheng says.  At its core, Do Good is doing some amazing things across various media sectors to deliver new solutions and value in the cut-throat and ever-changing world of advertising.

As experienced founders and executives, Shimizu and Sheng offer valuable insights for any entrepreneur, from innovation to building an organization.  Join technical evangelist Martin Schray and producer/correspondent Josh Kerns for a wide ranging and thought provoking conversation in the latest edition of Series A – The Podcast.


What do you get when you combine a seasoned serial entrepreneur and technologist with a PhD and tenure track cancer researcher at the University of Chicago?  One of the most promising startups disrupting the health care industry.

In the latest of edition of Series A – The Podcast, we return to Chicago for a visit with Jason Smith, the co-founder and CEO of rMark Bio.

Smith’s diverse background provides for an insightful and wide-ranging conversation spanning over 17 years of experience doing everything from raising millions in capital, leading a number of ventures and serving as principal technologist in distributed systems architecture, big data analytics, and high-performance computing from work with ATI Research, AT&T, General Dynamics, IBM and GraySky Simulations.

rMark Bio’s industry leading AI solution understands the real-time business strategies of R&D, Medical Affairs, Marketing, and Commercial to provide field representatives with clear and concise ‘next best decisions’ that remove inefficiencies and increase ROI for thought leader engagements, the company says

“Leveraging artificial intelligence, we can go beyond the who.  We can tell you why you should be engaging with them from a business perspective, what you should be engaging about when we tap into your content management systems, how this will help your business based on knowing your strategic KPI’s and strategic goals for a given quarter or year or even a year, and really what are the next best actions if you’re a field rep to meet those goals,” Smith tells technical evangelist Martin Schray and producer/correspondent Josh Kerns.


When Expedia founder Rich Barton was secretly building Zillow, it was Seattle tech news site Geekwire that first uncovered and broke the story.  Same with the first tests of Amazon foray into the grocery business and numerous other big tech stories.  That dogged reporting is why the Seattle-based enterprise has become the preeminent voice of technology in the Northwest – attracting readers from around the world.

“We founded the company – the startup – on the premise that Seattle and the Pacific NW deserved an international tech site,” says co-founder Todd Bishop.

Bishop and staff reporter Taylor Soper share their experiences and insights with host Jim Brisimitzis on the latest edition of Series A – The Podcast.

Their stories offer valuable teachings for any entrepreneur as a startup that emerged successfully from the massive disruption in the media world to become the most influential source of information and community for Northwest tech companies from Microsoft and Amazon to the smallest of startups.

“From the beginning we knew that digital advertising was not going to be enough to fuel the business. I think that was one of the biggest mistakes media companies were making at that time [Geekwire founding} , assuming they could just write enough stories and get enough clicks that they could use advertising networks to pull in enough revenue to sustain the business,” Bishop says.

The company has supplemented its revenue stream with other offerings including up to a dozen events a year from the highly attended Geekwire Summit to small, private dinners bringing top tech execs together.

Bishop and Soper also offer their valuable takes on hot topics such as Seattle’s controversial head tax targeting tech companies like Amazon to tackle growing income inequality and homelessness blamed on massive growth.

“My big take is that technology companies needed to have been engaged on the larger issue this is trying to address much sooner in the process,” Bishop says.

“If you’re having a conversation about your next 20 or 30 or 50 developers and there’s all of a sudden this new tax, you’re maybe rethinking that decision. This is what the CEO’s are saying,” Soper adds.
need for more startup funding if ecosystem is to grow

Bishop and Soper offer expert perspective on the differences between Seattle and Silicon Valley, the challenges facing founders now and in the future.  And they provide revealing insights into what it takes to get that all important media coverage companies crave – all too often common sense but overlooked.

“First of all, make sure your product works, make sure your website works, make sure the buttons on your app work,” Soper says.