First Round Capital RoundUp

You've got to hand it to Josh Kopelman, the guy who convinced an Oregon town to change its name to, for having a talent for coming up with big ideas that promote the brand (in this case, First Round's investment philosophy and portfolio companies). The second annual First Round Holiday Greeting Video has achieved an almost cult-like popularity on the web. It was particularly smart to emphasize its 2009 investments; there are so many new ones now its hard to keep track of them all.

First Round portfolio company Foodzie has brought some big talent on-board, according to TechCrunch. Adam Sah, who helped create Google Gadgets, has joined the Boulder-based online artisan food marketplace as VP Engineering.

More on another Boulder startup (Boulder is where its all happening now) and recent First Round investment SimpleGeo. Meanwhile, venture money continues to flow into the location-aware space, as another company called Gowalla just raised $8.4 million (First Round not involved). However, SimpleGeo is approaching the market more from an API angle than an end user app like Gowalla is.

First Round also participated in a round announced this week led by Kleiner Perkins in One Kings Lane, a private sale website for home furnishings.

Wired's Epicenter Blog writes about how Knewton is trying to change the business model for college test prep courses by driving out excess costs while hopefully producing a higher quality product.

Meanwhile, First Round's Christine Herron talks to Daily Finance about how the cost of getting a startup off the ground is shrinking.


Boost Mobile Ad

I had to check and see whether this Boost Mobile ad was for real or someone's idea of a parody. Boost Mobile is the Sprint prepaid brand in Philadelphia and other markets.