Nate Lentz
07.01.2019

Technology & Leadership

Two Great Reads and Three Trends to Drive Innovation

Two things I have read recently have stayed with me and lingered in my mind.  The first is Ed Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, which focuses on the history of urban development, the impact of regulation and industry structure on urban success, and the future for cities.  Glaeser outlines several trends that suggest that in […]

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Nate Lentz | 07.01.2019

Nate Lentz
05.14.2019

Technology & Leadership

PACT Enterprise Awards:  Proud of Philly, Proud of our Collective Grit, Proud of our Companies

The 2019 Enterprise Awards were held last night at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.  True to the resurgence of Philadelphia, this event has returned to Center City over the last five years after being held for several years in the hotel and casino landscape of City Avenue and King of Prussia.  This black-tie event does […]

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Nate Lentz | 05.14.2019

Nate Lentz
01.11.2019

Venture

Rethinking Venture Debt During Periods of Economic Headwinds

I began my career at Chemical Bank (now JPMC) in New York and spent my first year going through the well-regarded credit training program. It was not too long after the early 1980s and people still remembered high inflation and high interest rates. We were trained to run financial projections on the ability of a […]

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Nate Lentz | 01.11.2019

Nate Lentz
10.02.2018

Venture

The Winding Down of Venture Investments

A certain percentage of companies that venture funds back fail. Everyone knows this. Depending on their investment strategy and success, funds lose most of their capital on 25% to 50% of portfolio companies. Of these, some percent are sold for very little value, but the sale provides a home for the technology, the customers, and […]

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Nate Lentz | 10.02.2018

Nate Lentz
08.01.2018

Venture

Turning Over Another Card Is for Poker, Not Technology Investing

I was with a co-investor recently and we were discussing our mutual investment. It is a situation where we have been frustrated with progress, both in terms of developing a scalable product and in getting early customer traction (these are certainly correlated). My colleague made the statement that if one thing or another happened, he […]

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Nate Lentz | 08.01.2018

Nate Lentz
07.18.2018

Technology & Leadership

The Compounding Effect of a CEO’s Day-to-Day Decisions

A colleague of mine recently stepped away from his day-to-day role as a partner in a venture fund and into an interim six-month role as Executive Chair in one of our portfolio companies. It was a necessary move to stabilize what will likely be a very good company and it was a great move for […]

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Nate Lentz | 07.18.2018

Nate Lentz
06.12.2018

Venture

The Fallacy of the Messiah Hire

“There is no Messiah in here!  There’s a mess alright, but no Messiah.”  A memorable line spoken by Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.  The truth is, I often think of this line when CEOs speak to me of the person they just hired or the new person who just started. It is always […]

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Nate Lentz | 06.12.2018

Nate Lentz
01.05.2018

Venture

The Operational CFO – Helping Improve the Score

I used to engage in the debate about whether the right structure at a certain stage of business evolution was to bring in a COO.  The argument was that bringing in a “been there and done that” executive to run much of the day-to-day operations was the right move to allow the business to scale.  Such […]

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Nate Lentz | 01.05.2018

Nate Lentz
09.26.2017

Venture

Evolving to a Zero Trust Digital World

There is an evolving network security approach called a Zero Trust Network that when abstracted seems like a way to think about digital interactions. One definition of a Zero Trust Network is as follows: Traditional network security relies on a secure perimeter.  Anything inside the perimeter is trusted, and anything outside the perimeter is not.  […]

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Nate Lentz | 09.26.2017

Nate Lentz
07.21.2017

Venture

Beyond Talent

I was in a board meeting with a new portfolio company yesterday and they started the meeting with two slides that they use to start every meeting at the company.  The first slide was a simple values slide.  The second looked much like the picture below. This list was initially written about athletes but it […]

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Nate Lentz | 07.21.2017