20 VC 025: Finding the Right VC and The Evolution of Summly with John Henderson of White Star Capital

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John Henderson is Principal at White Star Capital, a VC firm helping exceptional entrepreneurs build great technology companies, with a presence in Europe and North America. Prior to White Star, John was Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, playing a crucial role in the build up to their acquisition by Yahoo in May 2013. John has also spent time at Facebook working in strategy and business development and was a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.

 

Items (and incredible people!) Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Ben Horowitz: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (THE TWENTY MINUTE VC BOOK CLUB: WEEK ONE)

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

Shakil KhanChristian HernandezNick D’Aloisio, Frank Meehan

Bloglovin

Nuzzel

PandoDaily

TechCrunch

What you will learn in today’s episode:

  • How John got into the technology industry and later made his transition into the world of Venture Capital?
  • As Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, what was it like for John working with Nick D’Aloisio? How did his role change in the buildup to the acquisition by Yahoo?
  • What does John think about Summary’s evolution into Yahoo News Digest?
  • What has been the biggest difference between John’s life as a entrepreneur compared to his life as a VC?
  • Does John believe it is crucial for startups to find a well-suited VC for their startup?
  • What does John advise startup founders to do or ask to ensure that a VC is the right match for them and their company?
  • Having made angel investments of his own, does John approach these personal investments in a different manner to his professional investments?
  • What advice John would give to anyone contemplating angel investing?

The episode then finishes with a quick fire round where we hear John’s thoughts on the future of bitcoin, John’s personal news reading preferences and his most recent investment and why he said yes?