We’ve made it through our first full week of fall. Let’s get right to it before our pumpkin spice latte gets cold!

Here’s our weekly pick of news items impacting the innovation ecosystem:

Roku’s IPO Inches Open The Window For Other Unicorns

Yesterday, Roku, the entertainment technology company that makes money from selling streaming video players, completed its first day of trading on Nasdaq. The stock spiked nearly 70% on its first day of trading as a public company, closing at $23.50 after opening at $15.78. It was the biggest first-day bump from a U.S.-based company this year, according to Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange-traded funds. What does this mean for the other billion dollar unicorns waiting their turn?

The takeaway: This stellar performance doesn’t open the gates wide open for other unicorn IPOs. Going public these days takes more than good timing. However, it’s a good sign, and one both venture investors and management teams will be watching closely.

Forbes – Next Billion Dollar Startups

Tech publications these days are in the “predicting” business — compiling lists of the next new billion-dollar startup stars. This week, Forbes released its “Next Billion Dollar Startups” list, the 25 private companies on the road to billion dollar status.  

The takeaway: From PillPack to SeatGeek, these startups don’t just have cool office space and catchy brands — they all have posted strong revenues, attracted capital from venture and private equity investors, deployed solid growth strategies, and operated in a market that is large enough to disrupt.

The Secret Ingredients To A Successful Funding Announcement

Tiffany Spencer, from Bessemer Venture Partners, recently posted an informative column to TechCrunch, explaining some do’s and don’ts when making a company / investor funding announcement. Great tips!

The takeaway: This is excellent advice and having pitched dozens of funding news announcements over the past 15+ years, I agree with the tips Tiffany lays out. I might suggest one more: don’t just contact reporters when you have news for them to cover. It’s critical to build pro-active relationships with reporters in order to better understand the types of stories they’re interested in being pitched and the sources they need for broader trend articles. Additionally, if you are able to provide them with some industry data or research you’ve collected, it will be greatly appreciated.  A successful media relations program is a two-way street: you need to be a source AND a resource for reporters who are doing their job to report accurately about your company and the industry in which you operate.

Enjoy the weekend!

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