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Hi all–

We have some exciting new changes coming to the Under 30 newsletter next month. But before we let the cat out of the bag, we first want to hear from you, our dear readers. What types of things do you love about this newsletter? What do you want to see more of? If you have a moment this morning, please take this survey and lend a hand in the evolution of our Under 30 coverage.

And as always, send any updates, news or events you think we should cover to

Finally, we have a lot of energy around the Under 30 community, and to connect with each of you. With that, we are excited to convene in Austin, Texas during SXSW this year (March 10-19, 2023). Are you and your company hosting an event, talk or performance that you’d like us to share about? Is there something on your radar that you’re eager to attend? Let us know by writing to the tip line above. We’re interested in hearing from you and finding new and exciting ways to convene throughout the week.

‘Fake It ‘Til You Make It’: Meet Charlie Javice, The Startup Founder Who Fooled JP Morgan

In 2021, 30 Under 30 2019 lister Charlie Javice, the young founder and former CEO of Frank, pulled off a master stroke: Selling her fintech startup to JP Morgan Chase for $175 million.

Just over a year later, JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon is under fire for a due diligence process that appears to have missed what the bank now claims was a major red flag about Javice’s business: legions of fake customers. JP Morgan is suing Javice for allegedly tricking it into buying Frank—which promises to simplify the student financial aid application process—by creating a list of more than 4 million college-aged users that don’t exist.

Examination of government documents and public records; reviews of hours of recorded and print interviews; and interviews with more than a dozen people who’ve interacted with Javice professionally or personally reveal her to be an entrepreneur with a grandiose vision of success and a make-it-happen-no-matter-the-cost attitude. Few seem surprised she ended up in this mess. Javice, through her lawyer Alex Spiro, did not respond to repeated requests for comment and a detailed list of questions from Forbes.

On Our Radars

  • Venture capital firm Lightspeed has signaled its decision to accelerate its gaming practice with a major hire (and a familiar face): Moritz Baier-Lentz, who was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Finance list in 2016. Baier-Lentz joins Lightspeed from BITKRAFT Ventures and will head up the organization’s consumer team as a partner, aiming to boost its 15-year investment history in the gaming sector. (Forbes)
  • Finally, someone said it– here’s why your favorite recent chart-topper has probably gotten that sped-up remix treatment on TikTok, the app’s latest viral phenomenon, which artists and record labels are jumping to capitalize on. (Forbes)
  • Trying to take advantage of digital nomadism? Here are some in-demand skills for freelancers that are bringing in the big bucks. (Forbes)
  • Major seed trends over the past few months include carbon capture, AI productivity tools, fertility and women’s health and hybrid work. (Crunchbase)
  • Sequoia is betting that now is a worthwhile time to move further into seed investing. The heavyweight Sand Hill Road firm announced Wednesday a new $195 million seed fund, and plans in 2023 to run three batches of Arc, its version of an accelerator, up from two last year. (Forbes)
  • Here’s a tip for founders: Word choice matters. Elon Musk is two days into a class-action lawsuit for a tweet in which he stated that he had funding “secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share. Tesla shareholders who traded in the days after the tweet are suing for billions in damages. (Tech Crunch)
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