Bootstrapping basics, fintech’s future, tech employers benefit •

Planning to play League of Legends on your next investor pitch? (If so, it’s probably not a good use of your time to read this.)

For founders interested in building independently, staying in control, and staying off the fundraising treadmill for as long as possible, investor/entrepreneur Marjorie Radlo-Zandi breaks down five basics for bootstrapped founders in her latest TC+ article.

It’s not for everyone: Self-funded companies will demand more from their employees than larger companies that offer free lunches and other perks. At a start-up startup where I worked, I was asked to defer part of my salary – after I was hired.

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Radlo-Zandi covers the basics related to hiring, cost management and shaping company culture, but she also urges self-funders to lower expectations and take a measured approach:

“Don’t be tempted to hop on a plane in the blink of an eye to meet prospects at glamorous venues or for meetings in remote locations,” she writes. “Your bootstrap business is unlikely to survive such large, optional financial expenses.”

Bootstrapped founders have greater opportunities, but if they can drive growth and achieve product-market fit, “fundraising becomes much easier.”

Thank you very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager,
@your protagonist

The power pendulum swings back to employers, doesn’t it?

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More than 120,000 tech workers have lost their jobs so far this year, according to With more than a fifth of those layoffs in November, many from well-capitalized publicly traded companies, it’s easy to see why Continuum CEO Nolan Church believes this is the start of a wave.

“Over the past 12 years, the pendulum between employees and employers has swung dramatically in favor of employees,” he said on the Equity podcast last week.

“Now we’re at a point where the pendulum is swinging back.”

Answers for H-1B Employees Who Have Been Laid Off (or Believe They Have Been Laid Off)

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Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney, estimates that 15% of people recently laid off from Bay Area startups are immigrants, 90% of whom are H-1B holders.

If you’re a visa holder who’s been laid off, your first priority is to “determine your last day of work because that’s when you need to start counting the 60-day grace period,” says Alcorn.

“You get a new job, you leave, or you figure out another way to legally stay in the United States, but you have to take action within those 60 days.”

Nearly 80% of venture capital funds raised in just two states as US LPs retreat to shores

fundraising, California, New York

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/

After the pandemic started, there was a lot of buzz about how venture capital moved away from its roots in San Francisco and New York to penetrate the Midwest.

But after a prolonged slump in the public markets led so many investors to sit on the sidelines, data shows that “most funds outside the two biggest startup hubs … are feeling the frost of potential LPs,” reports Rebecca Szkutak.

“So far this year, 77% of the capital has been raised in California and New York alone. In 2021, those states collected 68% of the annual totals.”

Preparing for the second decade of fintech: 4 moves your company needs to make now

Close-up Of Chess Pieces

Image Credits: Emily Manevska (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

According to consultant Grant Easterbrook, fintech startups hoping to succeed in the coming years should be prepared for:

  • Large banks and financial services companies with loyalty programs and ‘super apps’.
  • Emerging DeFi protocols “that can offer financial products involving real world assets.”
  • Banking, invoicing, lending, payment and accounting packaged as ’embedded financial products’.
  • Multiple countries issue their own central bank digital currency (CBDC).

“Your company needs a very strong value proposition to compete against all four types of competitors,” writes Easterbrook, sharing his ideas for navigating the next decade of fintech in a TC+ guest post.