20 VC 040: The Required Qualities To Be A Great Founder with Scott Taylor, CEO @ miDrive

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Scott Taylor is the CEO @ miDrive, a startup focussed on reinventing the learner driving experience. Scott is also an advisor to leading London based VC firm EC1 Capital. If that wasn’t enough he is a mentor at Richard Branson’s Virgin Startup Program and an investor in Coupang and Mavrx. Prior to miDrive, he was Chief Product Officer at Livedrive, one of Europe’s leading cloud storage providers, assisting with its sale to j2 Global.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where it all began for Scott and how he made his move into technology and venture?

2.) Having founded several successful companies, what Scott believes the qualities required to be a good founder are?

3.) The hardest part for Scott in building companies and how he overcome them?

4.) What is Scott’s role at EC1, what is he looking for in companies at EC1 and how does that differ from his own angel investments?

5.) At Virgin Start Up, what is the process like to attain funding?

6.) What are Scott’s views on early stage funding? Does he agree with the friends and family round?

7.)What would you suggest to entrepreneurs looking to gain external capital?

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round. Where we hear Scott’s thoughts on:

Next 5 years for Scott? Asian tech market? Favourite book and why? Most recent investment and why he said yes?

You can follow Harry, Scott and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter

 

20 VC 039: How to Pitch a Top VC with Simon Menashy @ MMC Ventures

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Simon Menashy is Investment Director at MMC Ventures where he is responsible for leading new and follow on investments as well as supporting existing MMC portfolio companies. He also sits on the board for WeDo, Boticca and Sky Futures and works closely with a number of other B2B and B2C businesses including Growth Intelligence, Mubi, Small World, Somo.  Prior to MMC Simon worked in European tech and media consulting, working with clients including the BBC, Virgin Media, BT, Thompson Reuters and Ofcom as part of the Deloitte Strategy team in London

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Simon made his move from consulting into the world of VCs?

2.)Simon recently tweeted how not to pitch to VCs, so what should founders be doing when pitching? What are the fundamentals in terms of required documentation?

3.) Does Simon agree with Peter Thiel’s opinion that disruption is fundamentally bad for society? What industries does Simon feel will be next disrupted?

4.) With the increasing length of time it takes for venture backed companies to IPO, how does Simon feel the funding path is changing?

5.) How does Simon believe the tech eco system is going in London and what can be done to increase VC funding and engender a silicon valley esque feel to London?

Today’s episode finishes with a quick fire round where we hear Simon’s thoughts on the apple watch, what the biggest red flags are when viewing a pitch and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

You can follow Harry, Simon and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter.

 

 

20 VC 038: How To Make Connections with VCs and Maximise Employability with Angela Tran Kingyens @ Version One Ventures

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Angela Tran Kingyens is an associate at Version One Ventures, where Angela manages the day to day activities of the fund from identifying new startups to advising portfolio companies on product. Prior to Version One, Angela Co-Launched Insight Data Science, a Y Combinator backed startup, helping academics transition into a career in industry. In today’s episode, Angela describes the best ways to network with VCs, how you can increase employability instantly and the most effective ways to conduct market research!

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

mattermark Daily Newsletter

Dan Primack: TermSheet

Fred Wilson: AVC

Good To Great by Jim Collins

Headout: Your Best Local Friend in a New City

In Today’s Episode you will Learn:

1.) How Angela made the transition from a career in academia to a YC backed startup to a Palo Alto Venture Fund?

2.) What can individuals do to network effectively with VCs, even if they have no existing VC contacts?

3.) What advice Angela would give to someone looking to leave the academic path for a career in tech? How can they maximise employability?

4.) What should individuals look for when considering incubators? Do they increase the validity of a startup, from the Version One perspective?

5.) Version One specialise in Marketplaces. Why is that? Is it normal for VC funds to specialise? What Angela thinks the future of marketplaces will look like?

6.) How to identify where there are up and coming areas for disruption? What resources are most effective for this market research?

We then finish today’s episode with a lightning round where we hear Angela’s thoughts on what industry she would never invest in, whether Uber will be a $trillion company, how VCs measure their own success, Angela’s favourite business book and her most recent investment and why she said yes?

You can follow Harry, Angela and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here.

 

20 VC 037: How To Get a Job at a Startup, Startup Lessons and Brad Feld’s ‘Open Office Hours’ with Tak Lo, Director @ Techstars

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Tak Lo is Director at Techstars, helping entrepreneurs do more faster – on both sides of the Atlantic through Techstars London and Techstars NYC. Tak is also Founder at Travelst and Frontlyst. Prior to his road to entrepreneurship, Tak was a Consultant at Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton and was a specialist in the US ARMY. In today’s incredible episode Tak shares his lessons from his own startup experience, the required reading for all entrepreneurs and of course when thinking TechStars, how can we not discuss the man himself, Brad Feld, and how Tak has adopted Brad’s use of open office hours.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How and why Tak made the transition first from the army to a career in consulting and then what made Tak take the entrepreneurial route and start his own company?
  • Tak is renknowned for the amazing service and contribution he brings to every startup. What services does Tak bring and what does Tak feel all entrepreneurs and advisors must add?
  • Does Tak back singular founders, or does he prefer a founding team?
  • Tak is a Specialist on Leadership, for founders wanting to gain or develop their leadership skills, what can founders do, read or learn to further their leadership skills?
  • For individuals contemplating moving into the tech world, how do they know which is the right job? Are there any immediate aspects they must look for or be wary of?
  • What are the biggest misconceptions of the tech industry?
  • How can people find out about networking events
  • What sector Tak believes is the next to be disrupted and why?
  • What is the premise behind Brad Feld’s ‘Open Office Hours’? Why has Tak decided to adopt this tactic? What does Tak hope to gain from it? How is it going so far?

We then finish today’s episode with a lightning round, hearing Tak’s thoughts on the greatest leader and why, the future of the asian tech market, his favourite book and why and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

Follow Harry, Tak, The Twenty Minute VC

20 VC 036: The Pitching Process: From Email to Term Sheet with Stephan von Perger @ Wellington Partners

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Stephan von Perger is an Early Stage VC at Wellington Partners where his primary role is identifying investment opportunities and building lasting relationships with the entrepreneurs behind these companies. Stephan started his career at McKinsey before moving to Stylistpick.com as Head of Operations, he then progressed to setup and run the business operations at CityMapper.com. In today’s interview Stephan walks us through the pitching process from the first email to signing the term sheet!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How and why Stephan made his move from the world of startups to the venture industry?
  • What are the right reasons for a founder to enter a round of venture funding?
  • How should founders go about meeting and connecting with VCs? What can founders actively do to position themselves well and how should founders phrase their emails and communication?
  • Are there any aspects or buzzwords in emails which instantly make VCs interested?
  • What documentation is required for the initial meeting? Is there anything founders must bring?
  • How can founders make the most out of their meeting with VCs? Are there any questions founders should ask? How should founders respond to a question they do not know the answer to?
  • What happens if a VC says they will contact you but a week later the founder has heard nothing? What should the founder do?

We then finish todays episode with a quick fire round where we hear Stephan’s thoughts on which pitch or communication has impressed him the most, what single thing Stephan most looks for in founders and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

20 VC 035: The Ultimate Marketing Guide for Startups with Jay Acunzo, VP of Platform @ NextView Ventures

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Jay Acunzo is NextView Ventures VP of Platform and runs the View from Seed blog. At NextView, he leads the creation of business development and educational resources for startups, from board deck templates to mobile workshops to the popular Hitchhiker’s Guide to Boston Tech (bostontechguide.com). Prior to NextView, Jay led content marketing and production teams at HubSpot (IPO) and Dailybreak Media (acquired). A former sports journalist, he began his career in tech at Google. As a result of Jay’s tremendous success Jay has been named Top 10 B2B Marketer in Boston, 70 Rising Social Media Stars and 100 Most Influential Content Marketers.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

 

In Today’s Episode you will Learn:

  • How Jay made his move into the world of tech with Google and how he then transitioned into the world of venture with NextView?
  • What does VP of Platform really entail? Why has it become an emerging trend in the venture industry?
  • How is the structure of VCs firms changing, with the likes of a16z moving to a much more service orientated venture fund.
  • Are there any individuals or sections of society that should or should not be blogging?
  • How can individuals drive traffic to their blog and what tactics Jay uses to get visitors to his blog?
  • What Jay would suggest to business and startup founders thinking about whether to start blogging?
  • What is the best platform to market your content or startup? Is Twitter really an effective marketing tool? How can individuals and businesses increase engagement on Twitter? What not to do on Twitter?

We then finish today’s episode with a lightning round where we hear Jay’s thoughts on the best and worst aspects as VP of Platform, his best resource for content marketing, his favourite book and why.

 

20 VC 034: 250 Investments, AngelList Syndicates and Microsoft with Jon Staenberg

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Jon Staenberg is one of the most experienced venture capitalists in the Pacific Northwest, having made over 250 startup investments and having raised two funds totaling over $100 million. Jon’s investments include the likes of AngelList, StubHub, SAPHO, KitchenBowl (through AngelList syndicates) and many more. If that wasn’t enough Jon sits on the boards of Class.com, Micropath and even owns his own vineyard! Previously, Jon worked in the marketing area at Microsoft for six years and is a Stanford alum!

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jon started off in the tech industry and then made his move into venture?

2.) Having established 5 companies, what was the hardest element of the process and how did Jon overcome it?

3.) Having invested in over 250 startups what is Jon’s investment strategy? What is Jon looking for in startups?

4.) Once invested in a startup, what is Jon’s role and what services can VCs bring to a startup?

5.) Whether Jon feels AngelList syndicates are going to change the funding environment? Does it present a challenge to the more traditional VC model?

We then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Jon describe the highlight of his glittering career, the biggest tip Jon would give to an aspiring entrepreneur and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

 

 

20 VC 033: The Pros and Cons of Venture Capital, Atomico and What VCs Really Mean When They Say Interesting with Chris Dark, President @ C2FO

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Quote of the Day: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” John F. Kennedy

Chris Dark is President International at C2FO, the Union Square Ventures backed company is the priceline for working capital where companies ‘name their own price’. Prior to C2FO, Chris was VP at Atomico, the London based venture fund founded by Nicklas Zennstorm. At Atomico, Chris was on the boards of Chemist Direct, Fab, Hailo, Quipper, Wrapp, Knewton, Bebestore, and Gengo. If that wasn’t enough Chris has also held roles at AOL, Bain & Co and started his own company GameReplays.org, an early esports community, which Chris built to 1 million uniques per month!

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show

 

In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

  • Where it all began for Chris and how he made his move into venture?
  • What skills Chris learnt from founding his company and how he applied them to the venture industry?
  • What were the hardest aspects of building Chris’ company and how did he overcome them?
  • What are the best reasons to want to join the venture industry?
  • What made Chris leave his VP role at Atomico to rejoin the entrepreneurial game with C2FO?
  • Having both invested in startups and raised funds as a startup, what tips would Chris give to founders potentially entering a round of funding?
  • How does Chris feel the tech eco system in London is developing and what Chris believes can be done to further improve it?

We finish today’s show with a lightning round where we hear Chris’ thoughts on whether university is necessary or not, the next 5 years for him and his most recent investment and why he said yes?