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

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

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Arielle’s Fave Book: The Symposium by Plato

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

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Todays Show:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Dustin’s Fave Book:

Dustin’s Most Recent Investment:

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

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

 

20VC: Gil Penchina @ Flight.vc

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Gil’s Fave Book:

Gil’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Gil’s Most Recent Investment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Hadley’s Fave Book:

Hadley’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Hadley’s Most Recent Investment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.) Acquisition by Box:

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

 2.) Acquired by Twitter:

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

 3.) Life at Twitter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ellie’s Fave Book: The Power of One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20 VC: Fred Destin, General Partner @ Accel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

1.) Matt reveals the origins of Gimlet?

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Matt’s Fave Book: Great Plains by Ian Frazier

Matt’s Fave Blog: Stratechery by Ben Thompson

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

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

Matthew’s Most Recent Investment: Live Better With

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

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

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

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Dharmesh’s Fave Newsletter: Silicon Valley Product Group

Dharmesh’s Most Recent Investment: The Gifting Company

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

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

Free Conversion Rate Optimisation Ebook Download Here!

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

 

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

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

David’s Fave Blog: PandoDaily

ffVC’s Most Recent Investment: Skycatch

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Kanyi’s Fave Book: The Brothers Karamazov

Kanyi’s Most Recent Investment: CircleUp

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

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

Ed’s Fave iPhone App: Slack

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

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

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

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nikos’ Fave Book: Fooled by Randomness

Nikos’ Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

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

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

 

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book:  The Brain That Teaches Itself

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: Curious AI

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

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

 

20 VC 090: Suranga Chandratillake @ Balderton Capital

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Suranga’s Most Recent Investment: Cloud Nine

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

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

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ayan’s Fave Book: Intelligent Investing by Benjamin Graham

Ayan’s Fave Crowdbnk Investment: Gojimo by George Burgess

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

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

 

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: Fooled By Randomness

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

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

 

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

 

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

David’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack, Term Sheet

David’s Most Recent Investment: Pillpack

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

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

 

20 VC FF 021: Steve O’Hear @ TechCrunch

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

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where did it all start for Steve, how did you make he make his entrance into the tech industry, journalism and then founding Beepl?

2.) How did Steve find the transition from journalist to entrepreneur? What were the hardest aspects of the journey? What surprised Steve about the fundraising process for Beepl?

3.) In such a crowded space such as news generation, what is it about TechCrunch that makes it The Bible to the tech community?

4.) Obviously articles and news brings comments from the community. How do  TechCrunch try and engage and unite the community? Have there been any difficulties with the commenting process etc?

5.) How does a platform like TechCrunch plan to monetize content with the ever disappearing ad dollar? Is it something that concerns TechCrunch?

6.) Where does Steve think we are going in both wider media and journalism? Is journalism heading to the short form with the increasing prominence of platforms such as Buzzfeed? How does the industry

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Steve’s Fave Book: The Big Sleep

Steve’s Fave Blog: Tech.eu

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

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

 

20 VC 087: From The Investors Of Spotify, TrustPilot and Klarna with Jeppe Zink, General Partner @ Northzone

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Jeppe Zink is the General Partner at Northzone, who have investments in the likes of Spotify, Bloglovin and TrustPilot, just to name a few. Jeppe himself established the London office of Northzone and his primary areas of focus are fintech, SaaS, marketplaces and mobile and has made investments in Wallapop, SpaceApe Games and many more.

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jeppe become a dane, living in London, investing in tech?

2.) Having seen the evolution of the European tech environment over the 17 years, which stage of the cycle does Jeppe prefer as a VC? Some say downturns lead to a flushing out of the weaker funding sources and startups. Do you agree?

3.) What is it that is attracting Jeppe to Fintech? Where does Jeppe think Fintech will be in the next 5-10 years? What areas of Fintech is Jeppe excited by? Is the excitement surrounding Fintech in London not driving up valuations of startups?

4.) When looking at the banking industry for example, there are large incumbents that have not changed in decades, many see this as opportunity, is this not just representative of structural advantages creating barriers to entry?

5.) Skype, Spotify, SoundCloud, Supercell, King, all nordics, what is it about the Nordics that is generating this unicorn club?

6.) In the past Jeppe has attributed Northzone with a rarity of investor quality, saying that like entrepreneurs, Northzone have ambition. How does Jeppe assess his ambition? What metrics does Jeppe use to create goals for startups?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeppe’s Fave Book: Zero To One, Startup Growth Engines 

Jeppe’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC

Jeppe’s Productivity Tools: CityMapper, Genius

Jeppe’s Most Recent Investment: CrossLend

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

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

 

20 VC 086: Starting A New Venture Fund and How London Compares To The US with Hussein Kanji @ Hoxton Ventures

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Hussein Kanji really is a pedigree in the industry having started off his career with Microsoft, he made the leap into venture with Accel Partners where he was a board observer with the likes of Playfish, acquired by Electronic Arts and made seed investments in the likes of OpenGamma and Dapper acquired by Yahoo. Following such success, Hussein raised his own fund and is now the founder of Hoxton Ventures, a 2013 fund with $40m under management. Despite, Hoxton’s age their portfolio is immense with the likes of Deliveroo, DarkTrace by the famous Mike Lynch from Autonomy and Campanja, recently acquired by 24/7 customer.

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

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hussein mad his way into the wonderful world of venture?

2.) What was it like to start a new fund with Hoxton and why did Hussein leave the security of Accel to start his own?

3.) Why did Hussein believe this was the stage with the most opportunity? Does he think there is too much capital chasing too few deals?

4.) With DarkTrace (portfolio company), Hoxton were the only VC money in at the early stage? How did that come about and what was it about Hoxton that made Mike take your money?

5.) Why did Hussein choose to setup the fund in London? What does he think is driving the surge in European tech with the rise of the Nordics etc?

6.) With Steve O’Hear Hussein stated he looks for brand new markets that are going to be formed (Playfish)? What does he think those are?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hussein’s Fave Book: The Second Bounce Of The Ball: Ronald Cohen, Flowers from Algernon

Hussein’s Fave Blog: Josh Koppelman: Redeye VC, Abnormal Returns

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

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

 

20 VC FF 20: Shaking Up The Food Industry With Willie Biggart @ Spoonfed

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Willie Biggart is the Chairman @ Spoonfed, a startup on the cusp of 2 extremely hot sectors, SaaS and food. Spoonfed offers a new way for catering companies and restaurants to take advantage of the growing corporate food drop off market. They are currently raising a £500,000 round on SyndicateRoom, which you can check out here! With regards to Willie himself, Willie founded his own business, BD Network in 1990 and exited in 2002 and BD Ntwk is now one of Europe’s largest marketing agencies. Since 1990 Willie has started, developed and sold 3 businesses.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Willie make his move into the entrepreneurial path and come to be Chairman of Spoonfed?

2.) Why does Willie believe it is more beneficial to have SaaS based businesses rather than people based businesses?

3.) Often the hardest problem for SaaS businesses is finding their first customers, how did Willie go about getting Spoonfed’s initial user base?

4.) What strategies did Willie undertake to try and understand what features his customers wanted and then how to attract them?

5.) Why does Willie believe the food tech space has seen explosive growth, both in the UK and the US?

5.) Having invested and raised money in the seed round of the funding cycle, both as investor and operator, what advice would Willie give for founders entering a seed round.

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

SpoonFed’s Current Fundraising Campaign on SyndicateRoom

Willie’s Fave Book: Eric Ries: The Lean Startup, The E-Myth Revisited

Willie’s Blog or Newsletter: Kenny Fraser, Sunstone Communications

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

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

 

20 VC 085: Mark Suster @ Upfront Ventures on Being A Super Entrepreneur Driven VC

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Mark Suster is Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures which he joined in 2007, having previously worked with Upfront for nearly 8 years as a two-time entrepreneur. Before joining Upfront Mark was Vice President, Product Management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral, where Mark was Founder and CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark was Founder and CEO of BuildOnline, a European SaaS company that was acquired by SWORD Group. Mark is also the writer of one of my favourite VC blogs, Both Sides Of The Table which is a centre piece to the whole VC community and is a must read for all interested in entrepreneurship and VC.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Mark make his way into the world of tech and later make the transition to VC?

2.) How have Mark’s entrepreneurial origins influenced his investment style and approach to startups?

3.) What really gets Mark excited in terms of the founders and the companies they have built?

4.) How does Mark recommend that startup founders can meet investors and get those initial meetings?

5.) What sector is Mark most excited by and why?

6.) Mark has said in the past ‘too much money too early often fucks companies up’. Why is that and how should founders determine what is the right amount to raise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

My Fave of Mark’s Posts: Entrepreneur DNA, I Invest In Lines Not Dots

Mark’s Fave Book: The Accidental Superpower

Mark’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Stratechery, Ben Evans, Chris Dixon, Tom Tunguz

Mark’s Most Recent Investment: Mitu Networks

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

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

 

20 VC 084: Meet Felix Capital: The Venture Firm For The Creative Class with Antoine Nussenbaum @ Felix Capital

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Antoine Nussenbaum is a Principal and member of the founding team of Felix Capital. Prior to Felix, Antoine was a Partner at Atlas Global, a private equity fund originally part of GLG Partners. Over the past five years he has worked closely with various early-stage digital startups including Mirakl, Jellynote, Pave, Reedsy and 31Dover and actively helped them launch their businesses. If that wasn’t enough he has also been involved since inception with Huckletree, a fast growing coworking operator dedicated to the UK digital community which was started by his wife.

To check out the available positions at Felix Capital click here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Antoine make his move into the world of VC?

2.) What sectors do Felix invest in? What stage? Geography?

3.) How do Felix position themselves in the VC space? How do Felix plan to differentiate between other VCs firms in Europe? As for the structure of the fund, why did Felix choose an advisor heavy approach?

4.) Why does Antoine think Europe has the edge at the moment? Also, with the rise of the Nordics and Berlin, why did Felix choose to setup in London?

5.) How does Antoine assess the London and European funding and tech environment at the moment? Does Antoine agree with the media hype over a tech bubble?

6.) How do digital brands address the issue of the millenials with reducing brand loyalty? Does Antoine think this will be a problem for consumer startups in the fashion, food and travel space?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Felix’s Manifesto, HuckleTree, Co-Founder @ Huckletree on CNBC

Antoine’s Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, Capital In The Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty

Antoine’s Fave Productivity Tools: Streak, Slack, Evernote, Pocket

Antoine’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson: AVC, ProductHunt

Antoine’s Most Recent Investment: The Food Assembly

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

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

 

 

20 VC FF 019: 500 Startups Week: Life As A 500 Startups Portfolio Company with Ashish Walia, Co-Founder @ LawTrades

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Ashish Walia is the Co-Founder & COO at 500 Startups portfolio company, LawTrades. LawTrades aims to decentralise the traditional legal hiring process through providing an amazing marketplace of attorneys with domain experience in the startup world having worked with companies from the likes of YC, Techstars and 500. Ashish is also the Host of The Ashish Walia Show, a podcast dedicated to interviewing the latest and greatest world changing entrepreneurs, you can listen to Harry’s interview on The Ashish Walia Show here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) I would love to kick off today’s show by hearing a little about your background and the origins of LawTrades? What was the a-ha moment for you?

2.) Was Ashish nervous leaving the security of the legal profession for the life of a tech founder? What would Ashish advise people who want to make the leap but are not sure if it is worth risking everything?

3.) The legal space is about a century behind the rest of the consumerised world of tech, why is there this divergence between the advancement of tech and the lacking progression of the legal space?

4.) How did Ashish come to raise funds from 500? What was the process and interview like? Why did Ashish choose 500 out of all the accelerators? What were the challenging and surprising elements of the fundraising journey?

6.) What would Ashish do differently if he was founding LawTrades again? What does Ashish wish he had been told before he became an entrepreneur?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ashish’s Fave Book: Peter Thiel: Zero To One

Ashish’s Fave Entrepreneurial Resources: Gary Vaynerchuk, This Week In Startups, How To Start A Startup

Ashish’s Fave Blog: James AltucherTim Ferriss,

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC, Ashish and LawTrades on Twitter here!

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

We would like to say a special thank you to our partner for this very special 500 Startups Feature Week, LawTrades, the go to place for startups and VCs to get their legal work done. For all 20VC listeners LawTrades are offering a special $150 off your first piece of legal work when you mention ‘The Twenty Minute VC’. You can follow them on Twitter here!

 

 

 

 

20 VC 083: 500 Startups Week: New Funds, Startup Mentoring and Dave’s Masterplan with Marvin Liao, Partner @ 500 Startups

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Marvin is a Partner at 500 Startups, running the SF based accelerator program as well as investing in Seed stage start ups. Prior to 500 Marvin is a 10.5 year veteran of Yahoo! Inc., having held roles in various departments from Sales, Business Development, Ad Operations and Marketing and presently serves on the boards/advisory boards of several internet advertising and ad technology companies across the globe.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Marvin make his move into technology and the investing game?

2.) How was Marvin’s time at Yahoo? How did Marvin see the company change over the 10 years he was there? How do you feel your position at Yahoo equipped you for 500 Startups?

3.) So coming from 10 years at Yahoo you could have had your pick of VCs to join. What was it about 500 that attracted you and why do you believe this very early stage is the biggest opportunity to exploit?

4.) 500 has now ironically invested in 1000+ startups, leading me to ask, what is the admissions process like and what Marvin’s criteria at 500 for investment decisions? What are the key metrics you look at?

5.) How does Marvin respond to the notion that investing with 500 Startups removes the talent of investing through the spray and pray method?

6.) Now 500 Startups has recently raises an new $85m fund, alongside a new fund of $30m for Japan, $10m for South East Asia and a $10m fund for Thailand. So firstly, does this prove that the 500 model is successfully scaling? What does the future hold for 500? Where do you see the most innovation and progress?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Marvin’s Fave Book:The Art of Worldly Wisdom, The 4 Hour Work Week

Marvin’s Fave Productivity Tool: Evernote, Calendly.com

Marvin’s Fave Blog: James Clear, James Altucher, Tim Ferriss, Fred Wilson, Mark Suster

Marvin’s Most Interesting Investments: Neighborly, Agfunder

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC, Marvin and 500 on Twitter here!

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

We would like to say a special thank you to our partner for this very special 500 Startups Feature Week, LawTrades, the go to place for startups and VCs to get their legal work done. For all 20VC listeners LawTrades are offering a special $150 off your first piece of legal work when you mention ‘The Twenty Minute VC’. You can follow them on Twitter here!

 

 

 

 

20 VC 082: 500 Startups Week: Growth Hacking 101: How To 10x Your Conversion with Matt Lerner, Head of Distro Dojo London

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Matt Lerner is a Distro Partner with 500 Startups, and runs their London office. He specializes in conversion optimization, analytics, engagement and retention. As a member of the in-house growth (AKA “Distro”) team, he partners with 500 portfolio companies to help them build growth engines and scale. Previously, as a 500 Startups Mentor, Matt helped over 40 companies develop and execute growth strategies. Prior to joining 500 Startups, he worked as a Marketing Director at PayPal, where he built and managed three growth teams that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue across the funnel. Here are some of Matt’s amazing growth hacking slide decks:

10 Growth Hacking Tools To Disrupt Your Competitors

Growth Hacking 101

For your chance to win a signed copy of Brad Feld’s amazing Venture Deals, all you have to do is click the click to tweet link here: http://ctt.ec/C61w6 and you will be entered into the competition.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his move from Paypal to VC with 500Startups?

2.) What is the mission at 500 in London with the Distro? What is the investment thesis? Preferred round? Sector? What process do you take the companies through when they are with you in the Dojo?

3.) What does growth hacking really mean? Is it not another BS new techie term?

4.) What has Matt found to be some of the most effective growth hacks and why? What are the biggest mistakes companies make with regards to growth? How can they avoid them?

5.) When does Matt think a company should start to focus on growth?

6.) Who does Matt personally admire and think has been extremely effective and why? What campaigns or pieces of work have led him to this conclusion?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Matt’s Recent Investments: Tom Beverly: Fy, Tamatem

Matt’s Fave Book: Do You Talk Funny: The Guide To Public Speaking, The One Thing You Need To Know

Matt’s Fave Newsletter: Doug Scott, Susan Su: Distro Snack, Tim Ferriss Podcast

Matt’s Growth Hacking Idols: Dave McClure: Pirate Metrics Talk, Sean Ellis: Inventor of Growth Hacking Term, Andy Johns @ WealthFront,

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC, Matt and 500 Startups on Twitter here!

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

We would like to say a special thank you to our partner for this very special 500 Startups Feature Week, LawTrades, the go to place for startups and VCs to get their legal work done. For all 20VC listeners LawTrades are offering a special $150 off your first piece of legal work when you mention ‘The Twenty Minute VC’. You can follow them on Twitter here!

20 VC FF 018: Brian Wong, Founder @ Kiip on Raising $30m in VC Funding by 24

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For the chance to win Brad Feld’s amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do is head on over to ProductHunt’s new podcast section and upvote this episode of The Twenty Minute VC if you enjoyed it, by clicking here!

Joining us in the hotseat today is a young man who is insanely smart, he skipped 4 grades in school and graduated University at just 17, at which point he moved to the states on his own and within months was working alongside tech legends Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson at Digg. However, it was not long before he started his own company Kiip, a category-creating mobile rewards network that is redefining mobile advertising through an innovative platform that leverages “moments of achievement” in games and apps to simultaneously benefit users, developers and advertisers. If you have not guessed it by now, shame on you, it is of course, the incredible Brian Wong, one of the youngest people to ever raise VC funding receiving investment from the likes of Hummer Winblad, previous guest at Transmedia Capital Chris Redlitz (Episode 26), True Ventures and many more.

A huge thank you to our sponsors for today’s show, LawTrades, the marketplace that connects startups & VCs to awesome attorneys to get their legal work done at the best price!

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Brian start his career? What is the Brain Wong origin snapshot?

2.) What was it about Fred Wilson that made Brian most wanting to talk to him above all other VCs when he made the move to NY?

3.) What was it like working with amazing founders like Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson? What were Brian’s biggest takeaways from the experience?

4.) As a 19 year old, how difficult was it raising capital for your startup? Has it become harder raising further rounds from seed to series A to growth rounds?

5.) How have Brian’s board of directors helped or hindered along the Kiip journey? How do experienced executives respond to working with such a young CEO and does age make it difficult to retain top talent?

6.) With the evolution of technology and progression of time, how are Kiip addressing the growing competitive market and how are you navigating Kiip into new social media channels?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Brian Fave Blog: Inside.com by Jason Calacanis

Brian’s Fave Productivity Tool: Evernote, Box

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

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

 

20 VC 081: From YC to VC with Weston Gaddy @ Bain Capital Ventures

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Weston Gaddy is a Senior Principal at Bain Capital Ventures where he focuses on investments in early-stage companies and assists the portfolio operations group. Weston is also a YC alum with Frogmetrics, a handheld survey device company, he co-founded in college and received funding from Founders Fund, Y Combinator and Alexis Ohanian at Reddit. Outisde of the tech and VC world Weston was a Weston worked as a strategy consultant for media, financial service, and consumer product clients at Bain & Company in New York.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Weston make his way into the technology and VC?

2.) What was Weston’s biggest takeaway from the YC experience? Has the experience impacted his investing strategy?

3.) Why is the world of branding changing from dominant players using traditional mainstream channels to a more open opportunity for startups to connect with consumers? What is changing?

4.) On the topic of brand loyalty how brands create brand loyalty in the fickle generation of young millenials often with a mercenary outlook?

5.) What sectors have most opportunity to exploit this revolution in branding? Why do you say those sectors? Have you based any of your investments around these assumptions?

6.) How important is it for VCs to specialize and have superb sector knowledge in something?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Weston’s Fave Book: The Sixth Extinction 

Weston’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dan Primack’s TermSheet

Weston’s Most Recent Investment: Jet.com

 

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

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

 

20 VC 080: How VCs Can Differentiate Themselves with Patricia Nakache, General Partner @ Trinity Ventures

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Patricia Nakache is General Partner at Trinity Ventures where she focuses on funding companies launching innovative online consumer and business services. Her portfolio of past investments is just astonishing with the likes of LoopNet and Care.com IPOing, PayScale being acquired by Warburg Pincus, Uptake being acquired by Groupon and many more.

To be entered into the competition to win a signed copy of Brad Feld’s legendary Venture Deals, all you have to do is click here and upvote this episode on ProductHunt and you will be automatically entered into the competition.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Patricia get into the technology industry and then later make her transition into the world of Venture Capital?

2.) A recent study has shown that the total number of female partners has fallen from 10% to 6% in the time that you have been at Trinity. Why is there this gender misrepresentation and what can be done to improve female equality in the VC industry?

3.) Sheila has invested in some incredible female entrepreneurs such as Sheila Marcelo at Care.com, Illana Stern at Weddington Way and Anna Zornosa at Ruby Ribbon? What excited Patricia about these entrepreneurs and what can female entrepreneurs do to increase their chances of funding?

4.) With the increasing amount of capital available, VCs face greater competition between firms, what can VCs bring to the table to beat the competition?

5.) What elements of the on demand economy face danger in the coming years in a similar way to Homejoy?

5.) Which sector is Patricia most excited about and why?

6.) Why has there been a resurgence in the marketplace model particularly in ecommerce? What are the drivers of this change?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Patricia’s Fave Blog: Strictly VCOwler

Patricia’s Most Recent Investment: Mayvenn

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

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

 

FF 017: Kuan Huang, Founder @ Poncho

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/d1dE3

Kuan Huang, is the Founder of Poncho an internally built company at Betaworks. A simpler weather service with a personality, delivered to you every day. Prior to creating Poncho, Kuan was a Hacker in residence at Betaworks and as he describes the luckiest engineer at Hatch Labs a mobile focused startup incubator funded by IAC.

I would like to direct your attention to one of Betaworks investments on the west coast in the amazing ProductHunt, and you must check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, which is the best discovery platform for finding new and amazing podcast episodes!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Kuan get into the world of Betaworks and what was Kuan’s aha moment for Poncho?

2.) What was wrong with weather apps when Kuan started Poncho? What made Kuan think there was a gap in the market?

3.) Kuan said in an interview with TechCrunch “The core objective is to have Poncho become a default part of your routine,” How has Kuan gone about to ensure that there are habit forming functions in poncho? What makes the user come back? Does Kuan prefer mass market testing or niche 100 person testing?

4.) What role does Betaworks play in the development of Poncho? What are the main value adds of being a Betaworks company?

5.) Looking back at the Poncho journey so far, what were the breakthrough moments where progress was really made? What were the most challenging elements and how did Kuan overcome them?

6.) What would Kuan advise a founder looking to work with Betaworks? Is there anything they can do to increase their chances of a collaboration?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kuan’s Fave Reading Material: Medium, Instapaper

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

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

 

20 VC 079: BETAWORKS WEEK: East vs West Coast Investing with Peter Rojas, EIR @ Betaworks, Co-Founder @ Weblogs & Engadget

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Peter Rojas is an entrepreneur-in-residence at betaworks focusing on early stage investments. Prior to joining betaworks he was VP of Strategy at AOL. He also co-founded several startups, including Weblogs Inc (with previous guest Jason Calacanis) (acquired by AOL in 2005), where he created tech sites Engadget and Joystiq; he also created gdgt, a social commerce platform (acquired by AOL in 2013); and gadget blog Gizmodo (now part of Gawker Media). Previously Rojas worked as an editor at the original Red Herring, a columnist on emerging technology for The Guardian, a contributor to Wired, The New York Times, Fortune, Money, and many more.

One of Betaworks investments on the west coast is the amazing ProductHunt, and you must check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, which is the best discovery platform for finding new and amazing podcast episodes!

Also, would you like the chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld? All you have to do is leave a review on iTunes and then email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com with the name that you left the review under!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) From tech blogger and entrepreneur to founding Engadget, and then a product person and now at Betaworks. Peter gives a snapshot of his career so far?

2.) What is Peter doing on the West Coast when Betaworks is based in NYC? How do you compare the two technology environments and ecosystems?

3.) What is involved in being EIR at Betaworks? Why has this position become so popular over the last few years?

4.) How does Peter and Betaworks approach the changing world of seed and as I have seen recently, pre seed investments? Do you have any set metrics that you stick to? What KPIs are always the first ones you look at?

5.) What VCs does Peter admire and look to emulate?

6.) What has Peter learnt from his 1st month in venture? What has been the biggest surprises and challenges about the industry?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Productivity Tools: Reeder

Peter’s Fave Blogs or Newsletter: Jason Hirschhorn: REDEF, ProductHunt

Peter’s Fave Book: Antifragile

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

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

20 VC 078: BETAWORKS WEEK: Matt Hartman, Director of Seed Investments @ Betaworks

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Matt Hartman is director of seed investments at betaworks. Prior to joining betaworks, he was co-founder of ReferBoost, a profitable b2b company in the real estate and social media space, and JustBecause, a mobile app used by Uber, Birchbox, Jackthreads, and other e-commerce companies for customer acquisition. He started his career building the technology platform for Trammell Crow Company (acquired by CBRE) before joining Hot Potato (acquired by Facebook).

In this interview with Matt we talk about one of Betaworks investments in ProductHunt and I would love to direct you all to go check out ProductHunt’s new podcast section, it’s the best way to find new and amazing podcast episodes, check it out!

To win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld? All you have to do is leave a review on iTunes and then email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com with the name that you left the review under!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How you has Matt ended up at the amazing Betaworks, what was his career pre-Betaworks?

2.) How does Matt define betaworks and his role in particular in the Betaworks organisation? What makes this model the most effective and successful in Matt’s view?

3.) How does Matt believe the structure of social networks alters user behavior and therefore impacts distribution? How do social networks include habit forming behaviours to ensure user retention on their networks?

4.) What does Matt think makes a strong community? What was it about ProductHunt that signaled to you this was the beginning of a rapidly growing community?

5.) With Betaworks investment in Gimlet Media, how does Matt see the future of podcasting? Does investing in Gimlet not break the rule that it has to be a potentially $bn exit?

6.) Question from Ryan Hoover, Founder at ProductHunt: ‘What product or app has impressed Matt the most in the past year and what really gets Matt excited when trying new products both as an investor and as a user’?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Most Read Blog or Newsletter: Founder’s Notebook by David Jaxson

Matt’s Favourite Book: The Psychology of Pursuasion by Robert Cialdini

Matt’s Fave Productivity Apps: Drafts

Most Recent Investment: Disruptive Multimedia by Ryan Leslie

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

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

 

 

 

FF 016: Chad Fowler, CTO @ Wunderlist, App Of The Year 2013

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To win a signed copy of Venture Deals by Brad Feld, click the link below and like our Facebook page and you will be entered into the competition. https://www.facebook.com/The-Twenty-Minute-VC-769935093077190/timeline/

Chad Fowler is the CTO at 6Wunderkinder (acquired by Microsoft), the company behind the wildly successful Wunderlist, previously cited by Michael Treskow and Mattias Ljungman on the show as their must have productivity app. Prior to 6Wunderkinder, Chad was the Senior VP of technology of the daily deals site, Living Social and before that we was CTO at InfoEther, a Ruby and Ruby-On-Rails consultancy firm. Fowler is also the host and organiser of numerous tech conferences and wrote “The Passionate Programmer”, a career guide for software developers.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where did it all begin for Chad and how did he make the move from his musician dreams to CTO of tech startups?

2.) As an American, working in Europe, how does Europe’s tech community compare to the US?

3.) Wunderlist was the App of the Year, what does Chad believes makes it so special?

4.) Is there more to go in improving the consumer feel of enterprise software?

5.) How did Chad go about creating a product with such habit forming ability?

6.) Question from Carolina Brochado @ Atomico: What is it like moving from a small manned startup to a giant corporation like Microsoft?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Chad’s Fave Book: The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

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

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

 

20 VC 077: Part 2: Kamal Ravikant: The Future Of Venture Capital

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/Q41ZG

Kamal Ravikant is an absolute hero to me after I read his incredible best selling book, Love Yourself Like Like Your Life Depends On It. As for an intro to Kamal, it goes without saying that he has worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley and is a true tech and investing icon, but he has also trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, held the hands of dying patients, earned a US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group and written books including my favourite the previously mentioned, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where does Kamal see the future of Venture Capital?

2.) What worries Kamal about the tech scene?

3.) How does Kamal sort the wood from the trees in the frothy market of tech startups?

4.) What are Kamal’s must read books and blogs?

5.) Which leaders or figures is Kamal inspired by and why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

My Fave Book: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

Kamal’s Fave Book: The Alchemist, The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope

Kamal’s Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal’s Most Recent Investment: Bolt

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

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

20 VC 077: PART 1: Kamal Ravikant: ‘I’m Not Your Traditional VC’

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Venture Deals by previous guest and legend, Brad Feld all you have to do is click the Click To Tweet Link here: http://ctt.ec/Q41ZG

 

Kamal Ravikant is an absolute hero to me after I read his incredible best selling book, Love Yourself Like Like Your Life Depends On It. As for an intro to Kamal, it goes without saying that he has worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley and is a true tech and investing icon, but he has also trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, held the hands of dying patients, earned a US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group and written books including my favourite the previously mentioned, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Kamal make his way into the world of Venture Capital?

2.) What were Kamal’s biggest takeaways from working as an entrepreneur?

3.) What really makes a great VC? How can VCs provide true and genuine value add?

4.) Why is now the best time to be an entrepreneur? What has changed?

5.) What would Kamal advise an entrepreneur looking to build a startup?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kamal’s Fave Book: The Alchemist

Kamal’s Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal’s Most Recent Investment: Bolt

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

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

 

 

FF 015: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Eric Glyman, Co-Founder & CEO @ Paribus

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Eric Glyman, Co-Founder and CEO @ Paribus (Y Combinator S15), the service which scans your inbox for receipts and automatically saves you money when the items you bought drop in price. Stores often guarantee that you will get the lowest prices. But they don’t follow through unless you work for it. Paribus does the work for you.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What was Eric’s career before Paribus and what was his a-ha moment was for the idea?

2.) How did Eric do things differently from the typical startup? Was this effective or would it have been more productive to go full in?

3.) What were Paribus’ testing hypotheses like? Does Eric prefer mass market testing or niche 100 person testing?

4.) How was the admissions process for YC, why did Eric choose YC and why were YC attracted to Paribus?

5.) What would Eric advise founders looking to get into YC? Is there anything they can do or know that will increase their chances of getting into YC?

6.) What were the breakthrough moments for Paribus? What were the most challenging elements and how did Eric overcome them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: I, Robot

Eric’s Fave Blog: AppSumo by Noah Kagan

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

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

 

 

20 VC 076: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Aaron Harris, Partner @ YC

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Aaron Harris is a Partner at Y Combinator and also newly one of my favourite podcast hosts with his brilliant show, Startup School Radio, for all startup lovers it is a must listen. Prior to YC, Aaron was cofounder of Sequoia backed Tutorspree, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2011. Before Tutorspree he worked at Bridgewater Associates, where he managed product and operations for an analytics group. He also writes an awesome blog which can be found here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Aaron make his move into the world of entrepreneurship with Tutorspree and then become a YC Partner?

2.) Why did Aaron join YC and why does he believe the biggest potential lies at this stage of the cycle?

3.) Now at YC, Aaron is a Partner, what does that entail, what level of interaction do you have with the founders, where does YC look to add serious value?

4.) With the mass of startups now in the 100s coming out of each YC demo day, how does YC assure the same quality and level of value add?

5.) With regards to testing what is YC’s opinion? How does YC assess whether a product does have product market fit? What are the YC requirements for growth whilst in YC?

6.) What happens after the YC experience, does YC maintain conversations and communication? How does YC try to maintain valuations at a reasonable level to stop YC price inflation?

7.) What is the future for YC? Are we going to see another funding round? Is the YC model scalable? Could we have a YC Europe?

 Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Aaron & YC’s Podcast: Startup School Radio

Aaron’s Fave Book: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Founder’s At Work by Jessica Livingston

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

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

 

20 VC 075: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Kirsty Nathoo, CFO @ Y Combinator

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Kirsty Nathoo is the CFO of Y Combinator. As CFO, she holds the keys to the kingdom – literally. Not only does she control and manage Y Combinator’s internal finances, from paying bills to helping organize demo days to actually making sure Y Combinator’s money is wired to startups from the proper accounts; but she helps YC startups coordinate outside financings, tax issues, incorporation and other fiscal matters. She’s the financial brains behind the entire operation, with YC partner Harj Taggar stating that ‘YC would cease to operate if Kirsty was not around’.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kirsty made her move from PWC in Cambridge to CFO at the World’s Most Successful Accelerator?

2.) Joining YC permanently in 2010, how has Kirsty seen it develop to today’s current state? What has been the key drivers to the success and growth of YC?

3.) As CFO Kirsty has developed a certain pattern recognition with regards to what investors and VCs like to see in the terms of startups. What are they?

4.) Kirsty has seen the progression of many startups, what are the most common problems startups face in the fundraising cycle? What are the commonalities in those that are successful?

5.) How does YC address the issue of potentially inflated valuations for their alum?

6.) What are some financials that all founders should know all the time?

7.) What is the future for YC? Are we going to see another funding round? Is the YC model scalable? Could we have a YC Europe?

 

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

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

 

FF 014: Making Great Founders, Idea Creation and The First 100 Days Of A Startup with Alice Bentinck, Co-Founder @ Entrepreneur First

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Alice Bentinck is Co-Founder at Entrepreneurs First, the accelerator program that puts founders first! Previously, Alice worked at prestigious consultancy firm McKinsey & Co, before turning down an offer from Google to found Entrepreneur First alongside Matt. She taught herself to code, and founded Code First Girls in 2013 to help more women get into tech. She sits on the board of Sherry Coutu’s Founders4Schools, is on Imperial College London’s Department of Computing Industrial Liaison Board, and acted as the Prime Minister’s expert on startups at the Northern Future Forum. She has been recognised in Management Today’s 35 under 35 and the Evening Standard’s Top 1000 most influential Londoners.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alice came up with the idea for EF and why she decided to found the company?

2.) What would Alice recommend is the best way to build a company from scratch? EF is for technical individuals, what can non technical individuals do?

3.) What would Alice say makes a great founder? Has she seen any commonalities in the great founders that have exited EF?

4.) What is Alice’s opinion on equity divisions within startups? What is the right way to approach the topic?

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

6.) What has been the hardest aspect of growing the business and how did Alice overcome it?

 

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

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

 

20 VC 074: The Future of Healthcare with Bob Kocher, Partner @ Venrock

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Bob Kocher is a Partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. He currently serves on the Boards of Aledade and Jiff, and is a Board Observer at Grand Rounds and Doctor on Demand. Additionally, he is a Consulting Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and serves on the Advisory Boards of Harvard Medical School Health Care Policy Department. Prior to Venrock, Bob served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the National Economic Council. In the Obama Administration, Bob was one of the shapers of the Affordable Care Act. Before the White House, Bob was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where he led McKinsey Global Institute’s healthcare economics work and Center for United States Health System Reform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bob made his way from The White House to Venrock as a VC?

2.) How did working at The White House prepare Bob for his career as a VC, where does Bob have the biggest opportunity to change the healthcare system?

3.) What are the barriers to entry that a preventing full scale innovation and business growth in the healthcare IT space?

4.) Why have we seen a large increase in healthcare startups? What more would you Bob like to see in the healthcare space, either from the side of the startups or VC’s?

5.) How does Bob perceive the integration of software and healthcare in the future?

5.) As a healthcare professional, what would Bob recommend an individual with a high powered, demanding job in order to lead a healthy lifestyle?

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode:

Bob’s Fave Book: The System

Bob’s Most Recent Investment: Lyra Health

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

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

 

20 VC 073: Life Inside Accel Partners with Michael Treskow @ Accel

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Michael Treskow is a VC @ Accel Partners, one of the world’s most successful venture firms having funded the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, Etsy and many more.  At Accel, Michael is responsible for the firm’s investments in SpaceApe, a mobile games developer, and GoCardless, an online direct debt provider. Michael was also instrumental in Accel’s investments and ongoing work with Funding Circle, Packlink, Qubit, Semmle, Trufa and WorldRemit. Prior to Accel, Michael focused on early-stage and growth equity investments in technology companies at Warburg Pincus in San Francisco, invested in publicly traded technology companies at Highside Capital in Dallas, and helped advise technology companies on strategic alternatives as part of Morgan Stanley’s investment banking team in New York.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into the VC industry? Do you think it is very important for VCs to have entrepreneurial experience?

2.) How does Michael compare the investing environments between London and SF? What was his biggest takeaway from Warburg Pincus in SF?

3.) Accel is stage agnostic, why is that? What size market attracts Michael? How can Michael tell whether founders have the ability to exploit the market?

4.) What Michael believes are his key value adds? Have these changed over time?

5.) We often hear startups being described as ‘uber for’, ‘tinder for’. Do VCs like this simplification of business? How else would Michael suggest a complex concept can be broken down into something easily digestible?

6.) Does Michael still believe there is room for improvement in the consumerisation of enterprise software? Does Emergence Capital’s pivot signal a turning tide?

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode: 

Michael’s Fave Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma, Crossing The Chasm

Michael Productivity Tools: Wunderlist

Michael’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dan Primack, Term Sheet

Michael’ Most Recent Investment: CartoDB

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

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

 

 

FF 013: ‘Make Bets And Believe In What You Are Doing’ with James Borow @ Shift & Brand Networks

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James Borow is Chief Product Officer at Brand Networks which delivers social marketing and advertising to 650 enterprise customers, following their acquisition of Shift where James was CEO and Co-Founder and led the business to being the No 1 marketing software company for social advertisers with clients such as Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. James was named a semi-finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2014, and is a thought leader in digital advertising, with articles in Forbes, The New York Times, Bloomberg and Business Insider. James is also an active angel investor, having invested in Kixer, a mobile advertising platform, Gradient X, a mobile DSP (acquired by SingTel) and Conversion Logic, an online advertising attribution platform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were James’ entrepreneurial origins and what was his aha moment?

2.) How did James get his first clients and what were the hardest aspects of growing the business?

3.) What was it like working with these tech titans like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin?

4.) Shift obtained $14m in VC funding. How did James meet his investors? How was the fundraising experience for James? What were the surprises and challenging aspects?

5.) Shift was acquired by Brand Networks for $50m but what were James’ reasons for selling? Was there any clash between James and his investors when it came to the sale?

6.) What advice would James give to founders contemplating selling their business to larger acquirers?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’ Fave Book: John Adams by Dave McCullough

James’ Fave Apps: Snapchat, Business Insider and ProductHunt

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

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

 

20 VC 072: Super Angel, Fabrice Grinda: The Future Of Startup Investing

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Fabrice Grinda is among the world’s leading Internet entrepreneurs and investors with over $300 million in exits and 200 angel investments including the likes of Alibaba, LendingClub and BrightRoll. Fabrice is currently investing in startups and building companies through FJ Labs, which he cofounded with business partner Jose Marin. Fabrice is also co-founder and executive chairman of Beepi, a next generation used car marketplace which recently raised $60 million in series B funding.

Prior to FJ Labs and Beepi, Fabrice was co-founder and co-CEO of OLX, one of the largest websites in the world with over 200 million unique visitors per month.

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Submit Your Startup To Fabrice

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Fabrice make his entry into the world of investing?

2.) How important is it for investors to have entrepreneurial experience?

3.) What are the most common problems Fabrice’s portfolio companies face?

4.) What is Fabrice’s selection criteria for startups when investing and what determines the valuation of a startup?

5.) How does Fabrice respond to the allegation that he is a clone collector?

6.) With Fabrice’s $1m syndicate, does he believe syndicates have the potential to replace VC?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Fabrice’s Fave Book: What If by Randall Munroe, Think Like A Freak by Stephen Dubner

Fabrice’s Fave Newsletter: TechCrunch

Fabric’s Most Recent Investment: Flexport

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

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

 

 

20 VC 071: Pre-Seed Investing, Why Now Is The Best Time with Nicholas Chirls @ Notation Capital

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Nicholas Chirls is the Founder and Partner @ Notation Capital, one of New York’s genuine pre-seed funds investing in pre-growth startups with huge potential. Prior to Notation, Nichoas was Head of Investment at Betaworks, leading investments in companies such as Electric Objects, Estimote, URX, Namo Media (acquired by Twitter) and Grand St. (acquired by Etsy).

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If you would like to email Nick, his email is nick@notationcapital.com

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nick made his move into the venture industry?

2.) Who does Nick consider a mentor and thought leader in the VC industry?

3.) Why now is the best time to be a pre-seed fund in NYC?

4.) At the pre-seed stage what metrics does Notation focus on?

5.) How does Nicholas evaluate the valuation ecosystem?

6.) How does Nicholas handle deal sourcing? Where does he find startups to invest in?

7.) Does crowdfunding act as a competing finance method at the pre-seed stage?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Nick’s Fave Book: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Nick’s Fave Newsletter: Wait But Why

Nick Most Recent Investment: Zipdrug: Your Prescriptions Delivered on Demand

Best Meditation Apps: Headspace, Calm

 

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

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

 

FF 012: Acquired by Microsoft for $200m with Javier Soltero @ Microsoft

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Javier Soltero is Corporate Vice President of Outlook @ Microsoft. This position arose due to Javier’s startup, Acompli, being acquired by Microsoft for $200m in 2014. Prior to Acompli, Javier spent a year at Redpoint Ventures, where he assisted in helping the firm extend their reach into both enterprise and mobile markets. However, Javier’s entrepreneurial career did not start with Acompli, as he co-founded Hyperic, which he bought for $1 and within 5 years turned into a $10m+ revenue generating company.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Javier start his entrepreneurial career and what were the origins of Acompli?

2.) What was Javier’s biggest takeaway from the failure of his first startup, back by Sequoia?

3.) How did Javier control his burn rate once large amounts of VC money was in his company?

4.) How does Javier approach product market fit?

5.) How did Javier meet his investors for Accompli and how did Javier find the fundraising process?

6.) What were Javier’s reasons for selling Acompli? Was there any conflict with his investors in selling the company?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Javier’s Fave Book: 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

Javier’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: Wait but Why?

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

20 VC 070: Do Investors in California Outperform The Rest of The World with Eric ver Ploeg @ Recursive Capital

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Eric ver Ploeg has sat on both sides of the table as an entrepreneur and a VC. Eric started his career as an entrepreneur with the founding of Adknowledge, the 1st internet ad serving company, which was sold for $193m. He then went on to Angara, a Kleiner Perkins backed startup which led to his move into venture with VantagePoint, where he led VantagePoint’s investment activities in the mobile arena, leading over $160m in investments. Eric is also a fantastic writer and his articles can be found on Medium here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Eric made the move from Angara, Kleiner Perkins company, to his role in venture?

2.) Did being a founder affect how Eric interacted and investing in startups?

3.) How can founders learn the skills of interacting with their investors and board?

4.) What makes the hot companies, hot and the others struggle?

5.) Does Eric agree with startups raising a ‘warchest’ of funds if they can? How can startups determine what is the right amount to raise?

6.) Why are SF angels so much more successful than other investors? What do they have that other do not?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, Crossing The Chasm by Geoffrey Moore

Eric’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: Tomasz Tunguz

Research Provided by CB Insights

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

To see a more colourful side to Harry’s personality and a few mojito sessions, you can follow Harry on Instagram here!

20 VC 069: Jeff Clavier, King of Seed Funding @ SoftTech VC on Brad Feld, Fitbit and Standout Startups

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Jeff Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most established seed VC firms in Silicon Valley, having closed 150 investments since 2004. An early angel investor in Web 2.0, Jeff and his team have backed successful startups like Mint (Intuit), Milo (eBay), Bleacher Report (Turner), Fitbit, Eventbrite, Sendgrid, Postmates and Vungle. The portfolio has also seen acquisitions by Groupon, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL. The firm is currently investing out of its $85M Fund IV, making 16 commitments of $850K per year in mobile/cloud saas, consumer hardware, marketplaces and healthcare IT.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeff made his entry into the world of VC?

2.) In a time when hardware was not heavily invested in, what attracted Jeff to Fitbit?

3.) How did Jeff convince Brad to invest in Fitbit?

4.) What can startups do to standout in the crowded market that exists today?

5.) What do startups need to have to get a meeting with you at SoftTech?

6.) What VCs does Jeff most like to invest alongside?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Jeff’s Fave Book: June by Gerbrand Bakker

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

For a more colourful look into Harry’s life, you can follow him on Instagram here!

FF 011: How To Smash It On Indiegogo with Ben Nader, CEO and Co-Founder @ Butterfleye

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Ben Nader is Founder and CEO at Butterfleye, the most advanced wireless home monitoring system. In other words, Google Nest meets Dropcam. Butterfleye’s investors include some of the biggest and most prominent names in the industry including our friends and past guests Brad Feld and Jason Calacanis. Butterfleye currently have a campaign on Indiegogo, which you can support here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Ben come up with Butterfleye?

2.) How does Butterfleye differentiate itself from other competitors like Dropcam?

3.) How much better does a new product have to be to beat the existing incumbents?

4.) Does Ben prefer mass market testing or small targeted testing with fewer individuals?

5.) How did Ben get his first customers?

6.) What has Ben done to drive the success of his Indiegogo campaign? What tips would he give to founders looking to raise on these platforms?

7.) How did Ben get Jason Calacanis as an angel? How did Ben find the fundraising process?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Book: The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

Ben’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: Brad Feld’s Feld.com, Jason Calacanis’ Launch Ticker

Ben’s Fave Productivity Apps: Asana, Sunrise Calendar, Calm Meditation App

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

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

 

 

 

20 VC 068: Why Now Is The Best Time To Be An Entrepreneur with Sean Seton-Rogers @ PROfounders Capital

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Sean Seton-Rogers is a founding Partner at PROfounders Capital, a venture capital fund for entrepreneurs powered by entrepreneurs. Their investors and principals number some of the best-known players within the digital media space — people who have built some of Europe’s most successful companies. Prior to PROfounders, Sean has been investing in technology companies across both the US and Europe, when he was at both Balderton Capital and Commonwealth Capital Ventures in Boston. In addition to the PROfounders portfolio companies, he has in the past worked closely with others such as Bebo, Wonga.com, and ConstantContact.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Sean make his entry into the VC world at the peak of the first tech bubble?

2.) What was the biggest lesson Sean learnt from experiencing the bubble imploding?

3.) Why are we seeing this trend of US VC funds investing in Europe?

4.) What are the key drivers to the growth of the European tech ecosystem?

5.) Why is there a serious decline in the amount of Series C rounds, only 7 in Q2 2015?

6.) Is Sean concerned by the rise of Crowdfunding? Does Sean see it as a competing finance model to VC?

7.) Do investors on Crowdfunding platforms experience the same deal terms as VCs?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Sean’s Fave Book: Robert Cialdini: Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion, Neal Stevenson: Cryptonomicon

Sean’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Benedict Evans Newsletter

Sean’s Must Have Productivity Tools: Evernote, Google Apps

Sean’s Most Recent Investment: Made.com

 

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

For a more colourful view of Harry and maybe a few mojito sessions follow Harry on Instagram here! 

 

20 VC 067: Scaling Startups Into Unicorns with Atomico’s Mattias Ljungman and Carolina Brochado

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Mattias Ljungman launched Atomico in 2006 alongside Niklas Zennström. In that time, Mattias has been involved with exits including Supercell (sold a majority stake to SoftBank), 6Wunderkinder (acquired by Microsoft in 2015), The Climate Corporation (acquired by Monsanto for $1.1B in 2013), Xobni (acquired by Yahoo! in 2013). Mattias works closely with a number of portfolio companies on their expansion, including Truecaller, Klarna, Hailo, and ChemistDirect. Prior to launching Atomico, Mattias was the head of investments at CLS Holdings where he was responsible for the sale of Sit Up TV for $360 million in 2005.

 

Carolina is Vice President @ Atomico, working on sourcing, evaluation and due diligence of investments. Carolina is based in London, however she travels frequently to Latin America to evaluate opportunities for Atomico to help companies in the region to scale. Prior to Atomico, Carolina started her career at Merrill Lynch’s investment banking division before moving to private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners.

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Did you like the double guest show today? If so click here!
If you prefer a single guest click here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mattias and Carolina made their way into the VC industry with Atomico?

2.) How important is it for VCs to have entrepreneurial backgrounds?

3.) What advice would Mattias and Carolina give to anyone looking to enter the VC industry?

4.) What is Atomico’s selection criteria? Average cheque size? Round preference? Sector preference?

5.) Why is now the best time to be a European entrepreneur? What has changed?

6.) What does it take for a tech ecosystem to thrive and grow?

7.) What is required for startups to scale from small markets to mass market adoption?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mattias’ Fave Book: The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

Carolina’s Fave Book: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Mattias’ Fave Blog or Newsletter: Benedict Evans

Carolina’s Fave Newsletter: The Skim, Dan Primack: TermSheet

Atomics’s Most Used Productivity Tools: Wunderlist, Evernote, Pocket, SmartNews

Atomics’s Most Recent Investments: TrueCaller, GymPass

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

For a more colourful image of Harry and maybe some mojito sessions, follow Harry on Instagram here!

FF 010: Becoming Europe’s Hottest Startup with Carl Waldekranz, Co-Founder and CEO @ Tictail

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Carl Waldekranz is the CEO and co-founder of Tictail. With the vision of creating the worlds most used and loved e-commerce platform Tictail has been called the Tumblr of e-commerce and been celebrated as one of Europe’s hottest startups. The vibrant community now hosts more than 85,000 stores on their service. Due to this phenomenal growth Tictail recently closed a $22m Series B from Balderton, Acton, Thrive and Creandum.

Before Tictail, Carl cofounded and sold a digital agency called Super Strikers where he as an Art Director helped develop the brand identity for companies such as Spotify, Wrapp and Bambuser together with co-founder Kaj Drobin. Carl also founded Keyflow, a mobile guest list app company.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were Carl’s entrepreneurial origins and how did Tictail get started?

2.) What does Carl’s idea creation process look like? How does Carl brainstorm?

3.) Tictail now sells 2m products on their platform but how did they get their first customers?

4.) At what moment in the Tictail journey was Carl the most worried or frightened?

5.) What would Carl say are the essentials for funding? How did Carl meet his investors? What is the difference between the different funding rounds for startups?

6.) Why did Carl pitch other startups before pitching VCs?

7.) Question from Daniel Waterhouse @ Balderton: How has Tictail maintained the magic company culture in Sweden, whilst expanding to NY?

8.) If Carl could start his time with Tictail again, is there anything he would have done differently?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Carl’s Fave Book: The Score Takes Care of Itself, My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh

Carl’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: First Round Capital Blog

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry and a few mojito sessions, you can follow Harry on Instagram here!

20 VC 066: FOUNDRY GROUP WEEK 1: Seth Levine

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Seth Levine is one of the most successful VCs on the planet having Co-Founded Foundry Group, Seth has made investments in the likes of Fitbit (IPO), Admeld (acquired by Google), Zynga (IPO) and Gnip (acquired by Twitter). The Foundry Group now has 5 funds, 4 early stage and 1 growth fund, totalling over $1bn in assets. Prior to Foundry Group, Seth started his career in venture with Mobius Venture Capital and lead the IPO of FirstWorld in 2000. Seth writes an awesome blog on technology, venture capital and colorado at www.sethlevine.com.

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In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

1.) Where it all started for Seth and how he made his move into the technology and venture industry?

2.) Question from James Altucher: Do you have to be in Silicon Valley to get the best access to deal flow?

3.) How has Foundry group developed since 2006 as VC firm?

4.) Why are all funds raised by Foundry the same, $225m? How is VC fundraising the same as startup fundraising?

5.) Question from Elizabeth Kraus: How does Seth stay motivated having enjoyed so much financial success with Foundry Group?

6.) What areas of tech is Seth most excited about?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Most Used Apps: Slack, VoxerDarkSky

Seth’s Fave Book: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Seth’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Hidden Brain

Seth Most Recent Investment: Sourcepoint

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

For a more colourful view of Harry’s world and maybe a few mojito sessions, check out Harry’s Instagram here!

20 VC 065: FOUNDRY GROUP WEEK 1: Brad Feld

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Brad Feld is one of the world’s leading VCs having Co-Founded Foundry Group, Brad has made investments in the likes of Zynga, Makerbot and Fitbit, just to name a few. Brad is also Co-Founder of Techstars, one of the world’s most prominent startup accelerators, whose portfolio companies have raised over $1.3bn in funding. If that wasn’t enough Brad is also a best selling author having co-athoured Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and VC, alongside Dick Costolo and Startup Communities: Building An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your Community. In addition to his investing and writing, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology and co-chair of Startup Colorado. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld Thoughts, Startup Revolution, and Ask the VC.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brad made his move from entrepreneurship to VC and later co-founding, The Foundry Group.

2.) Does Brad agree with the view that it is important for entrepreneurs to fail?

3.) Why did Brad turn Fitbit down on 1st opportunity and what changed the 2nd time?

4.) What gets Brad excited in a startup? What areas are Brad most interested in?

5.) What is the main characteristic that makes the Foundry Group the huge success it is?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Brad’s Fave  Business Books:

1.) Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

2.) Hot Seat by Dan Shapiro

Brad’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson’s Blog, Dan Primack: TermSheet, MatterMark Daily

Brad’s Most Recent Investments: GlowForge: The 3D Laser Printer, Sphero

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

FF 009: How To Leverage Your Connections To Grow Your Business with Sarah Schupp, Founder & CEO @ University Parent

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Sarah Schupp is the CEO and founder of UniversityParent. UniversityParent is the #1 site for college parents to find everything they need to help their children succeed. The company, which began with a single print guide for the University of Colorado Boulder, now prints parent guides for more than two hundred colleges, features information for 3,000 colleges and universities on its website, and distributes a weekly e-newsletter. In May 2014, UniversityParent celebrated its 10th anniversary and was named to the Mercury100, BizWest’s ranking of the 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in Boulder Valley.

Sarah has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30, Businessweek’s top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25, and one of the Denver Business Journal’s Top Women Under 40. She’s been named a “Player to Watch” by the Gates Foundation, and was recognized by the White House and the United Nations as one of the country’s top young entrepreneurs.

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In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

How the idea for UniversityParent came about?

How did Sarah manage to juggle a growing business with a University degree?

How individuals can leverage their university network to grow their business?

How important is it for entrepreneurs to be surrounded by like minded entrepreneurs?

In what circumstances should founders confide and not confide in their team?

How does Sarah as a leader show her support for her team?

How has Sarah found the fundraising process and what would Sarah change if she could start over?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Harry’s Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Sarah’s Fave Book: The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo

Sarah’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: Think With Google

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

20 VC 064: Finding Exceptional People with Big Ideas with Nick Beim, Partner @ Venrock

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Nick Beim is a Partner @ Venrock where he focuses on internet, mobile, SaaS, big data and fintech investments. Nick blogs on the economics of innovation at www.nickbeim.com. Nick led the initial venture investments in a number of pioneering consumer internet companies including the Gilt Groupe, and Care.com (IPO). He also led the initial investments in a number of today’s leading big data innovators including Dataminr and Intent Media. Prior to joining Venrock, Nick was a General Partner at Matrix Partners and worked in the technology groups at McKinsey and Goldman Sachs. Nick’s primary passion outside of venture investing is international development, in particular accelerating international development through entrepreneurship. Nick serves on the board of Endeavor, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries that Tom Friedman has called “the best anti-poverty program of all.”

In 2011, Forbes named Nick one of the “Elite 8″ to watch in Venture Capital.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Nick made his move into venture and started a bidding contest between two funds a bank for him!
  • How Nick got to be involved with DataMinr and how Nick believes society will use data in the future?
  • How does Nick standout in the super competitive rounds? What is Nick’s value add?
  • Is it still harder for female founders to get VC funding? Why?
  • What can be done to improve this imbalance in the tech ecosystem?
  • What is impact investing? How do you balance LP returns with social impact improvements?
  • Our friend @ August Capital, David Hornik asks Nick, what is the difference between investing in NY compared to SF?

 

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

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

Nick’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: Reid Hoffman, Essays on Entrepreneurship

20 VC 063: What It Takes To Standout In A Crowded Market with Ezra Galston @ Chicago Ventures

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Ezra Galston is a VC @ Chicago Ventures, where he focuses on consumer facing and marketing tech investments and is actively involved with Blitsy, BloomNation, Kapow Events, Luxury Garage Sale, Shiftgig, SpotHero, and Zipments. Ezra’s thoughts on startups, have been published in the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and Re/code.
Prior to Chicago Ventures, Ezra was a Young Entrepreneur at Foundation Capital. Before business school, Ezra served as the Director of Marketing for CardRunners Gaming – the parent company of CardRunners, Hold’em Manager and DraftDay – and before then earned a living as a professional poker player. If that wasn’t enough he is also the author of one of our fave VC blogs www.breakingvc.com.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Ezra became a Poker Player and then transitioned to the world of Venture Capital?
  • What is the mission with Chicago Ventures? Average ticket size? Preferred sector?
  • How important is it for startups to be close to their investors, geographically and relationship wise?
  • For marketplace startups, what metrics does Ezra really deep dive on?
  • With the likes of Instacart raising huge rounds, why are we seeing this huge increase in food tech?
  • In hugely crowded markets, how does Ezra sort the wood from the trees?
  • What advice would Ezra recommend to individuals looking to enter the VC industry?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ezra’s Fave Book: The Little Prince

Ezra’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Stratechery by Ben Thompson, Carpool.vc

Ezra’s Fave Productivity Tools: Rapportive, Bitmoji

Ezra’s Most Recent Investment: Luxury Garage Sale, Attendant

Bill Gurley: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces

HungryRoot: Charlie O’Donnell, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

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

FF 08: Pierre Valade, CEO @ Sunrise on Being Acquired By Microsoft for $100m and Building Beautiful Products

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Pierre Valade is Co-Founder and CEO @ Sunrise, the beautiful calendar app, acquired by Microsoft for $100m in February 2015, where he now works on Outlook Mobile for Microsoft. Prior to Sunrise, Pierre worked as a UX designer @ Foursquare following a successful hackathon in which he built an app in 6 hours, called Agora. Agora impressed Foursquare Founder, Dennis Crowley to the extent that Pierre was hired in the same month. As a result of Pierre’s success he was named on the Innovators Under 35.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Pierre came up with the idea for Sunrise?
  • What made Sunrise standout above all calendar apps as the best calendar?
  • What features are most requested by Sunrise users?
  • How was the design process in altering the design from a iPhone to a Apple Watch?
  • What was Pierre and Sunrise approach to testing and iterating products?
  • Having raised VC funding prior to acquisition, how did Pierre meet his initial investors, what was his fundraising experience like? Were there any surprises or challenges?
  • How did the Microsoft Acquisition come about? How has Pierre’s role and Sunrise changed since the acquisition?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Pierre’s Fave Book: Zero To One: Peter Thiel

Pierre Most Impactful Purchase: iPhone 6

Pierre’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: Stratechery by Ben Thompson

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

20VC 062: Shaking Up London’s VC Industry with Fede Pirzio-Biroli, Founder @ Playfair Capital

Fede Pirzio-Biroli is Founder @ Playfair Capital, a leading investor in seed level, technology based startups. Fede founded Playfair Capital from his first investment in December of 2010 and the portfolio quickly grew to 20 investments by the end of 2012, including the likes of Duedil, AppearHere and On Device Research. During this period, Fede was an angel in residence at White Bear Yard. After working closely with Passion Capital, he built the Playfair Capital team and moved into Warner Yard, Playfair’s current home. Prior to Playfair, he spent several years in Africa working for the UN, Oxfam and PharmaSecure, after which he lobbied government and large aid organisations to increase the transparency of aid flows.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Fede made his move into angel investing and then transitioned to form his own fund?

2.) What is the mission at Playfair? What is the average ticket size? Does Playfair have any preferred sectors?

3.) What do startups need to have to get the Playfair stamp of approval? What are Playfair looking for?

4.) How has Fede seen the seed funding environment change in London?

5.) How does Fede and Playfair stave off competition for the ‘hot’ startups looking to raise VC money?

6.) What benefits do founders get for working in a co-working space? How important is it for VCs to offer this service?

7.) How does Fede create a united company culture in a co-working space with so many different companies?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Fede’s Fave Book: The Circle by David Eggers

Fede Fave Newsletter or Blog: Dojo, AngelList

Fede’s Most Recent Investment: Knytton (Techstars London W14)

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

20 VC 061: Roxanne Varza on Successfully Pitching VCs in 10 Minutes

Roxanne Varza is currently the startup lead for Microsoft in France, running both Microsoft Ventures Paris and Bizspark. Prior to Microsoft, Roxanne was Editor of TechCrunch France and has been a guest author for the likes of The Telegraph and Business Insider. Roxanne is also the Co-Founder of Tech.eu, one of the few publications to cover the European tech industry as a whole, with the brilliant Robin Wauters. If that wasn’t enough Roxanne is also the Co-Founder of Girls In Tech both in Paris and London, which aims to raise the visibility of women in technology,entrepreneurship and innovation though monthly events, leadership programmes and much more. Roxanne has won a range of accolade including Top 30 Women Under 30 In Tech, Coolest 25 Women in Tech and 10 Women Shaking Up Tech In Their 30s.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Roxanne made her move into the tech industry and then made the move from TechCrunch to running Microsoft’s Accelerator in Paris?
  • What would Roxanne recommend to people in tech contemplating moving countries?
  • What can be done to unite the Euopean tech communities together?
  • What is the mission at Microsoft Ventures? What is the deal? What are the benefits?
  • In the 10 minute pitch to Roxanne, what does Microsoft want to hear?
  • How does Microsoft determine product-market fit?
  • What does the increase in US funds entering the European market suggest?
  • What are the benefits for startups of having global investors?
  • What can startups do to increase their media exposure in the sea of new startups?
  • How can founders be successful through submitting guest posts?

 

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Roxanne’s Fave Book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Roxanne’s Reading Material: News.me + Digg

Fred Wilson: Investing In Startups In Europe

Microsoft Ventures Alumni: Zocdoc: Find a Doctor, Xobni: Your Smarter Address Book Is Waiting

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

Founders Friday 007: Founding Europe’s Largest Mobile Trading App with Nick Bortot, Founder @ Bux

Nick Bortot

Nick Bortot is the Founder & CEO at Bux, Europe’s largest mobile trading platform with an incredible 175,000 active users. In his former life he was one of the driving forces behind the Dutch market leader in online brokerage, BinckBank. There he held several commercial positions before he was elected member of the executive board. After having spent five years in the boardroom, Nick started dreaming about a new company that would make the financial markets both fun and exciting. This dream turned into BUX. Bud has attained many incredible mentions and awards including being named on the Fintech50 2015. You can also check out their first TV add right here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Nick made the move from broking to founding Bux?
  • What are the benefits of being a slightly older founder?
  • What Nick would recommend to anyone looking for a technical co-founder?
  • How to build a team of individuals with complimentary skills?
  • What are the drivers for the incredible growth to 175,000 users?
  • How is Nick planning to convert an audience of non trader to start trading?
  • What advice would Nick give founders entering into heavily regulated markets?
  • How Bux have built a great brand in a competitive market?
  • Having raised funds from Orange Growth Capital, what was surprising and challenging for Nick about raising angel and VC money?
  • What would Nick do differently if he was raising funds again?
  • Does Nick agree with the concept of building a ‘war chest’ of funds?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Nick’s Fave Book: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

Nick’s Fave Newsletter or Blog: VICE News

Nick’s Fave App: BRAINTOSS: Toss your thoughts straight into your inbox

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

20 VC 060: 12 Acquisitions, $1bn In Exits, Mike Jones, Former MySpace CEO on Life At Science Inc

Mike Jones

Mike Jones is the Founder and CEO at Science Inc. a disruptive media, marketing and commerce company that creates, invests, acquires and scales successful digital businesses. Their incredible portfolio includes the likes of Medium, DollarShaveClub and DogVacay and their leadership is responsible for an astonishing 12 acquisitions and over $1bn in exits. Prior to Science Inc, Mike was the CEO at Myspace, where he was responsible for the relaunch, one of the most high-profile turn-around challenges in the industry, before selling MySpace to SpecificMedia on behalf of NewsCorp. Mike is also an active early stage investor having personally invested in over 30 startup businesses including Klout, Betterworks, Formspring, ShoeDazzle to name a few.

CLICK TO PLAY EPISODE

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike began his entrepreneurial career, how MySpace came about then how Mike made the move to Science Inc?

2.) What is the mission at Science, what does Science provide and how do they differ from the likes of YC and Techstars?

3.) Science have a specific methodology to identify the best startups and the best sectors. What is involved in this methodology? Has it changed since the start of Science?

4.) What can a startup founder do or show you to impress you? Are there any real red flags for you when meeting startup founders? What are the commonalities of the great founders?

5.) What is Science’s involvement with the companies, what are your key value adds at Science?

6.) On Twist Mike stated ‘growth is the most important thing, without growth there is no money’? What is Science’s strategy towards growth and what are the challenges posed by this need for growth?

Items Mentioned in Todays Episode:

Mike’s Fave Book: The Power of Habbit, Why We Do What We Do by Chris Duhigg

Mike’s Fave News Source: FlipBoard

 

20 VC 059: How To Approach VCs with Arteen Arabshahi, VC @ Karlin Ventures

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Arteen Arabshahi is a VC at Karlin Ventures, where he specialises in enterprise software, commerce platforms, and marketplaces. Prior to Karlin Ventures, Arteen spearheaded the launch of Built In LA, an online community for digital entrepreneurs and innovators. However, his passion for startups flourished while helping run operations at Excelerate Labs, now Techstars Chicago. In today’s incredible interview we delve into the best strategies for contacting any VC you want, how to make the approach, how to deal with the emotional and psychological pressure of starting a company and the rise of marketplaces. When not with startups, Arteen sits on the board of TEDxVenice Beach and is a supporter of TWLOHA, a non-profit raising awareness and support for those struggling with mental health.

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC, Arteen and Karlin Ventures on Twitter right here!

CLICK TO PLAY EPISODE

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Arteen made the jump into the world of Venture Capital, from originally wanting to be a plastic surgeon!!
  • How did Arteen approach VCs when applying for positions?
  • What did Arteen say in those emails to achieve such a high response rate?
  • What tools did Arteen use to ensure he got the VCs real email address?
  • Does Arteen agree with the traditional routes into Venture: Startup Founder, Consultant, Investment Banking?
  • Why is Arteen so excited about marketplaces? Are there any in particular that Arteen is doubling down on?
  • How big a market does a market have to be to get Arteen excited?
  • What would Arteen advise founders potentially struggling from self doubt or lacking in confidence?
  • What mental health tools would Arteen recommend to help with this?
  • The biggest red flags for Arteen when being pitched to?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

 

FF 006: Acquired by Amazon, CEO @ Digg, EIR @ a16z and now Founder @ Pro.com with Matt Williams

Matt Williams is Founder and CEO of Pro.com. Prior to Pro.com, Matt served as entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz, following his time at Digg where he led the complete overhaul of Digg which he joined as CEO in 2010 to rebuild the site from the ground up and contributed to its successful acquisition by Betaworks in 2012. Before Digg, Matt spent 12 years at Amazon where he managed Amazon’s Auctions and Marketplace, Community and Cross Merchandising, Tech Alliances, Web Store, and Consumer Payments divisions. Prior to Amazon, Matt founded and was the CEO of Livebid, which was acquired by Amazon in 1999.

CLICK TO PLAY EPISODE

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his way into entrepreneurship and then later the VC world?

2.) How did LiveBid come about when Matt was only 23 and how did he build the product and the initial user base?

3.) What was the hardest aspect of the entire LiveBid journey and how did Matt overcome it?

4.) How did Matt’s life and work change moving from your own startup to working in a massive organization like amazon? What would Matt advise founders who have sold or are thinking of selling their companies to large corporations?

5.) Following a number of years at Amazon. How did you attempt to turn Digg around as CEO and was their anything you would have done differently?

6.) As EIR at Andreessen Horowitz what was it like, for Matt, working at a16z? Was there anything that surprised Matt about the move to venture?

7.) What would Matt say was the biggest lesson from working at these tech titans was? How has that affected how Matt runs Pro.com today?

 

 

20 VC 058: 10 Key Traits To Be A Successful Founder with David Wu, General Partner @ Maveron

David Wu is a General Partner at Maveron, which he joined in 2012 to help identify new investments in Web companies that have the potential to become leading consumer brands. He sourced and led Maveron’s investment, Eargo and Darby Smart, also serving on their board. David is very much founder focussed and you’ll often find him coaching entrepreneurs at top Bay Area incubators such as Y Combinator, AngelPad, 500 Startups, and Stanford’s StartX and was previously EIR at Redpoint Ventures. His close ties to the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial community have led him to invest personally in over 30 start-ups, including Practice Fusion, Postmates, Tile, Jaunt VR, and SeatMe.

CLICK TO PLAY EPISODE

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How David made his move into the world of venture capital?
  • How David perceives the current seed funding environment?
  • What makes Stanford the breeding ground of tech unicorns that it is?
  • How to create a bay area style culture?
  • What is the most frequent problem David sees startups encounter and how do they overcome it?
  • How can entrepreneurs know which funding source to go for? Crowdfunding, VC, Angel?
  • Why should startups take seed VC money over angel money? What is the difference?
  • What are the key traits required to be a great founder?
  • How can products with early adopter usage transition to a mass market product?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

20 VC 057: The Investor Checklist with Nicolas Wittenborn

Did you know: The name Point Nine Capital originates from the 0.9 version of a product that is early but has great potential.

Nicolas Wittenborn is a VC at Point Nine Capital, one of the leading seed funds in Europe. Prior to Point Nine, Nicolas worked for the Team Europe Seed Fund. You can follow Nicolas’ incredible blog here, which include my favourite ever blog post, outlining the exemplar pitch deck that startups should follow!

PLAY EPISODE!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Nicolas made the move from iPhone sales arbitrage to VC analyst!!
  • How big does a market have to be to get VCs excited?
  • Do VCs have preferences with regards to teams? Technical or not? Multiple founders or not?
  • At the Seed stage what do VCs expect in the product itself?
  • What are the key metrics investors look for when viewing startups for the 1st time?
  • What are the different types of competition and how can founders determine whether they are a real threat?
  • How can startups and mobile apps in particular, grow organically in the early stages?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

As always you can follow Harry, Nicolas, The Twenty Minute VC and Point Nine Capital right here!

Similarly if you want to see Harry in a more colourful light, head over to Instagram for copious amount of mojitos!

Founding WIRED 2014’s Winner, with Mutaz Qubbaj, Founder @ Squirrel

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Mutaz Qubbaj is Founder @ Squirrel, a financial wellbeing platform that allows employees to  regain control of their financial lives. Mutual has celebrated much recent success with Squirrel having been named winner of WIRED 2014 and Pitch @ The Palace. Mutaz is also an expert on all things accelerator having been an alum at Barclays Techstars London with Squirrel, which you may remember from our interview with Greg Rogers, where Greg named Squirrel the next company to disrupt an industry.  Prior to Squirrel, Mutaz has had a financial career that includes an LBS Masters in Finance and more than a decade at Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and PIMCO as a trader, strategist and marketer.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Mutaz made his movement from banking to being a startup founder?
  • Was it difficult for Mutaz to leave the security of banking for the risky journey of entrepreneurship?
  • What would Mutaz advise anyone looking to make the jump into the world of entrepreneurship?
  • How did joining Techstars, help Squirrel as a company and Mutaz as a Founder?
  • What is the Barclays Techstars process like?
  • How can Founders decide which accelerator is right for them?
  • What red flags should founders look for when investigating accelerators?
  • How much equity do traditional accelerators take?
  • What tips does Mutaz have to get the most out of the accelerator experience?
  • How do individuals know when to give up the day job and become an entrepreneur?

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

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

20 VC 056: The Life Cycle of Startups with Guy Turner @ Hyde Park VP

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Quote of the Day: ‘Invest in people who do what they say they are going to do and have done what they said they would do’. Guy Turner, 20VC

Guy Turner is a Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners where he focuses on fast growing companies run by ambitious entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas. All of his incredible findings can be found through his blog at vcwithme.co. Guy joined Hyde Park Venture Partners in 2011 from Boston Consulting Group where he focused on corporate strategy across a variety of industries; he started his investing career as an Associate and then actively investing Member of Hyde Park Angels in 2009. Guy has led investments in numerous B2B software companies and is a Director at Geofeedia, InContext Solutions and Iris Mobile. Guy is also a Siebel Scholar, Kauffman Fellow and a co-inventor on two US Patents.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Guy made his move into the investing industry?
  • How did Guy find the transition from academia to venture?
  • Why is it crucial for startups to innovate, test and sell quickly?
  • How can a startup determine whether their project is successful or if they should pivot?
  • What are the three steps to the 18 month runway, all startups need?
  • Do investors mind providing more financially to increase the runway?
  • What can startups do to maximise the hype surrounding their business?
  • Can hype ever be detrimental to a startup?
  • What are Guy’s preferences in terms of founders?
  • How can a startup know when VCs are subtly rejecting them?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

  • Guy’s Fave Book: Thinking in Time
  • Guys Most Recent Investment: 250ok
  • FarmLogs

20 VC 055: Jonathon Triest @ Ludlow Ventures

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Quote of the Day: ‘Advisors are the most crucial element to success for the young generation’. Jonathon Triest, 20 Min VC

Jonathon Triest is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ludlow Ventures and Sandwich Fund. Prior to launching Ludlow, Jonathon worked as creative director for New York’s Discovery Productions. He founded and operated Triest Group, a design firm with a deep UI/UX focus. In addition to his role at Ludlow, Jonathon is a Kauffman Fellow and a mentor at numerous technology accelerators including Silicon Valley’s Up West Labs, Cincinnati’s The Brandery, and San Francisco’s Highway 1. He is board member of The Trico Foundation and Venture for America.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Jonathon made his unorthodox way into starting his own fund at the age of 27?
  • What was Jonathon’s first investing strategy and how has it developed?
  • What Jonathon believes is wrong with the typical VC? How are Ludlow different?
  • How does Jonathon find the fundraising process as a VC?
  • Other than capital what are the benefits of fundraising?
  • How does Jonathon differentiate Ludlow from the huge amount of seed funds?
  • What are the benefits of accelerators for Jonathon and Ludlow?
  • How does Jonathon approach deal flow?
  • What does Jonathon look for in founders?
  • Does Jonathon have design input in his investments?
  • How important are advisors for the young generation coming into this community?
  • How Jonathon managed to convince the likes of Brad Feld and Eric Ries to mentor him?

Items Mentioned In Todays Show

Jonathon’s Fave Book: The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Jonathon’s Most Recent InvestmentWrapify

Founders Friday 004: Life As A Non-Technical Co-Founder with Will Sacks, The Fertility King @ Kindara

Will Sacks is Co-Founder and CEO at Kindara, the fertility awareness app that provides tools to understand fertility and be in control of their own body. Kindara has achieved phenomenal success having significant press in the likes of Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Times and Forbes. Their first product Kindara Fertility for iPhone has been ranked #1 on the App Store Medical Charts.  In this incredibly diverse conversation our talk ranges from wire framing and programming to vasectomies and uterus’, it’s a must listen!

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • Why Will started Kindara and how he got the initial product off the ground, without being able to code?
  • Should Founders learn to code or learn how to be the best CEO they can be?
  • How and what was the wire framing process like? What advice does Will have for other non-technical co-founders?
  • How does Will feel being a male CEO for a female product?
  • How has Will created this community of incredibly engaged users?
  • How has Will managed to grow his audience so effectively?
  • What has Will learnt from raising $1.7m in angel and VC funding?
  • What is the hardest aspect of fundraising?
  • What advice would will give to a startup thinking of raising funds?
  • How is Will planning to transition into the world of hardware?
  • What theories of The Lean Startup did not work for Will?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

 

20 VC 054: David Pakman @ Venrock on The Future Of The Music Industry

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Quote of the Day: ‘A great entrepreneur has the ability to bend the world to their will’. David Pakman, 20VC

David Pakman is a Partner at Venrock, having spent the past 12 years as an internet entrepreneur. This includes David’s appointment as CEO of eMusic, the world’s leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes. Prior to joining eMusic, David co-founded Myplay in 1999, which he later sold, in 2001, to Bertelsmann’s ecommerce Group. Before Myplay, he was Vice President at N2K Entertainment, which created the first digital music download service. If that wasn’t enough David is also the co-creator of Apple Computer’s Music Group.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How David started his career as an entrepreneur and later made the move to VC?
  • How David found the transition from entrepreneur and CEO to being a VC?
  • What is the main value add that both Venrock and David provides to their investments?
  • What makes a great entrepreneur for David?
  • How long do VCs need to know entrepreneurs before making investments?
  • What 3 tips would David give for best sourcing deals as a VC?
  • What areas does David believe are soon to be disrupted? How does David predict the next big industries to be disrupted?
  • What did David think of Jay Z’s launch of Tidal?
  • Who will dominate in the music streaming sector in the coming years?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

 

 

20 VC 053: Inside Union Square Ventures with Jonathan Libov @ Union Square Ventures

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Quote of the Day: ‘Keep an open mind from an early age’. Jonathan Libov, 20VC

Jonathan Libov joined the investment team at Union Square Ventures in September of 2014. Jonathan hails from New York but has lived for the last few years in Tel Aviv, where he most recently worked as a Product Manager at Appsfire. He’s a graduate of Vassar College with a degree in Cognitive Science and began his career in neuroscience research. He designs and codes, with Fifty among his side projects.

In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

  • How Jonathan made his move from product guy to VC at USV?
  • What is the key determinant for USV’s success?
  • How Fred Wilson and USV use blogging to market USV as ‘smart money’?
  • Is SMS dead? What is and will it be used for in the future?
  • What sectors are ripe for disruption?
  • How can technology and sport be integrated?
  • Apple Music: Success or failure?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Favourite Book: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

OB1: Making Trade free for everyone, everywhere

 

Founders Friday 003: 2m users, $2m Seed Round, 220,000 Instagram Followers with Phil Jacobson, Founder @ PumpUp

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Phil Jacobson is Co-Founder At PumpUp, a community for healthy and active living, with over 2m users. Phil leads the operations, finance, marketing, business development and external relations for PumpUp, with great success having accumulated over 220,000 Instagram followers! Prior to PumpUp, Phil held brand management positions at Unilever and PepsiCo.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Phil started PumpUp?
  • How Phil got 1,500 downloads in day one?
  • What marketing strategies are PumpUp working on to continue growing?
  • What social media strategies Phil recommends founders attempting to build an online presence?
  • How did Phil accumulate the 220,000 instagram followers organically?
  • What has Phil done to create such a heavily engaged user base?
  • Who are Phil’s biggest competitors and how does PumpUp aim to stay ahead of them?
  • Where are PumpUp in the fundraising process, what has Phil learnt from the $2m seed round?
  • How can startups determine how much they need to raise?
  • What are PumpUp doing to ensure customer retention rates remain high?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

A new one recommended by Phil, click here to follow the awesome Instagram pages of Harry and PumpUp!

 

20 VC 052: How To Make The Leap From Seed To Series A with Ari Helgason @ Dawn Capital

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Ari Helgason is a VC at Dawn Capital in London and a former entrepreneur with operational experience in both London and New York. Prior to Dawn, Ari founded SaaS sales and workflow management system World on a Hanger and ecommerce clothing marketplace Fabricly.com. More recently, he launched ecommerce sites for fashion and luxury brands in London and New York. Ari is an alumnus of the Y Combinator startup accelerator and he regularly visits Silicon Valley where he has extensive relationships.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How Ari made his move into the VC scene?
  • Why Ari decided to bootstrap his first business?
  • Does Ari believe that Founders should always be fundraising?
  • Should Founders take more money than they need, ‘a war chest’?
  • What type of goals do VCs want to see from founders?
  • What do investors expect from startups at Series A?
  • How can founders learn what KPI’s make sense for their business?
  • How can founders know when is the right time to fundraise?
  • How can startup founders get their foot in the VC door?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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

 

20 VC 051: The New Silicon Valley Style VC in London with Alessandra Sollberger @ Mosaic Ventures

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Alessandra Sollberger is a VC at Mosaic Ventures, a new Silicon Valley style venture firm based in London, focussing on Series A rounds. Alessandra previously worked in private equity at Blackstone, covering sectors ranging from consumer brands to software. Prior to that, she worked in startups in the US and Europe and in M&A at Goldman Sachs. She is also the founder of Bright Mentors, an edtech non-profit teaching coding and science in secondary schools through a network of technology professionals.

In todays episode you will learn:

  • How Alessandra made her move into the VC world?
  • What are you Mosaic looking for? What is their typical investment size?

     

  • What Alessandra thinks of the different paths into venture?
  •  What advice would you give someone looking to enter venture?
  •  

    Why Alessandra believes there has been a resurgence in marketplaces? What is driving this growth?

  • What startup marketplaces is Alessandra most excited about?

     

  • Alessandra’s thoughts on the next big sector to be disrupted and why?

 

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

 

 

 

Founders Friday 002: Balderton’s James Wise interviews 20VC Founder, Harry Stebbings

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Today is a very special show as James Wise, Principal at Balderton Capital turns the tables on Host of The Twenty Minute VC, Harry Stebbings. In today’s brilliant interview by James we delve into what has led to Harry’s interest in the VC industry, why did Harry start The 20 Minute VC, how does Harry identify guests to interview, how does he approach those guests, how has Harry found his first experience in the venture industry, what has surpassed Harry about the VC industry, what traits has Harry spotted that are common among the great VCs interviewed, is Harry optimistic or not about the venture industry, what would Harry recommend for other people looking to go into venture.

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

Harry’s Favourite Books: Tim Ferris: 4 Hour Work Week, 4 Hour Body

Shyp

Crowdcube, 3DHubs, Tictail

MMC Ventures, Founders Forum

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

20 VC 050: Starting, Building and Selling in SaaS with the King of SaaS, Jason Lemkin, Managing Director @ Storm Ventures

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Jason Lemkin is Managing Director at Storm Ventures focussing on early stage SaaS and enterprise startups. Jason is an acknowledged thought leader in SaaS through his creation of the SaaStr community, connecting thousands of SaaS entrepreneurs and generating upwards of 1,000,000 views a month around core SaaS topics, with a particular focus on accelerating revenue and early-stage SaaS sales and marketing. Prior to Storm, Jason served as CEO and co-founder of Storm Ventures-backed EchoSign, the web’s most popular electronic signature service. Jason led EchoSign from inception through its acquisition by Adobe Systems Inc. in 2011. He then served as Vice President, Web Services at Adobe, where he oversaw the growth of EchoSign and Adobe Document Services to $100,000,000+ ARR in 2013.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

How Jason made his way into the SaaS and VC industry?

What actions did Jason do to get his blog to 1m+ page views per month?

What advice would Jason give to founders thinking of selling to large companies?

What type of entrepreneur does Jason like to invest in?

How does Jason see SaaS valuations, with recent enormous rounds from Zenefits?

What areas of the SaaS industries are neglected or undervalued?

Is the 40% growth rule broadly correct and can this be applied to early stage tech companies?

What is Jason’s pre-investment meeting approach like?

What makes a founder insane in a good way, rather than a bad way?

How are SaaS companies innovating to acquire new customers?

Quick Fire Round:

  1. Apple: Hit or Miss
  2. Most exciting SaaS companies and sectors
  3. Jason’s favourite book and why?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

SaaStr: Jason’s Blog

Jason’s Favourite Book: The Lion Who Shot Back

Mark Suster: Both Sides

Follow: @saleshacker (amazing content from VPs of Sales @ Top Tech Startups)

Emergence Capital: Joe Floyd

David Saks: Yammer

Slack: Stewart Butterfield, Zenefits: Parker Conrad

 

20 VC 049: Venture Capital is Getting Younger with Spencer Lazar

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Spencer Lazar is a Principal at General Catalyst Partners, based in New York City. He focuses on early stage software & internet investments, with a particular interest in online marketplaces, mobile applications, web services, and enterprise IT. Spencer was previously the cofounder of Spontaneously, Inc – an iOS development studio. Prior to that he was an early stage software & internet investor at Accel in London, where he sourced and worked with companies including Hailo, Birchbox, Bonobos, ForgeRock, and Qriously.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

How is the roads into the venture industry changing?

What young people can do to make themselves more attractive to VCs?

What would make Spencer’s perfect founder?

How important is geography when investing in startups?

How does Spencer feel the education technology space is developing?

What metrics Spencer examines when investing in a startup?

What sectors is Spencer most interested in?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Spencer’s Favourite Book: The Everything Store on Jeff Bezos

Spencer’s Latest Investment: CampusJob

Insight Venture Partners

How Lightspeed’s Jeremy Liew invested in Snapchat?

Hot EdTech Startups: Lynda.com, PluralSight, General Assembly, Grovo, ClimbCredit

Oscar, Sensio

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

Founders Friday 001: How to Create Great Company Culture with Anand Sanwal, Founder @ CB Insights

 

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Anand Sanwal is the CEO and Co-Founder of CB Insights. Specifically, CB Insights tracks financing trends and private companies in the healthcare, industrial, technology, software, energy & utilities, renewable, internet and mobile industries. CB Insights works primarily with venture capital, private equity, angel investors, corporate development, corporate strategy and family offices. Formerly, Anand was the Vice President at American Express. Sanwal was responsible for managing three primary functions which included the (1) Chairman’s $50 Million Innovation Fund, (2) CFO’s strategic planning function and (3) Enterprise Investment Optimization group. He is the author of “Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management” which features a forward by former American Express and Citigroup CFO, Gary Crittenden.

In Todays Episode You Will Learn:

  • Why Anand chose not to take VC funding for CB Insights?
  • Should all subscription based companies be revenue funded?
  • What one key determinant has contributed to the success of CB Insights?
  • How has Anand’s hiring strategy changed over time?
  • How strategies does Anand use to create this company culture?
  • What is the biggest challenge facing Anand today?
  • What tactics have not worked when trying to create a good working environment?
  • Is CB Insights replacing VCs, potentially losing their core customers?
  • What metrics Anand would most look for in a startup?

We then delve into a quick fire round and discover what is Anand’s favourite business book, what gets Anand excited, what advice Anand would give to himself 10 years ago starting out in the industry and finally the next 5 years for Anand and CB Insights.

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

 

20 VC 048: What Do VC’s Really Add To Startups with Christian Claussen, Managing Partner at Ventech

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Quote of the Day: “Capital is a crappy differentiator”. Dustin Dolginow

Christian Claussen is a Managing Partner with Ventech, a VC firm with offices in Munich and Paris. He has 16 years of experience investing in innovation and he leads Ventech investment activities in the German-speaking regions of Europe. He serves as a board member for Picanova and TV Smiles.

In today’s amazing episode with Christian we learn:

  • Which value adds are most important for founders to look for?
  • How can Founders determine whether VCs will carry out on their ‘Value Add’?
  • What are the signs of VC bulls***?
  • Will we see all VCs transition to Andreesen Horowitz service based VC model?
  • How have VCs offerings to startups changed over time?
  • What advice would Christian provide to founders entering a round of funding?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Christian’s Favourite Book: Phillip Roth: Everyman

Christian’s Article on VC Value Add

Speex: Online Language Training That Really Works

Andreesen Horowitz

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

20 VC 047: 4 Ways Investors Find Great Startups with Rob Moffat, Principal @ Balderton Capital

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Rob Moffat is Principal at Balderton Capital, one of London’s leading VC firms. At Balderton Rob specialises in Fintech, Martech, Gaming and Marketplaces. Rob is currently a board director or observer with six portfolio companies: Qubit, Wooga, Housetrip, Carwow, Rentify and Nutmeg. Other investments Rob has been involved with at Balderton include Citymapper, Top10, Scoot and Archify. Prior to joining Balderton Rob worked for Google in London, as a Manager in the European Strategy and Operations team. He started his career with five years in strategy consulting with Bain, working mostly with financial services clients.

 

In today’s amazing discussion with Rob we discover:

  • What characteristics make a great VC?
  • How VCs assess incoming business plans and investment opportunities?
  • The biggest problem facing Rob today, as Principal at Balderton?
  • How the structure of VC firms is changing to a service based environment?
  • Does Crowdfunding pose a threat to VC as a alternative method of finance?
  • For individuals wanting to move into Venture, what can they do to optimise their employability in the VC world?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

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

 

20 VC 046: How VCs Evaluate Investment Opportunities with Alan Chiu, Partner @ XSeed Capital

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Alan Chiu is a Partner at XSeed Capital, with a strong background in enterprise software and data storage. Alan is currently Vice President for Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, an alumni association that seeks to strengthen Stanford’s startup community by fostering relationships among entrepreneurs and alumni investors. Prior to XSeed, Alan was previously Director of Product Management at Bycast (acquired by NetApp), and was engineering manager at Creo, which was acquired by Kodak for $1B in cash.

In todays amazing discussion with Alan we discover:

  • What the checklist is for Alan when investing in startups?
  • Why Stanford is the amazing place it is for startups?
  • What is the most important value add that VCs can bring to a startup?
  • When is the right time to pivot and how important is a product roadmap?

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

20 VC 045: From Idea To Pitch with Alan Jones, Founding Investor @ Startmate

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Alan Jones is Chief Growth Hacker at Bluechilli, who have set the incredible goal of building 100 startups by 2016! Alan is also Founding Investor and Mentor at Startmate, an Australian Y Combinator style accelerator. If that wasn’t enough Alan also invests and advises through Blackbird Ventures, Pollenizer and Startmate.

In Today’s Amazing Discussion with Alan We Discover:

  • What you should do when you have a great idea?
  • How to validate a market?
  • How to figure out if it is a viable business?
  • What can non technical co-founders do to get their idea of the ground?
  • What individuals can do to meet technical co-founders?
  • What are the biggest tips for entrepreneurs when facing a pitch?

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational

Tzukuri: Bluetooth Wearable Technology

TreeHouse

Quora

OtherLevels: Mobile Marketing Automation Platform

 

20 VC 044: Dominating AngelList Syndicates with Doug Scott

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Doug Scott has one of the largest AngelList syndicates, now with an incredible £396,000 in his. Doug is one of first investors in Techstars, Ignite.io and Entrepreneurs First in Europe ( still an investor in all 3 ). Prior to angel investing Doug founded several internet companies based in the UK, carrentals.co.uk – over 1 million rentals, discountvouchers.co.uk – 6 million subscribers, timetobreak.com – over 5 milion page views per day.

In today’s discussion Harry and delves into what Doug really expects from founders, how Doug would like to be pitched by prospective startups, is AngelList challenging the VC model, what investors and startups can expect from Doug’s syndicate, his biggest tip to an aspiring entrepreneur and much more…

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Doug’s AngelList SyndicateGil Dibner’s AngelList Syndicate, Tim Jackson AngelList Syndicate

Oxygen Accelerator, Jon Bradford, Springboard

Cashkaro, Meals, Lifebox, Chew

You can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Doug on Twitter here!

 

20 VC 043: How To Be A VC Analyst and Lessons From Union Square and First Round with Charlie O’Donnell, Founder @ Brooklyn Bridge Venture

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Charlie O’Donnell is the Founder and Sole Partner @ Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn. 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.

Among the many discussions Harry and Charlie delve into how to enter the VC job industry, how the seed stage fund raising environment is behaving, what Charlie learnt from Union Square and First Round, tactics that individuals can do to increase their own branding, Charlie’s views on investing in hardware, investing in Kickstarter backed companies, the next five years for Charlie, what has blown Charlie’s mind in the last four weeks, the marketing possibilities of Instagram for startups and much more…

 

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

 

James Altucher on Ideas, Investing and Entrepreneurs

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James Altucher is a successful entrepreneur, investor, board member, and the writer of 11 books including the recent WSJ Bestseller, “Choose Yourself!” (foreword by Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter). He has started and sold several companies for eight figure exits. He’s on the board of a billion $ revenue company, has written for The Financial Times, The New York Observer, he’s run several hedge funds, venture capital funds, and is a successful angel investor, having invested in over 30 startups alongside Silicon Valley’s Top VC’s.

In today’s conversation Harry and James discuss how to continuously come up with great ideas, what tasks activate the ‘idea muscle’, what tactics have produced the greatest investing returns for James, what traits do great founders have, how has James’ investing strategy developed, what is the future for Uber, the scam that is University and much more…

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Alternatives to College and Careers: Learn to Become an iOS Developer, Learn to Become a Web Developer

James Altucher: Choose Yourself!

Tim Ferriss: AngelList Syndicate

Shyp: The Easiest Way To Ship Your Stuff

Enjoy! All show notes, links and resources from this episode can be found at http://www.thetwentyminutevc.com and you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter.

Jason Calacanis: The World’s Greatest Angel Investor

Jason Calacanis is arguably the world’s greatest angel investor with over 60 investments including the likes of Uber (1st round), ThumbTack and Calm, just to name a few. Jason is also the Host of This Week In Startups, the world’s biggest startup podcast and Founder of Launch and Launch Festival, the world’s biggest startup festival.

In this interview we discuss, how Jason invested in Uber’s 1st round, what Jason looks for in startups, how Jason can tell whether a founder has got what it takes, which VC’s Jason most likes to work with, which entrepreneurs Jason most likes to invest in, what pisses Jason off more than anything, what inspires him more than anything, what industries will see the most disruption in the coming years, what makes a great entrepreneur and how startups can position themselves best for entering a round of funding.

Enjoy! All show notes, links and resources from this episode can be found at http://www.thetwentyminutevc.com and you can follow Harry, Jason and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter.

Mentioned in Today’s Show:

 

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

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

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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