20VC: Why Great Founders Are Both Visionary & Stubborn, The Investment Mindset Shift From Angel To VC & How To React When The ‘S*** Hits The Fan?’ with Jesse Middleton, General Partner @ Flybridge Capital Partners

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Jesse Middleton is a General Partner @ Flybridge Capital Partners. Prior to joining Flybridge, Jesse was an early executive at WeWork, one of the fastest growing and most valuable startups in history. He co-founded WeWork Labs in 2011, and ran WeWork X, M&A, startup investments, business and digital product development as well as inside sales during his five-year tenure at the company. Prior to WeWork, Jesse was the co-founder and CEO of Backstory, a venture backed startup. Jesse also has experience as a prolific angel investor having invested in the like of Fitmob (acq by ClassPass) YourTrove acq by LiveNation and inDinero, who you might remember we had Jessica Mah, Founder @ inDinero on the show.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jesse made the transition from operator with WeWork to General Partner @ Flybridge?

2.) At what stage does founder vision transition to become stubbornness? How does Jesse approach the situation of telling a founder when it is not working?

3.) How does Jesse’s investment mindset shift from making the move from angel to VC with fiduciary responsibility?

4.) How does Jesse look to develop pattern recognition as a new entrant to VC? How important a role does mentorship play for Jesse?

5.) What are the characteristics Jesse looks for in a founder that suggest an innate problem solver? How does Jesse deal with problems when the ‘shit hits the fan?’

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jesse’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Purple, The Skimm

Jesse’s Fave Book: Leadership & The Challenge of Self Deception

Jesse’s Most Recent Investment: Squire

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

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

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

20VC: Science Inc’s Peter Pham on Why The Battle Between Entrepreneurs & VCs Is Unfair, How To Even The Playing Field & How To Tell When A VC Really Is Interested

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Peter Pham is a Co-Founder at Science, the startup studio that helps incubate companies co-building them alongside CEO’s, with recent companies like Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever for $1B) and leading marketplace, DogVacay. More recently Science created created one of the top 100 iOS Apps called Wishbone. Peter has also helped his portfolio raise over $350M in that time. Previously as an operator, he led Photobucket to its $300M acquisition by Fox Interactive Media as well as CEO of BillShrink (acquired by MasterCard.)

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Peter made the transition from operator to company builder with Science?

2.) How does Peter approach the fundraising process itself? How does he instruct founders about the right ways to approach and enter the fundraising game?

3.) How can entrepreneurs determine whether a VC is saying not to them? What are the signs that an investor is genuinely interested?

4.) With 3,000 no’s from investors, how does that affect Peter’s mentality? How does he avoid the negativity surrounding a VC saying no?

5.) What are Peter’s major learnings on how companies scale effectively today? How important are network effects to this scaling?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Peter’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Recode

Peter’s Fave Book: How To Win Friends & Influence People

Peter’s Most Recent Investment: Handstand App

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

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

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

20VC: Maximising Engagement and Retention on Mobile & Why There Should Always Be Availability To A Free Product with Sean Brecker, CEO @ Headspace

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Sean Brecker is the CEO @ Headspace where he is the driving force behind all financial and commercial matters including overseeing the company’s growth of it’s product line which now has over 8m downloads. Sean was also instrumental in attaining the first  institutional round of financing which included investment from the likes of LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, Jim Breyer, Jessica Alba and Jared Leto, just to name a few. Prior to Headspace, Sean spent 15 years in banking with the likes of JP Morgan, Lehmann Brothers and Citigroup.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sean made the move from banking to CEO of meditation service, Headspace?

2.) Meditation can be viewed with some hippy stereotypes, how does Sean look to optimise the onboarding for new users and incorporate elements of education?

3.) How does Sean implement a strategy of habit forming within the users? In the words of Nir Eyal, how do we get them ‘hooked’? How long on average does it take for an action to be completed before it becomes a habit?

4.) How does Sean try and optimise the transition from free to paid user with Headspace? How does Sean try and remove as much friction as possible in the process?

5.) How has Sean seen the growth of the health and wellness space over the last few years? We obviously have the likes of Calm, is this market a winner takes all and how does Sean approach market competition at Headspace?

6.) How was the fundraising process for Sean? How did he come to meet investors like Jeff Weiner, Jim Breyer, Jessica Alba and Jared Leto?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sean’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: The Information, Recode

Sean’s Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things, A Man In Full

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

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

WeAreLATech is the number one resource uniting the LA startup community. Immediately integrate into the explosive LA tech scene by visiting WeAreLATech.com/VC. WeAreLATech offers a unique combination of curated offline experiences, the #1 LA Tech podcast called “WeAreLATech”, and the only mobile app that keeps you in the know with a full calendar of events. Make sure go to WeAreLATech.com/VC to explore and learn all about everything LA tech and silicon beach. You’ll also get access to a private LA tech immersion call exclusively for 20 Minute VC listeners.

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

 

 

20VC: Why Raising A Fund Is Like Raising A $25m Seed Round with No Product & Why Not All LP Money Is Equal with Chad Byers, General Partner @ Susa Ventures

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Chad Byers is a General Partner @ Susa Ventures and very exciting news, Susa last week announced the raise of Susa II, a new $50m fund, testament to the quality of fund 1 which included the likes of former guests Lyst, RobinHood, LendUp and many more incredible companies. As for Chad, he focuses on investments in enterprise software, fintech, and healthcare. Prior to Susa, Chad spent time in various marketing and product management roles. As well as being a prolific angel investor in over 30+ companies.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Chad made the transition from angel investor to General Partner @ Susa?

2.) How was the fundraise with Susa 1? How was the fundraise for Susa II? How did the funding rounds change for each fund?

3.) How does Chad assess LP fit? Is all LP money not equal? What does Chad look for in his LPs?

4.) Question from Michael Kim @ Cendana: How does Chad look to establish the mindshare with entrepreneurs and other VCs for Susa in today’s competitive environment?

5.) How does Chad approach the reserve structure of Susa fund II? How did Chad come tot hat conclusion as the optimal amount for follow on?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Chad’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Coding VC, Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

Chad’s Fave Book: When Breathe Becomes Air

Chad’s Most Recent Investment: Modsy

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

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

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

 

20VC: Upfront Ventures’ Greg Bettinelli on Testing For Founder ‘Grit’ & What It Takes To Build A Successful Consumer Brand Today

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Greg Bettinelli is a Partner at Upfront Ventures where he specialises in businesses at the juncture of retail and technology. Prior to Upfront, Greg was the CMO for HauteLook, a leading online flash-sale retailer that was acquired by Nordstrom for $270mm. Before HauteLook, Greg was Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Live Nation, responsible for strategic direction and key business partnerships for Live Nation’s ticketing and digital businesses. Before Live Nation, Greg held a number of leadership positions at eBay and StubHub and was the business leader who led eBay’s acquisition of StubHub in 2007.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Greg made his way into VC from the unconventional world of retail and consumer?

2.) How has Greg’s unconventional background altered how he views investments and founders? How does Greg test for the ‘grit’ required to be a founder?

3.) With the rise of direct to consumer, will we see the end of the physical retail store? Why do big retailers still have such little e-commerce presence?

4.) To what extent does Greg view brand as a form of IP in a prospective investment? How have we seen changing brand loyalty in the last decade?

5.) What are the fundamentals for growing a consumer brand successfully? Who has exemplified this?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Greg’s Fave Book: Michael Lewis

Greg’s Most Recent Investment: Happy Returns

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

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

WeAreLATech is the number one resource uniting the LA startup community. Immediately integrate into the explosive LA tech scene by visiting WeAreLATech.com/VCWeAreLATech offers a unique combination of curated offline experiences, the #1 LA Tech podcast called “WeAreLATech”, and the only mobile app that keeps you in the know with a full calendar of events. Make sure go to WeAreLATech.com/VC to explore and learn all about everything LA tech and silicon beach. You’ll also get access to a private LA tech immersion call exclusively for 20 Minute VC listeners.

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

20VC: How Entrepreneurs Should Manage Their Board & Why Time Constraints Are Always The Key To Progress with Paul Berberian @ Sphero

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Paul Berberian is the CEO of Sphero, the robotic ball controlled from your smartphone. They have investment from our friends in Boulder, Brad Feld and David Cohen. Prior to Sphero, Paul was the co-founder of Raindance Communications (NASDAQ: RNDC). Paul also founded Market Force Information, an emerging information company with a vision to provide retailers. As well as, LINK-VTC, a video teleconferencing company, which was sold in 1995 to Frontier Communications.

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In Today’s Episode with Paul You Will Learn:

1.) How Paul came to be CEO @ Sphero?

2.) Paul has founded and run 7 businesses, How has Paul seen his style of leadership change over the past decade or so?

3.) Question from Brad Feld: When Paul disagrees with his board, how does he resolve it? What have been Paul’s learnings in maintaining a happy board environment?

4.) Sphero have raised, at last count, $80m? How has Paul seen investor sentiment to hardware alter over the 5-6 years? How did he meet his investors? What did Paul do well and what would Paul like to improve upon for next time?

5.) Question from Brad Feld: ‘Sphero looks like a massive success but every startup has had failures, so what have Paul’s failures been and what did he learn from them?’

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Paul’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Quora

Paul’s Fave Book: The Black Box

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

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

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

20VC: Why Hardware Is Actually Software Wrapped In Plastic & “Of Course Hardware Is Hard, Everything Is Hard” with Ben Einstein, Founder & General Partner @ Bolt VC

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Ben Einstein is Founder and General Partner @ Bolt, Bolt is a fund designed to address the unique needs of early-stage startups at the intersection of hardware and software, investing up to $500K in pre-seed, pre-product companies. They have created and backed some world class businesses that have received later funding from Khosla, Kleiner Perkins, NEA, and Softtech just to name a few.

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In Today’s Episode with Ben You Will Learn:

  • How Ben made his way into VC from such a product centric background?
  • Why have we seen a rise in hardware investing over the last 5 years? How has this affected the hardware ecosystem?
  • To what extent do hardware and software integrate today? Why have we seen the rise of software determining the hardware winners?
  • Why is brand the most important thing in consumer hardware? Who has done it best? Who has not done it well?
  • What is Ben’s biggest advice to hardware founders today? Why is raising too much money extremely dangerous for hardware founders?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Ben Evans

Ben’s Fave Book: The Box

Ben’s Most Recent Investment: Grow: Redesigning Gardening

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

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

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

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