Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.
First Round Capital, an American early-stage investment firm (just in case its name wasn’t obvious enough for you) that has backed the likes of Uber, Fab, Square, Warby Parker, Mashery, SmartThings, Aereo, Path and TaskRabbit, is one-upping all the venture capitalists out there who believe blogging sets them miles apart from the competition.
The VC firm, which has offices in NYC, San Francisco and Philadelphia, is today launching ‘First Round Review’, an online publication that will be packed with data, information and advice for both budding and established tech startup founders.
The tagline for the new knowledge hub reads “Actionable insights for technology entrepreneurs”, and there’s already a ton of content to be found on the publication’s website at launch. A screenshot:
The investment firm has been stealthily working on the project for four months now, and partner Josh Kopelman claims the results have been stellar so far, in terms of attracting readers and ‘shares’.
Kopelman draws comparisons between First Round Review and the Harvard Business Review, but geared towards startups.
First Round posits that it’s always been focused on creating a community with the help of the hundreds of entrepreneurs they’ve backed over the years, developing tools, products and services and organizing a ton of events to help founders exchange ideas and share best practices among themselves.
And then it dawned on them that the knowledge that surfaced was different from what was already available online. In Kopelman’s words:
There is no shortage of media available on startups — every day there are dozens of stories talking about “what” startups are doing – the new funding rounds, new product launches and the latest tech rumors and trends. Yet there are so few stories talking about “how” they’re doing it.
The goal for Review is, essentially, to deliver and distribute curated knowledge from the top operators, product managers, engineers, and marketers in the business (“those actually in the trenches”).
Kopelman correctly points out that First Round doesn’t have to give a hoot about pageviews or monetizing the content, and that it’s already well aware of how tech startups work. First Round Review is intended to give its audience a “backstage pass” to knowledge that’s thus already present throughout its investment portfolio – and beyond.
The publication will feature news articles, interviews, reports from events, guest posts and “lots of formats we haven’t even dreamed up yet”.
During the beta test, the articles were written by a combination of First Round’s existing in-house team, freelance writers, and a few bylined posts.
Some of that freelance talent is now being brought into the fold at First Round, but Kopelman says he expects the majority of the posts to be written by a combination of its (growing) in-house team and a handful of freelance writers.
If successful, the publication will of course result in increased attention and website traffic for First Round Capital, so it’s not like they are doing this just for the sake of doing everyone a big favor, free of charge.
But, as content producers with a passion for tech startups ourselves, we’re looking forward to what First Round Review has to offer.
Image credit: Thinkstock
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