First Round Capital, however, recently redesigned its homepage to place a much heavier emphasis on real-time information from news sources and its VCs, and portfolio companies.A visit to the typical homepage for a venture capital firm most likely provides a well designed landing page that spells out the firm's mission with links to its portfolio companies and VC bios. Secondary to this general information is a page dedicated to press releases from the firm, or in many cases, a company blog with relevant posts.
The feed works in a similar fashion to Facebook's news feed in that information is presented in a reverse chronological order. It includes news from its portfolio companies, third party news articles, as well as blogs, tweets and even Foursquare checkins from its team of VCs and entrepreneurs - all of which can be subscribed to using RSS. Also included in the feed and on its own dedicated section of the site are job postings from First Round's portfolio.
"One of the most helpful things a VC can do for a portfolio company is to help them find key hires," writes First Round Managing Director Josh Kopelman. "And the jobs section of our site contains well over 125 current job openings within our portfolio."
The job postings complement First Round's Key Hire Wire, a weekly newsletter released a few weeks ago containing job openings with its companies. First Round also helps its portfolio out by placing these openings on a Twitter account dedicated to blasting these openings out to the Twittersphere.
The revamped site also contains a new portfolio section with some interesting ways to navigate through the firms numerous companies. A standard list of current and former companies is supplemented by options for viewing a tag cloud of industries and other keywords, a map of company locations, or a feed of company tweets.
First Round, which recently snagged the top position (by a wide margin) on Larry Cheng's list of the top VC firm websites based on average monthly traffic, is leading the way for VC firms with its innovative approach to its homepage. What better way to show potential companies that you not only invest in innovation but that you participate in it yourselves?
And venture firms aren't the only group that can learn from First Round's redesign. A news feed of aggregated content from various networks can be a unique approach to the homepage of any company. In startup culture, most entrepreneurs and employees have their own blogs, Twitter accounts, Foursquare accounts, as well as of a number of other social network accounts. Rather than linking out to individual employees and making visitors click out to a slew of different sites, why not provide a handy news feed of relevant information from your employees?
The new site is an excellent one-stop location for startups and entrepreneurs to find pertinent blogs and news, especially for those looking to Foursquare-stalk their favorite VC at the local coffee shop. First Round has created a definitive resource for anyone looking for information relative to the firm, its employees or its companies - a model any company could easily replicate. Let's just knock-on-wood that Facebook doesn't go waving its shiny new patent in anyone's face too soon.