How I Closed Our $1.5M Seed Round As a First-Time Founder

by Jason -- November 19, 2015


This past June, Bento officially announced our seed round of $1.5M. In the following, I’ll discuss what worked, what didn’t work, dissect the round, and offer advice if you’re planning on going through the process. It wasn’t easy.

10 Weeks of 100% Rejection

As part of the LAUNCH Incubator, we raised a pre-launch round of $250K in February. The money was intended to only last 3–4 months. So, by June, we needed to have more money in the bank.

We launched on-stage at the LAUNCH Festival, opened our delivery doors and began actively raising our seed round. Investors were immediately interested. However, what I expected to be a four-week process ended up being 10 weeks of 100% rejection.

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Bento: Founded, Incubated & Launched!

by Jason -- March 14, 2015


Last Monday, March 4th I officially debuted Bento at the LAUNCH Festival. It was quite a journey to get here and there are multiple stories to tell, but in the following post I’m focusing on the experience going through Jason Calacanis‘ first LAUNCH Incubator.

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Searching for a good business idea? Tell your friends!

by Jason -- October 27, 2014


A common challenge amongst aspiring entrepreneurs is “I don’t have a good idea”. In the following, I’ll discuss my process of searching for business ideas and the tremendous value of being public about my search.

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WeShip Post-mortem

by Jason -- October 15, 2014


Six months ago I wrote about a new business idea — WeShip. I’ve now fully explored the business, tested assumptions, and talked with potential customers & partners. I wrapped-up this process in early August and decided this wasn’t a business I would pursue. In this post I’ll provide my final steps and why I decided to shelve the business.

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The Entrepreneur Journey Heats Up

by Jason -- July 9, 2014


Two weeks ago I told my boss and the rest of the LAUNCH team that it’s time to move on to something else. I don’t have a definitive plan on what’s coming next (scary!), but my goal with the change is to become a Founder again.

Thankfully, my boss and colleagues have been extremely supportive. My boss has offered to help brainstorm ideas and potentially invest in the company. It’s an exciting opportunity that I’m trying to take advantage of, and this post will be an update on how things have been going and my process to explore different problems. Continue Reading

Vetting a New Business Idea in Public: WeShip

by Jason -- April 3, 2014


I’ve been thinking about this business idea for a couple years now. Reading a recent interview with Marc Andreessen spurred me to start looking into it further (more on that below).

For my first step I’ve decided to share my thought process and get your feedback.

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Unanchor Semi-Annual 2-Day Sale — FREE Travel Guides Thursday & Friday Only!

by Jason -- November 14, 2013

Every few months we run a big sale on and it’s time again for another! Starting today (November 14) through Friday (November 15), we have 149 Unanchor Amazon Kindle travel guides available for FREE! See below for direct links to every guide.

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How to Return to the Entrepreneur Path?

by Jason -- September 25, 2013


My ultimate goal is to start a company and work for myself. I’ve tried it once. It was awesome. It wasn’t necessarily successful, but I definitely know that’s the path for me.

The question I’ve been grappling a lot with lately is how do I get there again?

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10 Signs You’ve Been in Asia Too Long

by Jason -- June 5, 2013

Asia can be quite the culture shock when you first arrive from the western world. Once you start getting accustomed and understanding the traditions, however, you’ll find Asia to be uniquely appealing and you will truly start to appreciate it.

The following quiz, though, is for someone who may have found Asia a little too appealing; for someone who has fallen in love too deeply.

Note: I originally wrote this post in August 2010 while we were in the middle of our original 1-year trip. It’s finally time to hit publish!

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The Art of Finding Anyone’s Email Addresses

by Jason -- May 22, 2013


Since taking on my current sales/business development role, one of the skills I’ve gained is the ability to find almost anyone’s email address. It’s an odd skill, but I’ve found it to be useful time and time again. There’s a system to how I do it, and in the following post, I’ll share the system.

Update (5/29): Due to the popularity of this post, I’ve decided to build a Gmail tool that automates this process. More information is at the end of the post. Continue Reading