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!
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