Featured Stories

CMI Management Book of the Year Awards

Make Elephants Fly just made the Shortlist for the CMI Management Book of the Year Awards!

Make Elephants Fly will help you implement the same methodologies and processes as the most innovative startups in Silicon Valley. It will show you how startups come up with breakthrough products and services; how to structure innovation teams; the best ways to identify and vet new ideas; what it takes to foster a culture of innovation and how to establish a process of innovation throughout your organization.

When Will True Human-Like AI Arrive?

I’ve done a lot of research on this and talked to numerous AI experts. There is no consensus on when Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will arrive or how fast it will evolve. I can tell you that we’re still a ways off from developing true human-like AI. It’s not coming tomorrow.

What everyone can agree upon is that we keep raising the bar for AGI. It’s no longer a simple Turning Test using a chatbot. That goal for AGI is here already–or nearly so.

Founders Space Alumni Secure Funding

I want to congratulate two startups that received funding shortly after graduating our MIC Startup Program in Beijing.

Penny Li, PIMC, HR and team performance consulting, 10 million.

Wei ZHENG, Dianxiaohuo, retail data services, 20 million

Who Will I Become 10 Years from Now?

No one can predict the future. No one can control the events in their life. But everyone can make choices, and those choices add up to who we are and what we will become.

I hope you think carefully about each choice, even the small ones. Ten years from now, I hope you will be proud of your decisions. The sum of the decisions you make along the way, not the final results they produce, will define your character and the respect you deserve.

Founders Space Launching in Hangzhou

This has been in the works for a while now, and it’s finally come to fruition. We are excited to announce that we are launching Founders Space in Hangzhou, China.

Captain Hoff will be flying there for the official signing ceremony on Nov. 10, 2018.

Our partners include Futton, Inc., as well as the government of Hangzhou. If you want to collaborate with us or speak at Founders Space Hangzhou, feel free to contact us.

Founders Space Launching in Singapore

We’re happy to announce that we’re opening up Founders Space in Singapore. If you want to be a part of it, let us know.

Jagdish Pandya of FTAG will be heading up the operations.

• Founders Space runs over a dozen types of startup programs.
• These programs range from one day to several months.
• Some programs are designed for early-stage startups, while others focus on later stage.
• Some programs are focused on particular sectors, like Fintech, Agtech, Health, Advertising, Big Data, AI, SaaS, etc.
• We offer programs in Silicon Valley, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Awesomers Podcast: Captain Hoff’s Story (Podcast)

Listen to the Awesomers Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud.

In today’s episode, Captain Hoff tells his story and more…

01:29 Intro
07:04 Captain Hoff’s story
25:41 Difference between an incubator and an accelerator
28:16 Raising outside capital
32:44 Make Elephants Fly
53:11 What the future holds!

Machine, Platform, Crowd by Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee‎

Review: Machine, Platform, Crowd by Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee‎ is a solid book focused on the digital-powered shift.

There’s no single big idea. Instead, it covers the integration of people, products and platforms, and ties this into the core and the crowd. It’s a good overview of what’s happening and why the changes are taking place.

Rating: ★★★★

Dr. Ryan Spitler (Deputy Dir of Precision Health & Integrated Diagnostics at Stanford) on Founders Space Podcast

Captain Hoff interviews Dr. Ryan Spitler, the Deputy Director of the Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center at Stanford University.

If you like this, share it!

What’s Up with Elon?

Did you hear the latest Elon Musk interview with Joe Rogan? Listen to the tone of his voice. There’s wistful sadness. It’s almost like he’s crying inside.

I feel sorry for the guy. He’s clearly losing it.

It’s not that he smoked pot and broadcast it to the world. It’s the timing–right when everyone is questioning his competency.

Beyond Meat – The Startup that Grossed Me Out!

Beyond Meat – The Startup that Grossed Me Out!

I just tried the Beyond Meat Burger, which looks and tastes like real meat, but it’s not. It’s vegetarian, and people are raving about it.

I thought I’d love it. I’m looking to eat less meat for both environmental and ethical reasons, and I really wanted to support this startup. But I couldn’t!

My Personal Rules for Deal Making

I have one rule that is true for every type of sales is never chase losers. If someone is unwilling or unable to commit to deal, cut your losses and move on. The sooner you do this the better. Every day you spend chasing a deal that is unlikely to close is one day you could spend finding the right buyer, partner, investor, or client. Closing deals isn’t about spending time with the prospect; it’s about find the right prospect.

Winners from Founders Space Startup Pitch

Here are the winners from Founders Space’s Startup Pitch at the Technology of Tomorrow Event:


Quorum AI








Horzion Hover




Never Chase Losers – Captain Hoff’s Rules for Closing Deals

I have one rule that is true for every type of sales is never chase losers. If someone is unwilling or unable to commit to deal, cut your losses and move on. The sooner you do this the better. Every day you spend chasing a deal that is unlikely to close is one day you could spend finding the right buyer, partner, investor, or client. Closing deals isn’t about spending time with the prospect; it’s about find the right prospect.

Innovation Forum

I participated in the China-U.S. Innovation Forum with my friends and partners from Xi’an.

I just heard a startup pitch from a professor of computer science who sings opera. She invented Alysia, which allows anyone to create original music, along with singing, in 10 minutes or less. You can try the demo at TryAlysia.com

Ziggurat is a professional Blockchain solutions provider from Xi’an. They’re from Jiaotong University. They are the first company to release a Crosschain protocol.

Winners of Founders Space Pitch Day

Here are the winners of Founders Space’s Pitch Day:

1) VanGoux is a browser based UI design editor that automatically generates frontend code from UI designs. https://vangoux.com/

2) Andaman7 makes it easy to manage your health data. You are in control. No health data in the cloud. https://www.andaman7.com

3) Delivery Zone is the ultimate platform for restaurants and retail stores. https://deliveryzone.net/

4) Paul Hardt makes exceptionally high-quality footwear for professionals who work on their feet. https://paulhardt.com/

China blitz! Back to Asia…

China blitz! I’m heading back. We’re opening Founders Space in Xi’an.

But first I’ll be collaborating with Huawei in Shenzhen, then speaking at the VC Conference.

Then I’ll fly to Xi’an to officially open Founders Space and collaborate with Xidian University. After that, I fly to Hefei to sign a deal with the Mayor.

Next, I fly to Beijing to collaborate with Wanda Group. Then I’m off to Hangzhou for the 2050 Conference.

Winners: Super Startups Pitch at Founders Space

We had a fantastic group of startups at Founders Space this week.

The winners were:

  • Ditto, a SaaS-based syncing platform
  • MeetCareerGivers, a marketplace for caregivers and seniors
  • Blumio, a heart-rate monitoring system
  • AnCatt, a nanotech corrosion-free paint producer

We also enjoyed the other pitches.

Travel Tips: Coughing on Planes

Getting seated on a plane is like a lottery. You just wait to see what ticket you’re handed. I recently returned from China, and on a 10-hour flight, I happened to be seated next to someone coughing.

He didn’t just cough once. He kept coughing, over and over. Some were normal coughs, but others were exceptionally loud, and then he’d clear his throat, spitting gobs of phlegm into a growing mound of tissues on his tray table.

Winners of Founders Space Pitch Day in Beijing

Here are the winners from our MIC Founders Space Startup Program in Beijing!


Peggy Jiyu Li
[email protected]

Huajie Genes
Guodong Liu
[email protected]

I Want Testing
Haixia Tang & Leisheng Zhou
[email protected]


Wendy Xiaofang Hu
[email protected]

Clean Doctor
Wanqiang Li
[email protected]

Jianwei Fan & Harry He Lu
[email protected]

Nano Painting
Xianyun Wang
[email protected]