20VC: Raising $24m From The Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, Why EdTech Is So Misunderstood & Why The Future Of Work Is Decentralised with Andela’s Jeremy Johnson

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Jeremy Johnson is the Founder & CEO @ Andela, the startup that aims to bring a scientific approach to building engineering teams. They have backing from some of the best investors in the world with the likes of the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative, Spark Capital, Google Ventures and our friends at Susa Ventures just to name a few. As for Jeremy, prior to founding Andela, Jeremy co-founded 2U, one of the fastest-growing education technology startups in history. 2U went public in 2014 (NASDAQ:TWOU) and continues to transform higher education. Jeremy has spoken on education and entrepreneurship at meetings hosted by the White house and Congress and was named “30 Under 30” by Inc. Magazine in 2012 and Forbes in 2013 and 2014.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeremy made his entry into startups and came to found Andela?

2.) Question from Paige Craig: How did the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative deal come about? What has been the effect of taking that round for the company and for you as the founder?

3.) How does Jeremy view the contrast between being CEO and being founder? What does he believe makes a truly great CEO?

4.) Andela is an intensely operational and logistics based business, how did Jeremy learn to handle this? What were the fundamental challenges?

5.) How does Jeremy view the future wof work? Why does Jeremy believe the future can only be in decentralised work forces?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeremy’s Fave Book: The Power of One

Jeremy’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Social Snippets, Charles Hudson @ Precursor

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

 

 

20VC: Why Venture Is A Service Product? Why There Is No Such Thing As Product Market Fit & Why Startups Need To Be More Design Orientated with Ben Blumenfeld, Co-Founder & General Partner @ Designer Fund

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Ben Blumenfeld is the Co-Founder & General Partner @ Designer Fund, they invest in startups co-founded by designers and build and educate design teams through their program, Bridge. Designer Fund’s portfolio includes the likes of Gusto, Stripe, Shyp, Operator and many more incredible companies. As for Ben, previously Ben was a design lead at Facebook for over 5 years where he helped build products for nearly a billion people and grow Facebook’s world-class design team. He was also the design director at Varien which he helped build into one of the world’s leading e-commerce firms.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ben made the move from designer to General Partner @ Designer Fund?

2.) How does Ben’s design background inform how he invests in companies and then supports them post-investment? How does he evaluate design opportunities from the design perspective?

3.) Why now has design become such a competitive advantage in tech? What has changed? What are the fundamentals of beautifully designed products today?

4.) How does Ben believe the current crop of VCs view design? What do they not understand? What should they look to understand? Will we see a new class of design-centric VCs?

5.) From seeing the likes of Facebook, Medium and Asana scale deign teams, what have been the takeaways to effectively scaling design teams with the growth of an organisation? What is required for this to be successful?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Book: The Power of One

Ben’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Social Snippets, Charles Hudson @ Precursor

Ben’s Most Recent Investment: Hustle

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: Pejman Nozad: Tech’s Most Unlikely VC: From Yoghurt Shop To Investing In Startups Now Worth $20Bn+

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Pejman Nozad is the Founding Managing Partner @ Pear.vc, one of the leading seed stage funds in the valley. However, Pejman did not enter the tech industry like most venture capitalists. Having immigrated from Iran, he lived in an attic above a yogurt shop and took a job at a rug store in the Valley. But he immersed himself in what was happening in technology. Slowly, with a few small investments, he developed a reputation for identifying talent and helping take promising ideas to the next level. From next to nothing, he built a $20B portfolio, investing in over 100 startups and seeding several multi-billion dollar companies such as Dropbox, Lending Club, SoundHound and Gusto.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Pejman made his way from football in Iran to rug dealer in Palo Alto to leading seed stage VC?

2.) Mike Moritz has previously said that ‘a call from Pejman is a call he will always take’. What led Mike to say this? What makes Pejman the brilliant networker and community builder that he is?

3.) How does Pejman assess early stage founders and teams? From seeing an early Andy Rubin, what did Pejman take from that as to what makes the best founders?

4.) Pejman invested $400K in Andy Rubin’s Danger which exited 8 years later for $500m yet Pejman only 2x his money. What did he take from this? What have been the other major learning inflection points for Pejman in the journey?

5.) From working alongside some of the best investors of our generation, what does Pejman perceive to be the commonalities of the best investors? How do they operate? How do they evaluate early stage opportunities?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Pejman’s Fave Book: Power of Now

Pejman’s Most Recent Investment: Senti Biosciences

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: Why Founders Should Not Focus On Top Line Valuation, Why Capital Efficiency Is Key To Returns And Investment Success & Why Despite Popular Thought, $100m Is An Exciting Exit For VC with Micah Rosenbloom, Managing Partner @ Founder Collective

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Micah Rosenbloom is Managing Partner @ Founder Collective, one of the leading seed funds in the world with investments in Uber, Buzzfeed, Makerbot, PillPack, Coupang and Cruise, just to name a few. As for Micah, prior to VC with Founder Collective, his career was varied starting as a Hollywood agent before becoming a serial entrepreneur founding 3 companies with the last, a successful exit alongside his now Partner Eric Paley with Brontes Technology. Micah also is a Board Member with Sequoia Funded Dia and Co and board observer with both MoveWith and Sense360.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Micah made the move from Hollywood agent to leading seed stage VC?

2.) Why does Micah believe it is wrong to have themes to invest against? Why does he believe that the most interesting businesses can be found in weird and wonderful places?

3.) Why does Micah believe it is a problem for founders to focus exclusively on top line valuation? Why does Micah disagree with the common notion that a $100m exit is not exciting for VC?

4.) Why does Micah believe it is wrong for founders to build their company for the next round? Why does Micah disagree with Jason Lemkin in stating, ‘the best investors know the benchmarks clearly for the next round’.

5.) How does Micah deal with the fire hose of activities inherent within venture? How does he prioritise those activities? What thesis does he base all his decisions around?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Micah’s Fave Book: Thinking Fast and Slow

Micah’s Most Recent Investment: Skysafe

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: Why We Are Valuation & Ownership Insensitive, Why We Do Not Take Board Seats & The Effects Of The Series A Crunch with Topher Conway, Co-Managing Partner @ SV Angel

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Topher Conway is a Co-Managing Partner of SV Angel, one of Silicon Valley’s leading seed funds with investments in the likes of Facebook, AirBnB, Twitter, Dropbox and many more. At SV Angel, Topher works particularly close with Gusto, Github, Lookout and many more incredible companies. He was included in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2015. Prior to SV Angel, he worked at EQAL, Inc. At EQAL, he worked with the Business Development and Sales teams and lead efforts in creating new business opportunities. Prior to EQAL, he held positions at eCost and a 2004 summer internship in Google’s Direct Sales Organization. He is also a member of the UCLA VC Fund, helping foster entrepreneurship at the University.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Topher made his way into the wonderful world of VC and came to be Managing Partner @ SV Angel?

2.) How has the rise of the pre-seed market affected Topher’s access to deals? How has Topher reacted to the creation of this new market segment with their new fund size?

3.) How does Topher evaluate grit within founders? Do Topher and SV prefer serial or first-time founders? How does Topher and SV approach startup pivots? Where is the line between stubbornness and vision?

4.) To what extent does Topher focus on valuation and ownership? Why does he believe that it is not important at this stage? What is his determinant to see whether it will be a problem?

5.) To what extent has Topher witnessed the Series A Crunch? Where does he see gaps in the investment landscape? Why does Topher not have a problem with bridge rounds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Topher’s Fave Book: The Score Takes Care Of Itself

Topher’s Most Recent Investment: BetterUp

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: How Startups & VCs Can Build Relationships with Potential Corporate Acquirers? The Challenge Of Operating Both A B2B & B2C Business Model & Why Fundraising Is The One Element Founders Cannot Control with Gautam Gupta, Founder & CEO @ NatureBox

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Gautam Gupta is the Co-Founder and CEO of NatureBox, the startup allows consumers to discover new & healthy foods through a monthly subscription service. They have raised over $50m in VC funding from the likes of General Catalyst, Redpoint, SoftBank and many more. Prior to launching NatureBox, Gautam was a Principal at General Catalyst Partners. While at General Catalyst, he sourced and was actively involved with the firm’s investments in GoodData, Bigcommerce, Honest Company and many more. Gautam joined General Catalyst from Procter and Gamble, where he analyzed brand strategy and consumer preferences in the Consumer Market Knowledge group.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Gautam made the way from VC with General Catalyst to Founder of NatureBox?

2.) How does Gautam view the career VC we see often today? Does Gautam believe you need operating experience to be a good investor? How can investors without operating experience, build empathy for their founders?

3.) Why did Gautam choose to pursue both a B2B and B2C go to market strategy? How do the 2 models differ? What are the challenges and benefits to running both simultaneously?

4.) How does Gautam evaluate the rise of consumer subscription models? Following Jet and Dollar Shave, will we see further acquisitions from large CPG’s?

5.) Why have we seen such a rise in investor appetite for food startups? What is it about the market that is so attractive? What elements will see the most disruption? Does it concern Gautam to see traditional tech investors moving into waters they are unfamiliar with?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Gautam’s Fave Book: Shoe Dog

Gautam’s Fave Blog: Recode, TechCrunch

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: The Radical Changes In Public Market Expectations, The Right Way To Assess Valuation & What It Means To Be A Disciplined & Diligent Investor with Randy Glein, Partner @ DFJ Growth

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Randy Glein is a Co-Founder & Partner @ DFJ Growth where he looks to partner with entrepreneurs that have achieved market validation and are looking to scale rapidly. Randy’s investments include the likes of Twitter, Tumblr, SpaceX and Tesla just to name a few. Prior to DFJ, Randy was CFO @ Feedburner (acq by Google), a business development executive at DIRECTV. Randy was also named to the Forbes Midas List in 2013, 2014, and 2015 as one of the world’s top tech investors and to the New York Times / CB Insights list of top 100 venture capital investors in 2016.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Randy made his way into VC and came to found DFJ growth?

2.) What does it mean to be a diligent and disciplined investor? How can a futuristic mindset be balanced with an analytical and academic approach to evaluation and due diligence?

3.) How does Randy evaluate invest time horizons? How important is it to push for liquidity events as soon as possible? What is it that LPs really want to see?

4.) How have we seen public market expectations of tech companies change over the last 10 years? What are public market investors willing to give up in exchange for predictability? What are the benefits of tech companies staying private longer?

5.) What are the metrics that suggest a company with market validation and ready to scale into hyper-growth? What are the required levels of revenue and ARR?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Randy’s Fave Book: Being Digital

Randy’s Fave Blog: Brad Feld, Fred Wilson

Randy’s Most Recent Investment: Unity 3D

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: What Does It Take To Gain A Late Stage Cheque Today? The Fundamental Mistakes CEOs Make In The Scaling Process & The Importance Of Building The Next S Curve For Founders with Jules Maltz, General Partner @ IVP

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Jules Maltz is a General Partner @ IVP where he has made investments in the likes of Slack, Zendesk, Twitter, Zenefits and many more incredible companies. Prior to IVP, Jules held roles at the likes of 3i, Admob and Bank of America. Jules has also been named to The Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors and been featured in the likes of Inc and Fast Company.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jules made his way into the wonderful world of VC and came to be a GP @ IVP?

2.) What have been the major trends Jules has seen in the latest stage market over the last few years? How have these changed the sourcing and investment decision-making process for Jules?

3.) What does a company need to show and prove to get a larger late-stage cheque in today’s funding environment? What does this mean for unit economics?

4.) What are the fundamental mistakes CEOs make in these scaling stages? What is the right time to scale rapidly? What does product market fit look like to Jules and the IVP team?

5.) Jules has previously stated the importance of the S curve and building the next S curve. What does he mean by this? How does it affect his evaluation of companies?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jules’ Fave Book: All The Light You Cannot See

Jules’ Fave Blog or Newsletter: Hooked by Nir Eyal

Jules’ Most Recent Investment: Checkr

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: Why I Do Not Regret Taking ‘Peter Thiel Money’, What Is The Difference Between Leadership & Management & What Conversations Are For The Founding Team Only with Tim Junio, Founder & CEO @ Qadium

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Tim Junio is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Qadium, the startup that creates and organizes knowledge about the world’s devices. They are backed by some of the best in the business including the likes of Founders Fund (Peter Thiel), NEA (Scott Sandell) and our good friends at Susa Ventures. Prior to Qadium, Tim started his career at the Central Intelligence Agency, and also worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the RAND Corporation, and DARPA. Tim remains a research affiliate at Stanford, where he lectures and advises students on cybersecurity research topics.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Tim made his way from the world of the CIA to founding venture backed, Qadium?

2.) How does Tim view his role as CEO? Why does he view leadership and management as 2 different things?

3.) How does Tim view transparency as a leader? What are the conversations that must only be for the founding team? How are those decisions managed and discussed?

4.) Considering Peter Thiel’s recent press coverage how does Tim feel about taking ‘Thiel Money’? Why does he think Thiel is one of the most interesting and brilliant minds? What are the challenges for Silicon Valley in eschewing the world of politics for the next 4 years?

5.) What does Tim see as the worst of Silicon Valley? What are the benefits to many ‘shallow apps’ not getting funded? How does this affect startup economics and hiring programmes?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Tim’s Fave Book: Snowcrash

Tim’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Bruce Schneier  

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: The Fundamentals To Creating A Successful Venture Partnership & The Optimal Investment Decision Making Process with Ryan McIntyre, Co-Founder @ Foundry Group

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Ryan McIntyre is a Co-Founder @ Foundry Group, one of the leading VC funds of the last decade with investments in the likes of Fitbit, SendGrid and Makerbot. Prior to Foundry, Ryan started his career in VC at Mobius Venture Capital in January 2000.  While at Mobius Venture Capital, Ryan led the firm’s investments in Postini (acq. GOOG) and Sling Media (acq. DISH). Prior to Mobius, Ryan co-founded Excite in 1993, which went public in 1996 and later became Excite@Home following the $6.7 billion merger of Excite and @Home in 1999. At the time this acquisition was the largest internet transaction to date and created a company that achieved peak revenues of $616 million in 2000.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ryan made his way into the wonderful world of VC and came to co-found Foundry?

2.) At what moment did Ryan realise that he wanted to be a VC rather than his previous life of an entrepreneur? What was the catalyst moment for Ryan?

3.) What does the investment decision making process look like @ Foundry Group? What are the benefits and challenges of implementing such a model?

4.) What are the fundamentals to creating a successful venture partnership? How important is differing skill sets and contrarian thinking?

5.) What makes the great board members to Ryan? How has Ryan seen his style of being a board member alter over the time he has been on boards?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ryan’s Fave Book: Dune by Frank Herbert

Investment Ryan Is Most Excited By: Sendgrid

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: How 50% Of VCs Hurt Entrepreneurs, How To Build A Relationship Of Trust With Your VC and How Entrepreneurs Can Detect VC BS with Jason Mendelson, Co-Founder @ Foundry Group

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Jason Mendelson is Co-Founder @ Foundry Group, one of the leading VC funds of the past decade with investments in the likes of Fitbit, SendGrid and Makerbot just to name a few. Prior to Foundry Jason co-founded SRS Acquiom, the largest merger and acquisition closing platform that completed over $200Bn in merger transactions. Prior to co-founding SRS, Jason was a Managing Director and General Counsel for Mobius Venture Capital, where he also acted as its chief administrative partner overseeing all operations of the firm. If this was not enough Jason is also the Co-Author, alongside Brad Feld, of the best-selling book, Venture Deals: How To Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer, a must read for all.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jason made his way into the wonderful world of VC having been a lawyer?

2.) Why does Jason believe there is too much BS in VC? What does Jason think causes this opaqueness? How does he look to build a relationship of trust and clarity with his entrepreneurs?

3.) How has the rise of social media affected the transparency and BS element in VC and startups? How can entrepreneurs know when a VC is lying to them? What are the tells?

4.) Jason has previously said that some VC behaviour is ‘rather narcissistic’. What does he mean by this? How would he like to see this change in the future?

5.) How does Jason look to optimise board meetings? What are the expectations of both founders and VCs prior to board meetings when it comes to preparation?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jason’s Fave Book: Atlas Shrugged

Jason’s Most Recent Investment: Borrowed and Blue

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Intercom is the first to bring messaging products for marketing and customer support together on one integrated platform. With Intercom, businesses can chat directly with prospective customers on their website, engage current users with targeted messages based on their behavior, and provide personal support at scale with an integrated help desk and knowledge base. This is perfect for Businesses that want to help people visiting their website become customers. Marketing and growth teams that want to onboard and retain users by sending the right messages at the right time and Support teams that want to move beyond email to provide personalized, scalable support so simply head over to Intercom.com/20MVC

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: Why You Should Build Your Investor Team Like A Sports Team & How To Leverage The Abilities Of Your Investors Effectively with Ted Blosser, Founder & CEO @ WorkRamp

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Ted Blosser is the founder and CEO of WorkRamp, the startup that is transforming how the best companies like PayPal, Twilio, and Optimizely train and develop their employees. They are backed by top investors like Initialized Capital, Susa Ventures, Liquid2, and Slack, in addition to prominent angels like Elad Gil, Adrian Aoun, Semil Shah, and Charlie Songhurst. As for Ted, he is a Y Combinator Alumni and was an early employee at the enterprise powerhouse, Box.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ted made the move from early employee at Box to founding WorkRamp?

2.) What were the big takeaways for Ted from seeing the rocketship growth of Box? How has he applied them to starting WorkRamp?

3.) Ted has previously said, ‘you should build your investor team like a sports team’. What does Ted mean by this? How did this affect what he looked for in his investors? What does Ted advise other founders when it comes to VC selection?

4.) How does Ted view the short term and the long term value add of investors? How does Ted look to leverage their abilities and connections and get the most out of having them on board?

5.) Taking a step back, many VCs want product market fit, how does Ted assess product market fit? What have been his learnings from YC that shape his attitude to PMF?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ted’s Fave Book: The Last Lecture

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Preparing For The Next Big Trend, Why Conversational Will Be The Next Big Thing & How Entrepreneurs Should View Market Size with Sarah Guo @ Greylock Partners

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Sarah Guo is an investor @ Greylock Partners, which she joined in 2013. Prior to Greylock, Sarah was at Goldman Sachs, where she invested in Dropbox and helped take Workday public. She advised pre-IPO private technology companies (as well as public clients including Zynga, Netflix and Nvidia) on strategic and financial issues. Previously, Sarah worked with Casa Systems, a venture-funded startup that enables cable operators to meet growing demand for broadband services. She is an advocate for STEM education for women and the underserved, as well as education more generally.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sarah made her way into VC with Greylock Partners?

2.) Question from Josh Elman: What were Sarah’s biggest learnings from taking key companies public with GS in 2011? Why is narrative so important? Who has done it well?

3.) How does Sarah view market size and market creation? What is a big enough market size to be attractive? How does this change with time and product?

4.) How does Sarah view the next fundamental platform shift? Where does conversational fit into this thesis? Will we see ‘machine learning as a service’?

5.) What does the future of VC look like? What does the next generation of VC need to do to stay on top and ensure pattern matching algorithms do not outperform them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sarah’s Fave Book: The Most Human Human

Sarah’s Most Recent Investment: Rhumbix

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Greylock’s John Lilly on How Greylock Continues To Invest In The Next Big Markets, The Importance Of Building Tribes & Why There will Be Another Boom In Mobile

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John Lilly is a Partner at Greylock Partners, one of the world’s leading venture funds of the past decade. At Greylock John has led investments in the likes of Instagram (acq by Facebook), Tumblr (acq by Yahoo) and Dropbox. John also sits on the board for Quip, Figma and ClearSlide just to name a few. Prior to Greylock, John was CEO of Mozilla, the organization behind Firefox, used by more than 450 million people. John also co-founded Reactivity, an enterprise security infrastructure company acquired by Cisco in 2007, where he served as founding CEO and later CTO.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How John made his way into the wonderful world of VC following his time as CEO @ Mozilla?

2.) John has invested in the likes of Quip, Figma and Dropbox, so why are we seeing such a rise in productivity tools beyond Office and Google Apps? Will it always be a market of consolidation like we have seen with the likes of Quip?

3.) Does John believe the first boom of mobile is over? What about sensors makes John excited for the future of the phone? Does John agree with Ben Evans in viewing the phone as the sun of the solar system?

4.) Question from Sarah Guo: How does Greylock to continue to invest in the next big markets, rather than in what has made them successful before? What does the brainstorming sessions and meta-thinking look like internally?

5.) Question from Josh Elman: How does John view growing one’s tribe and then growing together through all of your careers? What are the challenges and what is required in order to be successful?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

John’s Fave Book: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Biggest Takeaways From Working With Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston, Why You Should Put Off Hiring For As Long As Possible & Why Seed Stage Investing Is All About Optimising The Top Of The Funnel with Harj Taggar, Founder & CEO @ Triplebyte

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Harj Taggar is the Founder & CEO @ Triplebyte, the startup that is changing the world of engineering recruitment by building a new kind of interview that evaluates tech skills, not credentials. They have raised from some of our favourite seed investors and all past guests on the show including Felicis Ventures, SV Angel and Initialized Capital. As for Harj, prior to Triplebyte, he was the first partner brought in at Y Combinator since its founding, where he remained as a Partner for 4 years. Before that he was a YC founder, co-founding Auctomatic which was acquired by Livecurrent Media.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Harj made his way from the UK to YC’s first Partner to now founding Triplebyte?

2.) Question from Garry Tan: What was the most surprising thing when Harj first became a Partner @ YC? What were Harj’s biggest learnings from working with Paul Graham and Jessica Livingstone in the early days?

3.) Remaining in those very early stages, from Harj’s experience seeing so many companies pass through YC, what do startups look like at those very early stages? How does Harj recommend finding co-founders? Test and iterate on ideas? Work towards product market fit? What does product market fit look like to Harj?

4.) How should we approach hiring as an early stage startup? What are the signs of great hires? What does the optimal interview process look like? How can we optimize the on boarding process?

5.) What should founders look for in VCs and vice versa? What were Harj’s learnings on how to be a great seed stage investor from his time with Garry & Alexis @ Initialized??

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Harj’s Fave Book: Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: How To Test The Strength Of Co-Founder Relations, The Dangers Of Raising A Large Series A & Why The Biggest Challenge For Consumer Companies Is Finding The Second Big Hit with Rishi Garg, Partner @ Mayfield Fund

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Rishi Garg is a General Partner @ Mayfield Fund, where he focuses on new media platforms, disruptive financial services and new marketplaces. Prior to joining Mayfield, Rishi was as Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Twitter where he led the company’s most active M&A program, including the acquisitions of Periscope, TellApart, TapCommerce, and many others. Prior to Twitter, Rishi was the first Head of Corporate Development at Square. Rishi was also the Founder of a leading venture-backed startup, FanSnap and has also held roles at Google, Highland Capital Partners and Morgan Stanley.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rishi made his way into VC following time at Twitter and Square?

2.) How does Rishi look to analyse the state of co-founder relationships? What questions get to the core issues? What are the signs that encourage and worry Rishi?

3.) To what extent does a co-founder leaving the company concern Rishi? In what circumstance is this understandable? How should this process be played out?

4.) How much of a role should VCs play post-investment in the relationship of the founders? What are the dangers of this? How should VCs balance helpful and over involved?

5.) Why is Rishi anti the rise of the very large Series? What are the inherent dangers of this? How does he convey this concern to founders?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rishi’s Fave Book: The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying, Malcolm X

Rishi’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Wait But Why

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Why We Will See A Big Series B Crunch? Why Proprietary Data Pools & AI Talent Will Be The New Limited Natural Resources? Why Now Is The Closest Thing To A New Normal with Tim Chang, Managing Director @ Mayfield Fund

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Tim Chang is a Managing Director @ Mayfield Fund and Tim was referred to me by many other VCs as ‘the fittest man in silicon Valley’, notable tech publications even write it. His eclecticness does not stop there as he is also a musician in 3 bands and a serious body hacker. As for his investments, he has had AdChina (acquired by Alibaba), Playdom (acquired by Disney) and Basis (acquired by Intel) just to name a few. Prior to Mayfield, he spent time at notable institutions including General Motors and Norwest Venture Partners. It is not only us that appreciate Tim’s skills though as he has also been named to ‘Top 100 Innovators’ on Forbes Midas List for 2 years running.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Tim made his way into the wonderful world of VC following Stanford Business School?

2.) How did Tim’s perspective of starting VC around 9/11 shape his perspective coming into the industry? Why does Tim believe you need to see multiple cycles to be a good VC?

3.) Where are theWhy does Tim believe that startups need to be better capitalised than they currently are in the early days? Why does Tim argue for the existence of the Series B Crunch?

4.) How does Tim view the creation of a business model for machine learning? What are the 2 elements that founders need to consider before deciding in a pricing mechanism?

5.) How does Tim evaluate machine learning startups today in the plethora that have been created over the last few years? How does Tim determine true machine learning talent?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Tim’s Fave Book: Nexus 

Tim’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Wait But Why

Tim’s Most Recent Investment: Next Entertainment

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Building An AI Company For The Long Term? How Humans & Machine Learning Can Work Together? What Applications Are The Conversational Interface Best Suited To with Maran Nelson, Founder & CEO @ Clara Labs

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Maran Nelson is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Clara Labs, the truly human interface that uses conversational intelligence trained on high-quality data to schedule your meetings. They have secured funding from some of the best in the business including previous guest Kent Goldman @ Upside Partnership and Greg Brockman, Founder of the prestigious OpenAI. As for Maran, she is also the Founder of Interact, a community of 100 young makers and technologists coming together for an annual retreat in Tahoe.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Maran come to found one of the hottest AI startups of the day in Clara Labs?

2.) What is the right way to think about a digital assistant? How does Maran think consumer expectations and behaviours will change towards them in the coming years?

3.) Question from Shivon @ Bloomberg Beta: How does Maran think about building an AI company for the long term? How does Clara look to build scalable and transparent feedback loops?

4.) Why is Maran so bullish on the conversational interface? To what situation does this interface lend best? What other verticals and applications could this have in the future?

5.) Does Maran think that humans will always be needed in this process? At what stage will they become obsolete?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Maran’s Fave Book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Why You Should Not Invest From Patterns, Why No Good Business Was Built As An Analogy Of Another & Why The Rise Of The ‘Celebrity Investor’ Is Concerning with Emily Melton, Partner @ DFJ

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Emily Melton is partner at DFJ, where she focuses on consumer and mobile technology, as well as healthcare technologies and marketplaces. Emily has made investments in the likes of BetterUp, Elation Health, Livongo, Redfin, Shift, and Wellframe. Early in Emily’s career, she sourced investments in Box (NYSE: BOX), Meebo (Google), Kudo (Google), RichRelevance, and Flux (MTV Networks). She was also an advisor to Pulse Network (LinkedIn), Healthtap, and Poshmark.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Emily made her way into the wonderful world of VC following her meeting with Tim Draper?

2.) How does Emily view the importance of pattern recognition? Why does Emily believe that you should not invest from patterns? What is the difference between a pattern and an investing fad?

3.) Why does Emily hate analogies? Why does she believe it is simplistic thinking? How can this be mitigated for startup founders in describing their company?

4.) How does Emily view the portfolio approach to risk in venture? What questions need to be asked to determine the potential outcome of the business?

5.) Why does Emily get concerned by the rise of the ‘celebrity investor’? How can investors build their brand in the proliferated world of early stage startup investing?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Emily’s Fave Book: Mindset by Carol Dweck, A Theory of Justice by John Rawls

Emily’s Most Recent Investment: BetterUp

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: DFJ’s Josh Stein on Why VCs Must Adapt To Their Founders, The Major Transition Points For Aaron Levie @ Box & Why SaaS Startups Are Growing At A Rate Never Seen Before

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Josh Stein is Partner @ DFJ where his current board responsibilities include Box (NYSE: BOX), Chartbeat, LaunchDarkly, LendKey, SugarCRM, and previous guests with me on SaaStr in Periscope and Talkdesk. He is also actively involved with the firm’s investments in AngelList, Doximity and Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) just to name a few. Prior to joining DFJ, Josh was a VP at Telephia, where he managed a group providing strategic analysis and information to the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Previously, Josh was a co-founder for ViaFone (NYSE: SY), a DFJ portfolio company and a leading provider of wireless enterprise applications. Josh met the DFJ team when the firm co-led ViaFone’s Series A investment.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh made his way from the world of operations to Partner @ DFJ?

2.) How does Josh analyze the VC/ Founder fit? How does Josh look to build trust and transparency in that relationship? What is an example of how Josh has changed his style to fit the character of an entrepreneur?

3.) Question from Greg Sands: What did Josh see in the early days of Box with a young Aaron Levie, what was it that made him so excited?

4.) Question from Mamoon Hamid @ Social Capital: Looking at Box today, what will it take for Box to 10x their value? What needs to happen in the market? What needs to happen to the product roadmap?

5.) Question from Jason Lemkin @ SaaStr: How is it that we are seeing companies like TalkDesk and Twilio grow at a rate never seen before in today’s SaaS environment?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Josh’s Fave Blog: TermSheet

Josh’s Fave Book: Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success

Josh’s Most Recent Investment: LaunchDarkly

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Henry Ward

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Henry Ward is the Founder & CEO @ eShares, the No 1 cap table management platform providing equity management, 409A valuations and liquidity all in one place. They are backed by leading investors and past guests including USV, SV Angel, Spark Capital, Semil Shah, Manu Kumar, Tim Draper and Kamal Ravikant, just to name a few. Prior to eShares, Henry was Founder @ SecondSight, the first registered investment advisor to go direct to your brokerage and improve your portfolio.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Henry made his way into the world of startups and came to found eShares?

2.) How does Henry challenge the notion that investors should have such high fail rates? How does Henry believe investors can build a strong and sustainable portfolio without home runs?

3.) Why does Henry believe that investors will never accept market risk? How much of a role does Henry believe herd mentality plays in the VC ecosystem?

4.) How does Henry view the increasing exit horizons for startups? Is this a problem? How can we create liquidity options pre large exits?

5.) How does Henry view the role of regulation in private markets? How does this differ to public markets? What would Henry like to see change in the VC ecosystem?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Henry’s Fave Blog: Hacker News

Henry’s Fave Book: The Essays Of Warren Buffett

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

20VC: Evernote’s Phil Libin on The Pros and Cons Of Moving To VC, The Future For Bots & Having Marc Benioff & Reid Hoffman As Mentors

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Phil Libin is Managing Director @ General Catalyst and Founder and Executive Chairman @ Evernote. At Evernote, Phil took the company from idea generation to productivity powerhouse allowing millions of users around the world to remember everything and in the meantime, providing Evernote with over $160m in VC funding from some of the very best including Sequoia Capital. Now in the world of VC, Phil has a particularly fondness towards all things bots, a theme we discuss heavily today. Phil has also made several angel investments in the likes of Gusto, TellApart and Binary Thumb just to name a few.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Phil made his way from Founder @ Evernote to Managing Director @ General Catalyst?

2.) Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director @ General Catalyst asks: What were your biggest takeaways from your time with Evernote that lend to you being a better investor? What are the biggest surprises about the move into VC?

3.) Why have we seen an explosion of hype and excitement around the bot space over the past year? What was the catalyst for the rise of the bot?

4.) Why are we not there yet with bots? Should all be conversational? How does the infancy of messaging platforms affect the rise of bots? What unsolved technical challenges remain?

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Phil’s Fave Blog: The Economist

Phil’s Fave Book: The Three Body Problem

Phil’s Most Recent Investment: Sunflower Labs

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Simba Hybrid. The most advanced mattress in the world. With a unique combination of two thousand five hundred conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam, it offers the perfect support for two people. A mattress that responds to you and your partner’s sleeping patterns. Delivered free, with a one hundred night sleep trial, free returns and a ten year guarantee. Start your free trial at simbasleep.com

Cirrus Insight is a plugin for sales pros who use Gmail and Outlook.  It automatically updates activities in Salesforce so you don’t have to.  It was named #41 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies, and it has more than 1,700 customer reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange. Today, it serves over 150,000 sales people across 5,000 organizations using Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Cirrus Insight is perfect for sales, support, and success teams who want to save time, schedule 3x more appointments, track email opens and much more with Salesforce information at their fingertips in the inbox. www.cirrusinsight.com/20VC

 

20VC: Why Companies Going Bust Is Part Of The Plan, Why Most VCs Are Later Stage Than They Think & Why Venture Capital Is Humbling with Charlie O’Donnell, Founder @ Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

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Charlie O’Donnell is the Founder and Sole Partner @ Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn, who manage $23m across 2 funds. Prior to founding Brooklyn Bridge, Charlie worked at the prestigious First Round Capital, with the likes of Josh Koppelman and Union Square Ventures with Fred Wilson. If that wasn’t enough Charlie is one of only a dozen to be named to Business Insider’s 100 Most Influential People in NY Tech five or more times and has served on the founding board of the New York Tech Meetup and is one of the group’s first 100 members. His blog, This is Going to Be BIG!, is one of the ten most widely read VC blogs in the country with over 8,000 readers.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Charlie made his move from college to venture and then struck out on his own from USV?

2.) Charlie has previously said that ‘venture capital is humbling’. How does Charlie look to construct his portfolio with Brooklyn Bridge? How does he come to terms with the fact he will be wrong most of the time?

3.) What are Charlie’s views towards follow-on funding and allocating reserves of the fund? How important is this from a return multiple perspective? How much of a difference does it make for founders to raise a next round with 100% of seed investors committed?

4.) Charlie has previously suggested the importance of being helpful and hard working. Is that really enough to build a brand in today’s competitive VC environment? Is brand a form of defensible IP?

5.) How does Charlie react to Ben Lerer’s suggestion that Jet.com and Dollar Shave Club are the first dominoes of an incoming wave of e-commerce M&A?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Charlie’s Fave Blog: Wait But Why

Charlie’s Most Recent Investment: Industrial Organic

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

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20VC: How AI Can Enhance Not Replace Humans? What Will Differentiate Between The Winners & Losers In AI? Why AGI Is Further Away Than We Think with Nitesh Banta, Founder & CEO @ B12

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Nitesh Banta is the Founder and CEO @ B12, the startup that uses AI to superpower their team of world class creatives to create even more intelligent websites. They have backing from the likes of Jim Breyer, General Catalyst and our friends at Founder Collective. As for Nitesh, prior to B12, he was on the dark side as a VC with General Catalyst for 5 years before Co-Founding Rough Draft Ventures, the General Catalyst program designed to develop the next generation of student founders.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nitesh made the move from VC with General Catalyst to AI Startup founder with B12?

2.) How difficult was it for Nitesh to leave the security of venture to start B12 as Founder? What does Nitesh suggest to those that are unsure of whether to make the jump?

3.) Why does Nitesh believe that AGI (artificial general intelligence) is not as close as people predict? What are the implications of this towards humans relationship with technology?

4.) Is Nitesh bullish on humans creating new and unique machine learning algorithms or the rise of ‘machine learning as a service as a sector? Where does the real value lie, the data or the machine learning algorithms?

5.) Why is Nitesh contra the common pessimism surrounding AI and the future of work? How does Nitesh believe AI will impact human work processes in a positive way?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nitesh’s Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd, Nuzzel

Nitesh’s Fave Book: Oh The Places You’ll Go

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

20VC: Using Valuation As A Litmus Test, Why Valuation Does Not Matter At Seed Stage & How Seed Funds Can Serve Founders Better with Kent Goldman, Founder @ Upside Partnership

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Kent Goldman is the Founder of Upside Partnership, one of the leading seed-stage investment firms in SF with investments in the likes of Laurel and Wolf, Digit and Lily. In 2015, he was named to the Midas Brink List. Prior to forming Upside Partnership in 2014, Kent was a Partner at seed investment pioneer First Round Capital. While there he led investments in companies including Airware, Hotel Tonight, and MemSQL. He also served on the board of Mashery (acquired by Intel). Earlier in his career, Kent was a member of Yahoo!’s corporate development team and also led business strategy for Yahoo! products generating $1 billion in annual revenue.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kent made his way into the world of early stage investing and came to found Upside?

2.) What were the big takeaways from First Round for Kent? How has he applied those learnings to his formation of Upside?

3.) What does Kent look for in the LPs that invest in his fund? Why should founders look to learn which LPs are invested in the fund investing in them?

4.) How has Kent seen his investment decision-making process alter with time? What have been the big changes?

5.) Why does Kent believe valuation does not matter so much at the seed stage? What does really matter to him at the seed stage? How does this progress with rounds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kent’s Fave Blog: Howards Marks: Oaktree Capital

Kent’s Fave Book: A River Runs Through It And Other Stories

Kent’s Most Recent Investment: Live Neighborly

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

20VC: What VCs Really Mean They Say ‘Stay In Touch’, Why Incentivisation Through Perks Is Lazy & Why Founders Should Always Under-Promise & Over-Deliver with David Politis, Founder @ CEO @ Bettercloud

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David Politis is the Founder & CEO @ Bettercloud, the first ever unified SaaS management platform. Bettercloud have raised over $40m in funding from some of today’s best investors including past guests from Accel, Greycroft Partners and Flybridge Partners, just to name a few. Before founding BetterCloud, David was an early employee of Cloud Sherpas (acquired by Accenture [NYSE: ACN]) where David led Cloud Sherpas to become the leading Google Apps services provider and reseller to SMBs worldwide. Prior to Cloud Sherpas, David was the founding employee and General Manager of Vocalocity (acquired by Vonage [NYSE: VG]), which he grew into one of the top providers of cloud PBX technology.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dave came to found Bettercloud? What was the a-ha moment for him?

2.) Why does David like to invest in everything but perks? What are the challenges of incentivising a team with Perks? What are the alternatives?

3.) What are the limits to transparency? Can there ever be too much transparency? How do you engender a culture of radical transparency within the workforce?

4.) How was the fundraising process for David? how did it alter and develop with every round? What did he do well and what would he improve upon?

5.) How can founders optimise the on boarding process for new hires? What is fundamental? What are the common mistakes and how can this be hacked for success?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Blog: Recode

David’s Fave Book: Banker To The Poor 

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: AngelList’s Parker Thompson on How He Evaluates Startup Founders & Why The Move To Series A Is Harder Than Ever?

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Parker Thompson is a Partner @ AngelList and creator of popular parody Twitter Account, Startup L Jackson. At AngelList Parker has made investments in the likes of former guests, Algolia, Realty Shares and Keen IO. Prior to joining AngelList, Parker was a Partner at 500 Startups in SF and his illustrious path prior to investing includes Pivotal Labs, co-founding PlaceSite, preserving the interwebs at the Internet Archive, and working on digital copyright at UC Berkeley’s iSchool.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Parker made his way into the world of early stage investing from the world of operations?

2.) How does Parker look to evaluate startup founders? What questions does he like to ask? What traits does he like to see in the core exec?

3.) Why does Parker think “not enough traction” is a BS VC excuse? How should VC’s approach saying no to founders? What are the real reasons a VC is saying no in this case?

4.) Why does Parker believe the jump to Series A is bigger than ever? What has caused this? What metrics do startups have to achieve to make this move successfully?

5.) How should founders determine how much money to raise? If they can should they raise a ‘warchest’? Why should founders not be concerned with dilution in the early days?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Parker’s Fave Blog: Stratechery, Nuzzel

Parker’s Fave Book: The Modernist Cuisine 

Parker’s Most Recent Investment: Common Networks 

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Rebecca Lynn

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Rebecca Lynn is a Partner @ Canvas, where she focusses on Fintech, Digital Health, SaaS and mobile. Rebecca led an early stage investment in Lending Club, which was the largest US technology IPO of 2014 and the 4th largest Internet IPO since 2001. She has also led investments in the likes of Check (acquired by Intuit), RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce), Proximity, Practice Fusion and more incredible companies. Prior to being in VC, Rebecca held operational roles at NextCard where she rose to become VP of Marketing and Head of Customer Acquisition and saw the company going public with a $1.3bn market cap.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) How does Rebecca view the importance of brand and thematic focus in the world of VC today? How can a VC be focussed thematically without missing moonshots?

3.) What were Rebecca’s biggest lessons from sitting on boards with the likes of Mary Meeker and Larry Summers? How did that change how Rebecca viewed being a board member?

4.) “Fintech is all about distribution and acquisition”. What does Rebecca make of this statement? How have we seen evolution in both distribution and acquisition in the rising tide of new fintech startups?

5.) How does Rebecca analyse fund economics? What does she make of the mega $1Bn funds raised over the last year? What is the optimal size fund for Rebecca?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rebecca’s Fave Blog: The Daily Shot

Rebecca’s Fave Book: Influence by Robert Cialdini

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Qualtrics’ Ryan Smith on Building A $Bn Company & Raising The Largest Series A Since 2008 From Sequoia & Accel

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Ryan Smith is the Founder & CEO @ Qualtrics, an online survey company with 1,200 employees and a valuation of more than $1bn. They have backing from some of the world’s best investors including the likes of Sequoia, Accel and Insight Venture Partners having raised a $150m Series B in 2014. As for Ryan, there are many awesome things, first, he has built Qualtrics from Utah allowing him to gain perspective outside of the traditional tech bubbles, second, he held off on attain VC funding for many years despite the common belief that it is necessary for unicorn growth and finally he has the most incredible work life balance I have seen and if you have not already you must check out this piece on him in Forbes, it really is a must.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ryan made his way into startups and came to found Qualtrics?

2.) Sequoia’s Bryan Schreier states that Ryan’s success is due to running the company on ‘first business principles’. What does he mean by this? How does this affect the way Ryan runs Qualtrics?

3.) Why did Ryan decide to bootstrap the company for such a long time with the likes of Accel and Sequoia looking to invest? What are the benefits of retaining such control? What are the financial requirements to do so?

4.) What makes the best CEO’s? How do they view the internal structure of the company? How do they perceive their role? How do they manage their day and optimise their time?

5.) How does Ryan look to instill ‘radical transparency’ in the organisation? What are the benefits of doing so? Can an organisation ever be too transparent? What are the challenges of such transparency?

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Garry Tan on The Biggest Takeaways From Advising 700 Companies @ Y Combinator & Why Now Is The Golden Age For The Early Stage?

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Garry Tan is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner @ Initialized Capital, one of Silicon Valleys leading early stage seed funds. Prior to founding Initialized, Garry was a Partner at Y Combinator where he invested in and directly worked with over 700 companies in 5 years from the earliest possible stage, often just an idea. Garry’s portfolio includes the likes of previous guests Tilt, Eero, Flexport, LendUp and many more incredible companies.
Before being at YC, Garry Co-Founded Posterous and helped build it to a world-class website used by millions, ultimately acquired by Twitter. Garry also co-founded the engineering team for Palantir Technology’s quant finance analysis platform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Garry made the transition from Founder @ PostHaven to YC Partner to Initialized GP?

2.) What were Garry’s biggest takeaways from advising 700 startups at YC that he has taken with him to Initialized?

3.) Why does Garry believe now is the golden age for early stage investing? What opportunity does the mass of late stage capital provide the early stage?

4.) How does Garry approach desired ownership? What level of ownership provides incentive for a VC to work whilst also allowing collaboration with other VCs in a round?

5.) What are Garry’s thoughts on the rise of thematic investing? Why does he not believe it to be optimal at the seed stage?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Garry’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

Garry’s Fave Book: Chaos Monkeys

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian on How It All Started With Paul Graham @ YC, The Biggest Surprises About Making The Move Into VC & Why Alexis Believes All The Best Investors Have Operating Experience

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Alexis Ohanian is co-founder of Reddit & Initialized Capital. After graduating from UVA in 2005, Alexis and his co-founder Steve Huffman started Reddit, which they sold in 2006 to Conde Nast. In 2015, he returned to a full-time capacity with Steve Huffman as the two returned to the helm of a fully independent Reddit, which is now the 8th largest US website. In 2016, he joined Garry Tan in kicking off the third fund for Initialized Capital, an early stage venture capital firm. He’s invested in and advised over two hundred tech startups and was a partner at Y Combinator; Alexis has also written a national best-selling book, Without Their Permission and was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list two years in a row.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alexis made his way into the world of VC from founding Reddit?

2.) What were the biggest surprises for Alexis about making the move into venture full time? What have been the biggest challenges?

3.) How do Alexis and Garry (Alexis’ partner) look to integrate process into their investing with Initialized? What is core to the success of this process? Why should more VCs be doing so?

4.) What does Alexis believe makes the best seed investors? What are the benefits of investors that have been in the trenches? How can they add to their companies in a way those without operating experience cannot?

5.) How does kindness integate into Alexis’ role as an investor? Can one win in investing while being kind? How does Alexis look to show his kindness to founders and investors?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alexis’ Fave Blog: Reddit

Alexis’ Fave Book: Slaughterhouse 5 

Alexis’ Most Recent Investment: Workramp

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Peter Weijmarshausen

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Peter Weijmarshausen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Shapeways, the world’s leading 3D printing marketplace and community. Shapeways have raised funds from some of the world’s leading investors including the likes of USV, Andreesen Horowitz and Index Ventures just to name a few. Prior to Shapeways, Peter was the CTO of Sangine, where he and his team designed and developed satellite broadband modems. Peter was also Director of Engineering at Aramiska, where he was responsible for delivering a business broadband service via satellite.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Peter made his way into startups and came to found Shapeways?

2.) Where are we in the 3D printing cycle today? Has it developed slower or quicker than Peter expected? How was it for Peter inhabiting a space with so much hype?

3.) When does 3D printing make the transition from early adopter market to mass market? What are the determinants that will allow for this to happen?

4.) Having started life in an incubator, why did Peter decide that for the origin of Shapeways? What are the benefits? What type of founder is this model right for?

5.) Shapeways have raised from Index, USV and a16z, so how was the fundraising journey for Peter? What would he like to improve upon for next time? What did he do well?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Peter’s Fave Blog: New York Times

Peter’s Fave Book: Leadership and Self-Deception

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Kara Nortman

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Kara Nortman is a Partner @ Upfront Ventures, one of LA’s leading venture funds. Kara is also co-founder of Seedling where she currently serves as Chairman. Prior to starting Seedling, Kara spent close to seven years at IAC where she acted as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Urbanspoon and Citysearch. Prior to Urbanspoon/Citysearch, Kara co-headed the M&A group at IAC where she lead some of their most successful acquisitions, notably Urbanspoon, Dictionary.com and Aston Hotels. While at IAC, Kara also served as a board member to Hatch Labs, IAC’s mobile technology incubator, where she recruited and advised Tinder. Kara also spent time at Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, and Battery Ventures.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) Question from Greg Betinelli and Jenny Lefcourt: What is the most surprising thing about moving from an operator to a VC? What does Kara prefer more about being a VC?

3.) Having been an entrepreneur with a board, what does a good board member look like to Kara? How does Kara allocate her time amongst her portfolio?

4.) How does Kara assess founder psychology? How does Kara look to get to know the founder both post and pre-investment? What are some signs and tells for Kara of the truly successful operators?

5.) How does Kara view diversity in the VC landscape? What are prime examples of where it is going wrong? What can be done to change this? What are Kara’s hopes and concerns for the future?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kara’s Fave Blog: Both Sides of The Table

Kara’s Fave Book: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Kara’s Most Recent Investment: Stem

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Lessons Learnt From Marc Benioff & Selling To Salesforce For $2.7bn, What Product Market Fit Really Looks Like & Why Pricing Is Startup’s Biggest Problem with Scott Dorsey, Managing Partner @ HighAlpha

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Scott Dorsey is the Managing Partner @ High Alpa, the startup studio that both builds and invests in some of the most exciting SaaS companies today. Prior to HighAlpha, Scott was a successful entrepreneur who co-founded ExactTarget and led the company from start-up to global marketing software leader. ExactTarget went public on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2012 and sold to Salesforce.com in July 2013 for $2.7 billion. At Salesforce, Scott worked directly with Marc Benioff to execute the ExactTarget vision within Salesforce.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Scott made his way into the world of venture from founding ExactTarget?

2.) What was it like to work directly for Marc Benioff? What were the biggest learnings and takeaways? What were the biggest challenges?

3.) With a startup studio producing companies and a fund investing in them, how does Scott avoid the negative signalling that is inherent within these 2 structures?

4.) Having seen so many successful SaaS startups, what does product market fit look like to Scott? From the studio, what are the biggest challenges his startups face in hitting product market fit?

5.) What are the fundamentals that all startups should focus on in the quest for product market fit? What are the challenges? How should this be measured?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Scott’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

Scott’s Fave Book: Good To Great by Jim Collins

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Flexport’s Ryan Petersen on Why Investor Relations Are Overrated, Why Boards Have To Be Rethought & Why MBAs Do Not Make Bad Entrepreneurs

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Ryan Petersen is the Founder and CEO of Flexport, the freight forwarder for the internet age. Flexport recently raised a phenomenal $65m Series B from the likes of Founders Fund, First Round, Felicis, Bloomberg Beta, Yuri Milner, Susa Ventures and more incredible investors. With none other than YC founder Paul Graham stating ‘Ryan has the rare ability to not just satisfy the market but grow it’. Prior to Flexport, Ryan was Founder and CEO of ImportGenius.com, the largest provider of business intelligence to the import-export industry.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ryan came to found Flexport? What was the a-ha moment for him?

2.) Why does Ryan believe it is crap that MBA’s do not make good entrepreneurs? How did Ryan design his life to be an entrepreneur without the opportunity to work for someone else?

3.) How has Ryan found the experience of being a single founder? What are the pros and cons? What was the investor reaction? What does Ryan advise other single founders?

4.) How did Ryan find the fundraising for the latest $65m raise? What did he do well? What would he like to improve upon for later rounds? How did he educate investors without being patronising?

5.) Why does Ryan want to see boards be rethought? What is so inefficient about boards? When did Ryan gain his board? What would Ryan advise fellow founders on building a board?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ryan’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at Xero.com/twentyVC

20VC: Chris Farmer @ Signal Fire

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Chris Farmer is a General Partner @ SignalFire, as he describes, ‘the most quantitative fund in the world.’ Chris has also assembled 50 other on-demand advisors to aid portfolio companies including Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield, AltSchool Founder, Max Ventilla and Pinterest President, Tim Kendall. SignalFire’s portfolio includes the likes of Uber, ClassDojo and Rocksbox just to name a few. Prior to SignalFire, Chris was a Venture Partner @ General Catalyst where he aided the development of their seed program. Prior to General Catalyst, Chris spent 4 years as a VP @ Bessemer Venture Partners.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Chris made his way into the world of venture and came to be Founding Partner @ Signal Fire?

2.) Why does Chris believe the VC industry has not changed in the last 40 years? Why are the old guard of VCs worried for the evolution?

3.) Why does Chris believe data and tech will be centre to the revolution that is happening in VC? How will data be used to enhance the VC value add to startups in the coming years?

4.) From interviewing over 500 Founders, what was the most common challenges and problems founders face today? How should VCs be positioning themselves to provide additional value?

5.) What does Chris believe boards are so inherently inefficient? What would Chris like to see change in the world of boards? How does Chris position himself in terms of, board to partner ratio?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Chris’ Fave Blog: Above The Crowd: Bill Gurley

Chris’ Fave Book: The Success Equation

Chris’ Most Recent Investment: Frame.io

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at Xero.com/20vc. 

20VC: Why Market Is More Important Than Team, The 4 Key Roles of A Board Member & Why Founders Get Market Sizing So Wrong with Rory O’Driscoll, Founding Partner @ Scale Venture Partners

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Rory O’Driscoll is a founding member and Partner at Scale Venture Partners. An active investor for the past 20 years, Rory is focused on early-in-revenue software companies benefiting from the move to Software as a Service and the wider transition of enterprise computing to the cloud. Rory currently sits on the boards of Axcient, Bill.com, Box, Chef Software, DataSift, DocuSign, DroneDeploy, Forter, Katch, OneLogin, Pantheon, WalkMe and Wrike.  Prior investments include ExactTarget (ET; Acq: SFDC), Omniture (OMTR; Acq: ADBE), ScanSafe (Acq: Cisco), Frontbridge (Acq: MSFT), Placeware (Acq: MSFT) among others. Rory has been recognized by the Forbes Midas List and AlwaysOn Power Players in Venture Capital for his investments.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rory made his way into the world of venture and came to be a Partner @ Scale.

2.) How does Rory address market size? Does he utilise the bottom up or top dpwn approach? What is his strategy?

3.) Why are markets more important to Rory than management? What do each element have a different role in achieving?

4.) How does Rory look to navigate board conflict? When conflict does arise, how does Rory look to resolve a CEO who does not listen?

5.) What are the 4 fundamental roles of a board member? Why is competence underrated? What should founders and CEOs look for in prospective board members?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rory’s Fave Blog: Term Sheet

Rory’s Fave Book: SuperForecasting: The Art & Science of Prediction

Rory’s Most Recent Investment: DroneDeploy

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Balaji Srinivasan

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Balaji Srinivasan is the Founder & CEO @ 21.co, the company that believes for bitcoin to succeed we need to build the full stack infrastructure for bitcoin, from silicon to hardware. 21.co have backing from some of the best in the world including a16z, Peter Thiel, Scott & Cyan Banister, Naval Ravikant and previous guest Data Collective’s Matt Ocko. Balaji is also a Board Partner @ a16z, where he has served for the past 3 years. Prior to a16z and 21.co, Balaji was Co-Founder & CTO @ Counsyl, the genomics startup that now tests 4% of all US births and raised $65 in funding.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Balaji made the move from operations to a16z and the back to startups? How did his time in operations affect his investing mentality and vice versa.

2.) Why does Balaji believe that the number 1 barrier for most startups is regulation? Why does Balaji look to the unseen?

3.) With such value being held back by regulation, what is the FDA, FAA, SEC etc holding back? How can that value be unlocked? How can you carve out jurisdictions where you can have early adopters?

4.) How can new products look to gain customer validation through micro testing market segments? What are the requirement to do this successfully? What are the common mistakes

5.) How does Balaji view the future of regulation? How can tech help make regulation faster and more efficient? What are the barriers to it’s widespread adoption and implementation?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Balaji’s Fave Book: The Sovereign Individual, The Princeton Companion To Mathematics

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: Venture Capital Is One Hell Of A Drug, What VCs Expect From Founders Once They Have Raised & Why Customers Validate Your Business Not Venture Capital with Eric Paley, Managing Partner @ Founder Collective

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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.) How does raising VC money affect the founders in both the long term and the short term? How does it alter exit expectations and time horizons?

3.) How does raising VC money affect startup management and burn rates? At what time is it too late to cut the burn? When should this moment of realisation be?

What are Eric’s rough expectations of valuation uptick based upon VC funding? How does Eric approach the bridge round? What metrics are required for Eric to think it is an acceptable round? Is it merely a case of failing to hit Series A metrics?

5.) Does Eric believe VCs really need $Bn exits to succeed? What is the math behind it? How should founders think of exits with the investors hat on? What does Eric make of the rise of mega funds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Most Recent Investment: Crayon

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: Ed Cooke

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Ed Cooke is the Founder & CEO @ Memrise, the app that makes learning languages joyful and they have funding from some of the best including Lerer Hippeau, Balderton Capital and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg just to name a few. As for Ed, he must have the most diverse background of any guest as he is a former grandmaster of memory, is a prominent author and features heavily in the book, Moonwalking With Einstein, in which Ed was the memory coach for Josh Foer where he took Josh from beginner to US memory champion in just 1 year.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ed went from being a Grandmaster of Memory to a startup founder with Memrise?

2.) What is the essence of learning? How does Ed break down the process? Does the segmentation of these parts allow you to optimise certain elements?

3.) What are the prospect ahead for the world of Edtech? Was Tim Berners-Lee right to say that the web has some way from fulfilling it’s potential?

4.) How important is gamification for the future of EdTech? How does this affect retention? How does this affect monetisation and conversion?

5.) How does Ed believe AI will integrate into the future of EdTech? What kinds of intelligence will be able to be created?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Ed’s Fave Blog: Continuations by Albert Wenger

Ed’s Fave Book: From Dawn To Decadence

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: Investing In Sectors That Were Cool 2 Years Ago, What Accel’s Facebook Fund Taught a Generation of LPs & Why LPs Need A New Discovery Process with Paul Martino, Founding Partner @ Bullpen Capital

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Paul Martino is a Co-Founder and General Partner @ Bullpen Capital, the fund that finds overlooked companies by understanding biases in venture capital. Paul has led several of Bullpen’s key investments including FanDuel, Namely, Ipsy, SpotHero, Classy, and Airmap. Prior to forming Bullpen, he was an active angel investor and personally invested in the first rounds of Zynga, TubeMogul, and uDemy. Before becoming an investor, Paul was the founder of four companies including Ahpah Software (a computer security firm acquired by InterTrust); Tribe (one of the world’s first social networks), and Aggregate Knowledge (a big data advertising attribution company acquired in 2014 by Nuestar).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Paul made his way into early stage investing from founding and exiting 4 companies? What was the data that made Paul excited for venture?

2.) First has Paul witnessed the Series A Crunch? What does the crunch mean for founders? How should they navigate it and approach burn rates? How does this affect the fundraising time horizon? How does this affect how much startups should raise?

3.) How does the crunch affect valuation? How does this affect investor expectations of startups pitching them? How does Paul respond to Mike Maples’ statement, ‘bridge rounds are often because startups have simply not hit the metrics for Series A’?

4.) What would Paul most like to see change in the venture ecosystem? Why does Paul not believe there are enough innovative funds? Why is it so hard for innovative funds to raise from traditional LPs?

5.) What would Paul most like to see change in the LP ecosystem? What was the affect of Accel’s Facebook fund on the LP community? Why is that such a problem?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Paul’s Fave Blog: Matt Ocko

Paul’s Fave Book: The New Thought Police

Paul’s Most Recent Investment: Cleanify

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: Rick Marini on Lessons Leant From Naval Ravikant, Why You Need To Make 30 Investments Before You Know What You Are Doing & Why You Have To Earn The Right To Good Dealflow

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Rick Marini is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with over 45 investments in early stage startups. Some of Rick’s investments include the likes of Snapchat, AngelList, Luxe and Nuzzel, just to name a few. Prior to his prolific angel investing career, Rick was the Founder & CEO of BranchOut – the largest professional network leveraging the social graph with more than 800 million profiles. BranchOut raised $49 million in funding from Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Mayfield Fund and more. BranchOut was acquired in 2014 by One-Page. Previously, Rick was also the Founder & CEO of Talk.co. Talk.co was acquired in 2014 by Hearst Corporation. Prior to BranchOut and Talk.co, Rick was the Co-Founder, of Tickle. Tickle operated as a profitable company with almost $40 million of revenue. Tickle was acquired in 2004 by Monster Worldwide for $100 million.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rick made his way into early stage investing from founding and exiting 4 companies?

2.) What is Rick’s approach to pre-investment value add? Should investors hold it back and wait until the term sheet is signed? What have been some of Rick’s biggest lessons from Naval @ AngelList?

3.) Naval Ravikant says, ‘you need to make 30 investments before you know what you are doing’. Does Rick agree with this and can this be applied to the venture ecosystem?

4.) How does Rick approach the common angel problem of dilution? What are his thoughts on getting squeezed out by VCs and growth investors in later rounds?

5.) How does Rick measure his success and value as an angel? What are Rick’s biggest concerns when viewing a  prospective investment?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Rick’s Fave Blog: Mattermark Daily

Rick’s Fave Book: Hero With A Thousand Faces

Rick’s Most Recent Investment: True Facet

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: VC / Founder Fit with 3 Things Founders & VCs Must Agree Pre-Investment & Why Having No Company Budgets Creates Internal Entrepreneurs with Jay Desai, Founder & CEO @ PatientPing

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Jay Desai is Co-Founder and CEO of PatientPing, a company that connects health care providers across the country with real-time notifications to seamlessly coordinate patient care. They have raised funding from some of the best in the world including Google Ventures, First Round Capital and SV Angel. Prior to co-founding PatientPing, Jay worked at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation where he helped design and implement ACO, Bundled Payment, and other innovative payment models funded by the Affordable Care Act. Jay’s previous experience includes Triad Isotopes, Parthenon Capital, and Lehman Brothers.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jay came to found PatientPing? What was the a-ha moment for him?

2.) How does Jay assess the chemistry and alignment of VCs and their portfolio founders? How can founders detect if the VC is right for them?

3.) We always hear the importance of focus. How does Jay decide the single most important thing? Does this vary with stage and size? How does Jay look to balance such focus with a broader vision for the company?

4.) How important is internal entrepreneurialism for Jay? How does that play out in his management style? What boundaries need to be set? Does Jay agree with Suster, ‘constraint enforces creativity’.

5.) Why does Jay have not internal budgets at PatientPing? What are the benefits? How does that affect the team’s approach to spending, responsibility and accountability?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Jay’s Fave Blog: The Morning Consult

Jay’s Fave Book: Pastoralia

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: Who Will Own The Data? Is There An Incumbency Advantage in AI? When Will Artificial Super Intelligence Come To The Forefront with Rudina Seseri, Founder and Managing Director @ Glasswing Ventures

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Rudina Seseri is Founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures, Boston’s own AI focussed fund. Prior to Glasswing, Rudina was a Partner at Fairhaven Capital, sering as lead investor and Director on the Boards of Celtra, CrowdTwist, Jibo, SocialFlow and Statisfy. Before Fairhaven, she was a Senior Manager in the Corporate Development Group at Microsoft where she was responsible for sourcing, structuring, and negotiating Microsoft’s acquisitions and strategic investments. Rudina has served as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Harvard Business School for 4 consecutive years and is an advisor for L’Oréal USA Women in Digital.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rudina made her way from Microsoft into VC with Fairhaven and then Glasswing?

2.) Why is now the time for an AI fund? What technological advances have happened to allow narrow artificial intelligence to come to the foreground in such a prominent way?

3.) Does the potential incumbency advantage in AI concern Rudina? How can founders look to mitigate this and gain access to substantial data sets?

4.) In terms of disruption cycles, where does Rudina believe we are in current cycles? How does this affect adoption cycles of technology? Why will this be the fastest ever?

5.) Predictions: How long till artificial super intelligence comes to the forefront? How long until mass adoption of driverless cars? Will this be a winner take all market?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Rudina’s Fave Blog: Paris 1919

Rudina’s Fave Book: Wait But Why

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: Binary’s Justin Caldbeck on Specialisation Being Key To Success In VC, The Biggest Problem In VC Today and Why The Future Is A Moneyless Barter Economy

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Justin Caldbeck is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Binary Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s leading early stage funds focussed on the consumer space with $300m AUM. Prior to founding Binary, Ryan was a Managing Director @ Lightspeed Venture Partners where he made investments in the likes of GrubHub, TaskRabbit, SocialCam and many more incredible companies. Before joining Lightspeed, Justin was a Partner at Bain Capital Ventures and was responsible for launching the firm’s West Coast office.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Justin made his way into venture and came to found Binary Capital?

2.) Question from Binary LP, Judith Elsea: Has it been harder to win deals at Binary without the big and established fund names behind you? How has the conversation with founders changed?

3.) Why is Justin so excited by what he calls, ‘vibrant moneyless commerce platforms? What has done previously in the space? Why is it different now?

4.) Why is Justin so bullish on the often over-hyped ‘on-demand’ economy? Which verticals provide the best opportunities to provide an on-demand experience without the need for local infrastructure?

5.) Friends and Family Round: Ryan Caldbeck @ CirleUp: What VCs does Ryan most admire and respect? 2.) What makes 1 VC a great board member and another not? Tiffany Zhong: What are your biggest misses? 2.) What are the biggest issues in VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Justin’s Fave Book: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Justin’s Most Recent Investment: Recharge

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

So many problems start with your head: stress, depression, anxiety, fear of the future. What if there was some kind of exercise you could do, that would help you get your head in shape. That’s where the Headspace app comes in. Headspace is meditation made simple. The Headspace app provides guided meditations you can use whenever you want, wherever you want, on your phone, computer or tablet. They have sessions focused on everything from dealing with stress and depression, to helping you eat more mindfully. So download the Headspace app and start your journey towards a happier, healthier life. Learn more at headspace.com/20vc. That’s headspace.com/20vc.

20VC: CEO Whisperer Jerry Colonna on How Investors Mimic Aggressive Behaviour To Cover Insecurity and Why Vulnerability is Key To Success In VC

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Jerry Colonna is a Founder @ Reboot, the coaching company that helps some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and investors with the internal ups and downs in their life and support the growth they need to improve their performance. Prior to Reboot, Jerry was a Partner @ JP Morgan. Before that Jerry was a VC, having launched Flatiron partners in 1996 with his partner, Fred Wilson. Flatiron became on the of the most successful early stage investment firms in New York with investments in the likes of Geocities, Gamesville and The New York Times Digital.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jerry enter the world of VC and then make the transition to be the ultimate CEO/VC coach, aka, ‘The CEO Whisperer’?

2.) What is Jerry’s first step for anyone looking to self-evaluate in what Jerry calls, ‘radical self-inquiry’?

3.) Once self-evaluated, how can one look to be their true self in a world that is not necessarily accepting of such vulnerability, compassion and emotion, for example, VC and startups?

4.) How does Jerry evaluate the current crop of VCs in terms of them being their inner self to the external world? Why is Jerry so optimistic?

5.) Questions from Brad Feld: 1.) What should VCs be spending more time on? 2.) If Jerry could give one piece of advice to VCs what would it be?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Jerry’s Fave Blog: Fred Wilson: AVC, Brad Feld: Feld Thoughts, The School of Life

Jerry’s Fave Book: When Things Fall Apart

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

20VC: Why You Have To Be A Good Long Term Actor To Succeed in VC & How Owning An Esports Team Could Be A $Bn Outcome with Clinton Foy, General Partner @ Crosscut Ventures

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Clinton Foy is General Partner @ Crosscut Ventures, one of LA’s leading VC funds. Prior to Crosscut, Clinton was COO, @ Square Enix, a $2 billion video game publisher, he recruited a top-tier team and built the mobile, social, and online business in North and South America. He managed licensing and strategic partnerships for SPACE INVADERS, FINAL FANTASY, and TOMB RAIDER franchises. In seven years he oversaw more than 100 product launches across a dozen platforms and grew annual revenues to more than $300 million. Before Square Enix, Clinton practiced law representing clients including Microsoft, Sony, and Yahoo.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Clinton make the transition from COO at $Bn games company to being a VC in LA?

2.) Question from Cross Cut LP: Judith Elsea: What were the biggest takeaways from operating that make Clinton a better VC? What are the biggest surprises about being a VC? What are the biggest adjustments Clinton have had to make to be a VC?

3.) How important does Clinton feel network building and relationships are to being a good investor Is this a market of predators? Can the ‘nice guys’ sometimes win? How does Clinton look to relationship build in a natural and organic way?

4.) On the operations side, Clinton helped Esports company, The Immortals raise a seed round. How was that experience for Clinton? What were the challenges? Is investing in an e-sports team a venture investment with potential $Bn outcome?

5.) What is the reason for the mass rise in Esports and Esports investing? How does the rise of mobile affect this? What is the future of Esports vs traditional sports?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Clinton’s Fave Blog: Dean Takahashi: Venture Beat

Clinton’s Most Recent Investment: The Immortals

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

20VC: Social Capital’s Mamoon Hamid on Disrupting The Venture Model & Advancing Humanity By Solving The World’s Toughest Problems

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Mamoon Hamid is a Co-Founder and General Partner at Social Capital, a firm he co-founded in 2011 with the mission to transform society by using technology to solve the world’s hardest problems. Mamoon leads the firm’s private investing activities which focuses on building breakthrough healthcare, education, financial services, consumer and enterprise software companies. He currently sits on the board of companies that includes Slack, Intercom, Netskope and Greenhouse. Prior to starting Social Capital, Mamoon was a Partner at U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), where he led early stage investments in companies like Box and Yammer. Mamoon started his Silicon Valley career in 1997 at Xilinx where he spent six years in various engineering and marketing roles.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mamoon made his way into VC and came to found Social with Chamath and Ted?

2.) How did Mamoon approach the team building aspect of Social? What did he look for in his partners and additional team members?

3.) According to Mamoon, what have been the inflection points in the incredible rising story of Social Capital? When has Mamoon’s and the team’s learnings really increased?

4.) What does Mamoon think of ‘The Top 5 US Companies by Market Cap Being Tech Companies’? Why does he believe that there will be more from this cohort than any other cohort?

5.) What are Mamoon’s expectations of growth, goals achieved at different stages of the company lifecycle etc? How does this differ according to the market he invests in?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Mamoon’s Fave Book: Blue Ocean Strategy

Mamoon’s Most Recent Investment: Front: The Inbox For Teams

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

The Twenty Minute VC is proudly sponsored by Luma, Luma is the world’s first ever Surround WiFi system that brings speed, security and control to the home network. And Unlike traditional routers, Luma comes in a pack of two or three sleek devices to place in different rooms in your home. Luma then creates a mesh network that work together to create an outrageously-fast, ultra-secure Surround WiFi network.  Lastly, Luma’s app lets you easily see and control which devices, users and content are on your network. To buy your Luma, simply dead to getluma.com or amazon.com.

20VC: Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes on Optimising Productivity in Meetings, Creating An Ownership Culture & Lessons From Running A Pizzeria!

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Ryan Holmes is the founder and CEO of Hootsuite. He started the company in 2008 and has helped grow it into the world’s most widely used social relationship platform, with 15-million-plus users, including more than 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies. As of 2014, HootSuite has raised over $250m in venture funding from some of the best in the world including Accel, Insight Venture Partners and Fidelity. Prior to Hootsuite, Ryan started a string of ventures from a pizza restaurant to a digital media agency. Ryan is also a prolific angel investor with investments in the likes of Gusto, Bench and previous guest Immediately, just to name a few.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Ryan transition from being a restauranteur to founding Hootsuite?

2.) What were the big lessons Ryan took from his hard journey as a restauranteur? How has he applied those lessons to his role with Hootsuite today?

3.) How does Ryan look to create an environment of employee ownership and internal entrepreneurs? What has been successful? What has not?

4.) Meetings suck. What does Ryan do to optimise the meeting for simple enjoyment and productivity?

5.) How was the fundraising process for Ryan? What does he think he did well and what would he like to improve on for the next rounds? How was fundraising in 200*? Is now a good time to be raising?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Ryan’s Fave Blog: Media Redefined

Ryan’s Fave Book: The Long Walk

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

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: Why You Don’t Have To Have Operational Experience To Be A Good VC, Why There Is No Optimal Stage To Invest & Why VCs Should Focus on Reputation Ahead of Cash On Cash Returns with Lyon Wong, General Partner @ Spectrum 28

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Lyon Wong is the Founding General Partner @ Spectrum 28, a $170m Silicon Valley fund that invests in companies who leverage data and computation to create and transform large industries. Prior to Spectrum 28, Lyon was Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners, the $3bn VC fund with investments in the likes of Snapchat, Nest and Giphy, just to name a few. Before Lightspeed Lyon spent time with leading Silicon Valley seed fund, SV Angel, where he worked with the likes of Ron Conway and David Lee.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Lyon come to be GP of Spectrum 28 with their recent $170m fund?

2.) Why does Lyon believe that you do not have to have operational experience to be a good investor? What are the core components to beeing a good investor and value add investor?

3.) Why does Lyon believe that there is no optimal stage to invest? How does he evaluate the efficiency curve and positioning on it? How does this affect his thesis?

4.) Why does Lyon believe that funds must focus on reputation instead of cash on cash? What is the most effective and scalable way to build a reputation in today’s venture ecosystem?

5.) How does Lyon evaluate team building at Spectrum 28? What did he look for in potential partners? How does he look to implement generational transition into the fund?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Lyon’s Fave Blog: Medium, Quora

Lyon’s Fave Book: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Lyon’s Most Recent Investment: PatientBank

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

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: More $ Raised This Year Than The Past 15, War Chests Being Built & Decline In First Time Funds: So What The Heck Is Happening In Venture with Beezer Clarkson, Managing Director @ Sapphire Ventures

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Beezer Clarkson is Managing Director @ Sapphire Ventures where she leads Sapphire’s investments in venture funds domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Sapphire, Beezer managed day-to-day operations @ DFJ’s Global Network, which had $7 billion under management across 16 venture funds worldwide. She has also spent time at Omidyar Network created by Ebay founder, Pierre Omdiyar, Hewlett Packard and Morgan Stanley. Beezer also runs the incredible openlp.com which is really opening up the world of LPs and if you have not checked that out, it really is a must!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Beezer make her way into the world of limited partners?

2.) $27bn was raised by 137 funds in Q1 + Q2 of 2016, what does this mean for the theory that venture is a game of the have’s and have nots? How does this compare to previous years?

3.) How is the constriction in capital affecting first-time funds? How many were raised so far this year? What were the common characteristics in those that were successful?

4.) How is the Series A market performing this year? Does the data agree with the common thesis of the rise of the late stage ‘private IPO’? Does this lack of liquidity concern Beezer?

5.) Why is Beezer so bullish on the future ahead for tech? How does Beezer think Brexit will affect the wider market?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Beezer’s Most Recent Investment: SaaStr Fund

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

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: Why Adaptability Is Key To Fundraising, Why Supply Is Always The First Priority In Marketplaces & Why Sometimes You Have To Hire Fast & Fire Fast with Nav Athwal, Founder & CEO @ RealtyShares

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Nav Athwal is the Founder & CEO @ RealtyShares, a curated marketplace connecting real estate developers and operators with investors across the country. Realtyshares recently announced an incredible $200m funded deals through the platform and have raised from some of the world’s best investors including Union Square Ventures, General Catalyst and Menlo Ventures. Before starting RealtyShares, Nav was a real estate and land use attorney at San Francisco-based law firm Farella Braun & Martel, LLP.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nav made his way into startups and came to found RealtyShares?

2.) As a marketplace founder, where di Nav start: supply or demand? Why does Nav think marketplace founders should always focus on supply first?

3.)How did Nav look to relationship build and network with the mentors that he wanted to have help him? What would Nav suggest to those looking to gain great mentors?

4.)How was the fundraising process for Nav with USV, Menlo and General Catalyst? What have been his big lessons from his 3 rounds of fundraising??

5.) What should founders optimize for in the fundraising process? Should founders look to instil a sense of realism with regards to valuation or let it be largely inflated?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nav’ Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Nav’ Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson: AVC, Mark Suster: Both Sides of The Table

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.

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Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. You can quickly generate a large gallery of designs and can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you select your favourite design, you will be sent the files you require to update your branding. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Greenfield Opportunities For Machine Learning, Why Massive Corporates Finally See It’s Potential & Why VC’s Investment Decision Making Process Needs To Change with James Cham, Partner @ Bloomberg Beta

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James Cham is a Partner @ Bloomberg Beta and one the pre-eminent thinkers in the machine learning space. Prior to Bloomberg, James was a Principal @ Trinity Ventures and before Trinity, James was a VP at Bessemer Venture Partners. At Bessemer, James was a Board Member of CrowdFlower and Open Candy. However, James has not always been a VC as he was originally a programmer receiving his degree in Computer Science from Harvard.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James made his way into the wonderful world of VC from being a programmer?

2.) How are organisations and corporations thinking about machine learning? How are they looking to incorporate it into their current infrastructure?

3.) Kieran Snyder @ Textio said, ‘the writing is on the wall for enterprise to embrace machine learning’. What are James’ thoughts and how does the business model vary from licensed and SaaS?

4.) How is building machine learning models different from software development? On the topic of software development, how does James perceive the productivity differences between software developers?

5.) Moving to VC and how does James approach the investment decision making process as a VC? How does James relationship to religion intertwine with his investment career?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’ Fave Book: Man Who Lied To His Laptop

James’ Fave Blog or Newsletter: Rob May, Jack Clark, Tyler Cowan

James’ Most Recent Investment: Netlify

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.

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Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. You can quickly generate a large gallery of designs and can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you select your favourite design, you will be sent the files you require to update your branding. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Investing Lessons From Fred Wilson & Brad Feld and Why Fundraising Is An Art & Not Everyone Can Be An Artist with Howard Lindzon, Founder @ Stocktwits & Managing Partner @ Social Leverage

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Howard Lindzon is the Managing Partner @ Social Leverage, where he has made investments in the likes of Angellist, Datafox, previous guest Robinhood, Rent.com (acq by eBay for $415m) and many more incredible companies. Howard is also the Founder of StockTwits, a social network for traders and investors, named one of the ten most innovative companies on the web. He is also an author with multiple published titles that can be found here. If that was not enough, he also continues to manage the hedge fund he started in 1998. A man of many hats for sure!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Howard made his way into the world of hedge funds, tech and now VC with Social Leverage?

2.) Why is trend following a good thing to do when starting investing? How can you trend follow and still invest with conviction?

3.) Why Howard believes people need to lose money to learn about the market and ecosystem What have been his learnings from missing Twitter and Zynga?

4.) Who Howard believes that fundraising is an art and not everyone can be taught it? What are the core elements that lead to a successful fundraise?

5.) What was Howard’s biggest lesson from investing alongside Fred Wilson and Brad Feld? How did that alter his approach to price and ownership?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Howard’s Fave Book: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Howard’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson, Abnormal Returns, Josh Brown: The Reformed Broker

Howard’s Most Recent Investment: Civic

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.

67558-designcrowd-box

Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. You can quickly generate a large gallery of designs and can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you select your favourite design, you will be sent the files you require to update your branding. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Moisey Uretsky

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Moisey Uretsky is the Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer @ Digital Ocean, the second largest and fastest growing cloud computing platform, with more than 700,000 developers having deployed more than 20 million cloud servers. The company has raised $123 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Access Industries, IA Ventures, CrunchFund, and Techstars. As for Moisey, before founding DigitalOcean, he studied Mathematics at NYU and launched CorreGroup, a big data startup that provided valuable analytics to billion-dollar hedge fund firms in New York City.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Moisey came to found the 2nd largest cloud computing platform with Digital Ocean?

2.) Moisey has previously said: ‘we did everything wrong for a decade’. What were the biggest mistakes Moisey made and how did he look to rectify them and learn from them?

3.) Does Moisey believe that you can learn to be a great business leader? Is it inherent or if not, what are the steps required to increase your chances?

4.) Moisey has previously said: ‘business that succeed are either needed or loved’. What does he man by this? What category does Digital Ocean fall into? How does that affect his management style and thought process?

5.) Question From Ari @ Techstars: How do Moisey and Digital Ocean fundamentally scale love? What are the inherent challenges of building this type of culture? How does the theme of love play out in the hiring and the on boarding process?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Moisey’s Fave Book: Innovator’s Dilemma

Moisey’s Fave Blog: Tom Tunguz

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

I’d like to thank Wealthfront for sponsoring today’s podcast. Wealthfront are financial advisors that can help you invest your hard-earned dollars. Wealthfront’s modern financial services helps tailor plans specifically for you, making it easy to reach your financial goals. Wealthfront has low fees and no trading commissions… It’s financial advice at a fraction of the cost of a traditional advisor, all online. And if you sign up using my URL, you’ll get your first $15,000 managed for free. Go to Wealthfront.com/20vc.

20VC: Why Many VCs Fail To Raise, Why LP Compensation Is A Massive Problem & Why Fund of Funds Will Become More Prominent with Lindel Eakman, Managing Director @ Foundry Group

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Lindel Eakman is a Managing Director @ Foundry Group and is a nationally recognized leader in the LP community having successfully managed the private investment program for the combined $35 billion pool of capital managed by the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). There he was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of private equity fund managers which represented approximately 25 percent of endowment assets. Prior to UTIMCO, Lindel worked for KPMG in the mergers & acquisitions tax practice where he worked with many fund managers across due diligence processes and private investment partnership activities. Check out Lindel’s Partner @ Foundry, Brad Feld, on the show here. 

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Lindel made his way into the weird and wonderful world of LPs and then Foundry? What is the origin story behind is first fund investment, Union Square Ventures?

2.) Question from Michael Kim @ Cendana: How is Lindel approaching portfolio construction for Foundry Next? What combination of GP portfolio & direct exposure diversifies the portfolio while retaining upside through individual deal performance?

3.) With the direct co-investment platform how does Lindel look to mitigate the negative signalling that can occur with opportunity funds? Does Lindel agree with Chris Douvos in stating this could lead to the ‘hybridisation of GP and LP’?

4.) Where do most prospective fund managers fail when pitching to LPs? What does Lindel look for in a risk strategy for a potential fund investment?

5.) What are the biggest problems with the LP community today? What would Lindel like to see change? What do the financial compensation plans look like for LPs?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Lindel’s Fave Book: The Creature from Jekyll Island, Daemon

Lindel’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Reiley Brennan: Future of Transportation, Fred Wilson, Benedict Evans

Lindel’s Most Recent Investment: Resolute Ventures

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

I’d like to thank Wealthfront for sponsoring today’s podcast. Wealthfront are financial advisors that can help you invest your hard-earned dollars. Wealthfront’s modern financial services helps tailor plans specifically for you, making it easy to reach your financial goals. Wealthfront has low fees and no trading commissions… It’s financial advice at a fraction of the cost of a traditional advisor, all online. And if you sign up using my URL, you’ll get your first $15,000 managed for free. Go to Wealthfront.com/20vc.

20VC: Floodgate’s Mike Maples on What Makes Category Kings, What Most Venture Funds Do Wrong When Hiring & ‘The Dance Of Product Market Fit’

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Mike Maples is a Founding Partner @ Floodgate, one of the leading early-stage venture funds in the valley. Mike has made investments in the likes of Twitter, Twitch.tv, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaarvoice, Okta, and Demandforce. As a result, Mike has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010 and was also named one of “8 Rising Stars” by FORTUNE Magazine. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (acquired by IBM) and Motive (acquired by Alcatel-Lucent.)

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his way into VC and came to found Floodgate?

2.) How did the investment decision-making process change for Mike with the institutionalisation and fiduciary responsibility of an LP backed fund?

3.) How does Mike approach team building with Floodgate? What does he look for in his partners? What do most funds do wrong when hiring and expanding their team?

4.) Mike has a very different way of reading product and the associated market. What does Mike mean by saying the ‘dance of product market fit’? Who leads what? How do they work together? What are the reasons startups do not achieve PMF?

5.) How does Mike assess the aspect of category creation? What are the fundamentals required to be a category king? What characteristics do category kings have?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying

Mike’s Most Recent Investment: Dispatcher

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

I’d like to thank Wealthfront for sponsoring today’s podcast. Wealthfront are financial advisors that can help you invest your hard-earned dollars. Wealthfront’s modern financial services helps tailor plans specifically for you, making it easy to reach your financial goals. Wealthfront has low fees and no trading commissions… It’s financial advice at a fraction of the cost of a traditional advisor, all online. And if you sign up using my URL, you’ll get your first $15,000 managed for free. Go to Wealthfront.com/20vc

20VC: What Makes A Great marketplace Founder, The Key Metrics Marketplace Success Is Centred On & 3 Ways To Prove To Investors You Are A Domain Expert with Karthik Sridharan, Founder & CEO @ Kinnek

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Karthik Sridharan is the Founder & CEO @ Kinnek, the platform which empowers small business owners to take control of their purchasing operations. Kinnek have been crushing it lately and have raised funding from some of today’s leading investors including Matrix, Thrive, Version One, Naval Ravikant and many more incredible names. As for Karthik, prior to Kinnek he was the lead architect of research systems at the hedge fund, AQR and before that spent time at the likes of JP Morgan and Merril Lynch.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Karthik made the transition from hedge funds to founding Kinnek?

2.) How does Karthik view market networks as opposed to marketplaces? What are the differences and where would he position Kinnek?

3.) Is GMV the sole metric that marketplace founders should focus on? How does GMV affect Karthik’s few on take rate, transaction size and frequency? What other metrics should marketplace founders be measuring themselves against?

4.) How does Karthik view the competitive landscape with the likes of Alibaba in the space? Is expansion into Asia part of upcoming plans for Kinnek? How will Karthik approach that?

5.) Kinnek has raised funding from the likes of Thrive, Matrix and Version One. How did Karthik find the fundraising process? What did he do well and what would he improve on for the C round?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Karthik’s Fave Book: The Code Book by Simon Singh

Karthik’s Fave Blog: On Startups, Tom Tunguz

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

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 Secret To Building Pattern Recognition, Why MBA Does Not Always Equal Great Founder & What Are The Right Reasons To Start A Company With Hardi Meybaum, General Partner @ Matrix Partners

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Hardi Meybaum is a General Partner @ Matrix Partners and similar to Josh Hardi is a natural born entrepreneur. Prior to becoming a VC Hardi was a Founder of GrabCAD where he built the company into the world’s leading cloud-based collaboration platform for engineering teams to manage, share, and view CAD files. He sold GrabCAD to Stratasys in 2014 for a reported 100m dollars, and continued to lead GrabCAD for the next year.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hardi made the transition from founding GrabCAD to becoming a General Partner @ Matrix?

2.) When times were really hard for Hardi in making the move to the US, what were the big elements that drive him to continue? What stopped him from giving up?

3.) What does Hardi’s time allocation split look like? How does he look to optimise this?

4.) How much of a role has David Skok played in Hardi’s progression? What are the key takeaways from the mentorship?

5.) What are the right reasons to start a company? How does Hardi assess founder product fit?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hardi’s Fave Book: Deep Work: Rules For Focussed Success

Hardi’s Fave Blog: David Skok: For Entrepreneurs

Hardi’s Most Recent Investment: SketchDeck

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

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: Why The Best CEO’s Are The Best Capital Allocators, How You Can Build A Business In A Space You Are Not Passionate About & When Is The Right Time To Put The Pedal To The Metal with Josh Hannah, General Partner @ Matrix Ventures

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Josh Hannah is a General Partner @ Matrix Partners where he has led investments in the likes of Canva, Quora and Huddle just to name a few. However, Josh really is an innate entrepreneur himself having co-founded Betfair in 1999, the worlds first online sports marketplace which is now publicly traded on London Stock Exchange and processes more than $50bn in transactions per year. Following Betfair, Josh bought and turned around eHow where he increased traffic and revenue 30 x before selling the company to Demand Media. Josh has also made some stellar angel investments in the likes of Angellist, HotelTonight and Minted.com.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh made the transition from founding Betfair and turning around eHow to becoming a General Partner @ Matrix?

2.) Josh took large amounts of VC funding with Betfair and entirely bootstrapped his 2nd business, eHow. How did the two experiences differ and how can founders determine whether to raise VC funding or bootstrap it themselves?

3.) Why does Josh believe capital allocation has gotten worse from founders over time? How does this affect the role of VCs as board members?

4.) Why does Josh believe that people are wrong to say ideas re worthless and it is all about execution? How does Josh approach the process of idea generation? How can this be optimised?

5.) Why does Josh believe, contra to conventional wisdom, that one can build a strong business in a space that you are not passionate about? What are the potential pitfalls that can be avoided?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Josh’s Fave Book: Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of Nike, The Rise Of The Robots

Josh’s Fave Blog: Benedict Evans

Josh’s Most Recent Investment: Kinnek (On The Show On Friday!

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Angelloop is the leading post funding management platform for private market investors and their portfolio companies. They help investors manage and track their portfolio companies on the cloud while providing them with access to their investments performance data. Angelloop helps founders of startups track their performance, manage their cap table and keep their investors in the loop. Investors get free access while their portfolio companies pay only $49/Month. Use or share the promo-code 20MinVC to get your portfolio companies online with a two month trial.

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: Why The Evolution of Digital Media Presents A Multi $Bn Opportunity with Brit Morin, Founder & CEO @ Brit + Co

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Brit Morin is the Founder & CEO @ Brit + Co the online media and e-commerce platform that provides tools to teach, inspire, and enable creativity among women and girls. They have raised funding from some of the world’s best investors including Index, General Catalyst, Intel Capital, Founders Fund and Lerer Hippeau just to name a few. As for Brit, prior to Brit + Co, Brit worked at Google in product management and before that with Apple on iTunes.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brit came to found Brit + Co?

2.) How have we seen the traditional media landscape change over the last few years with the rise of digital? Does Brit agree with Marc Andreesen’s assertion that print journalism is converging in quality and technique with blogs and Wikipedia?

3.) How does Brit view the competitive landscape for digital media? Is this an M&A by larger traditional media companies, will smaller startup media companies merge to form modern media powerhouses?

4.) How does Brit view the importance of niche communities? What does it take to foster and grow an organic niche community?

5.) Brit + Co is backed by some of the best funds in the world so what was Brit’s approach to fundraising? How did Brit see it alter and evolve with the differing funding rounds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brit’s Fave Blog: The Information

Brit’s Fave Book: The Giver

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: Dave Morin on Why Building A Fund Is Like A Company, Why Venture Is A Craft & The Journey To Establish Slow Ventures

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Dave Morin is Founder & Partner at Slow Ventures, the leading valley venture fund with investments in the likes of Slack, Pinterest, Evernote, NextDoor, Postmates just to name a few. Prior to Slow, Dave was the Co-Founder and CEO of Path, the social network that serves tens of millions of people every day. Path was acquired by Kakao in 2015. If that was not enough, he also spent several years at Facebook where he led Facebook Platform and Connect during periods of rapid innovation and growth. Today, he serves on the Board of Directors of Eventbrite, Dwell, and Hinge.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dave made the transition from Facebook and Path to founding Slow Ventures?

2.) As a new entrant to VC, how does Dave look to develop pattern recognition with founders and ideas? What is the most challenging element?

3.) Why did Dave, Sam and Kevin decide to institutionalise Slow for the ‘club’ to the structured fund that it is today? How did that change their investment decision making process?

4.) What role does network play in the value and operations of Slow? How do they look to increase the network effect to further provide value to their companies?

5.) What role does valuation and ownership play for Dave when investing? How does that change with the larger cheques?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dave’s Fave Book: The Alchemist

Dave’s Fave Blog: The Information

Dave’s Most Recent Investment: Perlstein Lab

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital. Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also atcooleygo.com.

20VC: The 3 Things LPs Want To See From VCs & Why The Table Stakes For VCs Is Higher Than Ever with Judith Elsea, Co-Founder @ Weathergage Capital

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Judith Elsea is a Co-Founder @ Weathergage Capital, one of the world’s leading fund of funds with over $950m AUM. Prior to Wealthergage, Judith was Chief Investment Officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation from 1993 to 2001. As CIO, she directed a $2 billion globally diversified investment portfolio, committing over $600 million to US early stage venture funds and other private equity partnerships. She was also instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Kauffman Fellows Program, a global apprenticeship program designed to train the next generation of venture capitalists.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Judith made her way into the world of LPs and what makes her think venture is such an attractive asset class?

2.) What gets Judith really excited when viewing prospective fund managers for potential investments? What differentiators does Judith look for?

3.) What are the most common reasons Judith finds for her rejecting fund managers for investment? What are they not doing and how can they optimise this?

4.) To what extent do LPs have a commitment to invest in further funds having invested in one fund? Are there any situations where this changes?

5.) What are the similarities and differences between fundraising for LPs vs fundraising for startups? How should the different elements be approached?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Judith’s Fave Book: Patrick O’Brian

Judith’s Fave Blog: The Twenty Minute VC, a16z, Founder Collective

Judith’s Most Recent Investment: Felicis Ventures

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also atcooleygo.com.

20VC: Intercom’s Eoghan McCabe on What Makes A Truly Great CEO & What Founders Should Look For In Their Investors

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Eoghan McCabe is the CEO and co-founder of Intercom. The customer communications platform that has taken the SaaS world by storm in the last few years with 116m in VC funding from truly some of the world’s best including Bessemer, Social Capital and Index Ventures. Prior to Intercom, he founded Contrast, an award-winning software design consultancy, and co-founded Exceptional, a developer tool startup acquired in 2011 and now a part of Rackspace.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Eoghan came to found Intercom?

2.) Question From Andy McLoughlin: What were the biggest lessons from your previous startups?

3.) How did Eoghan find the early fundraising process? How did he come to meet his angel investors? How did he get them to look beyond the product and invest in him?

4.) Eoghan raised his Series B just 6 months after his Series A. Why was this so quick? How did he select his investors?

5.) What separates good from truly great CEOs? How has Eoghan seen his own management style changed over the Intercom journey?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eoghan’s Fave Blog: SaaStr, The Intercom Blog

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.comand also atcooleygo.com.

20VC: Why Valuation Is A Stupid Concept, VC Is Ripe For Disruption & Not All LPs Are Made Equal with Michael Skok, Founding Partner @ Underscore VC

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Michael Skok is a Founding Partner @ Underscore VC. Michael started his first software business as a teenager, spent 21 years as an entrepreneur where he founded and recruited teams that attracted over $100m in private equity for investments in multiple software companies. Over the last 13 years Michael has been a venture investor. Along the way, he also mentored and taught for 4 years at Harvard as an EIR at Harvard Business School, and spent a year interviewing entrepreneurs on a “listening tour” before founding _Underscore.VC. Michael also started the most incredible education series, ‘Startup Secrets’, in collaboration with Harvard iLab, check it out here.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into the wonderful world of VC with Underscore?

2.) From Michael’s listening tour, what did he discover that entrepreneurs wanted in an investor?

3.) How did Michael present the innovative model of Underscore to prospective LPs? What was their response? What did Michael look for in the LPs he selected?

4.) What does Michael mean when he says you have to create minimum viable segments?

5.) How does Michael view market creation? What his framework for this?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Michael’s Fave Book: Daemon

Michael’s Fave Blog: Mattermark

Michael’s Most Recent Investment: Mautic

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also atcooleygo.com.

20VC: Index’s Ilya Fushman on The Key Lessons From Scaling Dropbox To 400m Users, Is Excessive Amounts Of Capital Driving Valuations Too High In The Valley & Why Venture Is Like Being On A Swim Team Not A Soccer Team

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Ilya Fushman is a Partner at Index Ventures where he has made investments in the likes of Slack, Intercom, Dropbox and Optimizely. Prior to joining Index, Ilya was the head of product at Dropbox. As one of Dropbox’s first 75 employees, he helped build and run the company’s business and corporate development functions, before taking on a product leadership role and building out Dropbox, Dropbox for Business and the developer platform. Before Dropbox, he was a principal at Khosla Ventures and the Director of Technology at the solar cell startup Solar Junction.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ilya made his transition from Dropbox to return to the world of VC with Index?

2.) Does Ilya agree that to scale successfully you have to reinvent yourself every 6 months? Why does Ilya believe you must infuse an element of delight into the people side of the business? How can this be done effectively?

3.) How did Ilya and the Dropbox team look to effectively manage and scale the employee on boarding process with the growth of the company?

4.) Question from Lars @ Balderton: Does Ilya believe his extensive operational background allows him to get into deals he would otherwise not have been able to win?

5.) Question from Lars: Does Ilya believe an excess of capital is driving prices in the valley excessively high? Will we continue to see this in the coming years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Ilya’s Most Recent Investment: Slack, Culture Amp

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also atcooleygo.com.

20VC: Eero’s Nick Weaver on Why You Have To Grow One Stage Ahead of Where Your Business Is At and Why If You Want A Great Customer Experience, You Have To Own All The Parts

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Nick Weaver is the Founder & CEO @ Eero. The company that makes your wifi hyper fast, super simple and brilliantly efficient. Prior to founding Eero, Nick was himself a VC at Menlo Ventures where he worked with companies like Uber, Betterment, Periscope and Dropcam. Before becoming a VC, Nick co-founded StartX, the community for the best Stanford entrepreneurs providing them with the required resources to build the next generation of leading companies.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nick made the move from VC with Menlo to Founder and CEO @ Eero?

2.) How can founders identify nascent and attractive markets that are ripe for disruption?

3.) How did Nick approach the pricing mechanism with Eero? Why do hardware startups need to have a greater margin than software startups?

4.) Why did Nick raise 2 rounds of funding before the product launched? Why did Nick decide he wanted to own all the parts of the production chain with Eero?

5.) How does Nick view the competitive landscape for such products? How does he view large incumbents like Netgear, compared to smaller startups like Luma?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nick’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Term Sheet: Dan Primack

Nick’s Fave Book: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital. Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

 

20VC: Do VC’s Really Hustle Enough? The Takeaways From Watching Twitter Scale From 30 to 2,500 & Why Chris Sacca Is Like Yoda with Ryan Sarver, Partner @ Redpoint

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Ryan Sarver is a Partner @ Redpoint where he focuses on early stage consumer startups. He sits on the board at Luxe, where he led the seed and A rounds, and was an early investor in Memoir. Prior to joining Redpoint, Ryan was a director at Twitter, where he oversaw the Twitter Platform and its developer ecosystem. Before Twitter, Ryan was director of consumer products at Skyhook Wireless, which pioneered the Wi-Fi and cellular tower triangulation technology incorporated in the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and MacBook.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ryan made his move into the world of VC?

2.) What were Ryan’s biggest takeaways from seeing Twitter scale from 30 to 2,500? How does he apply those to his formative days learning the investing game?

3.) Coming from the hustle of operation, do VCs have enough hustle and grit in Ryan’s opinion?

4.) What really is an EIR program? Why does Redpoint have it? What are the fundamental benefits? How do investors collaborate and work with EIR’s?

5.) Ryan has said before that AI is the next transformational platform. What does AI as a platform look like to Ryan? How does hardware and sensors integrate with this thesis? Why is it easier than ever to build these smart devices?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ryan’s Fave Book: Sapiens

Ryan’s Most Recent Investment: Luxe

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

 

20VC: Redpoint’s Tomasz Tunguz on Winning with Data: How To Gain A Competitive Advantage & Dominate Markets with Data and 5 Steps To Create A Data Driven Company

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Tom Tunguz is a Partner @ Redpoint Ventures, where he has invested in the likes of Axial, DremioExpensify, Electric Imp, Looker, and ThredUP. Tomasz is also the co-author of Winning with Data: Transform Your Culture, Empower Your People, and Shape the Future, which explores the cultural changes big data brings to business, and shows you how to adapt your organization to leverage data to maximum effect. Before joining Redpoint, Tomasz was the product manager for Google’s AdSense social-media products and AdSense internationalization.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) When did Tom perceive the true power of data for the first time?

2.) What is the biggest difference between a company that is data driven and one that is not? What are the inherent benefits and how can non data driven businesses become data driven?

3.) What are the best data driven teams doing to operationalise their data today?

4.) Adam Grant: 8% of job interviews are productive. So what structure can management use to ensure higher efficiency in the hiring process?

5.) What are the complexities and skills required for strong data analysis in today’s environment?

6.) Data often leads to over confidence in decision making, how do you prevent illusion bias once data has been obtained?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Tom’s Most Recent Investment: Dremio

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital. Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

 

20VC: Giphy’s Adam Leibsohn on From Being Homeless To Founding a Multi Hundred Million Dollar Startup & The Challenges of Creating One of The World’s Largest Search Engine

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Adam Leibsohn is the Founder and COO @ Giphy, the company that brings you joy and laughter through gifs. Earlier this year, Giphy raised a phenomenal $55m Series C financing from the likes of General Catalyst, Lerer Hippeau, Lightspeed and Betaworks. As for Adam he is one of the coolest and most genuine founders I have ever interviewed and is so committed to the startup cause that at one point he went without a home to pay for the startup dream!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Adam went from being homeless to the Founder of Giphy?

2.) What were the biggest lessons Adam learnt from his failed startup? When should founders know when is the right time to stop?

3.) Why gifs and why now? What has allowed for the spectacular rise of gifs?

4.) How has Adam created such a unique culture at Giphy? What have been his key learnings? What has worked, what has not worked?

5.) Giphy is now a cultural icon but how does Adam look to turn that into a massive globally profit making business?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Adam’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: The Information, Dealbook

Adam’s Fave Book: East of Eden

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital. Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

20VC: What Is Wrong With The VC Industry, Why VC Is A Customer Service Game and Why Car Ownership Will Be A Thing Of The Past with Brett DeMarrais, Partner @ Ludlow Ventures

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Brett DeMarrais is a Partner @ Ludlow Ventures, who have investments in the likes of ProductHunt, Sprig, AngelList and uBeam. Prior to joining Ludlow, Brett founded Wedit, a crowd sourced wedding video platform that reduced the cost of wedding videos and made them social. Within the first year of launching the company Wedit had won the top industry awards for customer satisfaction (Brides Choice 2012 and Best of The Knot 2012). Previously, Brett worked at Out of the Blue Entertainment.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brett made his move into VC and came to be a partner @ Ludlow?

2.) What do most VCs mean they say ‘founder friendly’? How does Brett and Ludlow approach the popularised saying?

3.) How does Brett balance between being an investor and advisor to a founder and then being their friend and confidante?

4.) How does Brett look to balance the fiduciary responsibilities to his LPs when appreciating that the needs of the founder come before the needs of the company?

5.) Brett has previously said, ‘car ownership will be a thing of the past’. Why does Brett think this and what does this mean for the car industry as a whole?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brett’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Both Sides Of The Table, Dan Primack: Term Sheet

Brett’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

Brett’s Most Recent Investment: Gather

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

 

20VC: Lerer Hippeau’s Ben Lerer on ‘Investing With Imagination’, Strategies To Avoid Fomo & Develop Pattern Recognition As An Investor and Why We Have Seen The Rise of Direct To Consumer Business & Will This Continue With Further M&A

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Ben Lerer is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures and co-founder & CEO of Thrillist Media Group. Ben was among Ernst & Young’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winners, Forbes list of “Most Powerful CEOs Under 40”, ” Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs of the Year,” and Silicon Alley Insider’s “100 Coolest People in Tech”. Ben is also an active mentor for NYC Venture Fellows, TechStars and E[nstitute].

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ben came to found Thrillist and then join the founding team at Lerer Hippeau?

2.) How did Ben’s mentality shift from investing angel money to the fiduciary responsibility of a fund?

3.) How does Ben view FOMO? How does he look to negate and control his emotions when investing?

4.) How has Ben seen his personal pattern recognition change over time? How does Ben use data to further improve his ability of pattern recognition?

5.) Why have we seen the rise of direct to consumer businesses? Is it easier to build a brand today than in previous years? Will we see continued M&A in the retail world with the likes of Jet.co and Dollar Shave Club?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Book: The Goldfinch

Ben’s Most Recent Investment: Everytable

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

 

Cooley are the global law firm built around startups and venture capital.  Since forming the first venture fund in Silicon Valley, Cooley has formed more venture capital funds than any other law firm in the world, with 50+ years working with VCs. They help VCs form and manage funds, make investments and handle the myriad issues that arise through a fund’s lifetime. So to learn more about the #1 most active law firm representing VC-backed companies going public. Head over to cooley.com and also at cooleygo.com.

 

20VC: How To Win The Strategic Process Of Fundraising and Optimising Co-Founder Relationships and Break Ups with Kathryn Minshew, Founder & CEO @ The Muse

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Kathryn Minshew is the Founder & CEO @ The Muse, named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media and Inc.’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech. Before founding The Muse, Kathryn worked on vaccines in Rwanda and Malawi with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and was previously at McKinsey. Kathryn has spoken at MIT and Harvard, appeared on The TODAY Show and CNN, and contributes on career and entrepreneurship to the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kathryn came to be Founder of The Muse following charity work in Rwanda?

2.) Question from Adam Quinton (investor): What is it about Kathryn and Alex’s relationship that works so well? How do they deal with founder disputes?

3.)  Prior to The Muse, Alex and Kathryn founded another business with 2 other founders. What did they learn from the breakup and how have they applied to The Muse?

4.) How has Kathryn managed to maintain startup ownership culture as the team has grown to over 100 people ?

5.) The Muse has now raised large Series A & B rounds. What were the lessons Kathryn learnt along the way and what would she do differently for the C round?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kathryn’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: The Atlantic, The New York Times

Kathryn’s Fave Book: Arcadia by Tom Stoppard 

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

Did you know companies that regularly communicate with stakeholders regularly are 200% more likely to get follow on funding? Visible.vc is the leader in stakeholder communication & engagement powering updates & reports for over 1,600 companies including customers Amazon and Skyscanner. They integrate with apps you already use to run your business like Google Sheets, Quickbooks, Xero, Salesforce, Stripe and more.

Listeners make sure to check out visible.vc/20 to get an exclusive deal just for you and schedule a call with your own data analyst.

20VC: Why Great Founders Are Both Visionary & Stubborn, The Investment Mindset Shift From Angel To VC & How To React When The ‘S*** Hits The Fan?’ with Jesse Middleton, General Partner @ Flybridge Capital Partners

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Jesse Middleton is a General Partner @ Flybridge Capital Partners. Prior to joining Flybridge, Jesse was an early executive at WeWork, one of the fastest growing and most valuable startups in history. He co-founded WeWork Labs in 2011, and ran WeWork X, M&A, startup investments, business and digital product development as well as inside sales during his five-year tenure at the company. Prior to WeWork, Jesse was the co-founder and CEO of Backstory, a venture backed startup. Jesse also has experience as a prolific angel investor having invested in the like of Fitmob (acq by ClassPass) YourTrove acq by LiveNation and inDinero, who you might remember we had Jessica Mah, Founder @ inDinero on the show.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jesse made the transition from operator with WeWork to General Partner @ Flybridge?

2.) At what stage does founder vision transition to become stubbornness? How does Jesse approach the situation of telling a founder when it is not working?

3.) How does Jesse’s investment mindset shift from making the move from angel to VC with fiduciary responsibility?

4.) How does Jesse look to develop pattern recognition as a new entrant to VC? How important a role does mentorship play for Jesse?

5.) What are the characteristics Jesse looks for in a founder that suggest an innate problem solver? How does Jesse deal with problems when the ‘shit hits the fan?’

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jesse’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Purple, The Skimm

Jesse’s Fave Book: Leadership & The Challenge of Self Deception

Jesse’s Most Recent Investment: Squire

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: Science Inc’s Peter Pham on Why The Battle Between Entrepreneurs & VCs Is Unfair, How To Even The Playing Field & How To Tell When A VC Really Is Interested

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Peter Pham is a Co-Founder at Science, the startup studio that helps incubate companies co-building them alongside CEO’s, with recent companies like Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever for $1B) and leading marketplace, DogVacay. More recently Science created created one of the top 100 iOS Apps called Wishbone. Peter has also helped his portfolio raise over $350M in that time. Previously as an operator, he led Photobucket to its $300M acquisition by Fox Interactive Media as well as CEO of BillShrink (acquired by MasterCard.)

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Peter made the transition from operator to company builder with Science?

2.) How does Peter approach the fundraising process itself? How does he instruct founders about the right ways to approach and enter the fundraising game?

3.) How can entrepreneurs determine whether a VC is saying not to them? What are the signs that an investor is genuinely interested?

4.) With 3,000 no’s from investors, how does that affect Peter’s mentality? How does he avoid the negativity surrounding a VC saying no?

5.) What are Peter’s major learnings on how companies scale effectively today? How important are network effects to this scaling?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Peter’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Recode

Peter’s Fave Book: How To Win Friends & Influence People

Peter’s Most Recent Investment: Handstand App

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: Maximising Engagement and Retention on Mobile & Why There Should Always Be Availability To A Free Product with Sean Brecker, CEO @ Headspace

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Sean Brecker is the CEO @ Headspace where he is the driving force behind all financial and commercial matters including overseeing the company’s growth of it’s product line which now has over 8m downloads. Sean was also instrumental in attaining the first  institutional round of financing which included investment from the likes of LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, Jim Breyer, Jessica Alba and Jared Leto, just to name a few. Prior to Headspace, Sean spent 15 years in banking with the likes of JP Morgan, Lehmann Brothers and Citigroup.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sean made the move from banking to CEO of meditation service, Headspace?

2.) Meditation can be viewed with some hippy stereotypes, how does Sean look to optimise the onboarding for new users and incorporate elements of education?

3.) How does Sean implement a strategy of habit forming within the users? In the words of Nir Eyal, how do we get them ‘hooked’? How long on average does it take for an action to be completed before it becomes a habit?

4.) How does Sean try and optimise the transition from free to paid user with Headspace? How does Sean try and remove as much friction as possible in the process?

5.) How has Sean seen the growth of the health and wellness space over the last few years? We obviously have the likes of Calm, is this market a winner takes all and how does Sean approach market competition at Headspace?

6.) How was the fundraising process for Sean? How did he come to meet investors like Jeff Weiner, Jim Breyer, Jessica Alba and Jared Leto?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sean’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: The Information, Recode

Sean’s Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things, A Man In Full

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WeAreLATech is the number one resource uniting the LA startup community. Immediately integrate into the explosive LA tech scene by visiting WeAreLATech.com/VC. WeAreLATech offers a unique combination of curated offline experiences, the #1 LA Tech podcast called “WeAreLATech”, and the only mobile app that keeps you in the know with a full calendar of events. Make sure go to WeAreLATech.com/VC to explore and learn all about everything LA tech and silicon beach. You’ll also get access to a private LA tech immersion call exclusively for 20 Minute VC listeners.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

 

 

20VC: Why Raising A Fund Is Like Raising A $25m Seed Round with No Product & Why Not All LP Money Is Equal with Chad Byers, General Partner @ Susa Ventures

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Chad Byers is a General Partner @ Susa Ventures and very exciting news, Susa last week announced the raise of Susa II, a new $50m fund, testament to the quality of fund 1 which included the likes of former guests Lyst, RobinHood, LendUp and many more incredible companies. As for Chad, he focuses on investments in enterprise software, fintech, and healthcare. Prior to Susa, Chad spent time in various marketing and product management roles. As well as being a prolific angel investor in over 30+ companies.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Chad made the transition from angel investor to General Partner @ Susa?

2.) How was the fundraise with Susa 1? How was the fundraise for Susa II? How did the funding rounds change for each fund?

3.) How does Chad assess LP fit? Is all LP money not equal? What does Chad look for in his LPs?

4.) Question from Michael Kim @ Cendana: How does Chad look to establish the mindshare with entrepreneurs and other VCs for Susa in today’s competitive environment?

5.) How does Chad approach the reserve structure of Susa fund II? How did Chad come tot hat conclusion as the optimal amount for follow on?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Chad’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Coding VC, Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

Chad’s Fave Book: When Breathe Becomes Air

Chad’s Most Recent Investment: Modsy

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.ukand enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

 

20VC: Upfront Ventures’ Greg Bettinelli on Testing For Founder ‘Grit’ & What It Takes To Build A Successful Consumer Brand Today

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Greg Bettinelli is a Partner at Upfront Ventures where he specialises in businesses at the juncture of retail and technology. Prior to Upfront, Greg was the CMO for HauteLook, a leading online flash-sale retailer that was acquired by Nordstrom for $270mm. Before HauteLook, Greg was Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Live Nation, responsible for strategic direction and key business partnerships for Live Nation’s ticketing and digital businesses. Before Live Nation, Greg held a number of leadership positions at eBay and StubHub and was the business leader who led eBay’s acquisition of StubHub in 2007.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Greg made his way into VC from the unconventional world of retail and consumer?

2.) How has Greg’s unconventional background altered how he views investments and founders? How does Greg test for the ‘grit’ required to be a founder?

3.) With the rise of direct to consumer, will we see the end of the physical retail store? Why do big retailers still have such little e-commerce presence?

4.) To what extent does Greg view brand as a form of IP in a prospective investment? How have we seen changing brand loyalty in the last decade?

5.) What are the fundamentals for growing a consumer brand successfully? Who has exemplified this?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Greg’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Dan Primack: Term Sheet

Greg’s Fave Book: Michael Lewis

Greg’s Most Recent Investment: Happy Returns

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

WeAreLATech is the number one resource uniting the LA startup community. Immediately integrate into the explosive LA tech scene by visiting WeAreLATech.com/VCWeAreLATech offers a unique combination of curated offline experiences, the #1 LA Tech podcast called “WeAreLATech”, and the only mobile app that keeps you in the know with a full calendar of events. Make sure go to WeAreLATech.com/VC to explore and learn all about everything LA tech and silicon beach. You’ll also get access to a private LA tech immersion call exclusively for 20 Minute VC listeners.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: How Entrepreneurs Should Manage Their Board & Why Time Constraints Are Always The Key To Progress with Paul Berberian @ Sphero

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Paul Berberian is the CEO of Sphero, the robotic ball controlled from your smartphone. They have investment from our friends in Boulder, Brad Feld and David Cohen. Prior to Sphero, Paul was the co-founder of Raindance Communications (NASDAQ: RNDC). Paul also founded Market Force Information, an emerging information company with a vision to provide retailers. As well as, LINK-VTC, a video teleconferencing company, which was sold in 1995 to Frontier Communications.

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In Today’s Episode with Paul You Will Learn:

1.) How Paul came to be CEO @ Sphero?

2.) Paul has founded and run 7 businesses, How has Paul seen his style of leadership change over the past decade or so?

3.) Question from Brad Feld: When Paul disagrees with his board, how does he resolve it? What have been Paul’s learnings in maintaining a happy board environment?

4.) Sphero have raised, at last count, $80m? How has Paul seen investor sentiment to hardware alter over the 5-6 years? How did he meet his investors? What did Paul do well and what would Paul like to improve upon for next time?

5.) Question from Brad Feld: ‘Sphero looks like a massive success but every startup has had failures, so what have Paul’s failures been and what did he learn from them?’

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Paul’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Quora

Paul’s Fave Book: The Black Box

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: Why Hardware Is Actually Software Wrapped In Plastic & “Of Course Hardware Is Hard, Everything Is Hard” with Ben Einstein, Founder & General Partner @ Bolt VC

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Ben Einstein is Founder and General Partner @ Bolt, Bolt is a fund designed to address the unique needs of early-stage startups at the intersection of hardware and software, investing up to $500K in pre-seed, pre-product companies. They have created and backed some world class businesses that have received later funding from Khosla, Kleiner Perkins, NEA, and Softtech just to name a few.

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In Today’s Episode with Ben You Will Learn:

  • How Ben made his way into VC from such a product centric background?
  • Why have we seen a rise in hardware investing over the last 5 years? How has this affected the hardware ecosystem?
  • To what extent do hardware and software integrate today? Why have we seen the rise of software determining the hardware winners?
  • Why is brand the most important thing in consumer hardware? Who has done it best? Who has not done it well?
  • What is Ben’s biggest advice to hardware founders today? Why is raising too much money extremely dangerous for hardware founders?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Ben Evans

Ben’s Fave Book: The Box

Ben’s Most Recent Investment: Grow: Redesigning Gardening

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: 500 Startups’ Dave McClure on Whether Unicorns Are Necessary For Venture Returns & Why Ownership Is Not The Math To Think About When Investing

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Dave McClure is the founding partner of 500 Startups, who have made over 1500 investments in the likes of Twilio, SendGrid, Intercom and Makerbot just to name a few. Prior to 500 Dave was on the investment team at Founders Fund, he also led the Facebook Fund Incubator and was Head of Marketing @ Paypal pre IPO.

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In Today’s Episode with Dave You Will Learn:

  • How Dave made his way into VC and came to found 500 Startups?
  • Do you need unicorn exits to have significant venture returns? What is the 500 view with regards to the hit ratio of finding unicorns?
  • How much ownership does 500 typically take? Does this allow Dave enough of a right to follow on in further rounds with such a small initial slice?
  • How does Dave and 500 avoid the inherent signalling risk involved with their fund and accelerator? How prominent is signalling in today’s market?
  • What did Dave think of Sam Altman’s statement on YC not accepting companies from other accelerators? How does Dave view YC companies?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dave’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Brad Feld, AVC, Mark Suster

Dave’s Fave Book: Guns Germs and Steel, The Mystery of Capital

Dave’s Most Recent Investment: Markhor

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: Wealthfront’s Adam Nash on What Makes Great CEO’s & Why Humans Suck At Investing

Adam Nash is the President and CEO of Wealthfront, where he is on a mission to put the client first and change the bad practices of the financial services industry. Adam joined Wealthfront from Greylock Partners, where he was an Executive-in-Residence. Prior to Greylock, he was VP of Product Management at LinkedIn, where he built the teams responsible for core product, user experience, platform and mobile. Adam also held a number of roles at Ebay, Atlas Venture Preview Systems and Apple.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Adam came to be President and CEO @ Wealthfront?

2.) What makes a great product person and how does that compare to Adam’s role now as CEO and the skills required to be a great CEO?

3.) Is it fair to suggest that PMs are the CEO of a mini product? How transferrable are the skills of product managers to the skills required of CEOs?

4.) How was the transition for Andy in making the move from PM to COO to CEO? What were the biggest challenges and surprises?

5.) Why does Andy believe that building software through hierarchy does not work? How can leaders empower their team with a sense of ownership?

6.) Why do humans suck at investing? Will we see the domination of full scale financial robo advisors in the next 10 years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Adam’s Fave Book: Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Adam’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Nuzzel

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Adam on Twitter here!
Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: Dollar Shave Club’s Series A & B Lead Investor, David Pakman on The Requirements For A Successful Subscription Business & Why A Lot of Investors Do Not Like Consumer

David Pakman is a Partner at Venrock and the man behind Venrock’s leading of the Series A and B rounds for Dollar Shave Club. Prior to Venrock David spent 12 years as an internet entrepreneur. Including being CEO of eMusic, the world’s leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes. Prior to eMusic, David co-founded Myplay in 1999, which he later sold, in 2001, to Bertelsmann’s ecommerce Group. If that wasn’t enough David is also the co-creator of Apple Computer’s Music Group.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

 

  • How did David make his way into the world of VC with Venrock?
  • David invested in Dollar Shave when subscription ecommerce funding was largely out of favour. What was it that excited Dave about Dollar Shave and why did he choose to invest?
  • To what extent do we see the existence of party rounds in today’s funding environment?
  • Venrock took the rather unusual position to lead both the A and B rounds for Dollar Shave. What was the internal conversations like within Venrock towards this decision?
  • Dollar Shave was growing at phenomenal rates with impressive growth, what was behind the decision to sell at this time? What were the incentives behind selling to Unilever?
  • Will we see other large e-commerce exits in the future? What does the future M&A environment look like for consumer businesses?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Mindset by Carole Dweck

David’s Most Recent Investment: Pearl

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: Data Collective’s Matt Ocko on Why “All Fund Size Models Are Wrong” and The Lifecycle of Current Venture Funds Is Inefficient?

Matt Ocko is the Co-Managing Partner and Co-Founder @ Data Collective and has over 3 decades of experience as a tech entrepreneur and VC and has made investments in the likes of Facebook, Zynga, Uber and AngelList just to name a few. If that was not enough he is also an inventor on over 40 granted or in process patents. A truly deep thinker and one of my fave ever shows to record.

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In Today’s Episode with Matt You Will Learn:

  • How Matt made his way into VC and came to co-found Data Collective?
  • Why does Matt believe “All Fund Size Models are Wrong”. Does the current bifurcation of VC into angels/micro-VCs, small seed/A funds, big bruisers, and post-C/pre-IPO make for sub-optimal returns both on a societal and monetary perspective?
  • What does the opportunity fund allow Data Collective? How do they use the initial fund to invest for insight in into companies at the earliest stages? How do they avoid the negative signalling risk that is normally ensued with an opportunity fund?
  • How important is thesis driven venture firms? Does specialisation aid or hinder venture returns and why?
  • How does Matt view the lifecycle of current venture? Matt has previously said it is inherently inefficient, why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Matt’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: MIT Technology Review

Matt’s Fave Book: The Way Things Work

Matt’s Most Recent Investment: Tradeshift

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Eve make 1 perfect mattress – made with 3 layer technology and next generation memory foam. It comes packaged in a beautiful box and arrives the day after you order. You get 100 nights to try it with free return pick-up – it really is the perfect mattress for everyone. Just go online to evemattress.co.uk and enter the code 20VC for £50 off. Everybody deserves the perfect start with Eve.

20VC: Steve Schlafman, Investor @ RRE Ventures

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Steve Schlafman is an early stage investor @ RRE Ventures, where he specialises in marketplaces, mobile services and hardware. At RRE, Steve has led investments in the likes of theSkimm, Hightower, TinyBop, Breather, and Managed by Q. Prior to joining RRE, Steve was a principal with our friends at Lerer Hippeau Ventures in NYC. Before becoming a venture capitalist, Steve worked in operations at Stickybits Inc, Turntable.fm, Microsoft and served as Director of Venture Investments at The Kraft Group.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Steve made his way into the VC industry with YC?

2.) What does it take to make the transition from seed investor to Series A and later stage investor?

3.) What does ‘hurting a company look like when pricing the round for a startup’s nest funding round? Is it the VCs role to educate entrepreneurs on this caution? 

4.) How does the investment decision making process differ when comparing the Seed to Series A round?

5.) Why does Steve think there needs to be greater mentoring in the ecosystem? What can individuals do to build relationships and gain mentors?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Steve’s Fave Book: Work Rules, Leading by Mike Moritz

Steve’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: AVC, Statechery

Steve’s Most Recent Investment: Brightwheel

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Steve on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
DC-logo-500x278
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Justin Kan: Partner @ YC

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Justin Kan is a partner at the world renowned Y Combinator, the birthplace of the likes of Dropbox, AirBnB, Scribd and Reddit just to name a few. Prior to YC, Justin was the founder @ Twitch.tv, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers which was acquired by Amazon for $970m. Previous guest Mike Seibel was also part of that amazing journey and if you have not checked out his episode, you can find it here.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Justin came to found Twitch.tv and later made his way into the VC industry with YC?

2.) What does Justin believe are the 3 fundamental qualities that make up a good investor? How has his own approach to pattern recognition altered over time?

3.) With the growth of YC batches, how have YC attempted to maintain the same levels of quality and mentorship with the growth

4.) We are always told YC and VCs work together. Is YC’s new $700m growth fund not in direct competition with VCs?

5.)  How does Justin approach the growth of his own personal brand? How important is it to Justin and investors and VCs on the whole?

6.) Why is Justin so bullish on Snapchat? What elements have Snapchat done that he looked to do with Justin.tv? If Justin were Evan Spiegel for the day, what would he change?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Justin’s Fave Book: Shogun: The 1st Novel of The Asian Saga

Justin’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Nuzzel, The Information

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Justin on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
DC-logo-500x278
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Why People Should Never Be Surprised If Fired, Subscription E-Commerce Is Hot & People Never Give True and Direct Feedback with Amir Elaguizy, Co-Founder @ Cratejoy

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Amir Elaguizy is the Founder & CEO @ YC backed, Cratejoy, the website builder and backend for subscription e-commerce stores. Cratejoy have funding from the likes of General Catalyst, Andreesen Horowitz, Y Combinator and Charles River Ventures With regards to Amir, he previously founded Market Zero, a poker software company which was acquired by Zynga, where he then spent time as a game CTO.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Amir came to be an entrepreneur, got acquired by Zynga and then started Cratejoy?

2.) With the recent acquisition of Dollar Shave Club, the subscription e-commerce business is hot, why does Amir think most people misunderstand the space?

3.) Amir previously said, ‘owning recruiting is the single most important thing you can do’, why does he believe this? Does Amir believe that the early team might not necessarily be the team to evolve from a $1m business to a $20m business? 

4.) What is the difference between foundational team members and mercenary team members? What are the signs an individual is worth spending time to grow with?

5.)  Amir previously said, ‘most people have never received true direct feedback on performance’, how does Amir look to differentiate himself? Is it suitable for the leadership to be the bad guy?

6.) How can the firing process be approached with respect and dignity? Should it ever be a surprise? If it is a surprise what does that suggest about your leadership previously?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Amir’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

Amir’s Fave Podcasts: The Twenty Minute VC, SaaStr

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Amir on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
DC-logo-500x278
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Mythbuster: Is Mobile Dying? Is AR/VR Overhyped? Is The Excitement Around Bots Justified with Sean Flynn, Partner @ Shasta Ventures

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Sean Flynn is a Managing Partner @ Shasta Ventures where he invests in mobile-enabled consumer Internet and enterprise software companies. Sean has led Shasta’s investments in Dollar Shave Club, Whisper and serves on the board of directors for the likes of TimeHop, Zefr, Swipely, Bloc and TigerText. Before joining Shasta, Sean worked at Yahoo, where he focused on growing the company’s communication and messaging products such as Yahoo! Mail, Messenger, Groups and Flickr.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sean made his way into VC from the titan that is Yahoo?

Now today I want to do something slightly different and do a myth busting episode, take a couple of sectors and discuss whether they are truths and complexities to the core statement.

2.) Starting with the most common assumption in VC that it is all about team, to what extent does Sean place team ahead of product and is this a slight misconception?

3.) Many are saying mobile is a dying space. Sean previously said, ‘it is not dead yet’. Why is there promise for mobile? What will be the catalyst of it’s death? How does this affect Sean’s investment decision making?

4.) Another much hyped topic is AR/VR, is the excitement surround AR and VR justified? Where does Sean stand on investing in the installation phase of cycles?

5.) Similar to AR/VR is the hype surround bots justified? What will be the sustainable business model for bots?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sean’s Fave Book: What Do You Do With An Idea 

Sean’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Nuzzel, 538 Blog

Sean’s Most Recent Investment: Tally

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Sean on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
DC-logo-500x278
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Semil Shah on Why The Most Important Thing An Investor Can Do Is Attract Follow On & The Fundamentals of VC Branding

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Semil Shah is the founder of Haystack, an early stage investment firm now investing out of it’s third fund, with previous investments being Instacart, DoorDash, Managed by Q. In the past he has also been a consultant to some of the leading funds in the valley including the likes of Kleiner Perkins, DFJ, General Catalyst and more. If that was not enough, Shah also has an extensive career in media having been a contributor for both TechCrunch and the Harvard Business Review in the past. Due to all of this Shah was listed by Marc Andreesen as one of his ’55 Unknown Rockstars in Tech’.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Semil made his way into VC? How did he come to create Haystack?

2.) What were the challenges and concerns for Semil in raising and establishing his own fund?

3.) Question from Michelle Tandler: How does Semil send deals through to Series A? What is his ‘cool’ process? What are the commonalities of those that make it to Series A and those that do not?

4.) How has Semil approached the aspect of personal VC branding? How does he evaluate the rise of the personal VC brand in the last few years?

5.) Why does Semil believe he is not ‘founder friendly’ in the conventional sense?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Semil’s Fave Book: Burmese Days by George Orwell

Semil’s Most Recent Investment: AquaCloud

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Semil on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
DC-logo-500x278
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

Unity 3D’s David Helgason on Building a $bn Business, Getting Funded By Sequoia and Powering The Pokemon Revolution

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David Helgason is the Founder and Board Member @ Unity 3D. The company that recently announced a new $181m Series C, valuing the company at $1.5bn. Unity’s platform has revolutionized the game industry by allowing any size studio from Indie to Triple-A to create beautiful and compelling games and experiences and monetize them with their advertising and analytics services. As for David, he served as CEO of Unity from its founding in 2003 right up until 2014 taking the company through numerous funding rounds including from the one and only Sequoia Capital.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David came to found Unity 3D?

2.) How pivotal was the rise of the App stores to the rise of Unity 3D? What does David make of Apple’s recent announcement to add paid search and subscription pricing?

3.) How does David evaluate the current gaming landscape? What does he not like about the industry and how the major players are operating?

4.) What are David’s thoughts on the emerging platforms like AR and VR? How does he incorporate them into Unity’s future product roadmap?

5.) How was the fundraising process for David with Unity? How did the Sequoia investment happen and what has it been like to work with them and Roelof Botha?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Guns, Germs & Steel 

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and David on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Why The Whole Industry Is Backward Looking, The Best Funds Are Entrepreneur Led and Venture Is All About Access with Alex Bangash, Founder @ Trusted Insight

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Alex Bangash is the founder of Trusted Insight, the largest online asset management platform for institutional investors. He is also the managing director of TI Platform Fund, an online venture capital fund-of-fund. Prior to founding Trusted Insight, Alex was also the founder of Rumson Group, an advisor to institutional investors. Alex has helped invest over $1 billion in over 50 funds.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alex made his way into the world of investing in VC funds?

2.) Why does Alex believe the whole finance industry is backward looking? Is this why he thinks there is so much VC churn?

3.) Why does Alex believe VC is always about access? Is this why Alex has such a strong preference for funds that are also platforms?

4.) Why does Alex believe true early stage is getting smaller and smaller? How does his return expectations differ according to the size of the fund?

5.) What happens when funds do not go to plan or do not have notable exits to raise fund II? What happens then?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alex’s Fave Book: Ben Horowitz: Hard Thing About Hard Things, Peter Thiel: Zero To One

Alex’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Paul Graham

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Alex on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
DC-logo-500x278
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Flybridge’s Jeff Bussgang on Why It Is Not All About Unit Economics & Why VCs Are Big Data Decision Makers

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Jeff Bussgang is a Co-Founder and General partner @ Flybridge Capital, where has made investments in numerous incredible companies including 2 former guests of the show, Jeff Seibert @ Crashlytics (sold to Twitter) and Josh Udashkin @ Raden. Jeff is also a Senior Lecturer @ Harvard Business School where he has co-authored no less than 15 cases. He is also an author having written the renowned, Mastering The VC Game to the acclaim of The Financial Times, TechCrunch, BusinessWeek and more. Jeff also has an incredible blog, Seeing Both Sides, which you can find here.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeff made his way into VC? How did he come to co-found Flybridge?

2.) To what extent does Jeff believe there is a glass ceiling for people without operations experience to progress up the VC ladder?

3.) How can companies establish cultures and processes when they have to change and reinvent every 6-12 months?

4.) What are venture returns? What metrics does Jeff use to determine his success?

5.) Is a focus on unit economics now one of the only ways to achieve equity value creation? How can consumer adoption drive equity value creation?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeff’s Fave Book: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Jeff’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Mattermark Daily

Jeff’s Most Recent Investment: Sentenai

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jeff on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
DC-logo-500x278
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Why Every Employee Should Re-Apply For Their Job Every Year & The Strategies To Prepare For A Successful Fundraise with Kyle Hill, Founder & CEO @ HomeHero

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Kyle Hill is the Co-Founder & CEO @ HomeHero, one of the largest providers of non-medical home care in California. HomeHero has provided over 1 million hours of care to thousands of families and won “Best Employment Website of 2014”. Due to this immense success Kyle has been on CNN, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and many more. HomeHero has raised funds from some of the world’s best investors including Chamath & Mamoon @ Social Capital, Jason Calacanis @ TWIST and Peter & Michael @ Science Inc.

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1In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kyle came to found HomeHero? What was the a-ha moment for him?

2.) Question from Mamoon @ Social Capital: Considering that this is not your typical software business; being largely people centric, how does Kyle think about the profitability of such a business?

3.) How much of a role does unit economics lay in the mind of Kyle? How does Kyle look to balance growth with profitability?

4.) How was the fundraising process for Kyle with Chamath & Mamoon @ Social Capital? What did Kyle do to prepare for the pitch? What did Kyle do well? What would Kyle look to improve upon? How would Kyle like VCs to treat him as a Founder?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kyle’s’s Fave Book: Black Swan

Kyle’s Fave Blog: The Best Designs.com

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Kyle on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: USV’s Brad Burnham on Co-Founding USV with Fred Wilson, What They Look For In Potential Partners & Whether We Are Entering a Period of Consolidation or Expansion

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Brad Burnham is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Union Square Ventures. I feel Brad is far better described by his partner Fred Wilson, than I ever could so this is Fred’s words on Brad. “Brad and I founded USV together in 2003. We had both been in the venture business for more than a decade, had made a fair bit of money, but were still hungry to prove ourselves. Brad is the strategist and the most principled investor in our firm. It was Brad’s idea to write a treatise on venture capital and the internet before we set off to raise our first fund and that exercise we did together continues to be our guding light. Brad is the person behind phrases like “the application layer of the technology stack” and “large networks of engaged users” that I use all the time. He gives me most of my good stuff which I often get credit for.”

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brad made his way into VC? How did he come to co-found USV with Fred in 2003?

2.) How did Brad approach team building with USV? What does he look for in his partners?

3.) Brad has previously stated his belief that ‘history does not repeat itself but it does rhyme,. How does this affect Brad’s view toward market cycles, the way tech is adopted and ultimately replaced?

4.) What does Brad make of the extension of the private market? Are we entering a period of consolidation? What makes Brad believe this?

5.) Looking back at the history of USV, what have been the inflection points in both the stature of the firm and then Brad’s learnings as a VC?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brad’s Fave Book: The Irrational Optimist

Brad’s Most Recent Investment: OB1

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Brad on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: USV’s Albert Wenger on Automation Replacing Humans, The Universal Basic Income and The Instalment & The Deployment Phase

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Albert Wenger is a partner at Union Square Ventures, one of the world’s leading VC firms with investments in Twitter, Twilio, Zynga, Soundcloud, Tumblr, Lending Club and many more. Before joining USV, Albert was the president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor (Etsy, Tumblr). He previously founded or co-founded several companies, including a management consulting firm and an early hosted data analytics company. Albert also writes a fantastic blog at Continuations.com and did a brilliant Ted X Talk here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) Albert breaks down the differences between the instalment and the deployment phases of technology? At what stage USV choose to invest and why?

3.) How much of a role does valuation play in Albert’s investment decision making process? At what level does speculation become irrational exuberance?

4.) Why does Albert want to limit network effects that are provided to winning companies? What does Albert think makes a contestable market? What are the characteristics?

5.) Why is Albert such a protagonist for the basic income guarantee? What are the challenges? How will this affect human’s relationship to automation? What will mankind do with this increased abundance of time?

6.) Why does Albert believe that every individual has the right to be presented by a personal bot? What are the prominent use cases? How does it invert the power relationships between networks and their participants?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Albert’s Fave Book: Beginning of Infinity 

Albert’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Azeem Azhar: The Exponential View

Albert’s Most Recent Investment: Clue: Period and Ovulation Tracker

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Albert on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: When To Transition From Growth to Profitability & The KPI’s of The On Demand Economy with Frank Mycroft @ Booster Fuels

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Frank Mycroft is the Founder & CEO @ Booster Fuels, the on-demand fuel delivery service backed by the likes of our friends at Maveron and Version One. As for Frank himself, he is literally a former rocket scientist with Nasa and has more degrees that I have done podcast episodes, making him one of the smartest guests we have ever had on the show. Directly prior to Booster Fuels, Frank was the VP of Strategy @ Planetary Resources, the Redmond based, asteroid mining company.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Frank came to Found Booster Fuels from his days with Nasa?

2.) How important a role does naivety play for founders starting building their company?

3.) With Fuel being such a  low margin business, how does Frank balance growth vs profitability with Booster Fuels? What are the tips for doing so in the on-demand economy?

4.) When is the transition point between growth at all costs to focusing on profitability and unit economics?

5.) To what extent is regulation a limiting factor for the growth of Booster fuels?

6.) Question from Dave Wu @ Maveron: What did Frank look for in his Series A investors? Question from Angela @ Version One: What is Frank’s wider vision for the future of on demand and Booster Fuels?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Frank’s Fave Book: Oh The Places You’ll Go

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Frank  on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: What It Takes To Raise A VC Fund & Investing in First Time Fund Managers with Michael Kim @ Cendana Capital

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Michael Kim is the founder and Managing Partner of Cendana Capital, a fund of funds which invests in seed VC funds. Michael has many of our previous guests in his portfolio including the likes of SoftTech, Freestyle, Founder Collective, Collaborative Fund and many more, clearly great minds think alike! Prior to Cendana, Michael was one of the original partners of Rustic Canyon Partners a VC firm with $1bn AUM.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into VC and then made the transition into the world of LP?

2.) Why have we seen the proliferation of seed funding? Is this a good thing for the economy? Is dumb money good or bad for the early stage environment?

3.) Chris Douvos states we will begin to see the hybridisation of LPs and GPs, does Michael agree? What are the inherent problems with this happening?

4.) What is Michael’s blackbox for assessing emerging fund managers? What does he look for? How can they present their edge?

4.) How does Michael respond to Dave McClure’s portfolio construction theory of allocating capital to many startups with the realisation that 0.5% become unicorns?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Michael’s Fave Book: Catcher & The Rye

Michael’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Techcrunch, The Twenty Minute VC

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

This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.
dave mcclure 16:30

20VC: The 4 Required Powers For A Startup To Be A $500m Business with “The Most Powerful Woman in Startups”, Ann Miura Ko, Co-Founder @ Floodgate

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Ann Miura-Ko has been called “the most powerful woman in startups” by Forbes and is the Co-Founder of Floodgate, one of the valley’s leading early stage funds with investments in the likes of Twitter, Twitch and TaskRabbit. Some of Ann’s investments at Floodgate include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, Chloe and Isabel, Maker Media, Wanelo, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth. Ann is also a lecturer in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, where she got her PhD focused on mathematical modeling of computer security.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) Ann’s 2nd day in VC was 9/11, how does Ann view investing in times of crisis and downturn? How does this effect the macro-economy and her investing cadence?

Floodgate state that all venture bankable high growth companies share 4 very common characteristics with regards to power. Here we break them down:

  • Proprietary Power: What is it? What are it’s characteristics?
  • Product Power: What does this imply about product market fit? What are the nuances and complexities?
  • Company Power: What does it take to be created and maintained? How have so many unicorns established themselves without credible and sustainable business models?
  • Category Power: Why it is so important to create a new category? How can this be done and who has done it well in the past?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ann’s Fave Book: The Poisonwood Bible

Ann’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Benedict Evans

Ann’s Most Recent Investment: The Greatist

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Ann on Twitter here!
This episode was brought to you by DesignCrowd, the online marketplace for custom graphic, logo and web design that helps startups, entrepreneurs, web developers and agencies outsource design projects to designers from around the world.
How Does It Work?
Once you have launched your brief, designers will begin submitting quality designs for you to review. With some constructive feedback, you can quickly generate a large gallery of designs that really do fit your needs. You can have exactly what you need within just three days. Once you have selected your favourite design, you will be sent all the files you require to update your branding. If you don’t like any of the submitted designs, then DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee. So checkout designcrowd.com/VC and enter the promo code VC100 to get an astonishing $100 off your next project.

20VC: Why Great VCs Know The Opportunity In Hardware, Physical Stores Will Not Disappear and The Importance of Consumer Brand with Josh Udashkin @ Raden

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Josh Udashkin is the Founder and CEO @ Raden, essentially making the unsexy sexy with a design-forward app-connected piece of luggage that provides a superior end-to-end travel experience. Prior to founding Raden, Udashkin practiced law and did international development for Canadian shoe company, Aldo. To date, Raden have raised funds from our friends @ First Round Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Pritzker Group and many more incredible investors.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh came to found Raden and what the a-ha moment was for him?

2.) Why does Josh believe in the benefits of the dual approach to selling both being online and with physical retail stores?

3.) Why have we seen such innovation in the space in the last 30 years? The incumbents have said, they are bad at selling online, what are they doing wrong? What is Josh doing to optimise the process?

4.) Why is Josh bullish on omni-channel retail? What are the benefits?

5.) How are hardware products innovating on the hardware as a service model and integrating physical retail products with superior mobile experiences?

6.) What trends have we seen in investing in hardware products in the last 5 years or so? Why is hardware becoming more attractive an investment field?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Josh’s Fave Book: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Josh’s Fave Blog: Business of Fashion

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!
If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, check it out here.
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa. Lees is like the TOMS Shoes or Warby Parker of the mattress industry. Here are 3 reasons why they are the best place to get your new mattress: Leesa has done away with the awkward mattress showroom experience by allowing a fully online experience, shipping to your doorstep for free. Their 10 inch mattresses come in all sizes and is crafted with 3 unique layers o foam including2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of really cool latex like foam design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are made 100% in the US or UK and they give you a 100 night trial, to make sure the mattress is perfect for you. Go to leesa.com/VC and enter promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Felicis’ Wesley Chan on The Rise of IoT, Getting Recruited by Larry Page & Creating Google’s Biggest Success Disaster

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Wesley Chan is a Manging Director @ Felicis Ventures where he has led investments in the likes of Canva, Flexport and Luma, just to name a few. Prior to Felicis, Wesley was a General Partner @ Google Ventures. Before Google Ventures he was an early employee at Google, where he founded and launched Google Analytics and Google Voice, resulting in his being awarded Google’s Founders Award–the company’s most prestigious recognition–for leading the development of Google’s early client efforts, which led to the development of Google Chrome. Fun fact about Wesley he is a massive hacker and IOT enthusiast with over 100 connected devices in his home.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Wesley made the transition from Foundering Google Voice and analytics to being a VC?

2.) What were Wesley’s biggest takeaways from leading investment at Google Ventures? When looking at Google’s investment in Nest, what makes Nest such a truly phenomenal connected device?

3.) Wesley previously said, ‘I look for patterns similar to Google Analytics in how if you build something great.’ What are those patterns and what does that thought process lead to in terms of thought outcome? What is a good example of this?

4.)  Where does Wesley think we are on the programmable interface element of consumer hardware? What would he like to see change or improve in the space?

5.) How has Wesley seen the investor sentiment to hardware change over the last decade? What have been the rivers in the rising positivity of investing in hardware?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Wesley’s Fave Book: The Big Short

Wesley’s Most Recent Investment: Luma

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Wesley 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 Snapchat here!

 

If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, check it out here.

The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa. Leesa is like the TOMS Shoes or Warby Parker of the mattress industry. Here are 3 reasons why they are the best place to get your new mattress: Leesa has done away with the awkward mattress showroom experience by allowing a fully online experience, shipping to your doorstep for free. Their 10 inch mattresses come in all sizes and is crafted with 3 unique layers o foam including2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of really cool latex like foam design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are made 100% in the US or UK and they give you a 100 night trial, to make sure the mattress is perfect for you. Go to leesa.com/VC and enter promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

 

20VC: Techstars Founder, David Cohen on Scaling Techstars Ventures and Investing In Uber, Twilio and Sendgrid

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David Cohen is the founder and managing partner at Techstars, so a few amazing stats on techstars first, they have a total of 762 companies of which 90% are active or have been acquired, having raised more than 2bn in funding. As for David he is a serial entrepreneur having founded Pinpoint Technologies which was acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation in 1999. David was also the founder and CEO of earFeeder.com, a music service which was sold to SonicSwap.com in 2006.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made the transition from Founder to VC with Techstars and Fund I?

2.) Fund I is one of the most successful funds in history; what was the structure with Fund I? Why did David choose a $5m fund size? How did he decide initial to follow on ratio?

3.)  Why was David so valuation sensitive with Fund I? Why was David so rigid on a consistent cheque size on Fund I?

4.)  Why did David decide to expand from being a solo GP fund? What are the challenges and complexities of fund scaling and did David approach this?

5.) Question from Ari Newman: What does David think about uncapped notes? Why does David like big boring companies? Brett Jackson: How did you meet Ryan Graves @ Uber and how did the Uber deal come about? Jason Seats: Where does David still see inefficiencies in the current venture model?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: The Soul Of Money

David’s Fave Blog: Mattermark Daily

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 Snapchat here!

 

If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, check it out here.

The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa. Leesa is like the TOMS Shoes or Warby Parker of the mattress industry. Here are 3 reasons why they are the best place to get your new mattress: Leesa has done away with the awkward mattress showroom experience by allowing a fully online experience, shipping to your doorstep for free. Their 10 inch mattresses come in all sizes and is crafted with 3 unique layers o foam including2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of really cool latex like foam design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are made 100% in the US or UK and they give you a 100 night trial, to make sure the mattress is perfect for you. Go to leesa.com/VC and enter promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

 

20 VC: Dennis Mortensen

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Dennis Mortensen is the CEO and Founder of X.ai, the artificial intelligence driven personal assistant that lets people schedule meetings using plain English and nothing more than a CC to amy@x.ai. Their female persona Amy is so lifelike that users have asked her on a date at a rate of one request per month! X.ai is now one of the best funded AI startups having raised over $30m from our friends at FirstMark and a big thanks to Matt Turck for making the intro and from DCM, who also helped us with some of the questions for Dennis!
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dennis came to found X.ai and what the a-ha moment was for him?

2.) What did the training look like for X.ai? How long did it take? How much data did you have to painstakingly annotate? What is more important; data or algorithms?

3.) Many VCs are concerned about large incumbents having proprietary data sets. Does this concern Dennis and what can be done to mitigate this

4.) Question from David Cheg @ DCM: How will AI startups interact with giant corporates also investing heavily in AI research?

5.) How was the fundraising journey for Dennis? How did he approach it strategically? What challenges did he face? How did he go about choosing his investors?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Dennis’ Fave Book: How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis

Dennis’ Fave Blog: Wait But Why

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Dennis 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!
If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, check it out here.
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa. Lees is like the TOMS Shoes or Warby Parker of the mattress industry. Here are 3 reasons why they are the best place to get your new mattress: Leesa has done away with the awkward mattress showroom experience by allowing a fully online experience, shipping to your doorstep for free. Their 10 inch mattresses come in all sizes and is crafted with 3 unique layers o foam including2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of really cool latex like foam design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are made 100% in the US or UK and they give you a 100 night trial, to make sure the mattress is perfect for you. Go to leesa.com/VC and enter promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why Bots Are The New Black, Conversational Interface Is The Next Wave For Consumerisation and The Determinants Of A Successful Marketplace with Annie Kadavy, General Partner @ CRV

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Annie Kadavy is a General Partner @ Charles River Ventures. The prestigious VC fund that is now on it’s 16th fund and has backed the likes of Twitter, Yammer and Mailbox just to name a few. At CRV, Annie focuses on all things consumer and has either led or sourced their investments in ClassPass, Cratejoy, Patreon, Laurel & Wolf and DoorDash. Prior to CRV, Annie spent time with SV Angel and Warby Parker.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.)Why have we seen the explosion of marketplaces in recent years? What are the inherent challenges of two sided marketplaces; typically consumers and micro-entrepreneurs? Does Annie agree with Jeff Jordan in stating that these marketplaces need to nurture and manage conditions of perfect competition?

3.) What are the core components to growing traditional producer consumer marketplaces? How do they broach the chicken and the egg problem of supply and demand?

4.) Why is Annie so excited for the potential of bots? Will the transition to bots and conversational interfaces represent a major point of disruption or more of an evolution in the interface paradigm?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Annie’s Fave Book: Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential by Carol Dweck

Annie’s Fave Blog: The Skimm

Annie’s Most Recent Investment: Roam

If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, check it out here.
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa. Lees is like the TOMS Shoes or Warby Parker of the mattress industry. Here are 3 reasons why they are the best place to get your new mattress: Leesa has done away with the awkward mattress showroom experience by allowing a fully online experience, shipping to your doorstep for free. Their 10 inch mattresses come in all sizes and is crafted with 3 unique layers o foam including2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of really cool latex like foam design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are made 100% in the US or UK and they give you a 100 night trial, to make sure the mattress is perfect for you. Go to leesa.com/VC and enter promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Andy Rachleff, Founder @ Benchmark & Wealthfront on What Makes The Best CEO & Board Member & Why Ivy League Endowments Are The Best Managed Capital In The World

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From 1995 until 2004 Andy Rachleff was a co-founder and General Partner of Benchmark Capital, who have backed the likes of Twitter, Snapchat, Dropbox, Uber and Instagram. Upon his retirement from Benchmark, Andy joined the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business to teach a variety of courses on entrepreneurship. In 2008 he co-founded Wealthfront Inc, the online financial advisor and investment management solution,  where he now serves as Executive Chairman. In just 3 years, Wealthfront now have over $2bn AUM.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made his way into the world of VC and what was the origin story behind the founding of Benchmark?

2.) Andy took the opposite route to most having been a VC and then founding Wealthfront. So what does Andy make of doing VC first and then becoming an operator?

3.) Why does Andy believe Ivy League endowments are the best managed pools of capital? What do they do well and what separates the good from the great?

4.) Andy has worked with some of the world’s best CEO’s and board members, so what makes the best board member and what makes the best CEO?

5.) How has Andy seen the VC industry evolve and develop over the last 20 years? How has Andy seen his own investment decision making process and patter recognition alter over that time?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Andy’s Fave Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Andy on Twitter here!
If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, 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: Raising $150m, Meeting Yuri Milner & Revolutionising Mobile Finance with Sasha Orloff @ LendUp

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Sasha Orloff is the CEO and Co-founder of LendUp, a fintech startup offering online and mobile personal loans and credit cards in the United States. Prior to launching LendUp Sasha was on the other side of the table as a VC with Citi Group’s corporate venture capital arm. On the topic of VC funding, LendUp raised an incredible $150m in Jan 2016 from likes of SV Angel, Yuri Milner our friends at Susa and Google Ventures just to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Sasha come to found LendUp following a stint in VC with Citi Group?

2.) What Sasha learnt from VC about running a successful startup and how he applied them to his founding of LendUp?

3.) Was it difficult leaving the security of a VC job to found a startup? Would you have done the same had you had children at the time?

4.) What trends in FinTech is Sasha most excited for? Why does Sasha think banks are in so much trouble? Is there the potential to co-operate rather than replace banks?

5.) How was the fundraising process for Sasha? What was his preferred round and how did they differ from stag to stage?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Sasha’s Fave Book: Banker To The Poor

Sasha’s Fave Blog: Sam Altman

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Sasha 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: Will LPs Replace GPs with Chris Douvos, Managing Director @ VIA

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If you’re interested in hearing more from Chris, you can also check out the incredible episode Notation Capital did with Chris here!

Chris Douvos is Managing Director @ Venture Investment Associates (VIA) where he is a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee and has responsibility for the management of relationships with the funds’ managers and its limited partners, as well as the identification and development of new relationships for the Firm. Prior to joining VIA, he spent time at The Investment Fund For Foundations (TIFF). where he was responsible for over $1 billion. Prior to that, Chris worked on Princeton University’s endowment team. One of Chris’ most notable investments is his pre-first fund investment in First Round Capital. Chris is also the author of the fantastic blog, www.SuperLP.com, definitely check that out if you have not had the chance yet.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Chris make his way into the world of limited partners?

2.) How does Chris respond to FOMO as an LP? Does it affect his decision making process? How does he look to avoid it?

3.) What patterns and processes has Chris developed to asses the ability of potential GPs?

4.) Is Chris concerned by the increasing time it is taking for startups to exit? How does this affect his think as an LP and cash on cash relationship to this asset class?

5.) In 2013, Chris aid micro VC was the most exciting space in VC, where is he most excited for now? Where will we see innovation in the VC market?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Chris’ Fave Blog: RedEye VC, Tomasz Tunguz

Chris’ Fave Book: The Great Gatsby

Chris’ Most Recent Investment: Other Lab

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Chris on Twitter 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: What LP’s Want In VCs with Beezer Clarkson, Managing Director @ Sapphire Ventures

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Beezer Clarkson is Managing Director @ Sapphire Ventures where she leads Sapphire’s investments in venture funds domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Sapphire, Beezer managed day-to-day operations @ DFJ’s Global Network, which had $7 billion under management across 16 venture funds worldwide. She has also spent time at Omidyar Network created by Ebay founder, Pierre Omdiyar, Hewlett Packard and Morgan Stanley. Beezer also runs the incredible openlp.com which is really opening up the world of LPs and if you have not checked that out, it really is a must!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Beezer make her way into the world of limited partners?

2.) How do LP’s find a new and talented fund manager? Is it a similar referral process as in startups with? How does the sourcing element of the LP world work?

3.) How do GPs raising a fund differ from startups raised their round? What are the similarities and differences in the processes?

4.) What does the investment decision making process look like for Beezer? Are their commonalities in the process of great LP’s processes? What do you at Sapphire focus on when investing??

5.) At Sapphire you have extensively researched the formulas of what makes a great VC, what have been your findings? What are the commonalities amongst the great VCs?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Beezer’s Fave Blog: Term Sheet, Strictly VC, The Information

Beezer’s Fave Book: The Tale of the One Way Street

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Beezer 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: Start Niche, Move Broader & Become Profitable Quickly with Melanie Perkins, Founder & CEO @ Canva

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Melanie Perkins, Founder & CEO at Canva the disruptive online platform allowing anyone to create professional quality designs. They have over 10m users from 179 countries and have funding from our friends at Shasta, Felicis and upcoming guests Blackbird Ventures and Airtree in Australia. Prior to Canva, Melanie was the Fusion Yearbooks which she grew to be the largest Yearbook publisher in Australia.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Melanie come to found Canva, what was the a-ha moment for her?

2.) How has Melanie looked to  scale the team whilst maintaining the same core startup values and company ethos? What are the strategies at play here?

3.) What does it take to grow in international markets? Where were the benefits of founding Canva in the isolated tech ecosystem of Perth??

4.) What did Melanie look for in her investors? As a newbie to the VC scene how did she approach the fundraising process and what would she like to improve on?

5.) How can products that have both a free and a paid model offer enough in the free version to entice users, whilst retain enough for the paid to justify the price?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Melanie’s Fave Book: Designing The Obvious

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Melanie 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: Spark’s Nabeel Hyatt on Investing in Oculus and Cruise & What It Takes To Invest Ahead Of The Curve

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Nabeel Hyatt is a venture partner at Spark Capital where he invests in entrepreneurs using that rare combination of design and technology to transform markets. He is currently on the board of Spark Capital’s investments in Cruise (acquired by General Motors), Fig, Harmonix, Postmates, Proletariat, and Thalmic Labs. Nabeel was previously cofounder and CEO of Conduit Labs, which was sold to Zynga in 2010, where he then became General Manager up through the IPO. Prior to that he was variously cofounder, head of product, and CEO at a variety of hardware and software companies including MIT Media Lab spin-out Ambient Devices, Teamtalk (BSkyB), and Interphase.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) What are the biggest lessons Nabeel can apply from his time in the trenches to being a VC at Spark? How has his investment strategy and decision making changed over time?

3.) What were the biggest takeaways for Nabeel as an observer and investor in Oculus?

4.) What is the story behind Spark’s investment in Cruise (recently acquired by GM)? How did Nabeel come to meet Kyle and the team? What was the product like? How did it evolve?

5.) What does Cruise’s acquisition mean for the autonomous car industry? What are the inherent challenges for the industry as a whole? How will they be overcome and what timeline are you placing on the industry to come into fruition?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Nabeel’s Fave Blog: AVC

Nabeel’s Most Recent Investment: Fig 

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Nabeel 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: Spark’s Bijan Sabet on Investing in Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare & Why First Time Founders Are So Exciting

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Bijan Sabet is General Partner @ Spark Capital where he primarily invests in digital canvases and online communities for people at work and at play. Bijan led early investments for Spark in the likes of Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, OMGPOP and Runkeeper just to name a few. Before becoming an investor, Bijan led product management and business development at GameLogic (acquired by Scientific Games), Moxi Digital (acquired by Digeo) and WebTV Networks (acquired by Microsoft Corporation).
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) How did the Twitter and Tumblr deals come about? What made you say yes?

3.) Looking at Bijan’s thesis, is it true that Bijan has a preference for first time founders? What are the commonalities of all great first time founders?

4.) Often first time founders nail product market fit but struggle to scale the operations to suit the growth of the product. How does Bijan as a VC lend to this situation?

5.) Does Bijan agree with Fred Wilson’s assessment of the consumer downturn? Why does Bijan think that David must beat Goliath in the end?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Bijan’s Fave Blog: Ready Player One 

Bijan’s Fave Blog: AVC

Bijan’s Most Recent Investment: Lily: Your Throw and Go Camera

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Bijan 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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