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Founder Shield Monthly Roundup: June 2018


Key Takeaways

Carl Niedbala - Founder Shield
Carl Niedbala

COO & Co-Founder

Hey everyone! Welcome to our first ever monthly round-up where we highlight the best of what’s going on in the world (and our office). Here are the highlights from this month:


  • There have been some interesting developments in the 1099 / W2 issue that has been such a tough item to tackle for the 1099 economy.
  • Surprise surprise – cyber attacks hurt startups.

Read the blog posts below


  • Guess what? I’m personally not scalable!  We’ve realized that we need more ops talent to help take on some of our corporate development initiatives and scale up more quickly.  If you’re passionate about building companies, the job posting is here.
  • We have a few faces around the office including former intern extraordinaire Ryan Pulford. I’d post his LinkedIn profile but I think this link is better. Ryan will be honing his skills on the sales team as well as continuing to refine the Founder Shield jingle he wrote last summer:
  • We’ve switched up our quarterly review system to be a star system based off of our 5 principles: Empathy, Comprehensiveness, Efficiency, Self-Reliance, and Having a F*$king Awesome Time. Team members are rated out of 4 stars for each category to give them an overall score. We’ll let you know how it goes this round of reviews.
  • We’ve also implemented peer reviews for the first time ever. The goal is to give team members qualitative feedback about their performance direct from their peers, in addition to their managers.
  • The Caps won the Stanley Cup and Manoj will not shut up about it


  • The start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has dropped Founder Shield GDP by at least 30%.  However, competitive spirits are firing up from all the action, leading us to believe that July will, in fact, be “lit.”  

Enjoy your independence day plans and some light reading below…because we all know you’ll be worrying about how to protect your company while sitting on the beach 🙂

Co-Founder & COO

Client Spotlight

Every month we like to feature some of our awesome, innovative clients in our monthly newsletter (you can sign up here if haven’t already) but this month we’ve decided to feature them here as well! Check them out:

Clyde is a venture-backed technology company transforming insurance at the point of sale, starting with the underserved and highly profitable extended warranty industry. Their marketplace of insurance and administrator partnerships, combined with plug-in technology, enables them to offer this passive revenue source to the medium and long-tale of the market at scale.

Clyde transforms a 6-month, costly process into a 3-minute, free process, and uses their network of stores to optimize margins and service quality. Clyde’s vision is to build the stripe for insurance, providing businesses with tools and support and transforming customer’s purchasing experience.


FH Horizontal Logo x

Fair Harbor produces super high-quality, sustainable swimwear. Using recycled plastic bottles and upcycled coconuts, their boardshorts, swim trunks, performance shorts, and casual shorts are versatile, durable, and really good looking. Their newly launched women’s swim collection is similarly sleek, stylish and sustainably produced. Take them out to the beach, the gym, the boardwalk, or the bar.

Fair Harbour has been kind enough to offer an exclusive discount for Founder Shield readers. For 15% off your next order use code “FOUNDER” at checkout.

Top Blog Posts of the Month

W vs What is best for your business Answered: Independent Contractor (1099) or W2 Employee?

Determining what type of labor to use W2 (full time) or 1099 (independent contractors) can be confusing. We break down how to classify your employees, the impact of recent court rulings and how to decide what’s best for your business. Read the full post…

Verizon Data Breach Report Featured Image 5 Takeaways from the Verizon Data Breach Report 2018

Every year Verizon releases a report that details real-world security incidents, data breaches, and the trends behind them. We discuss 5 takeaways every business needs to know. Read the full post…

IP and Cannabis The New Grey Area is Green copy IP and Cannabis: The New Grey Area is Green

Not surprisingly, the young cannabis industry (the legal part of it is young at least) is experiencing some growing pains. It is plagued with copyright lawsuits and a patent race which is viewed by some as a power grab by specific companies to eventually push out smaller, local growers. We examine some of the recent patent court cases against new cannabis startups. Read the full post over on Alpharoot.



    • USA vs China Trade Wars & now Europe – the back and forth between the Trump, China and more recently the EU does not seem to be slowing down. So who are the winners and losers? Here’s an explanation from Vox Game of Thrones will appreciate:

  • AT&T buys Time-Warner – After a legal battle to overturn a government antitrust suit, AT&T has sealed the deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion and a total of $108 billion with debt. AT&T certainly isn’t hanging around to take advantage of their new toys. On June 21st they launched all-new low-cost streaming service ($15/month) called WatchTV. Which of course includes some of the newly acquired TW channels (CNN, Cartoon Network, and TNT.) And just last week they confirmed plans to buy AppNexus for $1.6 billion, a deal that would help it monetize that content better, using data from wireless customers to serve highly targeted ads.
  • Oprah Winfrey just signed a multiyear contract with Apple, which plans to take Netflix, HBO, Amazon, and any other content creator head-on. Could this be a game changer for Apple? Oprah has a huge following but it remains to be seen whether it will drive subscribers away from the big guns. They also committed at least $1 billion towards original content (FYI Netflix are spending $8bn this year).
  • World Cup 2026 – The North American trio of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico won the bid for the 2026 World Cup promising a profit of $11bn for FIFA. The final is expected to be in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey (not too far from the Founder Shield office). Better start saving those pennies now!

Cool Stuff

  • Morning Brew – At this stage, I think the entire office is subscribed to Morning Brew. Big shout out to them for curating the essential business and tech news into digestible and insightful nuggets.
  • Creator – It could be the most important burger innovation since the introduction of the Krabby Patty: today, a startup called Creator is opening a restaurant in San Francisco that employs a robot chef to fully prepare your burger.
  • Venture Juice – A daily curated newsletter on startup, technology, and venture capital news that will make you marginally more worth listening to.

Monarq Incubator

We want to give a shout out to Monarq, an incubator that empowers Women-led companies to take the next step with their startups. While only 2% of female-led companies get venture funding, 1/3rd of Monarqs Cohort II have already raised their seed and pre-seed rounds. They’re currently seeking new applicants for the program – You can apply here and check out more about the program below:

Who should apply?

  • A women-led company with at least one woman in a leadership C-level role with decision making power in the company
  • Targeting a massive market
  • In any vertical
  • With an early stage product
  • On a clear path to revenue
  • Looking to fundraise over the next year

Why Apply?

  • 1/3rd of Cohort II already raised their seed and pre-seed rounds
  • Over $150K value of program perks
  • ZERO Equity for participating in the program
  • Inside access to Monarq’s network of top diversity-focused investors
  • Demo day & opportunity to receive $25K investment by Monarq
  • A proven virtual program so you can participate in all the session from anywhere in the world.

What We’re Listening To


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