Kevin Stevens

Is “Peak Valley” Inevitable?

By now you’ve likely seen this week’s The Economist cover story entitled Peak Valley, which features quotes from Claire Haidar.  Claire is CEO of WNDYR, an Intelis Capital portfolio company. The article highlights a mixture of outrageous costs-of-living, poor local government, and high operating costs as...

Kevin Stevens

Apple’s Amazonian Energy Strategy

Last week Apple became the first company to hit a $1T market-cap.  Lost in the hype of hitting that milestone and their Q2 earnings call was the announcement that they are also launching a $300M cleantech fund in China to "give fund participants greater purchasing power...

Kevin Stevens

The Long and Short of Pricing Strategy

It's not surprising that pricing plays a large role in the success of a startup.  When asked if he could put any one piece of advice to founders on a billboard in San Francisco,  Marc Andreessen famously said, "raise prices." However, pricing is more than what...

Kevin Stevens

Powering the Grid with Blockchain

Last week, the Council on Foreign Relations released a report on the ways in which blockchain could impact the future of our power grid. Until recently, access to data on blockchain experiments in the energy sector has been fairly limited.  However, things are starting to change. ...

Kevin Stevens

The Future of Work is Changing

Last week, Slack announced it had reached a deal with Atlassian to acquire its Slack competitors Hipchat and Stride.  First, it's important to note that as a part of this deal Atlassian made a small equity investment in Slack as well.  Imagine being so far ahead...

Kevin Stevens

Ethics in Flyover Ecosystems

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending my first AUTM conference after being invited by Kerri Smith of the OWL Accelerator in Houston.  The topic of my quick 10-minute talk was "Ethics in Flyover Ecosystems" and it was part of a broader discussion on "Ethical...

Kevin Stevens

Accuracy is Good, Precision is Best

Directionally correct startups could be considered successful depending on the amount of capital raised, but ultimately fail to live up to their potential.  For most, the pull of the market ends early and the next phase of growth requires precise allocation of capital internally. Subsequently, growth expectations...

Kevin Stevens

Venture Ecosystems

Pitchbook has released a new study on startup ecosystems and a few things immediately stand out to me: 1) TX has anemic local capital per venture backed startup. It's WAY behind states with growing ecosystems like Tennessee, Utah, Michigan, Missouri, and Colorado. Some might argue the number...

Kevin Stevens

Thinking Big

I had the privilege this week of participating in a panel focused on developing startup ecosystems as part of the ITTN Cross Border Technology Summit in Suzhou, China. The spirit of the conference was to encourage entrepreneurs to think globally about their opportunity and build relationships...

Kevin Stevens

Our Investment in Wndyr

  Today, Intelis Capital is excited to announce our seed investment in Wndyr ( \ ˈwən-dər \), a company providing operational clarity to businesses by helping them become more efficient with the tech stack they already have in place. Socrates is credited with the quote "Wonder is the...

Kevin Stevens

Conviction and Discipline

Recently, the tweet below from Austen Allred has shown up on a few separate occasions in my feed. One of the responses was from Leo Polovets who is one of my favorite VC’s to follow both on Twitter and at his blog. Seed VC funds that...

Kevin Stevens

How Our Diligence Is a Signal of Partnership

When we first started thinking about starting Intelis, we found capital was readily available in the locations we wanted to focus. However, it was from angel investors who'd achieved massive success in other industries and most did not want the role of the investor of...

Kevin Stevens

Building a Reputation

One of the biggest challenges of building a venture capital firm is putting together a reputation from scratch.   When we first started Intelis, I naively believed that building a reputation would be as easy as blogging regularly and pointing people to the values statement we...

Kevin Stevens

Books I’ve Read in 2018

I've decided to publish a list of books I've read in 2018 to remember a key point or two from each.   Since this will be a living post, my hope is that it will be a resource for me and hopefully a few others along the...

Kevin Stevens

Finding Mentors

Last week I tweeted what I believe to be one of the best personal growth hacks for anyone looking to advance their career at an accelerated pace.  Find a mentor that is 2-3 steps ahead, which is about 24-36 months, but on a similar career path. Why? 1)...

Kevin Stevens

Reference Check Potential Investors Like Employees

In October, we published The Operations of Fundraising (Part 1 and Part 2).  One small section of the series covered how to identify the best potential investors for your startup.  These posts covered the basics like: 1) Average check sizes 2) Industries of interest 3) Understanding fund lifecycles 4)...

Kevin Stevens

Bitcoin and Regulated Industries

Recently, Jonathan coined the phrase "the drag of orthodoxy" as it relates to regulated industries and their inability to quickly adopt new technologies even when they provide the best use cases.  Often, this is due to both the inability to implement new technology (easier to...

Kevin Stevens

2017: A Year of Change, 2018: A Year to Optimize and Grow

2017 was a year of incredible change for me professionally.   We sold Choose Energy in Q2 of this year which triggered a wave of emotions that I wasn't expecting. Subsequently, we launched Intelis Capital, a dream 18-months in the making. While the acquisition was our goal, it...

Kevin Stevens

What I Learned About Startups from Working Retail

It seems like a lifetime since I have been out of the retail industry.  Around this time of year, I always think of those who have to work through the holidays while most of us are able to enjoy time off with our friends and...

Kevin Stevens

The 3 Regulated Industries Poised for Disruption from Outside Silicon Valley

For decades, incumbents in industries such as energy, healthcare, and finance have enjoyed the luxury of being protected by regulation. This has provided a moat against competition and eliminated the need for innovation leaving behind inefficient businesses and frustrated consumers. However, customer expectations are changing rapidly...