🎅 Secret Santa for Tech Founders

Today's goodies take less than 3:47 minutes to skim

Hey, this is Napkin Notes: while other newsletters hum and haw over the OpenAI drama, your fam at Kernal is just glad to see Sam can finally take a turkey and gravy break after one hell of a week 🦃

If you were sent this newsletter by a startup pal, subscribe here so you don’t miss the next one.

Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get to the goods.

 📰 News Recap

What a news week: American Thanksgiving is in full swing. Sam Altman got fired and re-hired. The Binance CEO stepped down after a big boo-boo. Retail brands are halfway through their biggest revenue day of the year. Q3 was the slowest quarter in VC funding since 2018. There’s 31 days until Christmas. And 14 hours left to scoop up that Black Friday deal you’ve been eyeing up.

Now that we’re done with the green beans, let’s get to the turkey & stuffing.

🍽 Our Newsletter Menu

  • 💸 Best gifts to buy a founder this holiday season

  • 💡 Fresh startup ideas of the week

  • 🗓 More demo days coming up

  • 🤣 Swipes of the week

Now let’s get to our deals.

💰 Black Friday Founder Finds

When you combine Black Friday madness, with tasty Thanksgiving food, and a sprinkle of tech drama, we couldn’t imagine a better deep dive for our readers than sharing some of our top wish list items for the holidays.

Some important things to note:

  • There are no affiliate links

  • We’re not investors in any of the companies

So here we go.

Here’s our annual founder gift recommendation list based on your startup’s fundraising stage.

Buckle up.

🎅 5 Black Friday Founder Deals

Let’s not beat around the bush.

Black Friday’s intense. Especially if you’re in person. But since you’re reading the Kernal newsletter, you can already guess that we’re gonna add some fun to it.

Instead of just giving you a random list of startup shit to buy, we’re gonna cater the list so you can shop:

  • in a startup budget you can afford

  • and in a self-care category b/c y’all have been hustling this year

Ready to rumble? Prep the credit card.

1) Friends and Family NIDRA Sleeping Mask

💰 In the Friends and Family funding category, we have a very affordable $21.99 sleeping mask from NIDRA to help you get more shut-eye in between flights, loud and boring in-law conversations at the dinner table or even the odd complaining customer call that’s putting you in a doze.

This gift is perfect for founders who are very early in their funding and have (absolutely) no sign of revenue in sight.

2) Pre-Seed Vitruvi Difuser

💰💰 In the pre-seed gift category, we have a very functional $104 Virtruvi Diffuser to help you get in more of a relaxed state when you spot your 89th bug on your MVP site or have an investor cancel on your Zoom call for 3rd time.

This gift is timely for founders who are on the 5th iteration of their deck and 20% through their funding round.

3) Series A HermanMiller Lounge Chair

💰💰💰 In the Series A gift category, coming in at $429, this HermanMiller Lounge Chair is what every hard-working tech founder dreams of.

This gift is fantastic for founders who want that one piece of high end furniture in the background of their video call that makes investors say “This founder’s legit, let’s back them”.

4) Series D SAUNASET Barrel Sauna

💰💰💰💰 In the Series D gift category, coming in at $12,999, this outdoor barrel sauna is an excellent gift selection for founders craving a little “me-time” before a serious board call they need to take.

This gift is fitting for founders who find themselves craving a little “me-time” before a serious board call or are looking for an optimal way to act on what they’ve learned in the latest Huberman pod.


💰💰💰💰💰 In the IPO gift category, weighing in at $250,843, we couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate your 15-year run of going public with your startup idea than inviting all of your besties aboard your brand-new LADY LARA Yacht which comes with a stellar sunbathing deck, state of the art hot tub jets and 298ft of freedom.

This gift is convenient for founders who prefer to take Zoom calls off video and have their OOO email responder on 4 months of the year.

We hope this gift list sparked some ideas for you. And regardless of the category you land on, we hope this weekend can be restful for you.

On the off chance, you want to spin up a venture to earn more money to afford a higher category gift in 2024’s Black Friday weekend, here’s some startup ideas for you to tinker on…

Startup Ideas You Can Build

Wanna share your own startup idea?

Be our guest.

📆 Wanna RSVP to a Future Demo Day?

We’ve wrapped up demo days with LOI, MARL and now Techstars is next!

Grab your seat by hitting the button below or see our entire events directory here.

🍷 Swipes of the Week

Now go have an awesome weekend.

💚 The Kernal Fam

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