20VC: The Information’s Jessica Lessin on The Future For Online Journalism & The Benefits Of A Subscription Based Business Model

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Jessica Lessin founder and Editor in Chief of The Information. Prior to The Information, she covered Silicon the technology industry for eight years at the Wall Street Journal where she wrote nearly 1,000 articles for the paper, consistently breaking news about major products, management changes and strategy shifts. Jessica was also part of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Now you can follow both Jessica and me on Snapchat on @jlessk and @hstebbings
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jessica come to found The Information following The Wall Street Journal?

2.) Marc Andreesen: ‘print journalism is converging in quality and technique with blogs and Wikipedia’. Does Jessica agree with this? Has revisability has led to a lower quality initial publication?

3.) How does Jessica view the competitive landscape for journalism today? Who are competitors and what would Jessica say is complimentary to The Information??

4.) We have seen the decentralization away from the central forms of authority in journalism. What effect has this decentralization had on distribution? Competition? Market size?

5.) What is the monetisation strategy for The Information? Why choose that strategy over the more prevalent others such as advertising?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Jessica’s Fave Book: Ben Bradlee: A Good Life 

Jessica’s Fave Blog: Doug Young 

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jessica on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Sam Lessin on Why Bots Will Change Business & The Internet Has Mostly Failed

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Sam Lessin is a Partner at Slow Ventures who have made investments in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Mattermark, AngelList,Dropbox and many more. On top of this, Sam is also the Founder and Co-CEO at Fin, which is basically like Siri Echo or Google now except it actually works, truly a phenomenal product. Prior to Fin and Slow, Sam was VP of Product Management at Facebook following the acquisition of his company, Drop.io by Facebook in 2010. Sam is also an intern at The Information where he reports directly to the boss Jessica Lessin!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Sam come to found Fin and what was his route into VC with Slow?

2.) What are the fundamental shifts that have occurred in the world of tech? How has this affected the wider tech and investing ecosystem?

3.) Will the transition to bots and conversational interfaces represent a major point of disruption or more of an evolution in the interface paradigm?

4.) How can bots establish the same relationship and stickiness with the user as apps? In a world of bot domination where strong data sets is the ultimate weapon, are we not at a fundamental incumbency disadvantage? How can the platforms react to this?

5.) What will the effect of self driving cars be on society? How long before this was be possible? How does the sharing economy and capitalism survive in unison?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Sam’s Fave Book: The Three-Body Problem 

Sam’s Fave Blog: The Information

Sam’s Most Recent Investment: Common

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Sam on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20 VC: K9’s Manu Kumar on His Approach To Risk, Valuation & Believing What Other People Don’t

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Manu Kumar founder and Chief Firestarter at K9 Ventures, a pre-seed and seed stage micro-VC fund based in Palo Alto, according to K9 they invests ‘frighteningly early’ and like to be the first institutional capital invested in a startup. K9 is an investor in Lyft, Twilio, Occipital, eShares, and their companies have been acquired by the likes of Linkedin, Facebook, Dropbox, Paypal and more. Prior to K9, Manu was either the founder or co-founder of 4 companies, 3 of which with successful exits and the 4th being the fantastic eshares!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Manu come to found K9 and what was his route into VC? How does Manu define entrepreneurialism and how did this play out in his early life?

2.) “The best buys are found in things most people don’t understand or believe in.” How does this play out in Manu’s investment strategy?  ?

3.) “The riskiest thing is the belief there’s no risk.” How does risk assessment feature in Manu’s investment mentality? How does Manu transition this to your portfolio construction? ?

4.) Josh Koppelman states “What has to be remembered is the defining role of price.” How much of a role does valuation play in Manu’s investment decision making process?

5.) “An absence of losses can give you a great start toward a good outcome.” As a seed fund how does Manu approach inevitable losses? How does Manu try and minimize mortality rate?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Manu’s Fave Book: The Cuckoo’s Egg by Clifford Stoll

Manu’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC, Dan Primack: Term Sheet

Manu’s Most Recent Investment: GradeScope

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Manu on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!
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20VC: Xero’s Rod Drury on IPO on Day 1 To Hedge Fund to VC & Doing Startups Backward

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Rod Drury is the Founder & CEO @ Xero, essentially beautiful accounting software for small business. Xero has received funding from some of the best investors in the world including the likes of Peter Thiel, Accel and Matrix Partners. Prior to Xero, Rod has founded and exited several successful startups including being acquired by QuestSoftware (later acquired by Dell). This success has led to a mass of awards including the likes of NZ Entrepreneur of The Year and NZ High Tech Hall Of Fame.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rod came to found one of New Zealand’s breakout tech startup in Xero?

2.) What were the very first days of Xero like? How and why did Rod decide to IPO from the start? How did Rod convey the narrative so well from day 1?

3.) What does it take to transition a firm like Xero from a 50 man startup to a 500 an company? What are the challenges? How do you assure a consistent hiring quality and mechanism?

4.) How are Xero doing in the US in terms of fighting Intuit? Is it a winner take all market?

5.) How was the fundraising process for Rod? How did Rod choose and meet his investors? What was important for Rod when making the selection?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Rod’s Fave Book: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

Rod’s Fave Blog: Feedly, Techmeme

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rod on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: How Startups Should React To Today’s Funding Environment & Why Big Markets Are More Forgiving with Jenny Lefcourt, Partner @ Freestyle.vc

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Jenny Lefcourt is a Partner @ Freestyle where she invests in early stage tech companies. Prior to Freestyle, Jenny was the Founder of Weddingchannel.com and Bella Pictures which were both acquired. During this time, Jenny raised funds from titans of VC including Kleiner Perkins, Trinity Ventures, Amazon and more. Jenny has also angel invested and advised some incredible entrepreneurs with the likes of Minted and Style Seat.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jenny made his way into VC from founding and exiting 2 startups?

2.) What were the differences in raising money as a founder and as a VC? What learnings as a founder did Jenny have that have helped her move into VC?

3.) How have the large macro-economic changes affected Jenny’s investing style? Has she seen a change in her investment cadence? Does Jenny place more emphasis on burn reduction now?

4.) Why does Freestyle not invest with a thesis? What are the benefits of this? How does Jenny make investment decisions going forward without a thesis?

5.) What does Jenny mean when she says that VCs suffer from duck syndrome? What can VCs do to make them the best and their founders life easier?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Jenny’s Fave Book: Dreamland, Blinkist (Harry’s Suggestion)

Jenny’s Most Recent Investment: CREXi

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jenny on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Rob Go @ NextView on WTF Is Seed Investing Today and Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

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Rob Go is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures, Next View are hands on, high conviction true seed stage investors. Prior to founding NextView, Rob was at Spark Capital and focused on early stage investments in consumer web and mobile. Before joining Spark Capital, Rob worked at Ebay as the Business Product Lead for “Finding”. In this role, he oversaw the launch of major products that enhanced the search, browse, and product discovery experience for tens of millions of users.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Rob come to found NextView and what was his route into VC?

2.)  NextView are seed investors but what does that really mean today? Why has the entire seed stage moved further down the funnel?

3.) With regards to runway, there are two side son the table, those like Jeff Clavier and I who believe 36 months is optimal. What side of the table is Rob on? Longer or shorter runway?

4.) Why are smaller rounds optimal according to Rob? What do they allow you to do that you cannot do with larger rounds? What does the rise of pre-seed do for Rob as a true seed investor?

5.) Regadless of label competition between VC is now larger than ever, what does Rob make of the personalisation of VC and branding tactics used by Mark Suster etc?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Rob’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

Rob’s Fave Blog: Wait But Why

Rob’s Most Recent Investment: Dia & Co

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rob on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Attend one of the best conferences of the year, Sunrise, with speakers from the likes of Atlasssian, Canva and Planet Labs. Check it out here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!\

20VC: Creating A Competitive Process Between VCs & Having Bill Gurley As A Board Member with Aaron Hirschhorn, Founder & CEO @ DogVacay

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Aaron Hirschhorn is the founder, CEO and “Top Dog” of DogVacay, the leading online and mobile pet sitting company. DogVacay connects pet parents in need of services with more than 25,000 vetted and insured pet caregivers in 10,000 cities across the country. Founded in March 2012 and based in Santa Monica, CA, the company has over 80 employees and has raised $47M from investors including Omers, Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to DogVacay, Aaron spent several years in venture capital and technology, working at Monitor Group, Upfront Ventures, and Monitor Ventures. Previously, Aaron was an analyst at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Aaron come to found one of the startup hits to come out of LA? In the beginning what was the harder element the demand or the supply side?

2.) How did Aaron know when he had achieved product market fit with DogVacay? What were the signs and how did he follow this up? How did Aaaron react to VCs laughing at his concept and how did he stay energised and positive?

3.) How was the fundraising process for Aaron with DogVacay and Benchmark, Andreesen and First Round? How can founders look to control the dialogue? How many investors should founders look to target? What makes Aaron want and not want a particular investor?

4.) What business fundamentally work in the on demand economy and what don’t ? How should marketplace founders be approaching the issue of unit economics and should growth still be the priority?

5.) What is it like having Bill Gurley as a broad member ? What will be the enabler that will allow DogVacy to achieve that market penetration required?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:
 
 Aaron’s Fave Blog Or Newsletter: Bill Gurley, Jason Calacanis: Inside
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Aaron on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why More People Should Be Entrepreneurs & How Do you Know When You Are Ready with Matt Clifford @ Entrepreneur First

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Matt Clifford is co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, Europe’s leading pre-seed investment programme for founders of deep technology startups. Founded in 2011, EF backs the world’s top technical talent pre-company. EF’s startups have raised over $100m in funding and are breaking ground in artificial intelligence, robotics and infrastructure, among other fields. Outside EF, he is co-founder and non-executive director of Code First Girls and non-executive director of Techfortrade. Before starting EF, Matt worked at McKinsey & Co. as a strategy consultant, and studied at the University of Cambridge and at MIT.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Matt come to found the world’s top technical talent pre-company programme?

2.)  Should everyone be an entrepreneur? How can a founder determine whether this is the right path for them? Can entrepreneurialism be taught or is it an innate skill within?

3.) What does Matt think of the idea and fear of many founders that they are simply not ready? How do we know when one is ready? What are the signs?

4.) How important is mindset for founders? Matt has previously stated the importance of a growth mindset? What does he mean by this and how does he advise founders to approach this?

5.) What is the most common mistake Matt sees entrepreneurs in EF make? How hoes he help to combat this?

6.) What does the future of work look like? Where will jobs be at this century?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Matt’s Fave Book: Sapiens (Same as Parker Thompson @ AngelList)

Matt’s Fave Blog: Marginal Revolution

Matt’s Most Recent Investment: Cloud NC, Third Eye

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Matt on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!\

20VC: Raising A Solo GP Fund & Why They Are So Prominent Today with Charles Hudson, Managing Partner @ Precursor Ventures

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Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner with Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on first check investments in strong teams developing innovative hardware and software products and services. Prior to founding Precursor, Charles was a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Internet and mobile startups. Prior to SoftTech, Hudson spent time at Google,  IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Charles made his way into VC from working with the CIA? What were Charles biggest takeaways from his operational experience?

2.) Why have we seen the rise of the solo GP fund? What tools and services can be used by solo GPs to make their lives easier?

3.) Chris Sacca said, ‘you have to be a moron to launch a solo VC fund’. What does Charles think about this and what was it about Precursor that made him want to leave SoftTech?

4.) How does Charles’ market requirements change now as a pre seed investor, a 100m exit is excellent. Do you you still need unicorns?

5.) How does Charles look to differentiate with Precursor in the sea of emerging VC funds? What is the most important thing for him about pr-seed investing?

6.) What is Charles’ vision for Precursor? What would success look like for him?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Charles’ Fave Book: Alec Ross: Industries of The Future

Charles’ Fave Blog: The Information
 

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Charles on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why VC Is The Perfect Preparation For Founding A Startup & Changing The World Of Online Fashion with Chris Morton, Co-Founder & CEO @ Lyst

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Chris Morton the Founder & CEO @ Lyst, the fashion aggregation and discovery app and universal checkout cart that has pulled in more than $60m in funding from the likes of Balderton, Accel and DFJ. Chris was previously in the wonderful world of venture himself as an early stage investor with Balderton Capital where he focused on consumer internet companies. Prior to that Chris worked on various projects from making custard suits to working in renewable energy!
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Chris come to found one of the hottest fashion startups, Lyst? What was the interview process with Benchmark like?

2.) Why did Chris become a VC first before an entrepreneur? What does being a VC allow you to become a better entrepreneur with?

3.) Chris has said before that we have not scratched the surface of e-commerce, so why have we not? What is the vision and what are the challenges that stand in the way? Question from Harry Briggs: Will we see physical retail stores largely disappear?

4.) Lyst place heavy emphasis on data collection and usage. Why is this? What does it power to Lyst to do? What interesting consumer trends and behaviours have been revealed from the data?

5.) How was the fundraising process for Chris? What did being in VC teach him about the process that he could implement in entrepreneurship? What were the challenges? What would he do differently if he were to raise again?

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Chris on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Accel’s Brian O’Malley On The Prioritisation Of Growth, Metrics That Show True Customer Retention & Why The Most Interesting Companies Create A Market

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Brian O’Malley is a Partner @ Accel Partners, where he spearheads Accel’s work with next-generation marketplaces and consumer-focused companies. He led the firm’s investments in Amino, Gametime, HotelTonight and Luma, as well as disruptive software-as-a-services businesses Duetto and Narvar. Brian joined Accel from Battery Ventures, where as a general partner he led investments in companies like Dollar Shave Club, BazaarVoice (public), Coupa, Skullcandy (public) and TradeKing (acquired by Ally). Prior to Battery, Brian led sales efforts and built some of the first web service-based API integrations for Bowstreet, Inc. (acquired by IBM).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Brian make his way into one of the world’s leading VC firms? What were Brian’s biggest takeaways from being in the trenches during the bust of the dot com bubble?

2.)  What is the macro economic view to value compression? How should startups being approaching and dealing with this?

3.) How can startups maintain growth as the priority whilst maintaining investor expectations on burn rates? What is Brian’s approach to the growth vs retention theory?

4.) What retention metrics would Accel look for indifferent products? How does this vary from category to category? What are the commonalities Brian has seen in products that have insane retentive ability??

5.) Where does Brian stand on market size and the potential for market transition down the line? Does the market even need to be there today for it to be investable today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Brian’s Fave Book:  Zero To One By Peter Thiel

Brian’s Most Recent Investment: Luma: Fast, Reliable Wifi

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Brian on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!
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20VC: Bessemer’s Byron Deeter on The Commonalities Of Truly Great Founders and Learnings From Investing In Box, Twilio and GainSight

 

image1Byron Deeter is a Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Prior to being a VC, Byron himself was a veteran cloud CEO & Founder returning to venture capital in 2005 to lead Bessemer’s global cloud practice where he has been actively involved with over 100 cloud investments representing a third of the market cap of all public cloud companies. Byron has lead investments in the likes of Box, Twilio, Intercom, Cornerstone On Demand and many many more. Byron’s pedigree is recognised globally as he is consistently ranked one of the top global investors across all industries.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Byron make his way into VC from being a veteran cloud CEO and Founder?

2.)  What are the commonalities angst the truly exceptional operators that Byron has worked with? What is it that makes the likes Aaron Levie so special?

3.) We saw a $63bn drop in late stage SaaS valuations, so what does this really mean for the early guys? In these markets should founders be placing greater emphasis on unit economics?

4.) With the increasing importance of customer retention will we see further increased growth in the field of customer success? How important is it really now for startups?

5.) How does Byron define efficient growth, what does cash is king mean? Where does Byron stand on the bottoms up sales approach, is this the new sales method of the 21st century?

6.) What have been the biggest takeaways for Byron of watching Box, Sendgrid, Twilio go into hyper growth mode and scale into the rocketships that they are

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Byron’s Fave Book: The Everything Store 

Byron’s Fave Productivity Tools: Clutter

Byron’s Fave Blog: Bleacher Report, Techcrunch 

Byron’s Most Recent Investment: Rainforest QA

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Byron on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why It Is All Still About User Growth and How To Conduct The Optimal Beta Testing Phase with Mike Mignano, Co-Founder & CEO @ Anchor

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Mike Mignano is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Anchor, the app that allows you to share and engage with your network via audio, essentially radio for the people. Prior to founding Anchor, Mike was Head of Product @ Aviary, prior to it’s acquisition by Adobe. Anchor was one of the hottest products at SXSW this year and has received funding from our good friends at Homebrew, SV Angel, Betaworks, Eniac Ventures, Scott Belsky and many more.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Mike come to found one of the hottest new audio startups, Anchor?

2.) Why have we seen such a renaissance of podcast listening? Will this continue in the long term future and if so, what will drive the long term future growth?

3.) How did Mike use the beta testing phase to learn and iterate on customer behaviour? Following this, how did he implement this feedback to create a community that could be harnessed on launch?

4.) When examining alongside Sarah Tavel’s hierarchy of engagement, how does Mike address retention and the creation of virtuous loops within Anchor?

5.) How does Mike fundamentally attempt to menthes Anchor? At what level of growth can the cash taps be turned on? How can Anchor be made to be revenue generating for both the platform and content creators?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Mike’s Fave Blog: The Skimm

Mike’s Fave Book: Cat’s Cradle

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Mike on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why Every Successful Company Pivots and Good Companies Get Funded in Good & Bad Markets with John Frankel, Founding Partner @ ff Venture Capital

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John Frankel is the founding partner of ff Venture Capital and has been an early-stage investor since 1999. He has served on the boards of more than 35 companies and has led investments in more than 80 companies, including Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), Indiegogo, Ionic Security, Unikey, Socure, Skycatch, Plated, 500px, Distil Networks, and Bottlenose. Prior to founding ffVC, John worked at Goldman Sachs for 21 years in a variety of roles that involved technology development, reengineering and capital markets. At Goldman Sachs, he worked closely with some of the world’s leading hedge fund managers and developed a keen understanding of emerging technologies and portfolio risk/return management.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did John make the move from Oxford grad to NYC venture capitalist?

2.) How has the massive decrease in startup costs affected the seed funding environment? How does David identify the startups he invests in with the plethora that are now available?

3.) How much of an extent is portfolio a branding tool for VCs? In recent years we have seen the rise of the operational VC model with the likes of Andreesen, will this continue as a prominent model in VC?

4.) How as a seed investor does John advise his founders when chasing a valuation that will only lead to a down round? What is John’s views on the dreaded down round?

5.) Many companies pivot in the process? Does John like to see pivots? If pivoting what is it important for founders to remember and focus on?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

John’s Fave Book: The Accidental Superpower

John’s Most Recent Investment: Wade and Wendy

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and John on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Europe’s Youngest Series A Venture Partner, James Wise @ Balderton Capital on How To Get Into Venture & What The Future Of The VC Industry Looks Like

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James Wise is a partner at Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s leading early stage venture funds with $2.5B in funds. The youngest partner at a Series A fund in Europe, at 29 James has already led on deals including the likes of CrowdcubeSketchFab3D HubsSunrise and Workable amongst others. He discusses his unusual background, coming into VC after previously setting up and running a charity, why he thinks geography matters less than every and why he continues to focus on areas in healthtech and edutech as well as many other emerging sectors.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) As Europe’s youngest venture partner, is venture capital a viable career going forward? What makes James say this? Has there been a time when you doubted this thesis and why?

2.) So it is a viable career, where do we go from here? Why should we choose venture in Europe over venture in the US? What are the inherent pros and cons? Does James get the itch to head to the Valley?

3.) So VC in Europe is the place to be, so why did James choose Balderton? There are a plethora of great and emerging funds in Europe, what attracted James to Balderton?

4.) What does the next 10 years of VC look like? Where we are heading? Although a viable career now, will this continue to be with increasing power of crowd sourced financing and decreasing startup costs?

5.) What advice would James give a young individual looking to get into the industry? How can an individual show their passion and inherent interest for VC and startups in a tangible way?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and James on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Nicolas Dessaigne Founder & CEO @ Algolia

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Nicolas Dessaigne is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Algolia. Algolia are a brilliant case study for the successful pivot, having started off life as an offline search engine for mobiles but really took off by helping companies deliver an intuitive search-as-you-type experience on their websites and mobile apps. They participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2014 batch and raised $18.3M in May 2015 from the likes of Accel Partners, Point Nine Capital, Storm Ventures and many more incredible investors.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Nicolas make his way into tech and come to found the likes of Friendster and Algolia?

2.) How did Algolia go about crafting their company culture and how have they approached maintaining it as they have gone into hyper growth mode?

3.) What des Nicolas think are the most common challenges with regards to the building and maintenance of a company culture? What pitfalls and advice would Nicolas give to an early stage founder looking to build that culture from the offset? How can investors determine the strength and sustainability of the company culture when viewing startups?

4.) How was the fundraising process for Nicolas? How did the rounds differ from round to round? What elements surprised or challenged him? For Algolia, an incredibly hot startup, how did Nicolas go about about selecting which investors to have?

5.) Talking of the highly competitive round and the very excitable startup community, how do you respond to all of this insane hype and positivity. How do you ensure that you do not fall into the trap of drinking your own cool aid and remain grounded and humble?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Nicolas’ Fave Blog: SaaStr

Nicolas’ Fave Book: Creativity Inc

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Nicolas on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: The Rise Of The Celebrity VC & The Pros and Cons Of Staying Private with Logan Bartlett @ Battery Ventures

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Logan Bartlett is an investor @ Battery Ventures, where he focuses on growth investments for B2B software companies. He is currently involved in Battery’s investment in Pendo and StreamSets. Before joining Battery, Logan was in investment banking with Spurrier Capital Partners, a boutique merchant bank focused on the technology sector. There, he sourced application-software deals with a focused on the marketing-automation sector as well as sales force automation, human-capital management, work management/collaboration, front-office analytics and data-services companies. Prior to that, Logan served as an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank focusing on financial technology.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Logan made his way into the wonderful world of venture capital?

2.) So as young chap entering the industry, I would love to hear how you have gone abut trying to build your brand and identity? What are the key personal marketing strategies for you? How important do you think the brand of the VC is? How do you address the juxtaposition of branding and marketing yourself and battery?

3.) How does Logan approach the deal sourcing aspect of the job? What is his approach to this vital thesis?

3.) Moving to more financial matters I want to address both the seed end and the later stage end of the market today. So starting with the seed funding environment, in recent years we have seen a massive drop in the cost of company creation in conjunction with a large rise in seed funding,. What is the effect of this for you as a Series A-B investor, potentially located in what some may call the funding gap?

4.) You are very much located in the B2B space, d I am intrigued wht kind of ARR do you look for at the stage you are investing and what price point per customer do you believe allows for that ARR metric to be hit within a reasonably short amount of time?

5.) Moving to the later stages of the market I have seen in a slide of yours from the past that you stated that more institutional investors have made their way into the private markets and startups are staying private longer. You followed up by staying that this is a win win for all? Why do you think that is? Does it not mean later stage VCs are priced out of rounds due to the inflow of public money? Does it not mean later stage startups attain inflated valuation that will only lead to a down round at follow on or IPO?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Logan’s Fave Book: Gang Leader For A Day

Logan’s Fave Blog Or Newsletter: Dan Primack: Term Sheet

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Logan on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: The Best Determinant Of Product Market Fit & Why You Prior Experience Is Nor Required For Founder Success with Neeraj Agrawal, General Partner @ Battery Ventures

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Neeraj Agrawal is a general partner at Battery Ventures investing in SaaS and Internet companies across all stages.  He was a founding investor in BladeLogic in 2001 and has invested in several other companies that have gone on to stage IPOs, including Bazaarvoice, Guidewire Software, Marketo, Omniture, RealPage and Wayfair. His current, private investments include AppDynamics, Catchpoint, Chef, Cohesity, Coupa, Glassdoor.com, Nutanix, Optimizely, Pendo, SmarterHQ, Sprinklr, StellaService, Tealium and Yesware. For the last six years, Neeraj has been recognized on the Forbes Midas List, which ranks the top 100 venture capitalists in the world.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Neeraj made his way into the world of VC?

2.)Question From Logan Bartlett: ‘What is your thought process on what makes a good vs a bad deal? Also, how have you developed your ability to process deals and poke holes in logic?’

3.) How can early stage Saas founders determine the extent to their product market fit??

4.) What is it like to back rocketships like GlassDoor or Marketo and helping scale operations when you’re in hyper growth mode? Does Neeraj agree with Sheryl Sandberg’s statement, it doesn’t matter where you sit, as long as you have a seat on the rocketship?

5.) Neeraj previously stated in a Nasdaq article that it is all about the team and the market. What are Neeraj’s thoughts on VC founder alignment? Neeraj also places emphasis on the market, so how does Neeraj view the juxtaposition between current and future market?

6.) One hurdle preventing some companies from growth is the ability to attain later rounds of funding so as a largely Series B investor, why is raising a Series B so tough? Is it the embodiment of the funding barbell?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Neeraj’s Fave Blog: Brad Feld, Jason Lemkin

Neeraj’s Most Recent Investment: Pendo.io

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Neeraj on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: From Netscape To Friendster To Nuzzel: Jonathan Abrams on A Silicon Valley Adventure

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Jonathan Abrams is the founder & CEO of the social news service Nuzzel.  Jonathan is also co-founder and Managing Partner of Founders Den, a shared office space and private club for experienced entrepreneurs and their friends. Previously, Jonathan was the founder & CEO of Socializr, Friendster, and HotLinks, and a software engineer at companies such as Netscape and Nortel. Jonathan is a board member at Girls in Tech, an advisor to CodeNow, and has previously been a mentor in Steve Blank’s entrepreneurship classes at Stanford and Berkeley, a top-rated mentor at The Founder Institute and a member of the advisory board of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs. Jonathan is also an angel investor in over 50 startups including AngelList, Docker, Front, HelloSign, Instacart, Sapho, Seed, Slideshare, Socialcam, and Vouch.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jonathan make his way into tech and come to found the likes of Friendster and Nuzzel? What were his biggest lessons from working at Netscape?

2.) How can founders determine the customer stickiness and value proposition in the early days of product testing with friends and family?

3.) How does Jonathan view the competitive landscape for news aggregation? Why is consumer app such a competitive space?

4.) Question From Matt Mazzeo: How does Jonathan compare this moment in time to previous points in the innovation curve?

5.) Having worked with both the old and the new guard of VC, how does working with Lowercase, Homebrew and Softtech compare with the old guard of Benchmark and Kleiner Perkins?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jonathan on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why Machine Intelligence Will Eat The World Of Software with Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta

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Roy Bahat is the head of Bloomberg Beta, a new venture fund backed by Bloomberg L.P. Prior to Bloomberg, Roy was chairman of OUYA, a new kind of game console, where he was the first investor. Before that Roy spent five years leading News Corporation’s IGN Entertainment, an online media company with a monthly audience of 70 million people, a top 10 YouTube channel, and the leading website in its category in almost every market globally. Roy served on the board of Revision3 (acquired by Discovery) and was a board observer at Flixster (acquired by Warner Bros). Before joining News Corp., Roy was in the public sector in the office of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and at New York’s 2012 Olympic bid.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Roy made his way into the world of VC from working alongside Mayor Michael Bloomberg?

2.) What do all these definitions within AI mean? What does artificial intelligence include? What is machine learning? What is deep learning?

3.) When we talk about AI are we talking pure AI , with the likes of Watson and DeepMind or are we talking consumer centric software with elements of AI?

4.) With data playing such a huge role in the efficiency of AI, do large incumbents like Google and Facebook not have a massive advantage? How can startups get access to datasets? Is AI not fundamentally an acquihire industry?

5.) How important has open source in allowing and encouraging the progression of the machine intelligence ecosystem? What more can be done to further it’s growth?

6.) With the rise of machine intelligence, what does the future of work look like? How will we live in a world where 47% of white collar jobs will be replaced by machines and AI?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Roy’s Fave Book:

Roy’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Roy on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Felicis’ Aydin Senkut on Scaling Felicis From $4m to $120m, Doing Venture Differently and Why Being A VC Is Like A Jamaican Bobsled Team!

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Aydin Senkut is the Founder and Managing Director of Felicis Ventures. An original “super-angel” investor, he was named to Forbes’ 2014 and 2015 Midas List and previously appeared as one of the top 15 tech angels by Businessweek. Aydin is well-known as an early backer of a number of iconic companies including Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Adyen, Clearslide, Credit Karma, and Rovio. More than 55 Felicis companies such as Brightroll, Climate Corp, Dropcam, Twitch, and Meraki, have been acquired by industry leaders such as Google, Amazon, Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Disney, Yahoo and Ebay.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Aydin made his way into the world of VC from being a Senior Manager @ Google?

2.) What does Aydin suggest to all those looking to make the move into VC who have potentially, an unconventional background??

3.) What caused Aylin’s shift from angel investor to VC ? What was Aydin’s investment strategy look like at the beginning and how has that evolved over time? How does Aydin look to differentiate Felicis from the plethora of seed funds?

4.) How does Felicis’ stage agnosticity work in practicality for Aydin and the fund itself? How much of a role does valuation play in Felicis’ investment decision making?

5.) Question from Rob Hayes @ First Round: How did the Rovio investment come about? Why do you say you are most proud if it?

6.) Question From Hiten Shah: How do you approach the topic of growing the organisation, whilst still supporting founders with the same time and quality?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Aydin’s Fave Book:

Aylin’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Aydin on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!
wesley chan, dan waterhouse, hiten shah, james park,

20VC: Sprig’s Gagan Biyani on The 3 Principles Of Fundraising and Building The World’s Largest Restaurant

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Gagan Biyani is the CEO and Co-Founder @ Sprig, on a mission to build the world’s largest restaurant providing healthy and sustainable food. Sprig has attained funding from the likes of Greylock Partners, Accel and Battery Partners. Prior to Sprig, Gagan was the Interim Head of Marketing @ Lyft, where he wrote the first Lyft new market launch playbook and launched Lyft LA. Before that Gagan, was the Co-Founder and CEO of the world’s largest online teaching and learning marketplace with the founding of Udemy.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What was the origin story for Sprig? What was the aha moment?

2.) Question from Josh Elman: What lessons have Sprig and Gagan learnt from Chipotle, both in terms of their growth and their food?

3.) What are the coolest things that Gagan has learnt about foods that have learnt and not worked from user and product testing?

4.) On TWIST Gagan stated that the food delivery market is a winner take all market , so what makes Gagan believe that and what will ensure that Sprig is the startup that will be victorious?

5.) How do Sprig address expansion theory? Are they the Uber or the Lyft in terms of aggressive market expansion? How do Sprig choose which new market to enter? Is there a scientific approach?

6.) From having raised 9 rounds of VC and angel funding, what are Gagan’s biggest tips and takeaways to anyone entering the VC or funding process?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Gagan’s’s Fave Book:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Gagan on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!
adeo ressi, simon rothman

20VC: Greylock’s Sarah Tavel on What Founders Need From A Good Investor and Why Products Need To Be 10X Better & Cheaper

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Sarah Tavel is a Partner at Greylock Partners. Prior to Greylock, Sarah was a product lead at Pinterest. As one of the first 35 employees, her first order of business was to launch Pinterest internationally and close the Series C financing. Sarah then moved into product, becoming Pinterest’s founding PM for search and discovery, and launching Pinterest’s first search and recommendations features. She also led three acquisitions as she helped the company scale through a period of hyper-growth. Sarah joined Pinterest in 2012 after co-leading the Series A investment while at Bessemer Venture Partners. She spent six years at Bessemer, investing in a wide range of businesses from Quidsi to Cornerstone OnDemand.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sarah made her way into the world of VC from selling ads in college?

2.) What is the deal sourcing story behind your sourcing of Pinterest for Bessemer? What made Sarah so excited about the product? At what stage did Sarah realise the huge potential Pinterest did have?

3.) How did Sarah decide Greylock was the right VC to choose over the plethora of other options?

4.) How does Sarah try and appeal to the inner founder? What does she do to make sure she is the first person they call? What forms of communication does Srah like to communicate with?

5.) What is Sarah’s attitude to VC’s personal brand? How has Sarah seen the personalisation of VC in recent years? Why the shift from blog to Medium?

6.) What is the most important attribute for a consumer product to have? Does it have to be both 10X better and cheaper?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Sarah’s’s Fave Book:

Sarah’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Josh on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

 

20VC: Greylock’s Josh Elman on Why We Are Not In A Consumer Downturn, The Next Wave Of Social and What Twitter Should Do Next

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Josh Elman is a Partner at Greylock Partners, which he joined the team in 2011 and invests in entrepreneurs building new consumer products and services. Josh specializes in designing, building, and scaling consumer products, having been part of multiple companies that have grown to more than 100 million users. Before joining Greylock, Josh was the product lead for growth and relevance at Twitter, growing Twitter’s active user base by nearly 10x. Prior to Twitter, Josh worked on the platform at Facebook and was an early employee at LinkedIn helping establish models for user growth and launched v1 of LinkedIn Jobs. Josh currently serves on the boards of Medium, Meerkat, Operator, Discord, and Jelly.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh made his move into the VC world from Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook?

2.) What were the biggest takeaways of watching fb, Linkedin and Twitter to hyper growth mode?

3.) Question from Jeff Seibert: What would Josh do with the Twitter product today??

4.) How would Josh apply his principles of the on boarding process to Twitter? What does he mean when he refers to the ladder of engagement?

5.) How does Josh respond to Fred Wilson’s out on the consumer downturn? Is consumer really as hard as Fred makes it out to be? What sort of metrics really get Josh excited when viewing consumer startups?

6.) How has Josh’s own investment decision making process been honed and refined since joining Greylock?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Josh’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Josh on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

RobinHood’s Baiju Bhatt on The Importance Of Design in Fintech and Having A 10X Better Product

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Baiju Bhatt is the Co-Founder and CEO at RobinHood, the wildly successful stock market trading app with absolutely no commission fees. Since launching RobinHood there have been many amazing milestones including being awarded an Apple Design Award (first Finch company ever to achieve this), funding from the likes of Index, Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and even movie star Jared Leto. They were also nominated for best mobile app at The Crunchies by TechCrunch this year.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Baiju made his way into the world of tech and came to be Founder @ RobinHood?

2.) How did Baiju deal with the regulatory hurdles heading into the fintech and trading world?

3.) How did Baiju go about building the waitlist for RobinHood to 1m people? What were the defining strategies and channels that made the difference?

4.) What is the thesis behind the decision of RobinHood? Will this design enable previously untouched markets to tap into the growing trading market?

5.) What are the biggest challenges for Baiju and RobinHood going forward? What keeps Baiju up at night? What is Baiju’s biggest piece of advice to a founder scaling their startup?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Baiju’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: TechCrunch

Baiju’s Fave Productivity Tool: Slack

Baiju’s Fave Book: The Case For Mars

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Baiju on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: ‘The Best Seed Investors Hunt’ with Paige Craig @ Arena VC

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Paige Craig is a Founder and General Partner of Arena Ventures. He is an experienced angel investor who has invested in over 110 startups in the last seven years, including companies like Lyft, AngelList, Wish, Postmates, Twitter, Styleseat, Zenpayroll, Quizup and more. Paige spent the first half of his career in the Marine Corps and US Intelligence Community and later launched a defense contractor, driving alone into Iraq in 2003 with just $10,000 and expanding operations across the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and Southeast Asia.

As always we would like thank the awesome team at Mattermark for providing us with all the data and analysis for the show today, check out Mattermark search here
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Paige made his way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) What were Paige’s biggest takeaways from his previous career in the military? How did this shape his investment thesis?

3.) Arena VC have both the fund and the AngelList syndicate, why did Paige choose this dual model? What have been the drivers of it’s success?

4.) What does Paige believe makes a great VC? What aspects of himself would he like to improve upon? Is an inherent fight mode common among VCs?

5.) What advice would Paige give to someone looking to start a syndicate? What would Craig recommend to someone looking to join a syndicate?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Paige’s Fave Book:

Paige’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Paige on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Homebrew’s Satya Patel on The Key Components of Being A Great VC & The 3 Main Reasons Startups Fail At Seed

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Satya Patel is a Partner @ Homebrew alongside Hunter Walk. Prior to Homebrew, Satya was VP Product at Twitter, building and leading the Product Management and User Services teams. Before Twitter, Satya was a Partner at Battery Ventures, where he co-led the seed and early stage investing practices. In 2003, Satya joined Google and was responsible for AdSense product management and partnerships. Before heading to Silicon Valley for Google, I worked for DoubleClick, in venture capital and as a strategy consultant.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Satya made his way into the world of tech and came to Partner with Hunter @ Homebrew?

2.) Is hustle the key component of a great VC? What does Satya believes makes a great investor?

4.) How can startups present emotion and depict their narrative to the VC? What are the benefits of doing so? What founder is most

5.) From Satya’s experience, what are the most common reasons startups fail at the seed stage? What can they do to maximise their chances of survival?

6.) We always hear that products should focus on a niche but how then do you attract VC money that is looking for a broad opportunity that can return the fund?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Satya’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: CB Insights, Fred Wilson, Brad Feld

Satya’s Fave Book: A Fine Balance

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Satya on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Immediately’s Branko Cerny on The Rise Of Bottoms Up Sales and The Importance of Branding For Enterprise SaaS Companies

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Branko Cerny is the Founder and CEO at Immediately, the mobile platform for modern sales professionals whose mission is to elevate sales back to it’s core foundation, a relationship driven craft. Immediately has some of the US’s finest backing in terms of investment with the likes of Naval Ravikant @ AngelList, Ryan Holmes @ Hootsuite, Jonathan Abrams @ Friendster and Nuzzel and previous guest Kate Shillo @ Galvanize.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Branko made his way into the world of tech and came to be CEO @ Immediately?

2.) How does Branko find being one of the youngest enterprise CEO in the business? What are the challenges and what are the benefits?

3.) What can enterprise companies learn from the likes of Tinder and Equinox? How important is brand building for emerging enterprise sales companies?

4.) To what extent will we see the bottoms up sales process continue in enterprise sales? How does this change Immediately approach to UX, UI and brand building? Why did Branko choose to focus on a mobile platform with Immediately?

5.) How did Branko come to meet his stellar lineup of investors? What value add was he looking for when assembling the lineup? Is he concerned by the large number of investors Immediately has at an early stage?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Branko’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: First Round Review, Nir Eyal

Branko’s Fave Productivity Tool: IntercomMoleskin Notebook (Harry’s Productivity Tool too!)

Branko’s Fave Book: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Branko on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? A hundred? A thousand? The answer is too many. But here’s the thing—even though I knew I wanted to do something about it, I didn’t know how. It’s called SaneBox. SaneBox sorts through your email and moves all of the trivial stuff into a different folder so the only messages in your inbox are the ones you actually want to see. Visit sanebox.com/20VC today and they’ll throw in an extra $20 credit on top of the two-week free trial. 

20VC: Rebecca Kaden @ Maveron

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Rebecca Kaden is a Partner at Maveron where she identifies emerging consumer-focused entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Southern California, and New York. Rebecca also plays a leading role in Maveron’s seed program, where they partner with emerging consumer companies at their earliest stages. She’s a Board Observer at August, Common, Darby Smart, Dolls Kill, Eargo, Earnest and General Assembly. Her outstanding achievements have been recognised by Forbes who included Rebecca is their annual ’30 Under 30′.
As always we would like thank the awesome team at Mattermark for providing us with all the data and analysis for the show today, check out Mattermark search here
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rebecca made her way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) Maveron have shown their belief in the consumerisation of IOT. What are Rebecca’s thoughts on the space, how it is progressing, barriers that are preventing mass adoption?

3.) What is your take on the integration of messaging and chat with IOT? Whis there a recent broader market positivity towards chat interfaces at the moment?

4.) Maveron have also shown their likeability towards hardware investments so why is this? Why do Maveron not feel the broader VC market concerns of shipping, logistics? Are we seeing a shift in investing patterns in hardware?

5.) How do Rebecca approach the common problem with consumer startups transtioning from an early adopter market to a mass market product?  What does Rebecca feel is the tipping point? What is necessary to make the transition from SF hipster client to everyone?

6.) What are the benefits are of having a narrow investing thesis (only consumer)? How has Rebecca found it? Is it challenging when finding companies you would like to invest in but are outside the mandate?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Rebecca’s Fave Book:

Rebecca’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Rebecca’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rebecca on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? A hundred? A thousand? The answer is too many. But here’s the thing—even though I knew I wanted to do something about it, I didn’t know how. It’s called SaneBox. SaneBox sorts through your email and moves all of the trivial stuff into a different folder so the only messages in your inbox are the ones you actually want to see. Visit sanebox.com/20VC today and they’ll throw in an extra $20 credit on top of the two-week free trial. 

Uber’s First Investor, First Round Capital’s Rob Hayes on How The Deal Of The Decade Originated and Why Product Orientated VC Is The Future

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Rob Hayes is a partner at First Round Capital where he opened up the firm’s San Francisco office. Over the past ten years, he has led investments in companies such as Mint.com (acquired by Intuit), Gnip (acquired by Twitter), Square, Uber, eero, and Planet Labs. Prior to joining First Round, Rob became the first venture investor at Omidyar Network, the investment firm started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. While there, he led most of the initial venture capital deals and later built and ran the technology investing group.
Before that, Rob worked at Palm, where he product managed Palm OS and started the company’s corporate venture fund.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rob made his move into the VC world from working with Palm in the heyday?

2.) Question From David Hornik : How did Rob’s seed investment in Uber originate? What made Rob invest? Did Rob realise the potential for Uber when he invested? When did Rob realize it was going to be huge?

3.) Has the investment in Uber changed how Rob views seed investing? Talking of the Uber’s of the world, how do you ensure that you find and decide to invest in the next Uber, when it raises a seed round?

4.) In terms of deal closing, how does Rob approach that element of the deal and what was the competition and closing environment around the Uber deal?

5.) Question from Satya at Homebrew: Stepping back and looking at First Round, what has changed in FRC’s approach as the firm has grown? How does the firm think about managing generational transition?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Rob’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Rob’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rob on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? A hundred? A thousand? The answer is too many. But here’s the thing—even though I knew I wanted to do something about it, I didn’t know how. It’s called SaneBox. SaneBox sorts through your email and moves all of the trivial stuff into a different folder so the only messages in your inbox are the ones you actually want to see. Visit sanebox.com/20VC today and they’ll throw in an extra $20 credit on top of the two-week free trial. 

Pre-YC Demo Day: Msg.ai’s Puneet Mehta on The Rise of AI, The Potential For Messaging and Life As A Current YC Startup

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Puneet Mehta, Founder @ Msg.ai, an artificial intelligence startup for conversational commerce and for an AI founder you don’t get much better than starting your career at IBM’s TJ Watson Center, which is exactly what Puneet did. He then went on to build predictive platforms to power large-scale trading systems aka bots on Wall St. It is clearly not joust us who think he is awesome as Advertising Age named Puneet to the Creativity 50 list in 2014, honoring the most creative and innovative thinkers and doers.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Puneet made his way into the world of AI and came to be the founder of YC’s latest, Msg.ai?

2.) How has the YC experience been for Msg.ai and for Puneet as a founder? Have YC been able to keep the same quality of mentorship with the largely expanding number in their latest batch?

3.) VC funding is usually very available to YC alums graduating, how will Puneet go about picking his investors? What are the fundamental determinants?

4.) What have been the biggest takeaways for Puneet? What has been the highlight? What has been tough? What was surprising and unexpected? How did Puneet deal with the requirement for 10% weekly growth?

5.) Taking a step back now, Puneet has stated before about building the Turing test for money. So what does he mean by this and how does he look at AI as a key driver for conversational commerce?

6.) What is it about messaging that makes Puneet believe this is the platform of the future? What is it that bots provide that has never been possible before?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Puneet’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Puneet on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.

 

20VC: The Three Fundamental Forces in Society with Ciaran O’Leary, Partner @ BlueYard

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Ciaran O’Leary is the General Partner at one of Europe’s newest funds, BlueYard. A $120m fund located at the early stage, centring around 3 key areas: The decentralisation of markets, the democratisation of capabilities, and the liberation of data. Prior to BlueYard, Ciaran was a Partner at Earlybird with investments in the likes of Peak Games (emerging markets social gaming), 6Wunderkinder (productivity apps), Moped (private messaging), B2X Care Solutions (outsourcing platform), madvertise (mobile targeting network) and simfy (digital music distribution company). Before Earlybird, Ciarán co-founded a startup and gathered operational experience at others.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ciaran made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) What is the thesis with BlueYard? What is the preferred cheque size, sector and geography?

3.) With the mass of VCs emerging, how can startups at the early stage determine whether a VC really is early stage? Are there any defining characteristics?

4.) For startup founders out there who always hear from fellow founders that everything is going gangbusters, how should they react to that? How can you determine whether a startup really is doing well?

5.) Say the startup really is going well and they are looking to scale and hire, we always hear we need a world beating, world class X? How can they communicate that hire better to their current team and their board? What should the CEO or Head of Talent be focusing on when viewing talent? Is there anything they should look out for in particular?

6.) Now when a startup really scales, board meetings become a big part of a CEO’s life. So how can CEO’s turn useless board meetings into very useful value added meetings? How can they optimize that time? What should they look for? What should they ask for?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ciaran’s Fave Book: The Road

Ciaran’s Fave Blog: The Economist Espresso

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Ciaran on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Lowercase’s Matt Mazzeo on Being Chris Sacca’s Partner and The 3 KPIs to Successful Investing

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Matt Mazzeo is Managing Director at Lowercase Capital, alongside legendary angel investor, Chris Sacca. At Lowercase Matt leads a seed and series A investment strategy managing a portfolio of over forty investments including Uber, Twitter, Stripe and Optimizely just to name a few. Prior to joining Lowercase Capital, Matt spearheaded many of the digital and venture efforts at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Matt helped shape the agency’s seed stage investment strategy and played an integral role in the founding of CAA’s incubated start-up companies, including Funny or Die, WhoSay, and Moonshark. Matt has been recognized as an innovative force across technology, entertainment, and advertising for which Fast Company named Matt one of the Most Creative People in Business. In addition to making Forbes Midas Brink List in 2014, Matt has been recognized on both Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 List in 2013, and The Wrap’s Inaugural Innovators List.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made the transition from the world of celebrity management to the world of venture capital?

2.) How have we seen the personalisation of VCs in the emerging eco-system? Are VCs themselves brands now? How does Matt look to establish his brand?

3.) What are the required KPI’s to make a successful investor? What is Matt pleased with in himself and what would he like to improve?

4.) Why will we see the decentralisation of VC away from the traditional Sand Hill Road? How does being in LA affect the operations and deal flow of Lowercase?

5.) What are Matt’s biggest learnings from being partner with Chris? What has Matt founded the most challenging in making the transition from CAA to VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Matt’s Fave Book:

Matt’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Matt’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Matt on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.

 

20VC: Niccolo De Masi on The Bursting Of The Tech Bubble and What It Takes To Be A Celebrity Partner with Glu Mobile

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Niccolo De Masi is the CEO & Chairman @ Glu Mobile, one of the world’s hottest gaming companies with title including the current No 1 Game in the App Store with the Kendall and Kylie Game, Glu is also the maker of the Kim Kardashian game and the likes of Deer Hunter and many more. Prior to Glu, Niccolo was CEO at mobile entertainment company Hands On Mobile and before that Niccolo was the CEO at London listed mobile entertainment company, Monstermob Group Plc.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What does Niccolo make of the wildly unrealistic pricing applied to early stage startups today? What will result from this incredibly optimistic pricing?

2.) If Niccolo were a VC today, how would he respond to the impending implosion of the early stage startups? What are the best VCs currently doing and what can startups do to preserve as much value as possible?

3.) How central a role does first mover advantage become in a down turning market? Will we see large scale consolidation and if so what will the effects of this be? How can startups position themselves to be the consolidator not the consolidated?

4.) How do Glu pick the celebrities that are featured for their celebrity feature games? What are the KPI’s? What are the requirements in terms of existing brand and audience for a celebrity game to be a success?

5.) Why are women better at establishing larger social following than men? What celebrities would Niccolo most like to have on Glu’s platform who they currently do not have?

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Niccolo on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Christian Hernandez on The Importance of Mobile and The Relationship Between Growth vs Revenue

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Christian Hernandez is the Co-Founder and Partner @ Whitestar Capital in London. Prior to co-founding White Star Capital, Christian worked at Facebook and led the international expansion of the company’s Business Development, Platform and Developer Network groups. He previously held leadership roles in the U.S. and Europe at Google and Microsoft and started his career in technology at MicroStrategy, a startup he joined prior to its 1999 IPO. Christian has worked closely with entrepreneurs and leading VCs and has been an active angel investor and advisor.  He represents White Star on the Boards of KeyMe, Glow Media, Bloglovin’ and Hole 19. Christian also serves as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Christian made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) Having worked with the likes of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, how has Christian seen the ecosystem develop; for both the good and the bad?

3.) Moving to White Star specifically now, what is the thesis, investment mandate? Average cheque size, preferred sectors? Geography? Talking of geography, WSC has a transatlantic model with offices in both London and NYC, why is that? What are the benefits of having this spread?

4.) According to Mattermark, White Star have 38% of your portfolio in mobile, so what are Christians views on the evolution of mobile? How does he respond to Fred Wilson’s post about the mobile downtown and the difficulty in attaining and maintaining traction for mobile apps? What are Christian’s thoughts on discovery?

5.) Where does Christian stand on the relationship between growth and revenue? Are there any cases where it can be beneficial to focus solely on growth? In today’s environment, with VCs moderating their valuations more, is it possible to raise on pure momentum growth?

6.) Christian recently wrote an article: ‘Hiring For The Future Of Your Company’, so what does he really mean by this? Is it not a little ironic coming from the VC scene, an inherently risky asset class who have a fundamental unwillingness to move away from the old hiring style of investment bank or consultancy, in many cases?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Christian’s Fave Book: Physics of the Future

Christian’s Fave Blog: Medium, Nuzzel

Christian’s Most Serendipitous Investment: Keyme

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Christian on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Tom Tunguz on Why Now Is The Best Time To Be Investing and The Effect of Late Stage Valuations on Startups

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Tom Tunguz is a Partner @ Redpoint Ventures, where he has invested in Axial, Dremio, Expensify, Electric Imp, Looker, and ThredUP. Before joining Redpoint, Tomasz was the product manager for Google’s AdSense social-media products and AdSense internationalization. Tom is also the author of the world famous blog and newsletter which can be found at http://tomtunguz.com

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Tom made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) What does the huge drop in late stage saas valuations mean for the early guys? Does Tom expect them to hunker down? Take more time? Spend less cash?

3.) In recent years with the likes of Zenefits, we have seen the rise of Free Saas Enabled Marketplaces, why have we seen this rise, what are the benefits of adopting this strategy? Does the lack of predictability and lower (30%) gross margin not generate concern towards the model?

4.) Where does Tom see room for real innovation in SaaS? Is Tom excited about mobile enterprise?

5.) Question from Javier Soltero @ Microsoft: How have you approached developing your ‘personal’ brand and how that has made an impact in your development as an investor?

6.) Question from Eric ver Ploeg (episode 70) and Tak Lo (Episode 37): Where does Tom generate the ideas for articles and what does the idea creation process look like?’ What does the scheduling look like to churn our such high quality content on a daily occurrence?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Tom’s Fave Book: Narcissus and Goldmund

Tom’s Fave Blog: SaastrDavid Skok

Tom’s Most Recent Investment: Dremio

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Tom on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC FF: Hiten Shah on VC Funded vs Bootstrapped Businesses and How He Decides Which Startups To Advise

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Hiten Shah is one of the most prominent players in the data marketing industry having co-Founded both KissMetrics (raised $10m+ VC Funding) and Crazy Egg (bootstrapped), both wildly successful businesses serving some of the world’s largest companies. Hiten is also an extremely successful angel investor with investments in the likes of Buffer, Mattermark and MessageMe (acquired by Yahoo.) In addition, Hiten is also a serial startup advisor having been an advisor with Linkedin, SlideShare and WordPress’ Automattic.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hiten made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) Why did Hiten decide to take VC funding for on startup and not the other? Did taking VC funding allow for much greater growth or make him less resourceful and creative?

3.) How have Hiten’s entrepreneurial endeavours altered his attitude to investing? How does Hiten’s large personal brand add to his investing style?

4.) Hiten has said before that he likes to ask founders ‘what is their earliest most traumatic memory’? Why is that and what does Hiten learn from that?

5.) Question from Erik Torenberg @ ProductHunt: How does Hiten assess which startups he wants to spend time with as an advisor?

6.) Question from Ryan Hoover @ ProductHunt: What is the most counter-intuitive advice for this starting a company?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Hiten’s Fave Book: The War of Art

Hiten’s Fave Blog: 731 Users Reveal Why Slack Is So Addictive

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Hiten on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Building a Game Changing Consumer Startup and Hunting His 4th Unicorn with Jim Scheinman @ Maven Ventures

Jim Scheinman is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Maven Ventures, a leading seed stage consumer VC with investments in the likes of AngelList, WealthFront and Altspace. Prior to founding Maven, Jim was a pioneer in the early days of the social media revolution as Head of Business Development and Sales at the first social networking site, Friendster. However, in 2005, Jim left Friendster to join co-founders Michael and Xochi Birch to launch Bebo as the first employee and Board member. Bebo later went on to become a unicorn for Jim, however, that was not his only unicorn as he was also an investor in Tango ($bn valuation) and NBCi (IPOd for 6bn.)

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jim made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) What was it like being in the midst of the social media revolution as it was taking place? How does Jim view the social scene today? Why does Jim think there is skepticism to investing in social?

3.) On consumer mobile Fred Wilson stated: ‘doing anything in the consumer mobile space is super hard. i can’t think of many consumer mobile apps that have gained massive traction and sustained it. can you?’ So why is the space so hard? Is it not a monopoly play with the dominant incumbents?

4.) How has Jim seen the consumer landscape develop over the last decade with the rise of mobile? How can you tackle the distribution challenges inherent within mobile? Does Jim agree that with mobile consumer product market fit is no longer enough to gain a large user base?

5.) What are the core elements of building a successful consumer business? What are the challenges? Is there a pareto’s principle on this, with 20% determining 80% of the returns?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Jim’s Fave Book: The Boys In The Boat 

Jim’s Fave Blog: Mattermark, Strictly VC, TechCrunch

Jim’s Most Recent Investment: HomeMade

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jim on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

SoftTech VC’s Andy McLoughlin on The Series A Crunch, Maximising Runway and Minimising Burn and For Startups

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Andy McLoughlin is a Partner with SoftTech VC, where he primarily invests in B2B, SaaS, developer tools and mobile applications. Prior to joining SoftTech, Andy was co-founder of London-based Huddle, under Andy’s leadership, Huddle became one of Europe’s most awarded and well-known technology startups, raising over $80M of venture funding to date. Since 2010 Andy has been a prolific angel investor building a portfolio covering 35 startups, mostly in the SaaS / B2B space. Just to name a few of the investments from his incredible portfolio Andy was an angel in the likes of Buffer, Intercom, Pipedrive, Postmates, Secret Escapes, just to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made his startup as an entrepreneur and then VC?

2.) What was it that made Andy make the move from the world of entrepreneurship to VC?

3.) As a seed stage investor, what does Andy make of the Series A crunch? How prevalent has it been for him as an investor? What is the optimal amount of runway founders should raise for?

4.) What does Andy think of the size and cadence of the first funding rounds that we are seeing now? What does he make of the rise of the second seed or the bridge round? Is it an indication of trouble?

5.) SoftTech are near the closing of Fund V, so what is the thesis and the mission going forward? What themes and spaces is Andy most excited by and why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Andy’s Fave Book:

Andy’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Andy’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Andy on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.

 

20VC: Gary Liu @ Digg on The Rebirth of Digg & The Evolution Of Content

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Gary Liu is the CEO @ Digg, the incredibly famous platform that allows users to find, read and share the most talked about stories on the internet. Prior to joining Digg, Gary was an early employee at Spotify holding numerous positions including, Head of Spotify Labs and Global Director of Ad Product Strategy. Gary joined Spotify from AOL, where he was the Director of Sales Strategy and Operations at Patch. Before joining AOL, Gary was a business and sales operations leader at Google and Clickable.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Gary made his entry into the world of tech and later became CEO at Digg?

2.) What were Gary’s biggest takeaways from his time at Google and being an early employee at Spotfiy? How has he adapted those learnings to his role now at Digg?

3.) What really happened at Digg? What went wrong? Why did Digg not live up to the early hype of being the darling of the internet age? How are Digg evolving to change this?

4.) In the vastly competitive space of content creation and distribution, how do Digg stand out and differentiate themselves from the plethora of options available to consumers?

5.) How do Digg try to engage and unite the community through the commenting process without alienating people through the potential for malicious posts and trolling?

6.) How does a platform like Digg plan to monetize content with the ever disappearing ad dollar? Does it concern Gary or does he see potential in other avenues?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Gary on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Investing In The Next Frontiers Of Tech & Harry Potter with Adam Draper, Founder & CEO @ Boost VC

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Adam Draper is a fourth generation venture capitalist and the Founder & CEO @ Boost VC, a specialised seed stage accelerator that invests in blockchain and virtual reality startups. Before starting Boost, Adam angel invested in 20 companies including Coinbase, Plangrid and Practice Fusion. During his angel investment period, Adam was also the Founder of Xpert Financial in his aim to revolutionise the financial markets for private companies.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Adam made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) Why is Adam so bullish on the topics of bitcoin and virtual reality?

3.) What are the fundamental use cases for bitcoin and why have we not seen mass adoption on a global scale so far? What are the barriers to adoption?

4.) What is the investment attitude to the bitcoin and VR space? Does the volatility of the price in bitcoin affect the level of investment going into the sector?

5.) What would Adam like to see more of in the space? What is he most excited for and where does he see the most potential?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Adam’s Fave Book: The Name Of The Wind

Adam’s Fave Blog: Mugglenet

Adam’s Most Recent Investment: Joystream

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Adam on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20VC: Tim Draper on Investing In Tesla, The Best Pitch He Has Ever Seen & The Evolution of Venture and Startups

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Tim Draper is the founding partner of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and DFJ. Some of his Venture successes include Skype, Baidu, Tesla, Hotmail, Twitch.tv, and hundreds of others. Fun fact about Tim, it was his original suggestion to use viral marketing in web-based email to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail, YahooMail, and Gmail and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by thousands of businesses. His prominence is evident through his being named 100 most influential Harvard Alumni, and seven on the Forbes Midas List. He was named Always-On #1 top venture capital deal maker.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Tim made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) Having founded Draper Associates in 1985, how has Tim seen the investing landscape develop over time?

3.) Draper obviously invests across a variety of stage, but what is Tim’s preferred stage? Where does he see the most opportunity for venture returns? Why?

4.) Of all the companies Tim has seen, which was the best pitch? Why? Which founder inspired Tim the most? Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

5.) What is DraperU? What are the plans for the future? What is the vision? Why did Tim choose to do a reality show in StartupU? Has it been a very different experience being the lead in a TV show compared to investing in startups?

6.)Why is behind Tim’s immense belief in Bitcoin. Why is this? When did Tim realize the potential? How long will adoption take?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Tim on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC: Niccolo De Masi @ Glu Mobile on Private Market Valuations, Being A Public Market CEO & The Trends Of Mobile Gaming

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Niccolo De Masi is the CEO & Chairman @ Glu Mobile, one of the world’s hottest gaming companies with title including the current No 1 Game in the App Store with the Kendall and Kylie Game, Glu is also the maker of the Kim Kardashian game and the likes of Deer Hunter and many more. Prior to Glu, Niccolo was CEO at mobile entertainment company Hands On Mobile and before that Niccolo was the CEO at London listed mobile entertainment company, Monstermob Group Plc.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Niccolo came to be CEO at one of the world’s hottest gaming companies, Glu Mobile?

2.) How did Niccolo make the transition from feature phone business to smartphone business with Glu so successfully? How did Glu’s public market status affect the transition?

3.) How important is transparency within organisations as a leader, whether it be Founder or CEO? What are the important elements to communicate with your team and your investors?

4.) Why are private market valuations so misaligned with the public market? What will happen to the plethora of newly made unicorns?

5.) How does Niccolo source potential acquisition targets, what does he look for in, so called ‘well valued assets’? What makes them well valued?

6.) What is Niccolo’s turnaround strategy for his acquisition targets? How can Glu’s platform elevate companies that are in distress?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Niccolo’s Fave Book: The Rise and Fall Of The Great Powers 

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Niccolo on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Tyler Willis on How To Be Innovative With Customer Acquisition and The Future Of Innovation

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Tyler Willis is probably one of the best angel investors around and has invested in seed stage companies that have gone on to raise from the likes of Index Ventures, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures and others. Some of these investments include the likes of wildly popular ride sharing app Lyft, the incredible Patreon (now delivering 2m a month to creators) and Change.org which now has over 80m users.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Tyler made it into startups and the investing industry?

2.) Where does Tyler sit on investor specialisation? Is it best to have preferred sectors and round sizes?

3.) What elements are essential for Tyler pre investment and what can be tweaked later down the line?

4.) Question from Arielle Zuckerberg: How does Tyler evaluate customer acquisition so well? What is his approach to this with potential investments and portfolio companies?

5.) Why are people so negative on the future of innovation? Is Founders Fund’s ‘we expected flying cars and instead got 140 characters’ fair?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Tyler’s Fave Book: Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

Tyler’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Mattermark Daily

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Tyler on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC: Arielle Zuckerberg, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

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Arielle Zuckerberg, Partner @ Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Arielle Zuckerberg joined KPCB in 2015 and focuses on early-stage investments in the firm’s digital practice as part of the venture team. Arielle joined Kleiner from Humin, where she led product for the company’s mobile apps. She started her career as a product manager by day and Hackathon host by night at Wildfire Interactive, Inc., which was acquired by Google in 2012. After the acquisition, Arielle worked as a product manager on social ads at Google. Outside of KPCB, Arielle has made several angel investments across the food tech and health sectors in the likes of Partender, Bitty Foods and The Ticket Fairy, just to name a few.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Arielle made it into startups and the investing industry?

2.) What has the move been like from angel to VC? What theories and investment theses are adjustable? How doe the fiduciary responsibility to your LP’s adjust your risk profile when investing?

3.) Questions from Tyler Willis: How does Arielle evaluate new products? How does Arielle learn and how does Ariele come down on the learning curve on new things so quickly (new investor to KPCB in ~2 years, for example).

4.) Arielle has now spent her first few months in venture, what have been the biggest surprises? Biggest challenges? What is Arielle’s fave part and what is her least fave part?

5.) How does Arielle see the AI space now? Where does she see room for innovation? Is there anything Arielle is concerned about?

6.) Now when doing research for this interview I came across Arielle’s New Years Resolution list from 2012! So what are your new years resolutions for 2016? What are the goals you are aiming for?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Arielle’s Fave Book: The Symposium by Plato

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Arielle on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC FF 035: Why Crowdfunding Is Not Right For Tech Startups with Ryan Caldbeck @ CircleUp

Ryan Caldbeck is the Founder & CEO @ CircleUp, the online investing platform that allows you to invest in innovative consumer companies. They have raised funding from some of the best including USV, Maveron and Canaan Partners (all past guests). Before Ryan founded CircleUp, he worked in consumer product and retail-focused private equity at TSG Consumer Partners and Encore Consumer Capital, where he was exposed to hundreds of great consumer and retail businesses that were too small to obtain funding through the customary private equity channels and did not fit the risk profiles many VCs demanded. As a result, Ryan decided to build the solution, a private equity marketplace with the economics and scale to make funding available to these promising companies.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Ryan make the move from the world of VC to founding his own tech startup?

2.) Why is CircleUp marketplace investing, not crowdfunding? What does Ryan believe are the misnomers around the term crowdfunding?

3.) Where does this sector make sense and where is it  inefficient? Why is it wrong for tech companies?

4.) One major aspect in the UK that this segment has struggled with is it’s ability to attract institutional investors to the sector. So with CircleUp, how are institutional investors getting into this market and is there anything more Ryan would like to see with this regard?

5.) To what extent does Ryan think this is disrupting private capital formation? Should VCs be concerned? What sector of the funding environment is most vulnerable to being disrupted by the rise of marketplace investing?

6.) How was the funding process for Ryan? CircleUp raised over $50m over several rounds with investors from our friends at USV and Maveron, how that came about and what Ryan would advise founders entering the process?

Items Mentioned In Todays Show:

Ryan’s Fave Blog: AVC, Jeff Jordan, Bill Gurley

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VC and Harry on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.

20VC: The First Online Venture Fund Built On AngelList with Dustin Dolginow @ Maiden Lane

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Dustin Dolginow is the General Partner @ Maiden Lane, the first online venture fund which uses AngelList as it’s operating system, serving as the institutional capital partner to the best angel investors in the world. Dustin has made investments in the likes of Getable, PipeDrive, Beepi and many more incredible companies. Dustin is also a venture partner with Accomplice where he serves some of the best entrepreneurs on the planet. Prior to investing, Dustin cut his teeth in the operations game with Social Swipe, which allowed merchants to gain more value from their transaction data.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dustin made it into startups and the investing industry?

2.) What were Dustin’s major takeaways from his operational experience and how has he applied them to his role investing with Maiden Lane?

3.) Where does Ryan you democratisation of funding going in the next five years? What direction does Dustin believe we are moving in?

4.) Dustin has said that ‘capital is a crappy differentiator’ so what value add should founders look for in their VCs? How are we seeing the VC value add evolve over time?

4.) How does Dustin sell Maiden Lane in the sea of seed funds that have emerged over the last few years? How important does Dustin think it is for VCs and funds to have personal brands? What is bigger the brand of the VC or the fund?

5.) What is it Dustin looks for in products? Are there any must haves? Any design requirements?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Dustin’s Fave Book:

Dustin’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Dustin on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.

 

20VC: Gil Penchina @ Flight.vc

Gil Penchina is the Founder @ Flight.vc, a network of AngelList syndicates that covers a wide range of sectors from SaaS to security from Israel to England. Gil also has the title of the largest raise for an AngelList syndicate, essentially turning himself into a one man fund. Some of Gil’s investments include the likes of Paypal, Indiegogo, AngelList, Linkedin and many more. Prior to his investing career, Gil cut his teeth with operating roles at numerous companies including Ebay. We would also like to wish Gil the best of luck in his nomination for Angel Investor of The Year at tonight’s Crunchies by TechCrunch.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Gil made it into startups and the investing industry?

2.) Why did Gil choose numerous syndicate approach over one huge syndicate? What are the benefits of having numerous specialized syndicates?

3.) What is included in Gil’s sell of Flight as an investor? What is the driving force behind the success of Flight? What is the biggest challenge within this job as founder?

4.) How does Gil try and convince the startups that the syndicate method of investment is better for them? How does Gil portray his value add to startups?

5.) Does Gil insist on pro-rata rights? Should founders always grant them to early stage investors?Which VCs does Gil like to work with and what makes them a good VC?

6.) Where does Gil see the future of first AngelList? Will it replace the archaic system of VC? What are Gil’s plans for his syndicates? Is Gil looking to move into Series A and B rounds? How do you plan to become the Fidelity of this asset class?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Gil’s Fave Book:

Gil’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Gil’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Gil on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.

20 VC FF 034: What Fintech Can Learn From Uber and The Shift From Financial Organisation To Financial Efficiency with Kelly Peeler, Founder & CEO @ NextGenVest

Kelly Peeler is the Founder and CEO of NextGenVest, the College Money Mentor for every student, helping students navigate the financial aid and student loan application process. While at Harvard, Kelly started Business Across Borders, a non profit that helps Iraqi students rebuild their own economy by starting their own companies and the International Women in Business Summit, bringing together top female college leaders. She was selected as one of the eight Kauffman Foundation Global Scholars, named by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and named a White House #StartTheSpark Ambassador. Her TED Talk is called “How to Change the World as a Millennial – Don’t be Stupid with Money” and can be found here.
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kelly made it into startups and what was the origin story for NextGenVest?

2.) How has the Fintech ecosystem evolved over the last 5 years compared to the mass of consumer facing fintect startups today? What does Kelly mean by Fintech 1.0 and the next phase of Fintech?

3.) How can emerging brands and in particular fintech brands build loyalty with the emerging millennial generation? What is the attention graph for millenials looking like?

4.) What does Kelly mean when she states a shift from financial organisation with Mint to financial efficiency today?

5.) What key determinants that have made Uber so successful can be used within Fintech startups to build the same trust and relationship?

6.) What is Kelly’s view of startups taking a platform dependent approach? What are the benefits and what are the concerns?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Kelly on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: The Evolution Of Mobile & The Importance Of Follow On Funding with Hadley Harris @ Eniac Ventures

Hadley Harris is the Founding General Partner at Eniac Ventures, the first seed stage venture fund focussed exclusively on mobile. Eniac’s investments include the likes of Soundcloud, Airbnb, Elevate and many more incredible mobile first companies. Before Eniac, Hadley was a two-time entrepreneur in the mobile space, as an executive at Vlingo, acquired by Nuance Communications for $225m and after Vlingo he became CMO of Thumb, which was acquired by Ypulse. Hadley also worked at Charles River Ventures where he spent time helping with mobile investments while looking for a young startup to join. As if his portfolio does not prove enough of what a seed stage investing legend he is, he was also named by Business Insider as ‘New York’s Best Early Stage Investor’.
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hadley made it into startups and the investing industry?

2.) What does an engineering degree provide when investing? Why did Eniac decide to focus solely on mobile?

2.) How has Hadley seen the NY venture and startup scene develop over the last years? Does an ecosystem need anchor companies to be great? Ex-Googlers, and ex-Facebook, ex-LinkedIn, ex-Sun, etc. are so important to the Bay Area ecosystem. What are New York’s anchor companies? How has that affected the ecosystem?

3.) What is it like helping companies like Soundcloud and Airbnb scale when in hyper growth mode? At the seed level, how important a role does valuation play when determining whether to invest or not?

5.) Why is raising a Series B so tough? Is it the embodiment of the funding barbell? Has NYC, like London, seen a rise in the second seed round?

6.) What are Hadley’s thoughts on VC founder alignment? What are the common characteristics of the best founders that Hadley has worked with and invested in?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Hadley’s Fave Book:

Hadley’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Hadley’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Hadley on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Index’s Martin Mignot on Sourcing Rocketship Companies, Evaluating Founders and His Attitude Towards Risk At The Early Stage

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Martin Mignot is an early stage investor at Index Ventures where he specialises in SaaS, marketplaces and mobile. He is actively looking after Index’s investments in Algolia, Blablacar, Capitaine Train, Deliveroo, Drivy, Rad, Swiftkey and TheFamily. He worked on 50+ transactions to date, including Assistly, Auxmoney, BaseCRM, Cloud.com, Codecademy, DimDim, Factual, Farfetch, Flipboard, Funding Circle, Gluster, HouseTrip, Just-Eat, Lookout, Nastygal, Notonthehighstreet, Onefinestay, PeoplePerHour, TrustPilot, Soluto and SoundCloud.  Prior to joining Index, Martin was in the TMT team at UBS Investment Bank and co-founded the beauty subscription business Boudoir Prive (acquired by Joliebox/Birchbox) and a student web radio service (www.rsp.fm).
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where did it all start for Martin? What is the Martin Mignot story?

2.) How does Martin view venture as a career vs coming into it later on? Why does Martin think venture is now a viable career from the offset?

3.) Does Martin agree with Sheryl Sandberg’s statement, it doesn’t matter where you sit, as long as you have a seat on the rocketship? How important is valuation for Martin when making the decision?

4.) How Martin goes about sourcing the latest and greatest startups from the European ecosystem?

5.) How does Martin evaluate founders and consider their ability to execute on their plan, prior to making the investment?

6.) Talking of difficulty for startups attaining funding, what are your thoughts on VC founder alignment? You have said to focus before on the business and not the team, unless exceptional cases prevail, this is very strange for me to hear. Why is it you have adopted this stance and why do you feel it is best?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Martin’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Martin on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC FF 032: Jeff Seibert on Lessons From Being Acquired By Twitter & Box and Now Leading Twitter’s Consumer Product

Jeff Seibert is an experienced serial-entrepreneur and currently Senior Director of Product at Twitter. Previously, Seibert was the CEO of Crashlytics, which he co-founded in 2011 with Wayne Chang. Crashlytics delivered crash analysis tools for iOS and Android apps via an SDK that reached 300 Million mobile devices worldwide. Crashlytics was acquired by Twitter in 2013 for $259m. In 2007, Seibert co-founded Increo and served as its COO and lead architect until its acquisition by Box in August of 2009. He subsequently oversaw the integration of Increo’s document preview and annotation technologies into the company’s cloud-based content platform.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeff made his move into the wonderful world of tech?

 Today we are going to break up your story into 3 chapters:

1.) Acquisition by Box:

  • What was it like going to Sand Hill Road to raise in 2009?
  • How much runway would Jeff advise for a startup and how can companies know whether a strategic acquisition is optimal or whether they should continue building with a further round?
  • Jeff has spoke before about being overly transparent with this team about the acquisition. What are the problems with being overly transparent and how can you balance the two?

 2.) Acquired by Twitter:

  • At what point did Jeff transition to thinking the acquisition by Twitter would be a beneficial and viable and why?
  • A reason for Jeff being favourable to the acquisition was Twitter’s agreement of continued investment in the space. How can founders negotiate and ensure that this occurs with their acquisition? One of the mistakes stated about the acquisition by Twitter was the reporting structure. How can founders ensure that they are speaking to the VPs of engineering, CEOs etc and attain the support they need?

 3.) Life at Twitter:

  •  How life is following the acquisition? What are Jeff’s plans for the future as Senior Director of Product at Twitter?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Jeff’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Daring Fireball
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jeff on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Lessons From Working with Chris Sacca, The Rise Of Mobile Commerce and Improving Push Notifications with Ellie Wheeler, Partner @ Greycroft Partners

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Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft Partners where she focuses on investment opportunities in next-generation commerce, consumer mobile, and associated SaaS solutions. Ellie manages several investments for Greycroft, including BaubleBar, Flashpoint Intel, Eloquii, and Plain Vanilla Games (QuizUp). Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital with Chris Sacca. Before working with Lowercase, Ellie worked at Cisco where she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ellie made her way into the wonderful world of tech and VC?

2.) What were Ellie’s biggest takeaways from working with the legend that is Chris Sacca?

3.) As an investment focus of Ellie’s, how does Ellie think the mobile commerce space has changed and how consumer behaviours are changing in the space?

4.) What are Ellie’s views on push notifications? What are the Do’s and Don’ts? What can be done to make push notifications more effective?

5.) Do wearables change the push notification space? What are Ellie’s views on wearables with their investment in BaubleBar? Are consumers ready for them?

6.) Talking of wearables, how does Ellie respond to hardware investments? Typically a space VC shy away from? What are the problems for Ellie? What attracts her with hardware?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ellie’s Fave Book: The Power of One

Ellie’s Most Recent Investment: Blinkist
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Ellie on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: Bryan Johnson @ OS Fund & Braintree on Investing In The Operating Systems Of Life & Why VC Should All Be Open Source

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Bryan Johnson is an entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of OS Fund and Braintree, the latter of which was bought by eBay in 2013 for $800 million in cash. Bryan launched OS Fund in 2014 with $100 million of his personal capital to support inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity. His investments include endeavors to extend healthy human life to 100+ (Human Longevity), replicate the human visual cortex (Vicarious), mine an asteroid (Planetary Resources), reinvent transportation (Matternet), and reimagine food (Hampton Creek), among others.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bryan made his start in the world of tech and how he has come to the OS fund today?

2.) What was the pivotal moment in Bryan’s career? When was the turning point? What was was the hardest part of the entrepreneurial journey and how did Bryan conquer it?

3.) What is the main motivation behind the OS fund? Which areas does Bryan most want to solve and where does he see significant market opportunities?

4.) Does the longevity of return to Bryan’s exits concern him? Most investments exit with 10 years, human lifespan startups take a little longer! What sort of time frame does Bryan have in mind when investing in these companies?

5.) What does Bryan really perceive synthetic biology to mean? Are we seeing improvements in this sector?

6.) The OS Fund have recently released a white paper detailing extensively their process for investing? Why did Bryan decide on this open source style of investing?

7.) What would Bryan like to see more of? Where does Bryan see a lot of people investing that he thinks is a mistake?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Bryan’s Most Recent Investment:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Bryan on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC FF 031: James Beshara @ Tilt on Crowdfunding For A Mobile World, Finding The Perfect Co-Founder & Beer Pong!

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James Beshara is the Co-Founder @ Tilt the micro-crowdfunding platform that allows you to receive funding from friends—changing the way collaborative funding works. Tilt has raised $37 million from 3 rounds of funding from the likes of Andreesen, SV Angel, Alexis Ohanian, Naval Ravikant and Sean Parker just to name a few. As for James Before co-founding Tilt, he studied Development Economics as an undergrad and then went on to build dvelo.org, a site for crowdfunding loans and donations to poverty-alleviation organizations in developing countries. In order to vote for who you think will win James and Harry’s beer pong match, head over to @twentyminutevc on Twitter and vote using our poll.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were the origins of Tilt? How did James go from a micro loans collector in Africa to founder of one of SF’s hottest startups?

2.) What does James make of the current crowdfunding landscape? What will it take for crowdfunding to go mass market?

3.) What are Tilt doing to make crowdfunding more bite sized and consumer friendly? How important is the on boarding process for Tilt? How are Tilt approaching customer retention? What are James’ targets for the year ahead with Tilt?

4.) With investors like Andreesen, SV Angel, Naval Ravikant, Sean Parker just to name a few, what the investment journey like? I heard the first funding took 6-8 months and the series A took 6 days with a16z. What changed to turn it around?

5.) On PH LIVE James stated that founding a company is a destination less journey and although admirable I struggle with that from the investors perspective. How did James sell a startup in a pitch with no exit strategy?

6.) What was it that attracted James to the investors that he chose? What value add was James most attracted to?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and James on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC: James Cameron @ Accel on Building Great Startup Communities and The Rise of Enterprise and Cyber Security Software

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James Cameron is an early stage investor at Accel where he focuses on enterprise software, security, fintech and marketplace businesses. Prior to joining Accel, he founded and ran BipSync, a SaaS-based research platform for investment management. James also spent time on the tech banking team at Morgan Stanley and as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) How does James go about finding the needles in the haystack in the sea of amazing startups? Do James use data to find great companies? Do you think this will be a continuing trend, in terms of algorithmic deal sourcing?

3.) What cool stuff has James been seeing in the enterprise software and security sector? Does James think there are any underhyped or overhyped segments of these markets?

4.) One very dominant eco system for tech in general but specifically security is Israel, how do the UK and Israeli ecosystems differ? Is there anything we can do in the UK to harness the spirit encapsulated by the Israeli ecosystem?

5.) What are the catalysts or drivers of these communities’ growth? Do you agree with Marc Andreesen in saying we shouldn’t think about building “The Silicon Valley of X” because the components that make up SV aren’t repeatable and areas should instead specialize on specific verticals, like bitcoin or security. What do you think about that concept?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
James’ Fave Book: Crossing The Chasm 
James’ Fave Blog or Newsletter: Adrian Colyer: The Morning Paper
James’ Most Recent Investment: Doctolib
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and James on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC: Fred Destin, General Partner @ Accel

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Fred Destin is General Partner at Accel in London where he focuses on consumer and software investments. He is the lead investor and board member at Deliveroo, Pillpack (featured in ep: 89 with Eric Paley) and KNC. Prior to Accel, he was a partner at Atlas Venture where he worked with with companies like Zoopla (public), Secret Escapes, Integral Ad Science, Dailymotion (acquired by Orange), PriceMinister (acquired by Rakuten) and others.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Fred made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) What is it like investing in rocketships like Deliveroo and PillPack?

3.) What are the reasons most startups fail at the seed stage? What are the most common reasons that founders get fired?

4.) Why does Fred believe raising a Series B so tough? Is it the embodiment of the funding barbell?

5.) What are Fred’s thoughts on VC founder alignment? Why does Fred deliberately cause tension between a founder prior to making an investment? In what form does this take?

6.) When I asked Fred for topics he was interested in, he gave me a list and one of them, I have never had suggested before and it is ‘Why are VC’s so schizo’? What does Fred mean?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Fred’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: The Atlantic, Tech.eu
Fred’s Most Recent Investment: Deliveroo
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Fred on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC FF 030: Gimlet Media’s Matt Lieber on The Future of Podcasting and Life @ Gimlet

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Matt Lieber is cofounder and President of Gimlet Media. In a previous life, Matt produced radio shows (On Point, Fair Game) and podcasts (Slate Culture Gabfest). He also worked as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, where he focused on media and digital business. Then he chucked it all for Gimlet. He holds an MBA from MIT Sloan. 

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

1.) Matt reveals the origins of Gimlet?

2.) What were the dilemmas for Matt in raising Gimlet’s round? What determinant made Matt realize raising was right? What advice would Matt give to founders who are unsure if they should raise or not?

3.) One of the main concerns with raising suggested by Alex Blumberg was that the company would feel like a totally different company, and by different ‘I mean worse’, to quote Alex. So how can a Founder maintain company culture as they grow excessively?

4.) Why did Matt decide to play it cool and not announce to VCs Gimlet were raising? Did Matt expect to get a term sheet as quickly and easily as he did? Were there any hiccups to the funding process? Were Gimlet tempted by any other offers? What value add about Tim O’Reilly made Gimlet most attracted to him?

5.) Question from Matt Hartman at Betaworks: How does Gimlet decide which new shows to create? Is it about creating new shows for an overlapping audience or to expanding audience demographics??

6.) Where does Matt see the future of podcasting going? Many do not believe in it’s potential to be a big business, what does Matt say? What are the challenges, what needs to happen to combat them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Matt’s Fave Book: Great Plains by Ian Frazier

Matt’s Fave Blog: Stratechery by Ben Thompson

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VC, Harry and Matt on Twitter here!

Likewise, if you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, follow him on Instagram here!

matt hartman dyb, alex, surpisingly awesome adam mckay and adam davidson, chis sacca, matt mazzeo

 

20 VC: Investing in Hardware and The Future of IOT with Kate Shillo, Director @ Galvanize Ventures

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Kate Shillo is Director @ Galvanize Ventures, a prolific seed fund which acts as the the investment arm of Galvanize — a collection of “tech campuses” that offer coworking space and educational programs in order to encourage continuous learning and helping others to grow. within Galvanize, the organization focused on continuous learning and helping others to grow. To date Galvanize ventures have made an astonishing 48 investments in 2 years. Prior to Galvanize, Kate helped Ken Lerer launch Lerer Ventures, now called Lerer Hippeau Ventures due to the addition of Eric Hippeau who was only the show only recently, there Kate lead the investments in the likes of Venmo and Paperless Post.
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kate made her way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) What were the biggest takeaways from Kate’s time at Lerer Hippeau Ventures and working with the amazing Ken Lerer?

3.) What was it about Galvanize that made Kate  leave LHV and Kate provides a brief synopsis on Galvanize Ventures? Sectors? Stage? Geography?

4.) With 42 investments since Feb 2014. What is the strategy at Galvanize? Galvanize’s sector weighting is largest in mobile, how does Kate view the space and how would Kate respond to the likes of Fred Wilson stating consumer mobile is very difficult with difficult customer acquisition and then even harder, customer retention?

5.) How has the process been for Kate in establishing the fund? What are Kate and Galvanize’s key differentiators to the sea of other NYC seed funds? How does Kate  approach deal sourcing at Galvanize? If investing outside the Galvanize community, what channels are the preferred channels?

6.) Why is Kate so excited about hardware? Where does Kate see the future of IOT going? Is crowdfunding an option for hardware startups?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Kate’s Fave Book: The God of Small Things
Kate’s Fave Mobile Apps: Slack, Sunrise Calendar, Moments, TwoDots, Panna, Wildcard
Kate’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: AVC, Ben Evans
Kate’s Most Recent Investment: Msg.ai
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Kate on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC: David Tisch @ Box Group on The Future of Consumer Mobile, Developing Pattern Recognition and FOMO

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David Tisch is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, one of New York most prolific seed investors with investments in over 120 seed-stage technology companies including Vine, Sunrise Calendar, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Oscar, Meerkat, and Zady. As of 2014, David is also the Co-Founder of Spring, an app that allows the worlds best brands to sell directly to consumers on mobile, with his brother Alan who is the CEO. Prior to Box and Spring, David co-founded TechStars NYC, and was named to NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology.
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) Having started Box in 2008, how has David seen the NY venture and startup scene develop over the last years? Matt Hartman @ Betaworks: how has that impacted the type of investments you make? Has it changed your thesis, theme, or any other aspect of how you invest? Kanyi Maqubela @ Collaborative: Does an ecosystem need anchor companies to be great? What are New York’s anchor companies?

3.) What is the vision with Box? Is this a fund that lasts through the ages? Last year I heard you made 3 hires, is this a sign of a desire to create the NYC fund? At Box you have a weighting towards mobile consumer tech, how do you respond to Fred Wilson’s post about the mobile downtown and the difficulty in attaining and maintating traction for mobile apps?

4.) What was the motivation behind moving into the world of entrepreneurship with Spring? What aspects of Alan’s and Box as a product has contributed to it’s massive success?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
David’s Fave Productivity Tools: Captio 
David’s Most Recent Investment: Nucleus: The Smart Home Wireless Intercom
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and David on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC FF 029: VC vs Angel Funding & The Future of E-Commerce with Ivan Mazour, Founder @ Ometria

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Ivan Mazour is a serial entrepreneur, investor and author. He is the CEO and Founder of Ometria – a predictive analytics and marketing platform built specifically for retailers, letting them use data to increase revenues and provide an improved customer experience. Alongside this main role, he is also the Founding Partner of Innova Kapital – an early stage VC firm investing in UK-based technology startups, including companies like YPlan and organisations like Entrepreneur First. Ivan also writes a popular blog called “A Young Entrepreneur in London”.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ivan progressed from making 30+ investments to founding one of Europe’s hottest startups?

2.) Considering Ivan’s recent fundraising, what does Ivan think of the recent funding environment and landscape? How was it raising venture funding now?

3.) What was the difference between raising an angel round to raising a VC round? Did Ivan have to adapt your pitch accordingly? Do they have differing desires and expectations?

4.) Having raised both VC and angel money recently for Ometria, how has that led Ivan to view his own investing style? Is there anything Ivan looks for or at differently now he has experienced fundraising from the other side?

5.) What have been the hardest and most challenging aspects of growing Ometria? How did Ivan overcome them?

6.) Taking futuristically now on the sector of e-commerce, where does Ivan see the future of technology integrating with retail? Will we see an end to bricks and mortar stores?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Ivan’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Saastr
Ivan’s Fave Productivity Tools: ToDoist, Google Keep, Google Hangouts
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Ivan on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC: Philipp Moehring, Head of AngelList Europe on Scaling Seed Stage Funding and Why 500 Is Not Your Traditional VC

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Philipp Moehring is Head of AngelList Europe and their first European hire, a role he has had since Jan 2014. Whilst being Head of AngelList Europe, he is also Venture Partner for 500 Startups and prior to 500 and AngelList, Philipp was a Principal at Seedcamp and has been involved in more than 100 startups since becoming an investor. For anyone looking to join an AngelList syndicate, absolutely check out Philipp’s here!
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Philipp made it into startups and investing with AngelList and now 500?

2.) In a recent post Philipp said that management consulting, investment banking and accounting were the worst backgrounds for VCs. Why do you think this and where would you like to see the new breed of VCs emerging from?

3.) Considering your work with AngelList, how do you think the US investing scene differs from the European? Why are we seeing this sudden influx of US capital into European markets? What is driving this influx?

4.) The recent £400m that AngelList received from CSC, Philipp tells us a little more about this and what it means for European companies?

5.) How does Philipp’s role with 500 integrate with the AngelList model? How does Philipp split the time? Is Philipp ever concerned that with the dominance of syndicates in the years to come, VCs will become non existent?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Philipp’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Brad Feld’s: Feld Thoughts
Philipp’s Biggest Productivity Tips: SelfControl (Mac)
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Philipp on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC: Morten Lund on Skype, Bankruptcy, Fintech and Why “Banks Are Full Of Lots Of Stupid People Doing Nothing”

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Check out The Two Minute Takeaway from our chat with Morten for the key facts and themes discuss in the episode.

Morten Lund, best know for his seed investment in Skype, he has also founded and co-invested in more than 100 startups including the likes of Airhelp who you might recognize as we interviewed their CEO Nicolas Michaelsen in episode check 32, as well as Bullguard, Maxthon and many more. In today’s incredible interview we talk about the story behind his skype investment, how he went from $150m to bankruptcy moving to the present both with his work with Coders Trust helping coders in developing countries to improve their lives to his rocketship journey with one of the world’s most exciting fintech companies in Tradeshift, who have raised a total of over $200m.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Morten got into the technology industry and the world of investing?

2.) How did Morten’s investment in Skype come about? How did Morten deal with the bankruptcy and how it changed him as a person?

3.) How does Morten view the current state of European fintech? Where are the significant market opportunities that are yet to be exploited?

4.) Following Morten bankruptcy, he only works with “really cool people”. So what makes Morten like someone and believe in them?

5.) How did TradeShift come about from Morten’s basement? What was the a-ha moment? What has driven the immense success with over $200m invested? What is the future for the company and the future of money?

6.) Looking forward, what is Morten’s main goal and aspiration and how does he plan on attaining it?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Morten’s Fave Book: Shantaram
Morten’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: The Economist
Morten’s Most Recent Investment: Hippocorn
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Morten on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20VC FF 028: Where To Start Your Startup and Single Founder vs Co-Founder Model with Richard Hanson, Co-Founder & CEO @ HiringScreen

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Richard Hanson is CEO and co-founder of HiringScreen, where rocket science meets recruitment. Founded in Jan 2015 in Hong Kong, HiringScreen has raised over $800,000 from a number of investors with plans to expand into the Philippines and Indonesia. Before founding HiringScreen, Richard was an award winning headhunter and recruitment consultancy owner. A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were the origins of Hiring Screen? What was the a-ha moment for Richard?

2.) What advice would Richard give to founders contemplating entering accelerators? What should they look for and why should they be wary of?

3.) Why does Richard believe that a startup with multiple founders is more beneficial than single founder startups? What would he suggest someone looking to find a co-founder is to do?

4.) Why did Richard start Hiring Screen in Hong Kong? What are Richard’s views on Asia’s emerging tech scene? What advice would Richard give to a founder deciding where to start a startup?

5.) What has been the most challenging element of growing Hiring Screen? How did Richard overcome it and alter the company from there?

6.) If Richard were to found Hiring Screen again, what would he do differently? Is there anything he wishes he had known before the process?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Richard’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Calacanis, Feld Thoughts
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Richard on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
I would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsor for today’s show: LoyaltyBay. Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

20 VC: How To Say No Fast and Efficiently and Why UX Must Always Be At The Core Of What You Do with Sitar Teli, Managing Partner @ Connect Ventures

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Sitar Teli is Managing Partner at Connect Ventures and has been a venture capitalist for eight years, focusing on early-stage investments in both consumer and B2B companies. Previously with Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, where she led their Series A round in SoundCloud, she has experience with content, gaming and ecommerce startups. Sitar has a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from Duke University.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How did Sitar make her way into the wonderful world of VC?
2.) How does Sitar approach the difficult task of saying no to entrepreneurs? What is the framework she has adopted over her 8 years in venture?

3.) There are a large amount of sources of capital for business in the seed stage, why did Sitar believe this was the stage with the most opportunity? Is too much capital chasing too few deals?

4.) With the increasing prominence of crowdfunding, is it a viable alternative to VC? Is Sitar concerned that quality deal flow is being lost to Crowdfunding?

5.) What is driving the growth of the European tech startup scene?

6.) Prior to making investments such as that of Citymapper, one obviously has to look at the team and the product. So what do you look for in a founder and what to you makes a great product?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Sitar’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Benedict Evans Newsletter
Sitar’s Fave Apps: Outlook, Sunrise, Citymapper
Sitar’s Most Recent Investment: Knyttan
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Sitar on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

20 VC: The Ultimate Guide To Marketplaces with Boris Wertz, Founding Partner @ Version One Ventures

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Boris Wertz is one of the top tech early-stage investors in North America and the founding partner of Version One.  He is also a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz. Before becoming an investor, Boris was the COO of AbeBooks.com which sold to Amazon in 2008. He was responsible for marketing, business development, product, customer service and international operations – leading a team of 60 people. In 2005, he was named the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How did Boris make his way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) Why have we seen a mass re-emergence of the marketplace model now?

3.) What was the objective in writing Version One’s book, A Guide To Marketplaces? What did Boris feel the public needed to know that was not already known?

4.) For an entrepreneur looking to move into the marketplace sector, how can they select the right market, are there any essential components they must consider?

5.) The book discusses the benefits of both direct and indirect network effects for marketplaces but in the early days what should startups focus on; demand or supply? How should they go about addressing this element?

6.) What are the core required elements of scaling a marketplace?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Boris’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: AVC by Fred Wilson 
Boris’s Most Recent Investment: Headout
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Boris on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

20 VC: Are Unicorns Necessary To Make Big Returns and The Series A Crunch with Sumeet Shah @ Brand Foundry Ventures

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Sumeet Shah is an investor @ Brand Foundry Ventures, who have investments in the likes of Warby Parker, Birchbox and Contently. Sumeet himself is pivotal in sourcing and managing new opportunities at Brand Foundry with over 6 years of experience across the startup and private equity industries, formerly running new business strategies at Gist Digital and handling business development and project work at Gotham Consulting Partners.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sumeet made his way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) What stage is Brand Foundry active in? Does Sarah Lacy’s analysis of a ‘Series A Crunch’ concern Sumeet? Has he seen a widening in the gap between the amount that raise seed to then go onto raise Series A?

3.) What does Sumeet believe are the key pieces to run a successful business? In the first 100 days, what are the most important elements to focus on?

4.) Sumeet recently tweeted ‘To All Startups, the most helpful investor is not always the largest’. How can startups determine who is the most helpful? What should startups expect from their investors? What does Sumeet believe makes the best investor?

5.) What would Sumeet say is his biggest strength as an investor and what would he most like to improve upon? As a seed investor, how does Sumeet respond to Aileen Lee’s suggestion that in investing you can only make really money when invested in unicorns?

6.) Is Sumeet bullish on the future of NYC tech? What are the strengths of NY? Where is it booming? Are there any elements of SF, Sumeet would like NY to have?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Sumeet’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Term Sheet by Dan Primack, Strictly VC

Sumeet’s Fave Book: Things A Little Birdy Told Me by Biz Stone

Sumeet’s Most Recent Investment: Lola: A Better Month Awaits You

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Sumeet on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Have you ever wanted to know who someone is simply from an email address?
With Loyalty Bay’s Super Users product now you can. Simply input an email address and it will go off and find publicly available profile information i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc for that email address. This is incredibly powerful in building a richer data profile on your users for marketers and business development people alike. Free 30 day Trial. Check out www.loyaltybay.co.uk

 

20 VC: Running Lerer Hippeau Ventures Like A Startup with Eric Hippeau, Managing Partner @ Lerer Hippeau Ventures

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Eric Hippeau is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. He is the chairman of RebelMouse and co-founder of NowThis Media. Previously, Eric was the Chief Executive Officer of The Huffington Post and a Special Partner at Softbank Capital, where he served as Managing Partner. Prior to Softbank Capital, Eric was Chairman and CEO of Ziff-Davis, which was the largest media company serving the technology sector. He serves on the Board of various private and public companies, including Buzzed & Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
1.) How did Eric make his way into the world of tech and venture?
2.) Question from Eric Paley: How does Eric compare the role of VC to the role of operator and does Eric think each draws on the same skills and strengths?

3.) What does Eric think makes a great VC and what makes a great operator? Are there any commonalities in the individuals he has come across?

4.) Eric reveals the best pitches he has seen and what made them so effective and flips the coin to discuss the worst pitches and what not to do when pitching a VC?

5.) Eric has made many investments in adtech and content, an area most VCs are hesitant of. So why are VCs hesitant of this space and why does Eric think he and Ken have been able to master it and produce great returns?

6.) With Eric’s experience as CEO at Huffington Post, how does Eric view the changes to the media landscape and what are his predictions and concerns for the next few years?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Eric’s Fave Book: The Lord of The Rings
Eric’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Strictly VC, Dan Primack: Termsheet
Eric’s Most Recent Investment: The Drone Racing League
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Eric on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Have you ever wanted to know who someone is simply from an email address?
With Loyalty Bay’s Super Users product now you can. Simply input an email address and it will go off and find publicly available profile information i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc for that email address. This is incredibly powerful in building a richer data profile on your users for marketers and business development people alike. Free 30 day Trial. Check out www.loyaltybay.co.uk

20 VC FF 027: Risk, Incentive and Opportunity in Starting A Company with Daniel van Binsbergen, Founder @ Lexoo

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Daniel van Binsbergen is CEO and co-founder of Lexoo, an online marketplace that connects businesses with lawyers. Founded in 2014 in London, Lexoo has raised over $1.7M from a number of investors, including Forward Partners. Before founding Lexoo, Daniel was a senior associate at an international law firm, working in London and Amsterdam. A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were the origins of Lexoo? What was the a-ha moment for Daniel?

2.) Was Daniel nervous about leaving the security of the legal profession to found a startup? What does Daniel advise people who want to make the leap but are not sure if it is worth risking everything?

3.) Why is there a divergence between the advancement of tech and the lacking progression of the legal space?

4.) Why did Daniel start Lexoo in a completely no tech, manual way? How was that? What would Daniel advise fellow founders who do not have the technical skills to build their idea?

5.) How did Daniel meet his investors? How did he find the fundraising experience? What was the challenging and surprising elements of the journey?

6.) If Daniel were to found Lexoo again, what would he do differently? Is there anything he wishes he had known before the process?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Daniel’s Fave Book: The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick 
Daniel’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Mattermark, Seth Godin, James Altucher
Daniel’s Must Have Software: Sunrise, Trello
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VC, Harry and Daniel on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
I would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsor for today’s show: LoyaltyBay. Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

20 VC 097: Betting Big On Consumer Fintech with Matthew Bradley, Investor @ Forward Partners

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Matthew is an Investor at Forward Partners: a super-early stage London VC. Forward Partners invests in solo-founders, idea stage and seed stage eCommerce, marketplace and related software businesses providing them with funding, office space and the support of an expert in-house engineering, product and growth team. Before becoming a VC, Matthew had varying degrees of success (!) with retail and security tech start-ups. He began his career in Sales, Structuring and Trading at investment banks. He holds a BA in Economics and Politics and an MBA from SDA Bocconi. A huge thank you to Mattermark for all the data discussed in today’s show and you can find them here! 

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Matt make his way into the world of VC? What would he advise someone wanting to get into the industry?

2.) How does Forward Partners differentiate themselves in such a sea of seed funds? What is unique about their model?

3.) What are the key activities that entrepreneurs can do to build a successful business, ready for Series A? What would Matt advise someone who has an idea but no technical skills?

4.) What are the nuances and complexities of the early stage funding environment? How do Forward approach and overcome them? Are there any common misconceptions?

5.) What are the similarities and differences between the US and the UK with regards to start-up attractiveness? Where would Matt choose to found his startup if he were a founder?

6.) Considering YC’s recent intake, where does Matt see growth areas in consumer facing startups?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Matthew’s Fave Book:  Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master & Margarita

Matthew’s Fave Newsletter: Mattermark Daily, The Equity Kicker, First Round Review

Matthew’s Most Recent Investment: Live Better With

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Matthew on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

I would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsor for today’s show: LoyaltyBay. Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

 

20 VC 096: Developing The Idea Muscle and VCs Providing More Than Just Money with Dharmesh Raithatha, Partner @ Forward Partners

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Dharmesh Raithatha is the Product Partner at Forward Partners. He works with idea stage investments on product, growth and business strategy. He has a passion for User Research, Lean UX and using data to inform decision making. Dharmesh has over 15 years in product roles for companies like Mind Candy and the BBC. He has founded 2 startups and successfully sold one. A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in today’s episode and can find out more about Mattermark here! 

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Dharmesh make his way into the world of VC?

2.) How has Dharmesh’s startup driven past, altered his investment pattern? What are the benefits and weaknesses to this kind of operational experience?

3.) At Forward there Open Office Hours where people come and share ideas, so what is it about the ideas you like that make them good, what makes the bad ones bad?

4.) What are Dharmesh’s tips or advice for idea creation and brainstorming?

5.) What would Dharmesh advice non-technical people looking to found a tech startup?

6.) What does Dharmesh believe makes a great founder? Has he seen any commonalities in the great founders he has worked with?

7.) What should teams focus on in the first 100 days of their startup? What is the 20% that produces 80% of the results?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dharmesh’s Fave Book:  How To Create A Product Customers Love by Marty Cagan

Dharmesh’s Fave Newsletter: Silicon Valley Product Group

Dharmesh’s Most Recent Investment: The Gifting Company

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Dharmesh on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Free Conversion Rate Optimisation Ebook Download Here!

I would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsor for today’s show: LoyaltyBay. Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

 

20 VC FF 026: Ryan Hoover, Founder @ ProductHunt on Relationship Building, Habit Forming and The Vision for ProductHunt

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Ryan Hoover is the Founder and CEO @ ProductHunt, winner of TechCrunch “Best New Startup 2014”. ProductHunt is a community of people sharing, upvoting, and geeking out about new technology products, games, and books. Before Product Hunt, Ryan was an EIR at Tradecraft and Director of Product at PlayHaven. As a writer, Ryan has contributed to Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal and written many essays, including features for TechCrunchForbes, Pando, Fast Company, and The Next Web. He writes about startup trends, product designs, and production growth on his blog, ryanhoover.me.

I would like to thank Mattermark for providing all the data and analysis for this interview and you can check them out here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did ProductHunt get started and what was the a-ha moment for Ryan in the founding of ProductHunt?

2.) PH has gone from a newsletter to friends to a a16z backed startup with employees around the globe. What have been the drivers of PH’s success?

3.) PH harness the crowd for feedback on everything from designs to features. Why does Ryan prefer this open sourced feedback approach? What are the benefits? What would Ryan suggest to founders looking to adopt a similar feedback style?

4.) Question from Matt Hartman at Betaworks: Considering Ryan’s work with Nir Eyal on Hooked, are there elements of Hooked that Ryan baked into the infrastructure of PH and what were they?

5.) How has Ryan created such a close and intimate relationship with his audience? What are the tools and strategies that Ryan uses to build that community? What advice does Ryan give for people looking to network and make a community around them?

6.) Where does Ryan see PH in 5 years time? What is his vision for the PH platform? How does a platform such as ProductHunt plan to monetise?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ryan’s Fave Book: The Art of Game Design: A Book Of Lenses

Ryan’s Fave Podcasts: TWIST by Jason Calacanis, Startup: Gimlet Media, Mystery Show: Gimlet Media

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ryan on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 095: How VCs Find Startups and How To Add Value Once Invested with David Teten @ ff Venture Capital

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David Teten is a Partner at ff Venture Capital and is also Founder and Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York, the largest angel group in New York. David is currently co-leading the first study on “how to disrupt the investing industry.”  He led the first-ever study of best practices of venture capital and private equity funds in originating new deals (#1 all time most-read study in the Journal of Private Equity) and the first-ever study of VCs in creating portfolio company value.  He has published in Harvard Business Review, Institutional Investor, and other leading publications. David’s blog is one of the most extensive and actionable blogs there is, seriously you have to check it out and it can be found at teten.com.

I would like to thank Mattermark for providing all the data and analysis for this interview and you can check them out here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did David make the move into the world of vc and technology?

2.) What is David’s approach to deal sourcing? What strategies would he recommend to other VCs to find the best startups and entrepreneurs?

3.) What does David think are the most effective ways that VC and PE funds are helping to increase portfolio company value?

4.) How should an entrepreneur evaluate how value-added a VC can be? Are there any signs that one VC has more value add than another?

5.) Is VC moving to the operational model in terms of headcount, with the moves of firms like a16z who provide extensive services as additional value add?

5.) Why did David and ff invest in Indiegogo? Is it not an alternative finance method that is competing with VC? Has David notice a loss in deal flow to AngelList?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

David’s Fave Book: Edward Tufte: Graphical Communication of Quantitative Data

David’s Fave Blog: PandoDaily

ffVC’s Most Recent Investment: Skycatch

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

 

20 VC 094: Kanyi Maqubela @ Collaborative Fund on Rocketships, Feedback Loops and Turning Lemons Into Lemonade!

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Kanyi Maqubela is a Partner at Collaborative Fund, who have made investments in AngelList, CodeAcademy, AltSchool, Reddit, Task Rabbit just to name a few. On a more personal note, and a little background on Kanyi, he is originally from Johannesburg South Africa, and was a founding employee at Doostang, a venture-backed peer-to-peer career marketplace, he attended Stanford University and as Kanyi states his most meaningful and difficult work done so far is his work on the Obama Campaign in 2008. You can checkout Kanyi’s blog here! I would like to thank Mattermark for providing all the data and analysis for this interview and you can check them out here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kanyi made the move into VC and tech from South Africa?

2.) Was the decision to leave Stanford tough? Why would Kanyi advise others to say in school? What was so tough about the startup experience for Kanyi?

3.) What is the investing thesis at Collaborative Fund? What stage do you prefer? Average cheque size? Sector preference? Does specializing in themes result in higher returns?

4.) How is it being such a young partner in the industry? What are the challenges Kanyi has face? Does Kanyi think his age acts as a disadvantage when it comes to attracting older founders?

5.) What are Kanyi’s personal marketing strategies that he uses to establish his own personal brand? What platforms are most effective?

6.) How effective does Kanyi find demo days and hackathons as source of deal flow? Are there any tips Kanyi would suggest to maximise their utility? What is Collaborative’s most effective form of deal sourcing today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Kanyi’s Fave Book: The Brothers Karamazov

Kanyi’s Most Recent Investment: CircleUp

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Kanyi on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

 

 

20 VC FF 026: Crowdfunding Gimlet Media and Why The Nature Of Startup Equity Is Changing with Erin Glenn, CEO @ Betaworks’ backed, Quire

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Erin Glenn is the CEO @ Quire where she aims to create a way for communities to invest and collaborate with companies and their founders. Quire is changing the way companies are owned and built. Prior to being CEO, Erin was CFO at SF based video game maker KIXEYE, an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and UBS, and a management consultant in the US and South East Asia. All the data and research mentioned in today’s show is provided by the kind team at Mattermark, check them out here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Erin made her way into the wonderful world technology?

2.) What is Quire, how does Quire work, what companies does Quire raise for?

3.) Over the last few years we have seen a massive increase in the crowdfunding sector in general. What are the key drivers of the rise of this sector?

4.) With the greater and greater amounts being raised on these platforms, many are suggesting they have the potential to replace VC. What are Erin’s thoughts on this? Or are the systems fundamentally different?

5.) What are the greatest barriers to mass market adoption of the crowdfunding model? What have been the biggest challenges faced in the journey with Quire?

6.) How does Quire, as a crowdfunding platform plan to draw investors away from funds and other portfolio based assets given the level of risk associated with investing in young companies?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Erin’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson: AVC

Erin’s Fave Book: The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

Erin’s Fave Quire Funded Companies: Gimlet Media, Kano, Jewelbots

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Erin on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Have you ever wanted to know who someone is simply from an email address?

With Loyalty Bay’s Super Users product now you can. Simply input an email address and it will go off and find publicly available profile information i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc for that email address. This is incredibly powerful in building a richer data profile on your users for marketers and business development people alike. Free 30 day Trial. Check out www.loyaltybay.co.uk

20 VC 093: Where Is The Micro VC Market Going with Samir Kaji @ First Republic Bank

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Samir Kaji is the Managing Director @ First Republic Bank, a leading private bank and wealth management company on Sand Hill Road. Samir, has 13 years of banking experience, working with venture capital and private equity clients in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining First Republic, Kaji worked for Silicon Valley Bank. Samir writes an awesome blog on the VC, investing and startup scene at (http://pevcbanker.com). All the data and research mentioned in today’s show is provided by the kind team at Mattermark, check them out here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Samir made his way into the wonderful world of venture and technology?

2.) We often hear the term, Micro VC bandied around, are there any common characteristics and criteria that discern Micro VCs from traditional VCs?

3.) Why has there has been this massive growth of the seed stage funding environment? What is driving this end of the funding cycle? Is it being damaged with the rise of AngelList syndicates?

4.) What trends and emerging themes has Samir seen come out of this exponentially expanding sector? What effect has AngelList had on the MicroVC market?

5.) What are Samir’s thoughts for the future of seed funding? What do you think the seed funding landscape will look like in 20 years time?

6.) Why do smaller funds tend to outperform larger VCs?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Samir’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dan Primack: TermSheet, Ezra Galston: Breaking VC

Samir’s Fave Book: Phil Jackson: A Team In Search Of It’s Soul, Adam Grant: Give & Take

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Samir on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Have you ever wanted to know who someone is simply from an email address?
With Loyalty Bay’s Super Users product now you can. Simply input an email address and it will go off and find publicly available profile information i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc for that email address. This is incredibly powerful in building a richer data profile on your users for marketers and business development people alike. Free 30 day Trial. Check out www.loyaltybay.co.uk

 

20 VC 092: The Repeatable Playbook of SaaS with Ed Sim, Founding Partner @ BoldStart Ventures

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Ed Sim, Founding Partner @ Boldstart Ventures, Ed truly has had the most astonishing career in early stage SaaS having led first round investments in todays market leaders, LivePerson (now on Nasdaq) and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Over the 19 years in early stage SaaS he has also helped a number of entrepreneurs scale from seed to market leader with his portfolio companies being acquired by the likes of Google, Linkedin and Salesforce, and I would like to say that all the data and information presented in today’s show is provided by the kind folks at Mattermark, check then out at www.mattermark.com

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ed made his way into the wonderful world of venture?

2.) Why did Ed start a seed stage SaaS fund? Where did he see the market opportunity?How was the fundraising process for Ed? Were there any surprises?

3.) How does Ed view the current seed stage funding environment, is there too much money chasing too few deals?

4.) Ed backed cloud companies in 2000. What is different from then vs today’s saas companies?

5.) How do you value early stage SaaS startups, when there are often very few clear metrics at this stage?

6.) What makes a great enterprise founder at seed stage?

7.) How has the seed stage SaaS environment changed over the 19 years of Ed’s career?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ed’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Jason Calacanis: LaunchTicker

Ed’s Fave iPhone App: Slack

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Ed on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Have you ever wanted to know who someone is simply from an email address?
With Loyalty Bay’s Super Users product now you can. Simply input an email address and it will go off and find publicly available profile information i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc for that email address. This is incredibly powerful in building a richer data profile on your users for marketers and business development people alike. Free 30 day Trial. Check out www.loyaltybay.co.uk

 

20 VC FF 024: Raising $33m in VC Funding with Nikos Moraitakis, Founder & CEO @ Workable

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Nikos Moraitakis is the Founder & CEO @ Workable, one of Balderton Capital’s latest additions to their portfolio. Workable is the affordable and usable hiring software that which replaces email and spreadsheets with an applicant tracking system that your team will actually enjoy using. Prior to founding Workable, Nikos was a Senior VP of Business Development at Upstream where he played a key role in the company’s growth from startup into one of the world’s top marketing technology companies, where he was actively involved in enterprise sales across 40 countries in 4 continents.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nikos made his way into the world of startups and tech and founded Workable? What was the a-ha moment?

2.) What was it like starting a company in Greece? Were there sufficient levels of engineers? Why did Workable decide to move some operations to the US?

3.) Why does Nikos think the enterprise SaaS space has become so hot? What has changed? Has this upturn in interest made it easier with more capital inflowing or more difficult with increased company creation?

5.) How did Workable meet their investors? How was the fundraising experience? What was the challenging and surprising elements of the journey? Advice to founders?

6.) Looking back at his time founding Workable, what does Nikos wish someone had told him at the beginning?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nikos’ Fave Book: Fooled by Randomness

Nikos’ Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Nikos on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

20 VC 091: Daniel Waterhouse @ Balderton Capital on Investing Styles, Venture Landscapes and The Future of AI

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Daniel Waterhouse is a General Partner @ Balderton Capital, which he joined in 2013 and he currently sits on the boards of Top10, ROLI, Lovecrafts, TrademarkNow, Tictail, Achica, Thread and Workable. Prior to Balderton, Daniel spent 5 years as a partner at Wellington Partners and invested in a number of fast-growing companies including EyeEm, Hailo, YPlan, Bookatable (also a Balderton portfolio company), SumAll, Readmill (sold to Dropbox) and Qype (sold to Yelp). Before Wellington, Daniel was a sector partner at 3i where he worked on all of their venture and private equity investments in the internet sector in North America and Europe.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel made his way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) A little birdie, possibly named Suranga, told me that you had a degree in Applied Mathematics from Oxford. How do you think that has impacted your investing style?

3.) At Balderton 50% of the partners have very operational backgrounds and 50% are much more investment rooted. What has Daniel gained and missed as an investor from having a outside view of the startup world?

4.) How has Daniel seen the landscape change in the last 15 years? What was his first pitch meeting like? What was his last like?

5.) What are Daniel’s thoughts on the enterprise SaaS space? Do Daniel think there is further to go in the consumerisation of Enterprise Software? Does the announcement of Emergence moving from the sector signal a turning tide?

6.) Daniel led the investment in Curious AI and Thread, using machine learning to augment its stylist approach, so what makes Daniel excited about the developments in AI? How is the sector going to develop over the next 20 years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book:  The Brain That Teaches Itself

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: Curious AI

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Daniel on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 090: Suranga Chandratillake @ Balderton Capital

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Suranga Chandratillake is a General Partner @ Balderton Capital. He was previously an entrepreneur and engineer having founded blinkx, the intelligent search engine for video and audio content in Cambridge in 2004. He then lead the company for eight years as CEO through its journey of moving to San Francisco, building a profitable business and going public in London where it achieved a peak market capitalisation in excess of $1Bn. Before founding blinkx, Suranga was an early employee at Autonomy Corporation – joining as an engineer in the Cambridge R&D team and ultimately serving as the company’s US CTO in San Francisco. In addition, Suranga was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012 and was chosen as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders in 2009.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Suranga made his way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) Why are so many technical European CEOs fearful of continuing the position as CEO? What can we do to improve it?

3.) What does Suranga think makes a great CEO? Which CEO Suranga respects the most and why?

4.) How have Suranga’s years as an entrepreneur affected his investing style? Does Suranga have a consistent investing style or does he look to iterate a lot?

5.) Balderton is an Equal Partnership VC, what does that really entail? Why does Suranga think this model is the most efficient? Looking at the new appointment of Lars, how do the GPs assess new candidates for the treasured GP position?

6.) What sectors is Suranga most excited by and why? Does Suranga think there is further to go in the consumerisation of Enterprise Software? Does the announcement of Emergence moving from the sector signal a turning tide?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Suranga’s Fave Book: The Old Man And The Sea

Suranga’s Most Recent Investment: Cloud Nine

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Suranga on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC FF 022: Crowdfunding Is Here To Stay with Ayan Mitra, Founder & CEO @ Crowdbnk

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Ayan Mitra is the Founder & CEO @ Crowdbnk, an investment crowdfunding platform that allows you to invest in high growth businesses through both equity and debt. Ayan himself has a background as an enterprise architect and technical manager, having worked with leading consumer companies including M&S, Orange and First Direct. He took his LBS MBA to follow his passion and launch CrowdBnk in 2011. Since 2011 Crowdbnk has raised nearly £20m for high growth startups.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Ayan make his way into the world of startups and tech and start Crowdbnk?

2.) What is Crowdbnk, how does it work, what companies Crowdbnk raise for, what is their minimum investment etc?

3.) What are the key drivers of the massive rise of the crowdfunding sector? What effect will the recent SEC ruling have on global crowdfunding?

4.) With the greater and greater amounts being raised on these platforms, does Crowdfunding have the potential to replace VCs in the future?

5.) What are the greatest barriers to mass market adoption of the crowdfunding model? What have been the biggest challenges faced in the journey with Crowdbnk?

6.) How do crowdfunding platforms plan to draw investors away from funds and other portfolio based assets given the level of risk associated with investing in young companies?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ayan’s Fave Book: Intelligent Investing by Benjamin Graham

Ayan’s Fave Crowdbnk Investment: Gojimo by George Burgess

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Crowdbnk on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 089: Eric Paley @ Founder Collective on Outliers, Inspirational Founders and Pro Rata

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Eric Paley is the Managing Partner at Founder Collective, one of the world’s most successful seed funds with investments in the likes of UberHunch, Makerbot and About.me. Prior to Founder Collective, Eric was the Co-Founder and CEO of Brontes Technologies, later acquired by 3M for $95m. Following it’s acquisition Eric began making angel investments and it was not long before Eric and David, ‘super angel’ at the time, saw the potential for a Founder First seed fund and Founder Collective was born.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Eric made his move into the wonderful world of venture from founding Brontes Technologies?

2.) What does Eric make of early stage valuations? When creating a venture fund why did Eric believe the seed stage was the stage with the most opportunity?

3.) Question from the legend, David Hornik @ August: At such an early stage where Founder Collective traditionally put in $0.1m-$0.3m, does Eric feel they put in enough money to make it matter?

4.) Does Eric believe that by not doing follow on rounds they are missing out? Does this resistance to seed funds set Founder Collective apart? David did mention that you have begun to follow on now, so what makes you follow on with one portfolio company and not another?

5.) The Founder journey is testing both physically and emotionally, what elements of support do Founder Collective provide outside of the business relationship?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: Fooled By Randomness

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Eric on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 088: David Frankel @ Founder Collective: The Most Founder Friendly VC in Existence

 

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David Frankel is the Managing Partner at Founder Collective, one of the world’s most successful seed funds with investments in the likes of Uber, Hunch, Makerbot and About.me. Prior to Founder Collective, David was the Founder and CEO of Internet Solutions, one of the largest ISP providers in Africa. Following it’s acquisition David made his move into the investing game becoming one of the very first ‘super angels’, following exceptional success in this field, David along with Eric Paley (coming on the show on Wednesday) and Micah Rosenbloom founded Founder Collective, a seed stage venture fund whereby everyone at Founder Collective has started a technology company, they have lived and breathed the founder experience, a true founder friendly venture fund.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did David make his move into the wonderful world of venture from being a founder and ‘super angel’?

2.) Question from Spencer Lazar @ General Catalyst: How has David evolved as an investor over time? Has his strategy and approach altered?

3.) David has experienced some immense cycles both up and down, how has he seen the seed funding environment evolve?

4.) What was it like working with Chris Dixon from a16z? What advice would David give to someone looking to maintain or create a network around them? What other sources of deal flow do you utilize? How do you most like to be approached?

5.) How did FC’s investment in Uber come about? What does David make of the regulatory hurdles Uber face with regards to employees or contractors? What is the future for Uber?

6.) What can we expect from Founder Collective? What is David excited about and why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Eating Well For Optimum Health, Playing The Enemy

David’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack, Term Sheet

David’s Most Recent Investment: Pillpack

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session you can follow him on Instagram here! 

 

20 VC FF 021: Steve O’Hear @ TechCrunch

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Steve O’Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products. He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch’s European coverage. However, in June 2011 having caught the startup bug, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy. Steve is also the writer and director of the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary ‘In Search of the Valley’.

Before we delve into the show today, our dear friend and kind donator, Brad Feld has agreed to do a competition giveaway featuring signed copies of his amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do to be in with a chance is headover to the website at www.thetwentyminutevc.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s that simple.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where did it all start for Steve, how did you make he make his entrance into the tech industry, journalism and then founding Beepl?

2.) How did Steve find the transition from journalist to entrepreneur? What were the hardest aspects of the journey? What surprised Steve about the fundraising process for Beepl?

3.) In such a crowded space such as news generation, what is it about TechCrunch that makes it The Bible to the tech community?

4.) Obviously articles and news brings comments from the community. How do  TechCrunch try and engage and unite the community? Have there been any difficulties with the commenting process etc?

5.) How does a platform like TechCrunch plan to monetize content with the ever disappearing ad dollar? Is it something that concerns TechCrunch?

6.) Where does Steve think we are going in both wider media and journalism? Is journalism heading to the short form with the increasing prominence of platforms such as Buzzfeed? How does the industry

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Steve’s Fave Book: The Big Sleep

Steve’s Fave Blog: Tech.eu

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Steve on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session you can follow him on Instagram here! 

 

20 VC 087: From The Investors Of Spotify, TrustPilot and Klarna with Jeppe Zink, General Partner @ Northzone

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Jeppe Zink is the General Partner at Northzone, who have investments in the likes of Spotify, Bloglovin and TrustPilot, just to name a few. Jeppe himself established the London office of Northzone and his primary areas of focus are fintech, SaaS, marketplaces and mobile and has made investments in Wallapop, SpaceApe Games and many more.

Before we delve into the show today, our dear friend and kind donator, Brad Feld has agreed to do a competition giveaway featuring signed copies of his amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do to be in with a chance is headover to the website at www.thetwentyminutevc.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s that simple.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jeppe become a dane, living in London, investing in tech?

2.) Having seen the evolution of the European tech environment over the 17 years, which stage of the cycle does Jeppe prefer as a VC? Some say downturns lead to a flushing out of the weaker funding sources and startups. Do you agree?

3.) What is it that is attracting Jeppe to Fintech? Where does Jeppe think Fintech will be in the next 5-10 years? What areas of Fintech is Jeppe excited by? Is the excitement surrounding Fintech in London not driving up valuations of startups?

4.) When looking at the banking industry for example, there are large incumbents that have not changed in decades, many see this as opportunity, is this not just representative of structural advantages creating barriers to entry?

5.) Skype, Spotify, SoundCloud, Supercell, King, all nordics, what is it about the Nordics that is generating this unicorn club?

6.) In the past Jeppe has attributed Northzone with a rarity of investor quality, saying that like entrepreneurs, Northzone have ambition. How does Jeppe assess his ambition? What metrics does Jeppe use to create goals for startups?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeppe’s Fave Book: Zero To One, Startup Growth Engines 

Jeppe’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC

Jeppe’s Productivity Tools: CityMapper, Genius

Jeppe’s Most Recent Investment: CrossLend

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jeppe on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session you can follow him on Instagram here! 

 

20 VC 086: Starting A New Venture Fund and How London Compares To The US with Hussein Kanji @ Hoxton Ventures

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Hussein Kanji really is a pedigree in the industry having started off his career with Microsoft, he made the leap into venture with Accel Partners where he was a board observer with the likes of Playfish, acquired by Electronic Arts and made seed investments in the likes of OpenGamma and Dapper acquired by Yahoo. Following such success, Hussein raised his own fund and is now the founder of Hoxton Ventures, a 2013 fund with $40m under management. Despite, Hoxton’s age their portfolio is immense with the likes of Deliveroo, DarkTrace by the famous Mike Lynch from Autonomy and Campanja, recently acquired by 24/7 customer.

Before we delve into the show today, our dear friend and kind donator, Brad Feld has agreed to do a competition giveaway featuring signed copies of his amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do to be in with a chance is headover to the website at www.thetwentyminutevc.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s that simple.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hussein mad his way into the wonderful world of venture?

2.) What was it like to start a new fund with Hoxton and why did Hussein leave the security of Accel to start his own?

3.) Why did Hussein believe this was the stage with the most opportunity? Does he think there is too much capital chasing too few deals?

4.) With DarkTrace (portfolio company), Hoxton were the only VC money in at the early stage? How did that come about and what was it about Hoxton that made Mike take your money?

5.) Why did Hussein choose to setup the fund in London? What does he think is driving the surge in European tech with the rise of the Nordics etc?

6.) With Steve O’Hear Hussein stated he looks for brand new markets that are going to be formed (Playfish)? What does he think those are?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hussein’s Fave Book: The Second Bounce Of The Ball: Ronald Cohen, Flowers from Algernon

Hussein’s Fave Blog: Josh Koppelman: Redeye VC, Abnormal Returns

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Hussein on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session you can follow him on Instagram here! 

 

20 VC FF 20: Shaking Up The Food Industry With Willie Biggart @ Spoonfed

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Willie Biggart is the Chairman @ Spoonfed, a startup on the cusp of 2 extremely hot sectors, SaaS and food. Spoonfed offers a new way for catering companies and restaurants to take advantage of the growing corporate food drop off market. They are currently raising a £500,000 round on SyndicateRoom, which you can check out here! With regards to Willie himself, Willie founded his own business, BD Network in 1990 and exited in 2002 and BD Ntwk is now one of Europe’s largest marketing agencies. Since 1990 Willie has started, developed and sold 3 businesses.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Willie make his move into the entrepreneurial path and come to be Chairman of Spoonfed?

2.) Why does Willie believe it is more beneficial to have SaaS based businesses rather than people based businesses?

3.) Often the hardest problem for SaaS businesses is finding their first customers, how did Willie go about getting Spoonfed’s initial user base?

4.) What strategies did Willie undertake to try and understand what features his customers wanted and then how to attract them?

5.) Why does Willie believe the food tech space has seen explosive growth, both in the UK and the US?

5.) Having invested and raised money in the seed round of the funding cycle, both as investor and operator, what advice would Willie give for founders entering a seed round.

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

SpoonFed’s Current Fundraising Campaign on SyndicateRoom

Willie’s Fave Book: Eric Ries: The Lean Startup, The E-Myth Revisited

Willie’s Blog or Newsletter: Kenny Fraser, Sunstone Communications

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 085: Mark Suster @ Upfront Ventures on Being A Super Entrepreneur Driven VC

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Mark Suster is Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures which he joined in 2007, having previously worked with Upfront for nearly 8 years as a two-time entrepreneur. Before joining Upfront Mark was Vice President, Product Management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral, where Mark was Founder and CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark was Founder and CEO of BuildOnline, a European SaaS company that was acquired by SWORD Group. Mark is also the writer of one of my favourite VC blogs, Both Sides Of The Table which is a centre piece to the whole VC community and is a must read for all interested in entrepreneurship and VC.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Mark make his way into the world of tech and later make the transition to VC?

2.) How have Mark’s entrepreneurial origins influenced his investment style and approach to startups?

3.) What really gets Mark excited in terms of the founders and the companies they have built?

4.) How does Mark recommend that startup founders can meet investors and get those initial meetings?

5.) What sector is Mark most excited by and why?

6.) Mark has said in the past ‘too much money too early often fucks companies up’. Why is that and how should founders determine what is the right amount to raise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

My Fave of Mark’s Posts: Entrepreneur DNA, I Invest In Lines Not Dots

Mark’s Fave Book: The Accidental Superpower

Mark’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Stratechery, Ben Evans, Chris Dixon, Tom Tunguz

Mark’s Most Recent Investment: Mitu Networks

As always you can follow Harry, Mark, The Twenty Minute VC and Upfront Ventures on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 084: Meet Felix Capital: The Venture Firm For The Creative Class with Antoine Nussenbaum @ Felix Capital

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Antoine Nussenbaum is a Principal and member of the founding team of Felix Capital. Prior to Felix, Antoine was a Partner at Atlas Global, a private equity fund originally part of GLG Partners. Over the past five years he has worked closely with various early-stage digital startups including Mirakl, Jellynote, Pave, Reedsy and 31Dover and actively helped them launch their businesses. If that wasn’t enough he has also been involved since inception with Huckletree, a fast growing coworking operator dedicated to the UK digital community which was started by his wife.

To check out the available positions at Felix Capital click here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Antoine make his move into the world of VC?

2.) What sectors do Felix invest in? What stage? Geography?

3.) How do Felix position themselves in the VC space? How do Felix plan to differentiate between other VCs firms in Europe? As for the structure of the fund, why did Felix choose an advisor heavy approach?

4.) Why does Antoine think Europe has the edge at the moment? Also, with the rise of the Nordics and Berlin, why did Felix choose to setup in London?

5.) How does Antoine assess the London and European funding and tech environment at the moment? Does Antoine agree with the media hype over a tech bubble?

6.) How do digital brands address the issue of the millenials with reducing brand loyalty? Does Antoine think this will be a problem for consumer startups in the fashion, food and travel space?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Felix’s Manifesto, HuckleTree, Co-Founder @ Huckletree on CNBC

Antoine’s Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, Capital In The Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty

Antoine’s Fave Productivity Tools: Streak, Slack, Evernote, Pocket

Antoine’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson: AVC, ProductHunt

Antoine’s Most Recent Investment: The Food Assembly

As always you can follow Harry, Antoine, The Twenty Minute VC and Felix Capital on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

20 VC FF 019: 500 Startups Week: Life As A 500 Startups Portfolio Company with Ashish Walia, Co-Founder @ LawTrades

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Ashish Walia is the Co-Founder & COO at 500 Startups portfolio company, LawTrades. LawTrades aims to decentralise the traditional legal hiring process through providing an amazing marketplace of attorneys with domain experience in the startup world having worked with companies from the likes of YC, Techstars and 500. Ashish is also the Host of The Ashish Walia Show, a podcast dedicated to interviewing the latest and greatest world changing entrepreneurs, you can listen to Harry’s interview on The Ashish Walia Show here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) I would love to kick off today’s show by hearing a little about your background and the origins of LawTrades? What was the a-ha moment for you?

2.) Was Ashish nervous leaving the security of the legal profession for the life of a tech founder? What would Ashish advise people who want to make the leap but are not sure if it is worth risking everything?

3.) The legal space is about a century behind the rest of the consumerised world of tech, why is there this divergence between the advancement of tech and the lacking progression of the legal space?

4.) How did Ashish come to raise funds from 500? What was the process and interview like? Why did Ashish choose 500 out of all the accelerators? What were the challenging and surprising elements of the fundraising journey?

6.) What would Ashish do differently if he was founding LawTrades again? What does Ashish wish he had been told before he became an entrepreneur?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ashish’s Fave Book: Peter Thiel: Zero To One

Ashish’s Fave Entrepreneurial Resources: Gary Vaynerchuk, This Week In Startups, How To Start A Startup

Ashish’s Fave Blog: James AltucherTim Ferriss,

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC, Ashish and LawTrades on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

We would like to say a special thank you to our partner for this very special 500 Startups Feature Week, LawTrades, the go to place for startups and VCs to get their legal work done. For all 20VC listeners LawTrades are offering a special $150 off your first piece of legal work when you mention ‘The Twenty Minute VC’. You can follow them on Twitter here!

 

 

 

 

20 VC 083: 500 Startups Week: New Funds, Startup Mentoring and Dave’s Masterplan with Marvin Liao, Partner @ 500 Startups

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Marvin is a Partner at 500 Startups, running the SF based accelerator program as well as investing in Seed stage start ups. Prior to 500 Marvin is a 10.5 year veteran of Yahoo! Inc., having held roles in various departments from Sales, Business Development, Ad Operations and Marketing and presently serves on the boards/advisory boards of several internet advertising and ad technology companies across the globe.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Marvin make his move into technology and the investing game?

2.) How was Marvin’s time at Yahoo? How did Marvin see the company change over the 10 years he was there? How do you feel your position at Yahoo equipped you for 500 Startups?

3.) So coming from 10 years at Yahoo you could have had your pick of VCs to join. What was it about 500 that attracted you and why do you believe this very early stage is the biggest opportunity to exploit?

4.) 500 has now ironically invested in 1000+ startups, leading me to ask, what is the admissions process like and what Marvin’s criteria at 500 for investment decisions? What are the key metrics you look at?

5.) How does Marvin respond to the notion that investing with 500 Startups removes the talent of investing through the spray and pray method?

6.) Now 500 Startups has recently raises an new $85m fund, alongside a new fund of $30m for Japan, $10m for South East Asia and a $10m fund for Thailand. So firstly, does this prove that the 500 model is successfully scaling? What does the future hold for 500? Where do you see the most innovation and progress?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Marvin’s Fave Book:The Art of Worldly Wisdom, The 4 Hour Work Week

Marvin’s Fave Productivity Tool: Evernote, Calendly.com

Marvin’s Fave Blog: James Clear, James Altucher, Tim Ferriss, Fred Wilson, Mark Suster

Marvin’s Most Interesting Investments: Neighborly, Agfunder

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC, Marvin and 500 on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

We would like to say a special thank you to our partner for this very special 500 Startups Feature Week, LawTrades, the go to place for startups and VCs to get their legal work done. For all 20VC listeners LawTrades are offering a special $150 off your first piece of legal work when you mention ‘The Twenty Minute VC’. You can follow them on Twitter here!

 

 

 

 

20 VC 082: 500 Startups Week: Growth Hacking 101: How To 10x Your Conversion with Matt Lerner, Head of Distro Dojo London

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Matt Lerner is a Distro Partner with 500 Startups, and runs their London office. He specializes in conversion optimization, analytics, engagement and retention. As a member of the in-house growth (AKA “Distro”) team, he partners with 500 portfolio companies to help them build growth engines and scale. Previously, as a 500 Startups Mentor, Matt helped over 40 companies develop and execute growth strategies. Prior to joining 500 Startups, he worked as a Marketing Director at PayPal, where he built and managed three growth teams that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue across the funnel. Here are some of Matt’s amazing growth hacking slide decks:

10 Growth Hacking Tools To Disrupt Your Competitors

Growth Hacking 101

For your chance to win a signed copy of Brad Feld’s amazing Venture Deals, all you have to do is click the click to tweet link here: http://ctt.ec/C61w6 and you will be entered into the competition.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his move from Paypal to VC with 500Startups?

2.) What is the mission at 500 in London with the Distro? What is the investment thesis? Preferred round? Sector? What process do you take the companies through when they are with you in the Dojo?

3.) What does growth hacking really mean? Is it not another BS new techie term?

4.) What has Matt found to be some of the most effective growth hacks and why? What are the biggest mistakes companies make with regards to growth? How can they avoid them?

5.) When does Matt think a company should start to focus on growth?

6.) Who does Matt personally admire and think has been extremely effective and why? What campaigns or pieces of work have led him to this conclusion?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Matt’s Recent Investments: Tom Beverly: Fy, Tamatem

Matt’s Fave Book: Do You Talk Funny: The Guide To Public Speaking, The One Thing You Need To Know

Matt’s Fave Newsletter: Doug Scott, Susan Su: Distro Snack, Tim Ferriss Podcast

Matt’s Growth Hacking Idols: Dave McClure: Pirate Metrics Talk, Sean Ellis: Inventor of Growth Hacking Term, Andy Johns @ WealthFront,

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC, Matt and 500 Startups on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

We would like to say a special thank you to our partner for this very special 500 Startups Feature Week, LawTrades, the go to place for startups and VCs to get their legal work done. For all 20VC listeners LawTrades are offering a special $150 off your first piece of legal work when you mention ‘The Twenty Minute VC’. You can follow them on Twitter here!

20 VC FF 018: Brian Wong, Founder @ Kiip on Raising $30m in VC Funding by 24

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For the chance to win Brad Feld’s amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do is head on over to ProductHunt’s new podcast section and upvote this episode of The Twenty Minute VC if you enjoyed it, by clicking here!

Joining us in the hotseat today is a young man who is insanely smart, he skipped 4 grades in school and graduated University at just 17, at which point he moved to the states on his own and within months was working alongside tech legends Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson at Digg. However, it was not long before he started his own company Kiip, a category-creating mobile rewards network that is redefining mobile advertising through an innovative platform that leverages “moments of achievement” in games and apps to simultaneously benefit users, developers and advertisers. If you have not guessed it by now, shame on you, it is of course, the incredible Brian Wong, one of the youngest people to ever raise VC funding receiving investment from the likes of Hummer Winblad, previous guest at Transmedia Capital Chris Redlitz (Episode 26), True Ventures and many more.

A huge thank you to our sponsors for today’s show, LawTrades, the marketplace that connects startups & VCs to awesome attorneys to get their legal work done at the best price!

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Brian start his career? What is the Brain Wong origin snapshot?

2.) What was it about Fred Wilson that made Brian most wanting to talk to him above all other VCs when he made the move to NY?

3.) What was it like working with amazing founders like Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson? What were Brian’s biggest takeaways from the experience?

4.) As a 19 year old, how difficult was it raising capital for your startup? Has it become harder raising further rounds from seed to series A to growth rounds?

5.) How have Brian’s board of directors helped or hindered along the Kiip journey? How do experienced executives respond to working with such a young CEO and does age make it difficult to retain top talent?

6.) With the evolution of technology and progression of time, how are Kiip addressing the growing competitive market and how are you navigating Kiip into new social media channels?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Brian Fave Blog: Inside.com by Jason Calacanis

Brian’s Fave Productivity Tool: Evernote, Box

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Brian on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 081: From YC to VC with Weston Gaddy @ Bain Capital Ventures

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Weston Gaddy is a Senior Principal at Bain Capital Ventures where he focuses on investments in early-stage companies and assists the portfolio operations group. Weston is also a YC alum with Frogmetrics, a handheld survey device company, he co-founded in college and received funding from Founders Fund, Y Combinator and Alexis Ohanian at Reddit. Outisde of the tech and VC world Weston was a Weston worked as a strategy consultant for media, financial service, and consumer product clients at Bain & Company in New York.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Weston make his way into the technology and VC?

2.) What was Weston’s biggest takeaway from the YC experience? Has the experience impacted his investing strategy?

3.) Why is the world of branding changing from dominant players using traditional mainstream channels to a more open opportunity for startups to connect with consumers? What is changing?

4.) On the topic of brand loyalty how brands create brand loyalty in the fickle generation of young millenials often with a mercenary outlook?

5.) What sectors have most opportunity to exploit this revolution in branding? Why do you say those sectors? Have you based any of your investments around these assumptions?

6.) How important is it for VCs to specialize and have superb sector knowledge in something?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Weston’s Fave Book: The Sixth Extinction 

Weston’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dan Primack’s TermSheet

Weston’s Most Recent Investment: Jet.com

 

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Weston on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 080: How VCs Can Differentiate Themselves with Patricia Nakache, General Partner @ Trinity Ventures

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Patricia Nakache is General Partner at Trinity Ventures where she focuses on funding companies launching innovative online consumer and business services. Her portfolio of past investments is just astonishing with the likes of LoopNet and Care.com IPOing, PayScale being acquired by Warburg Pincus, Uptake being acquired by Groupon and many more.

To be entered into the competition to win a signed copy of Brad Feld’s legendary Venture Deals, all you have to do is click here and upvote this episode on ProductHunt and you will be automatically entered into the competition.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Patricia get into the technology industry and then later make her transition into the world of Venture Capital?

2.) A recent study has shown that the total number of female partners has fallen from 10% to 6% in the time that you have been at Trinity. Why is there this gender misrepresentation and what can be done to improve female equality in the VC industry?

3.) Sheila has invested in some incredible female entrepreneurs such as Sheila Marcelo at Care.com, Illana Stern at Weddington Way and Anna Zornosa at Ruby Ribbon? What excited Patricia about these entrepreneurs and what can female entrepreneurs do to increase their chances of funding?

4.) With the increasing amount of capital available, VCs face greater competition between firms, what can VCs bring to the table to beat the competition?

5.) What elements of the on demand economy face danger in the coming years in a similar way to Homejoy?

5.) Which sector is Patricia most excited about and why?

6.) Why has there been a resurgence in the marketplace model particularly in ecommerce? What are the drivers of this change?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Patricia’s Fave Book: Good To Great by Jim Collins

Patricia’s Fave Blog: Strictly VCOwler

Patricia’s Most Recent Investment: Mayvenn

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Patricia on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session you can follow Harry on Instagram here! 

 

FF 017: Kuan Huang, Founder @ Poncho

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/d1dE3

Kuan Huang, is the Founder of Poncho an internally built company at Betaworks. A simpler weather service with a personality, delivered to you every day. Prior to creating Poncho, Kuan was a Hacker in residence at Betaworks and as he describes the luckiest engineer at Hatch Labs a mobile focused startup incubator funded by IAC.

I would like to direct your attention to one of Betaworks investments on the west coast in the amazing ProductHunt, and you must check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, which is the best discovery platform for finding new and amazing podcast episodes!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Kuan get into the world of Betaworks and what was Kuan’s aha moment for Poncho?

2.) What was wrong with weather apps when Kuan started Poncho? What made Kuan think there was a gap in the market?

3.) Kuan said in an interview with TechCrunch “The core objective is to have Poncho become a default part of your routine,” How has Kuan gone about to ensure that there are habit forming functions in poncho? What makes the user come back? Does Kuan prefer mass market testing or niche 100 person testing?

4.) What role does Betaworks play in the development of Poncho? What are the main value adds of being a Betaworks company?

5.) Looking back at the Poncho journey so far, what were the breakthrough moments where progress was really made? What were the most challenging elements and how did Kuan overcome them?

6.) What would Kuan advise a founder looking to work with Betaworks? Is there anything they can do to increase their chances of a collaboration?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kuan’s Fave Reading Material: Medium, Instapaper

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Kuan on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 079: BETAWORKS WEEK: East vs West Coast Investing with Peter Rojas, EIR @ Betaworks, Co-Founder @ Weblogs & Engadget

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Peter Rojas is an entrepreneur-in-residence at betaworks focusing on early stage investments. Prior to joining betaworks he was VP of Strategy at AOL. He also co-founded several startups, including Weblogs Inc (with previous guest Jason Calacanis) (acquired by AOL in 2005), where he created tech sites Engadget and Joystiq; he also created gdgt, a social commerce platform (acquired by AOL in 2013); and gadget blog Gizmodo (now part of Gawker Media). Previously Rojas worked as an editor at the original Red Herring, a columnist on emerging technology for The Guardian, a contributor to Wired, The New York Times, Fortune, Money, and many more.

One of Betaworks investments on the west coast is the amazing ProductHunt, and you must check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, which is the best discovery platform for finding new and amazing podcast episodes!

Also, would you like the chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld? All you have to do is leave a review on iTunes and then email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com with the name that you left the review under!

   CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) From tech blogger and entrepreneur to founding Engadget, and then a product person and now at Betaworks. Peter gives a snapshot of his career so far?

2.) What is Peter doing on the West Coast when Betaworks is based in NYC? How do you compare the two technology environments and ecosystems?

3.) What is involved in being EIR at Betaworks? Why has this position become so popular over the last few years?

4.) How does Peter and Betaworks approach the changing world of seed and as I have seen recently, pre seed investments? Do you have any set metrics that you stick to? What KPIs are always the first ones you look at?

5.) What VCs does Peter admire and look to emulate?

6.) What has Peter learnt from his 1st month in venture? What has been the biggest surprises and challenges about the industry?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Productivity Tools: Reeder

Peter’s Fave Blogs or Newsletter: Jason Hirschhorn: REDEF, ProductHunt

Peter’s Fave Book: Antifragile

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Peter on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side of Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

20 VC 078: BETAWORKS WEEK: Matt Hartman, Director of Seed Investments @ Betaworks

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Matt Hartman is director of seed investments at betaworks. Prior to joining betaworks, he was co-founder of ReferBoost, a profitable b2b company in the real estate and social media space, and JustBecause, a mobile app used by Uber, Birchbox, Jackthreads, and other e-commerce companies for customer acquisition. He started his career building the technology platform for Trammell Crow Company (acquired by CBRE) before joining Hot Potato (acquired by Facebook).

In this interview with Matt we talk about one of Betaworks investments in ProductHunt and I would love to direct you all to go check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, it’s the best way to find new and amazing podcast episodes, check it out!

To win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld? All you have to do is leave a review on iTunes and then email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com with the name that you left the review under!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How you has Matt ended up at the amazing Betaworks, what was his career pre-Betaworks?

2.) How does Matt define betaworks and his role in particular in the Betaworks organisation? What makes this model the most effective and successful in Matt’s view?

3.) How does Matt believe the structure of social networks alters user behavior and therefore impacts distribution? How do social networks include habit forming behaviours to ensure user retention on their networks?

4.) What does Matt think makes a strong community? What was it about ProductHunt that signaled to you this was the beginning of a rapidly growing community?

5.) With Betaworks investment in Gimlet Media, how does Matt see the future of podcasting? Does investing in Gimlet not break the rule that it has to be a potentially $bn exit?

6.) Question from Ryan Hoover, Founder at ProductHunt: ‘What product or app has impressed Matt the most in the past year and what really gets Matt excited when trying new products both as an investor and as a user’?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Most Read Blog or Newsletter: Founder’s Notebook by David Jaxson

Matt’s Favourite Book: The Psychology of Pursuasion by Robert Cialdini

Matt’s Fave Productivity Apps: Drafts

Most Recent Investment: Disruptive Multimedia by Ryan Leslie

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Matt on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

 

FF 016: Chad Fowler, CTO @ Wunderlist, App Of The Year 2013

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To win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld, click the link below and like our Facebook page and you will be entered into the competition. https://www.facebook.com/The-Twenty-Minute-VC-769935093077190/timeline/

Chad Fowler is the CTO at 6Wunderkinder (acquired by Microsoft), the company behind the wildly successful Wunderlist, previously cited by Michael Treskow and Mattias Ljungman on the show as their must have productivity app. Prior to 6Wunderkinder, Chad was the Senior VP of technology of the daily deals site, Living Social and before that we was CTO at InfoEther, a Ruby and Ruby-On-Rails consultancy firm. Fowler is also the host and organiser of numerous tech conferences and wrote “The Passionate Programmer”, a career guide for software developers.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where did it all begin for Chad and how did he make the move from his musician dreams to CTO of tech startups?

2.) As an American, working in Europe, how does Europe’s tech community compare to the US?

3.) Wunderlist was the App of the Year, what does Chad believes makes it so special?

4.) Is there more to go in improving the consumer feel of enterprise software?

5.) How did Chad go about creating a product with such habit forming ability?

6.) Question from Carolina Brochado @ Atomico: What is it like moving from a small manned startup to a giant corporation like Microsoft?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Chad’s Fave Book: The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Chad on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side of Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 077: Part 2: Kamal Ravikant: The Future Of Venture Capital

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/Q41ZG

Kamal Ravikant is an absolute hero to me after I read his incredible best selling book, Love Yourself Like Like Your Life Depends On It. As for an intro to Kamal, it goes without saying that he has worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley and is a true tech and investing icon, but he has also trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, held the hands of dying patients, earned a US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group and written books including my favourite the previously mentioned, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where does Kamal see the future of Venture Capital?

2.) What worries Kamal about the tech scene?

3.) How does Kamal sort the wood from the trees in the frothy market of tech startups?

4.) What are Kamal’s must read books and blogs?

5.) Which leaders or figures is Kamal inspired by and why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

My Fave Book: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

Kamal’s Fave Book: The Alchemist, The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope

Kamal’s Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal’s Most Recent Investment: Bolt

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Kamal on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow Harry on Instagram here!

20 VC 077: PART 1: Kamal Ravikant: ‘I’m Not Your Traditional VC’

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/Q41ZG

 

Kamal Ravikant is an absolute hero to me after I read his incredible best selling book, Love Yourself Like Like Your Life Depends On It. As for an intro to Kamal, it goes without saying that he has worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley and is a true tech and investing icon, but he has also trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, held the hands of dying patients, earned a US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group and written books including my favourite the previously mentioned, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Kamal make his way into the world of Venture Capital?

2.) What were Kamal’s biggest takeaways from working as an entrepreneur?

3.) What really makes a great VC? How can VCs provide true and genuine value add?

4.) Why is now the best time to be an entrepreneur? What has changed?

5.) What would Kamal advise an entrepreneur looking to build a startup?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kamal’s Fave Book: The Alchemist

Kamal’s Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal’s Most Recent Investment: Bolt

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Kamal on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow Harry on Instagram here!

 

 

FF 015: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Eric Glyman, Co-Founder & CEO @ Paribus

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Eric Glyman, Co-Founder and CEO @ Paribus (Y Combinator S15), the service which scans your inbox for receipts and automatically saves you money when the items you bought drop in price. Stores often guarantee that you will get the lowest prices. But they don’t follow through unless you work for it. Paribus does the work for you.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What was Eric’s career before Paribus and what was his a-ha moment was for the idea?

2.) How did Eric do things differently from the typical startup? Was this effective or would it have been more productive to go full in?

3.) What were Paribus’ testing hypotheses like? Does Eric prefer mass market testing or niche 100 person testing?

4.) How was the admissions process for YC, why did Eric choose YC and why were YC attracted to Paribus?

5.) What would Eric advise founders looking to get into YC? Is there anything they can do or know that will increase their chances of getting into YC?

6.) What were the breakthrough moments for Paribus? What were the most challenging elements and how did Eric overcome them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: I, Robot

Eric’s Fave Blog: AppSumo by Noah Kagan

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC, Eric and Paribus on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, follow Harry on Instagram here! 

 

 

20 VC 076: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Aaron Harris, Partner @ YC

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Aaron Harris is a Partner at Y Combinator and also newly one of my favourite podcast hosts with his brilliant show, Startup School Radio, for all startup lovers it is a must listen. Prior to YC, Aaron was cofounder of Sequoia backed Tutorspree, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2011. Before Tutorspree he worked at Bridgewater Associates, where he managed product and operations for an analytics group. He also writes an awesome blog which can be found here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Aaron make his move into the world of entrepreneurship with Tutorspree and then become a YC Partner?

2.) Why did Aaron join YC and why does he believe the biggest potential lies at this stage of the cycle?

3.) Now at YC, Aaron is a Partner, what does that entail, what level of interaction do you have with the founders, where does YC look to add serious value?

4.) With the mass of startups now in the 100s coming out of each YC demo day, how does YC assure the same quality and level of value add?

5.) With regards to testing what is YC’s opinion? How does YC assess whether a product does have product market fit? What are the YC requirements for growth whilst in YC?

6.) What happens after the YC experience, does YC maintain conversations and communication? How does YC try to maintain valuations at a reasonable level to stop YC price inflation?

7.) What is the future for YC? Are we going to see another funding round? Is the YC model scalable? Could we have a YC Europe?

 Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Aaron & YC’s Podcast: Startup School Radio

Aaron’s Fave Book: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Founder’s At Work by Jessica Livingston

As always you can follow Harry, Aaron, The Twenty Minute VC and YC on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 075: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Kirsty Nathoo, CFO @ Y Combinator

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Kirsty Nathoo is the CFO of Y Combinator. As CFO, she holds the keys to the kingdom – literally. Not only does she control and manage Y Combinator’s internal finances, from paying bills to helping organize demo days to actually making sure Y Combinator’s money is wired to startups from the proper accounts; but she helps YC startups coordinate outside financings, tax issues, incorporation and other fiscal matters. She’s the financial brains behind the entire operation, with YC partner Harj Taggar stating that ‘YC would cease to operate if Kirsty was not around’.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kirsty made her move from PWC in Cambridge to CFO at the World’s Most Successful Accelerator?

2.) Joining YC permanently in 2010, how has Kirsty seen it develop to today’s current state? What has been the key drivers to the success and growth of YC?

3.) As CFO Kirsty has developed a certain pattern recognition with regards to what investors and VCs like to see in the terms of startups. What are they?

4.) Kirsty has seen the progression of many startups, what are the most common problems startups face in the fundraising cycle? What are the commonalities in those that are successful?

5.) How does YC address the issue of potentially inflated valuations for their alum?

6.) What are some financials that all founders should know all the time?

7.) What is the future for YC? Are we going to see another funding round? Is the YC model scalable? Could we have a YC Europe?

 

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Y Combinator on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

FF 014: Making Great Founders, Idea Creation and The First 100 Days Of A Startup with Alice Bentinck, Co-Founder @ Entrepreneur First

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Alice Bentinck is Co-Founder at Entrepreneurs First, the accelerator program that puts founders first! Previously, Alice worked at prestigious consultancy firm McKinsey & Co, before turning down an offer from Google to found Entrepreneur First alongside Matt. She taught herself to code, and founded Code First Girls in 2013 to help more women get into tech. She sits on the board of Sherry Coutu’s Founders4Schools, is on Imperial College London’s Department of Computing Industrial Liaison Board, and acted as the Prime Minister’s expert on startups at the Northern Future Forum. She has been recognised in Management Today’s 35 under 35 and the Evening Standard’s Top 1000 most influential Londoners.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alice came up with the idea for EF and why she decided to found the company?

2.) What would Alice recommend is the best way to build a company from scratch? EF is for technical individuals, what can non technical individuals do?

3.) What would Alice say makes a great founder? Has she seen any commonalities in the great founders that have exited EF?

4.) What is Alice’s opinion on equity divisions within startups? What is the right way to approach the topic?

5.) What should teams focus on in the first 100 days of their startup? What is the 20% that produces 80% of the results?

6.) What has been the hardest aspect of growing the business and how did Alice overcome it?

 

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Alice on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry and many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 074: The Future of Healthcare with Bob Kocher, Partner @ Venrock

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Bob Kocher is a Partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. He currently serves on the Boards of Aledade and Jiff, and is a Board Observer at Grand Rounds and Doctor on Demand. Additionally, he is a Consulting Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and serves on the Advisory Boards of Harvard Medical School Health Care Policy Department. Prior to Venrock, Bob served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the National Economic Council. In the Obama Administration, Bob was one of the shapers of the Affordable Care Act. Before the White House, Bob was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where he led McKinsey Global Institute’s healthcare economics work and Center for United States Health System Reform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bob made his way from The White House to Venrock as a VC?

2.) How did working at The White House prepare Bob for his career as a VC, where does Bob have the biggest opportunity to change the healthcare system?

3.) What are the barriers to entry that a preventing full scale innovation and business growth in the healthcare IT space?

4.) Why have we seen a large increase in healthcare startups? What more would you Bob like to see in the healthcare space, either from the side of the startups or VC’s?

5.) How does Bob perceive the integration of software and healthcare in the future?

5.) As a healthcare professional, what would Bob recommend an individual with a high powered, demanding job in order to lead a healthy lifestyle?

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode:

Bob’s Fave Book: The System

Bob’s Most Recent Investment: Lyra Health

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Bob on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito night, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 073: Life Inside Accel Partners with Michael Treskow @ Accel

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Michael Treskow is a VC @ Accel Partners, one of the world’s most successful venture firms having funded the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, Etsy and many more.  At Accel, Michael is responsible for the firm’s investments in SpaceApe, a mobile games developer, and GoCardless, an online direct debt provider. Michael was also instrumental in Accel’s investments and ongoing work with Funding Circle, Packlink, Qubit, Semmle, Trufa and WorldRemit. Prior to Accel, Michael focused on early-stage and growth equity investments in technology companies at Warburg Pincus in San Francisco, invested in publicly traded technology companies at Highside Capital in Dallas, and helped advise technology companies on strategic alternatives as part of Morgan Stanley’s investment banking team in New York.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into the VC industry? Do you think it is very important for VCs to have entrepreneurial experience?

2.) How does Michael compare the investing environments between London and SF? What was his biggest takeaway from Warburg Pincus in SF?

3.) Accel is stage agnostic, why is that? What size market attracts Michael? How can Michael tell whether founders have the ability to exploit the market?

4.) What Michael believes are his key value adds? Have these changed over time?

5.) We often hear startups being described as ‘uber for’, ‘tinder for’. Do VCs like this simplification of business? How else would Michael suggest a complex concept can be broken down into something easily digestible?

6.) Does Michael still believe there is room for improvement in the consumerisation of enterprise software? Does Emergence Capital’s pivot signal a turning tide?

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode: 

Michael’s Fave Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma, Crossing The Chasm

Michael Productivity Tools: Wunderlist

Michael’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dan Primack, Term Sheet

Michael’ Most Recent Investment: CartoDB

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Michael on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito night, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

FF 013: ‘Make Bets And Believe In What You Are Doing’ with James Borow @ Shift & Brand Networks

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James Borow is Chief Product Officer at Brand Networks which delivers social marketing and advertising to 650 enterprise customers, following their acquisition of Shift where James was CEO and Co-Founder and led the business to being the No 1 marketing software company for social advertisers with clients such as Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. James was named a semi-finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2014, and is a thought leader in digital advertising, with articles in Forbes, The New York Times, Bloomberg and Business Insider. James is also an active angel investor, having invested in Kixer, a mobile advertising platform, Gradient X, a mobile DSP (acquired by SingTel) and Conversion Logic, an online advertising attribution platform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were James’ entrepreneurial origins and what was his aha moment?

2.) How did James get his first clients and what were the hardest aspects of growing the business?

3.) What was it like working with these tech titans like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin?

4.) Shift obtained $14m in VC funding. How did James meet his investors? How was the fundraising experience for James? What were the surprises and challenging aspects?

5.) Shift was acquired by Brand Networks for $50m but what were James’ reasons for selling? Was there any clash between James and his investors when it came to the sale?

6.) What advice would James give to founders contemplating selling their business to larger acquirers?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’ Fave Book: John Adams by Dave McCullough

James’ Fave Apps: Snapchat, Business Insider and ProductHunt

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and James on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

20 VC 072: Super Angel, Fabrice Grinda: The Future Of Startup Investing

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Fabrice Grinda is among the world’s leading Internet entrepreneurs and investors with over $300 million in exits and 200 angel investments including the likes of Alibaba, LendingClub and BrightRoll. Fabrice is currently investing in startups and building companies through FJ Labs, which he cofounded with business partner Jose Marin. Fabrice is also co-founder and executive chairman of Beepi, a next generation used car marketplace which recently raised $60 million in series B funding.

Prior to FJ Labs and Beepi, Fabrice was co-founder and co-CEO of OLX, one of the largest websites in the world with over 200 million unique visitors per month.

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Submit Your Startup To Fabrice

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Fabrice make his entry into the world of investing?

2.) How important is it for investors to have entrepreneurial experience?

3.) What are the most common problems Fabrice’s portfolio companies face?

4.) What is Fabrice’s selection criteria for startups when investing and what determines the valuation of a startup?

5.) How does Fabrice respond to the allegation that he is a clone collector?

6.) With Fabrice’s $1m syndicate, does he believe syndicates have the potential to replace VC?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Fabrice’s Fave Book: What If by Randall Munroe, Think Like A Freak by Stephen Dubner

Fabrice’s Fave Newsletter: TechCrunch

Fabric’s Most Recent Investment: Flexport

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Fabrice on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow Harry on Instagram here!

 

 

20 VC 071: Pre-Seed Investing, Why Now Is The Best Time with Nicholas Chirls @ Notation Capital

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Nicholas Chirls is the Founder and Partner @ Notation Capital, one of New York’s genuine pre-seed funds investing in pre-growth startups with huge potential. Prior to Notation, Nichoas was Head of Investment at Betaworks, leading investments in companies such as Electric Objects, Estimote, URX, Namo Media (acquired by Twitter) and Grand St. (acquired by Etsy).

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If you would like to email Nick, his email is nick@notationcapital.com

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nick made his move into the venture industry?

2.) Who does Nick consider a mentor and thought leader in the VC industry?

3.) Why now is the best time to be a pre-seed fund in NYC?

4.) At the pre-seed stage what metrics does Notation focus on?

5.) How does Nicholas evaluate the valuation ecosystem?

6.) How does Nicholas handle deal sourcing? Where does he find startups to invest in?

7.) Does crowdfunding act as a competing finance method at the pre-seed stage?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Nick’s Fave Book: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Nick’s Fave Newsletter: Wait But Why

Nick Most Recent Investment: Zipdrug: Your Prescriptions Delivered on Demand

Best Meditation Apps: Headspace, Calm

 

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC, Nick and Notation on Twitter here!

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many mojito sessions, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

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