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The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

The Twenty Minute VC takes you inside the world of Venture Capital, Startup Funding and The Pitch. Join our host, Harry Stebbings and discover how you can attain funding for your business by listening to what the most prominent investors are directly looking for in startups, providing easily actionable tips and tricks that can be put in place to increase your chances of getting funded. Although, you may not want to raise funding for a startup. The Twenty Minute VC also provides an instructional guide as to what it takes to get employed in the Venture Capital industry, with VCs giving specific advice on how to get noticed from the crowd and increasing your chances of employment. If that wasn't enough our amazing Venture Capitalists also provide their analysis of the current technology market, providing advice and suggestions on the latest investing trends and predictions. Join us so you can see how you can get BIG, powerful improvements, fast. Would you like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and a more detailed analysis of the technology and Venture Capital industry.
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Oct 16, 2017

Aaron VanDevender is the Chief Scientist at Founders Fund, one of the world's leading fund with investments in the likes of Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, Spotify and many more incredible companies. At Founders Fund, Aaron monitors the scientific impact of the portfolio, works with portfolio companies, assesses new technologies, and conducts his own research. Prior to Founders Fund, Aaron has designed single-photon and single-atom quantum computers in academia and government (NIST), advanced the quantum-mechanical theory for microscopic black holes, patented the fastest transparent optical switch, and is a co-inventor of yoctotechnology. He then developed next-generation DNA sequencing technology at Halcyon Molecular. His broad scientific interests encompass energy, biotech, nanotech, and computing.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Aaron made his way from microscopic black holes and DNA sequencing to the world of Founders Fund? What does a Scientist-In-Residence do?

2.) Why does Aaron believe that AI is mostly a scam? Where does Aaron see and then want to see further progression in the field of AI and ML? How does Aaron distinguish between crazy and genius? What are the signs?

3.) Why does Aaron believe that the value of massive datasets is largely overplayed? What characteristics of datasets are exciting for Aaron to see when evaluating an opportunity? Where and how can datasets be misleading and lose their value?

4.) How does Aaron view the societal effects of 4m truck drivers being unemployed by the rise of self-driving? How does Aaron view trucking both as goods distribution and wealth distribution networks?

5.) How does Aaron view the implementation of universal basic income? Why does Aaron believe we have a challenge decoupling wealth and virtue? To what extent is this a core problem?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Aaron’s Fave Book: Tales From The Thousand & One Arabian Nights

Aaron's Fave Blog: Slash Dot

Investment Aaron is Most Excited By: Ayar Labs

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

Oct 13, 2017

Luis Von Ahn is the Founder & CEO @ Duolingo, the leading language learning platform with over 100m users. They have backing from some of the best in the investing world with over $100m in funding from the likes of USV, Kleiner Perkins, NEA, Google Capital and even Ashton Kutcher. Prior to Duolingo, Luis is known for inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur Fellow (“genius grant” recipient), and selling two companies to Google in his 20’s. Luis has been named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science Magazine, one of the 20 Best Brains Under 40 by Discover.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Luis, a man as he describes "never great at learning languages", came to found the leading language learning app, Duolingo?

2.) Why do VCs generally believe Edtech to be such a "hard" space? Is that really a fair assumption? How does the role of government change the distribution and landscape of edtech? How does content creation play a pivotal role in edtech today?

3.) What role does Luis believe AI and ML will play for the future of edtech? Will the transition to bots represent a transformational shift in the interface paradigm? How does gamification and edtech integrate? Why does Luis always measure themselves against the most addictive of games?

4.) How has Luis seen himself scale and change as a leader with the scaling of the firm? What story shows an element that Luis struggled with and how did he overcome it? What were the major inflection points in the growth of the firm?

5.) Duolingo recently raised their $25m Series E, how did this round differ from prior rounds? Why did they want to negotiate down the figure they wanted to raise? How did Valley based VCs present herd mentality for the duration of the recent raise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Luis’s Fave Book: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 

Luis' Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

Oct 11, 2017

Samir Kaji is what one might call, a master of all things seed stage and micro VC financing. Over his 18 years in venture capital, Samir has assisted or advised over 700 companies and 300 VC firms and has completed tech financing transactions totaling over $4.0 billion in committed capital. Today, Samir is the Senior Managing Director @ First Republic Bank where leads the technology banking team managing venture capital and startup company relationships. He joined First Republic in 2013 from Silicon Valley Bank, where he was also a managing director.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Samir made his entry into the world of VC from the ground up and has come to advise and assist on over $4Bn worth of capital commitments?

2.) Where is the micro VC and seed market today? What is the overview? What has fundamentally changed over the last few years? Are all increases in capital supply good or is this too much? Why is Samir concerned by valuation bloat at seed?

3.) How are LPs reacting to this explosion in seed and micro fund managers? How does this differ when assessing the differing classes of LP from institutions to HNWs and family offices? What are the likelihoods of 1st-time funds attaining institutional capital?

4.) How should potential managers think about the right fund size to raise? How long a timeline should be given to the raising of micro and seed funds? What exceptions are there to this timeline? How does the role of multiple closings play into this timeline?

5.) How does Samir differentiate between raising a fund and building a franchise? What does this mean about how a certain set of anagers not only engages in the fundraising process but also depicts the narrative?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Samir’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

Samir’s Fave Blog: Strictly VCAVC by Fred Wilson

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

Oct 9, 2017

Michael Dearing has established himself as an icon of early-stage venture over the last decade. With his founding of Harrison Metal in 2006, he has backed the likes of Twitter, MoPub, Birchbox, 99Designs and PagerDuty just to name a few of his incredible companies. Prior to being in VC, Michael spent 6 years at eBay across numerous roles and before that held positions at Shoe Warehouse as CEO, The Walt Disney Company in corporate strategy and then Bain & Co as a consultant.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into the world of venture from selling shoes with Shoe Warehouse to eBay to founding his own fund?

2.) Michael has said before that he looks for "personal exceptionalism" within the teams he backs, what does that really mean? How does he distinguish brilliance from arrogance? What is the balance between vision and stubbornness?

3.) How does Michael think about price sensitivity? How does he use it as a determining factor to test his level of conviction in the deal? More broadly, how does Michael view pricing in the market today? Why are the convertible debt markets so toxic?

4.) How does Michael view strategy around reserve allocation? Why does Michael believe reserves are where he has made the biggest mistakes? What are his takeaways from those mistakes? Why does recycling not feature as a core tenet of his strategy?

5.) Why does Michael believe that "benevolent dictatorship" is a beautiful thing? Does this thesis change in the debate over founder vs company first? How does Michael use McCallum's 5 key principles to assess founders and their ability?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Michael’s Fave Book: Confederacy of Dunces

Michael’s Most Recent Investment: Astro

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

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

Lattice is the #1 performance management solution for growing companies. With Lattice, it’s easy to launch 360 performance review cycles as often as you want. And you also get a continuous feedback system with OKR goal tracking, real-time feedback, and 1-on-1 meetings to make sure employees get feedback between reviews. Find out why the likes of CoinBase, PlanGrid, Birchbox and WePay trust Lattice as their performance management solution by heading over to lattice.com to start investing in your people. That’s Lattice.com.

Recurly, the company powering subscription success, with Recurly’s enterprise-class subscription management platform providing rapid time-to-value without requiring massive integration effort and expense and they have the ability to not only increase revenue by 7% but also reduce the all-important churn rate. That is why thousands of customers from Twitch to HubSpot to CBS Interactive trust Recurly as their subscription management platform. Check them out on recurly.com that really is a must.

Oct 6, 2017

Sami Inkinen is the Founder & CEO @ Virta Health, the startup on a mission to reverse type 2 diabetes for 100m people by 2025. They have raised over $35m in funding from the likes of Max Levchin, Ev William's Obvious Ventures, Paypal, Ray Tonsing @ Caffeinated Capital and previous 20VC guest, Bob Kocher @ Venrock. Previously, Sami was a co-founder, COO and President of Trulia until it’s IPO and eventual sale for $3.6B. Sami, an avid athlete, is a triathlon world champion in his age group, and recently rowed across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii unsupported with his wife at a record speed to raise awareness about healthy nutrition.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sami made his way into the world of startups, came to co-found Trulia and then realized his mission to reverse type 2 diabetes with Virta?

2.) Why does Sami disagree with conventional wisdom and say you learn "more from success than you do from failure"? What are the educational benefits of success that you do not get from failure? What did Sami learn from his Trulia journey?

3.) Why does Sami believe that CEOs should read less and listen less? What are the benefits to not empathizing extensively with the problems of the team? What operational structure must be in place for this level of management to occur?

4.) How does Sami compare VC funding to real estate mortgages? Why does Sami believe that it is always better to raise little? What is the one thing time, money and shelf-space all have in common? 

5.) What does Sami mean when he says "CEOs must look after themselves like athletes"? What are Sami's top health and nutrition tips for founders and operators with hugely busy lives?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sami’s Fave Book: Unbroken

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Oct 4, 2017

Bram Sugarman is the Director of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Shopify, the e-commerce titan that has over 500 merchants in 150 countries on their platform. Prior to joining Shopify, Bram was a venture capitalist with OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of one the largest pension funds in the world. As a VC, Bram worked on more than 20 transactions helping the OMERS Ventures grow from 1 investment to 24 investments. Bram helped lead and manage OMERS Ventures' investments in Shopify (IPO), HootSuite, VidYard, PasswordBox (Acquired by Intel), BusBud, Hopper, League, and AppHero (Acquired by Fuse Powered).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bram made his way into the world of VC and then jumped to the other side of the table, buying startups with Shopify?

2.) What does using corporate development as a platform to accelerate product roadmap mean? How does this mean it differentiates from traditional M&A? How does Bram work with product team in the M&A process? What are the benefits of doing this?

3.) How does Bram assess the attractiveness of acquihires? What are the 2 differing types of acquihires? What are the essential characteristics of the individuals in those acquihire situations?

4.) With integration being the biggest risk of M&A, what does the ideal post-acquisition process look like? What must be done on both the side of the startup and the acquiror to make the process as smooth as possible?

5.) With regards to pricing and valuation, why does Bram urge founders to consider the long term and what does that mean? How can founders determine the truth with regards to long term objectives of their acquiror?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Bram’s Fave Book: Einstein by Walter Isaacson

Bram’s Most Recent Acquisition: Oberlo

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Oct 2, 2017

Matt Switzer is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development @ Hootsuite, the social media management platform that has raised venture funding from some of the best in the world including Accel, Insight Venture Partners and Fidelity. At HootSuite, Matt and his team have raised over $250m in funding, acquired 8 companies and launched 4 new products. Prior to Hootsuite, Matt was on the other side of the table as a VC, where he helped to establish a new fund and manage an incubator.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Matt made his way into the world of VC and then decided to jump to the other side of the table as acquirer with Hootsuite?

2.) What is the build, buy or partner thinking process? When analysing markets, what does that deep dive and examination look like and entail? How does Hootsuite identify and select startups within the identified markets?

3.) How does Hootsuite most like to interact with startups in pipe? What does the relationship building look like? What platforms and tools are used to monitor those relationships post initial meeting?

4.) What does the internal conviction building process look like around a potential deal? What is the traditional structure of such a deal? How does Matt assess price sensitivity and it's ties to product market fit achieved by the startup?

5.) From the other side of the table, when should startups look to be building their M&A pipe? In conversations with potential acquirers, what are the foundations for them to remember? What role do VCs play and value do they provide in these conversations?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Matt’s Fave Book: Red Notice

Matt’s Fave Blog: Tom Tunguz

Matt’s Most Recent Acquisition: AdEspresso 

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 29, 2017

Roger Dickey is the Founder & CEO @ Gigster, the smart development service combining top developers and designers with artificial intelligence. They have raised over $30m in funding from the likes of a16z, Redpoint, Marc Benioff, Ashton Kutcher, Michael Jordan and then previous guests Rick Marini and Felicis Ventures. Prior to Gigster, Roger founded Mafia Wars, where he built the business to $1Bn in revenues and 100m users. Roger is also a prolific angel investor and LP in venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Docker, ClassDojo and Addepar, just to name a few. If that was not enough Roger is also an advisor to 8VC, Lemnos Labs and OpenDoor.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Roger made his way from founding Mafia Wars to changing the world of software development with Gigster?

2.) Roger has said before "if you dislike VCs, you have never worked with a good one". So what makes a truly great VC to Roger? What does Roger believe are the core components VCs can add to a company? How should founders view investors when investing in them?

3.) Following Roger's discussion with Mike Vernal, Partner @ Sequoia, why does Roger believe that the Series A is a hiring decision? How does this change how founders should think about the A round & present themselves throughout the round?

4.) Why does Roger think it is important for startup founders to invest in other startups? What benefits does this bring to you and your own company? How does Roger prioritize, time-wise between LP, GP and founder?

5.) When angel investing, Roger admits that he takes the "market first" approach. Why is this? How does Roger assess the element of market creation? How does Roger look to balance between founder first vs company first?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Roger’s Fave Book: On Intelligence

Roger’s Fave Blog: Elad Gil

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 27, 2017

Drew Oetting is a Founding Partner @ 8VC, one of Silicon Valley's youngest and most exciting new entrants to the VC market with $425m for their debut fund. In just a few years they have built a portfolio including the likes of Oculus, RelateIQ, previous guest Elad Gil & Color, recent guest Mario @ Oscar and many more incredible companies. As for Drew, previously he served as Chief of Staff to fellow 8VC Founding Partner, Joe Lonsdale and was a two-time Bill Gates Investment Asset Management Fellow. Drew is also an advisor to Living On One, Rubicon Global and is a Founding Board Director @ Affinity Technologies.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Drew made his way from Joe Lonsdale's Chief of Staff to Founding Partner @ 8VC?

2.) Why does Drew believe the way we think of VC today will change? How does the extended period of privatization affect the role of the VC and their relationship to the founder vs the company?

3.) Why does Drew believe that funds make big mistakes in the internal setup of their operation? Why do funds not do a good job of developing talent? What are the problems of funds being internally competitive with deal by deal carry etc?

4.) As a Founding Partner of a $425m fund at 26, what were the challenges of having such a position, earlier than usual? How did Drew overcome them? What advice would Drew give to young people who want an accelerated career path?

5.) Why does Drew believe that "VCs have forgotten their job is to invest in entrepreneurs NOT technologists"? How does Drew determine whether someone has the ability to bridge both technologist and entrepreneur?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Drew’s Fave Book: Barbarians At The Gate, Fooled By Randomness

Drew’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack: Axios

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 25, 2017

Eric Vishria is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the world’s leading VC funds with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, eBay, WeWork, Yelp and many more revolutionary companies of the last decade. At Benchmark, Eric has led deals and sits on the board of the likes of Confluent, Amplitude, and Bugsnag. Prior to being in VC, Eric was the Founder & CEO @ Rockmelt, the startup that sought to re-imagine the browser for the way people use the web today, the company was ultimately acquired by Yahoo in 2013. Prior to Rockmelt Eric held numerous different roles including VP of Products @ HP and VP of Marketing @ Opsware.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Eric came to be one of the 5 GP's at Benchmark following operational success with Rockmelt, HP and Opsware?

2.) Why does Eric believe the pendulum has swung too far to the operational route into VC? What are the under-appreciated benefits of career VCs and the perspective they bring? How does Eric expect the pendulum to swing in the coming years?

3.) What makes the best-performing venture partnerships? How does Benchmark think about partner composition and career pre-VC? How does Benchmark structure investment decision-making? Why do they favor advocacy over unanimity?

4.) What does Eric mean when he says we are at the beginning of an infrastructure renaissance? What opportunities does this create in the venture landscape? How does this lead Eric to consider the current state of the consumer landscape?

5.) How does Eric view multi-stage investing? Why does Eric and Benchmark favour stage specifity when it comes to investing? What are the dangers of larger stage funds investing in earlier rounds for optionality?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eric’s Fave Book: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage To The Antarctic

Eric's Most Recent Investment: Confluent 

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 22, 2017

Mario Schlosser is the Founder & CEO @ Oscar, the startup that makes health insurance easy. They have raised over $700m in funding from some of the world's best investors including the likes of Founders Fund, Google Capital, Thrive Capital, Lakestar, Khosla Ventures and Jim Breyer just to name a few. Previously, Mario co-founded the largest social gaming company in Latin America and held roles with the likes of Bridgewater Associates and McKinsey. Fun fact, as a visiting scholar at Stanford University, Mario wrote 10 computer science publications, including one of the most-cited computer science papers published in the past decade.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mario made his way into the world of healthcare and Oscar from founding Latin America's largest social gaming company?

2.) Why is insurance one of the most complex spaces in tech? Why is there a chance for companies, not governments, to cut costs and innovate on the current system? Does Mario agree with Brian Singerman, "once we go to a single player, innovation ends", thesis?

3.) Oscar has raised over $700m, to what extent does Mario believe that too high a valuation can be a liability? How did Mario look to select his investors? What are the challenges of raising funds for a category-defining opportunity?

4.) Oscar now has over 600 in the team, where have been the inflection points in the scaling of the company? Where have things broken? How does Mario look to rectify and observe these inflection points ahead of time?

5.) How does Mario look to optimise team composition? How does he look to balance athletes with heavy domain experts? Does Mario believe that too much domain expertise can prevent innovation due to a lack of naivety?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mario’s Fave Book: Herr Lehmann

Mario’s Fave Blog: Spiegel

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 20, 2017

Jeremy Conrad is a Partner @ Lemnos Labs, the fund that believes in the earliest stages of building hardware, every dollar counts, every hour matters and every decision is crucial to success or failure. Consequently, Lemnos invests in pre-seed and seed hardware startups encountering these very real challenges. Among their portfolio is the likes of previous guest Swift Navigation and Airware, just to name a few. As for Jeremy, prior to VC he was in the United States Airforce where he was in charge of an $80m tests and targets group and was also responsible for the BMC4I system of the Airborne Laser (ABL).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeremy made his way from the United States Airforce to investing in the next generation of great hardware founders with Lemnos?

2.) Why does Jeremy believe that now is the time for robotics? What megatrends mean now is the right time? Why does Jeremy believe that core AI today is largely a bunch of nifty tricks?

3.) Why does Jeremy believe that Silicon Valley will dominate the future of robotics? What characteristics does the valley have that mean this is the case? What is the dirty secret of Silicon Valley?

4.) How does Jeremy view the funding environments for hardware? Where is there constrictions of capital for hardware startups? What must hardware founders have in place in order to raise a Series B?

5.) Why does Jeremy believe that consumer electronics is the hardest space for venture today? With the likes of Juicero and Pearl, is consumer still possible today? Are the likes of GoPro and FitBit merely anomalies in the dataset?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeremy’s Fave Book: The Better Angels of Our Nature 

Jeremy’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack: Pro Rata

Jeremy’s Most Recent Investment: Marble

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 18, 2017

Mike Volpi is a General Partner @ Index Ventures, one of the world's leading venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Slack, Supercell and Deliveroo just to name a few. Mike currently sits on the boards of prior guests, Cockroach Labs and Wealthfront, as well as Blue Bottle Coffee, Sonos and Zuora just to name a few. Prior to Index, Mike was a director @ Cloud.com (acq by Citrix) and StorSimple (acq by Microsoft). Before that, Mike held a number of executive positions including Chief Strategy Officer at Cisco. He also serves on the board of Fiat Chrysler Automotive.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his transition from operator and M&A exec to General Partner @ Index and opening their West Coast Office?

2.) Question from Dave Morin @ Slow: How did Mike's childhood in Italy and Japan affect how he views and interacts with entrepreneurs today? Question from Danny Rimer: How has Mike found the transition from player to coach with the move to VC?

3.) Question from Andy Rachleff: Having seen both the US and European venture markets, how do they compare? Why does Mike think being an entrepreneur in Europe is far more solitary? What does it take to create a VC brand, like Index in an already very crowded West Coast market?

4.) Having had a front-row seat for the brand building of the likes of Sonos, Blue Bottle and Eero, what does Mike believe are the core tenets to building generation-defining brands? How has this changed over the last 5-10 years?

5.) Does Mike agree with Rob Siegel that the enterprise market is now less exciting given we might be entering a period of consolidation? Why does Mike believe this actually represents opportunity? How will we see open source play a role in the next wave of these enterprise companies?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Undaunted Courage 

Mike’s Fave Blog: The Information

Mike’s Most Recent Investment: Eero

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 15, 2017

Charlie Lee is the creator of Litecoin, the most popular alternative currency to Bitcoin, which Charlie created as a side project in 2011 while working at Google. Today Litecoin has a market cap of $3.29Bn. As well as creating Litecoin, Charlie is also the Director of Engineering @ Coinbase, working alongside recent 20VC guest and Coinbase founder, Brian Armstrong. Prior to this, Charlie held roles at Microsoft, Google and Guidewire.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Charlie made his way from Google to Coinbase to founding Litecoin in his free time? What were Charlie's biggest takeaways from being at Coinbase?

2.) What does Charlie believe is the biggest barrier to the world of cryptocurrency and BTC? What is the holy grail to securing this and the future of the space within mass consumer usage?

3.) How does Charlie think about the largest problem for crypto and BTC, scaling? Why does Charlie believe that Ethereum will have large problems scaling? How does Charlie assess the balance of centralization, scaling and transaction efficiency?

4.) Why is Charlie's biggest concern the current ICO market? Why does he believe it is the "wild west"? What happens to alternative currencies when the ICO market crashes? Who are the ultimate winners in the ICO markets?

5.) How does Charlie analyse the differing communities when comparing ETH to BTC to LTC? Does community serve as a core form of IP for currencies and their stability moving forward?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Charlie’s Fave Book: Game of Thrones

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 13, 2017

Kathleen Utecht is a General Partner @ Core Innovation Capital, I would say one of the most under the radar but immensely exciting funds in market and they are looking to revolutionize financial services with their portfolio. With their portfolio are the likes of NerdWallet, PayJoy, fundera and Mayvenn just to name a few. Prior to Core, Kat was an investor at Comcast Ventures and WVP Ventures. Prior to her venture roles, Kath invested in and led Green Rock Entertainment, an online/offline commerce startup. Before that, Kat cut her teeth in the world of finance working as an investment banker at Raymond James.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kat made her way from car entrepreneur dreams to operator to now, General Partner @ Core?

2.) Why does Kat believe that "society is on a downgrade"? Does Kat agree with the Thiel thesis of "we expected flying cars and were given 140 characters"? Where does Kat most want to see entrepreneurs spending their time and skills?

3.) How does Kat view regulation with regards to startup operations and expansion? Why does Kat believe that "sector specific funds should be in every highly regulated deal"? What are the core benefits? How can VCs really aid with regulation?

4.) Kat has previously said that "VC is a lifestyle not a job", what does Kat mean by this? How does this mean VCs should behave with regards to founder interactions and communications? How can entrepreneurs stress test whether a VC has this belief?

5.) How does Kat view the process of losing companies? What does her post mortem analysis look like? Why does Kat believe that if you do not lose companies, you are not taking enough risk?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kat’s Fave Book: Atlas Shrugged

Kat’s Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 11, 2017

Andy Weissman is a Partner @ Union Square Ventures, one of the world’s leading VC firms with investments in Twitter, Twilio, Zynga, Soundcloud, Tumblr, Lending Club and many more. At USV, Andy sits on the boards of YouNow, ScienceExchange, Figure 1 and previous guest, CircleUp. Prior to joining USV, in 2007 he co-founded betaworks, which both created and invested in social, real-time applications and services. You can also check out Andy's fantastic blog here.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made his way into the world of startups and investing, came to found Betaworks and then made the move to USV?

2.) Andy has previously said the business "is more about luck than skill and process rather than foresight". Why does Andy place so much emphasis on process? How has Andy seen his process evolve over the years? How does the process of an individual balance with the process of the firm?

3.) Why does USV not agree with voting as a method of investment decision making? How do Andy and USV approach reserve allocation? What model and simulators do they use to determine which companies receive follow on funding?

4.) Why does Andy believe that recycling cash from early exits is good for everyone? How has Andy found that LPs respond to this? What is the balance? What is the right amount for recycling, 110%, 120% or 130%?

5.) How does Andy view price sensitivity? To what extent does Andy agree with Peter Fenton that "valuation is a mental trap"? Has there been a time when Andy has lost a deal due to price? How has that changed his psyche and approach to the topic?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andy’s Fave Book: On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Andy’s Fave Blog: Phish.netContinuationsRadio Free Mobile

Andy's Most Recent Investment: Flip

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

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

If you are an early stage startup, the right infrastructure and support systems are critical, that is where First Republic is so good. First Republic’s resources network and expertise allow entrepreneurs to customise a solid foundation for their business. Why First Republic, well you get to leverage their incredible network of VC firms to prepare you for future fundraising events, you get to count on a single point of contact that will be there for you and your employees, you get access to exclusive events and networking opportunities. Their clients include the likes of Instacart, eShares and Wish just to name a few. Check it out by heading over to innovation.firstrepublic.com

Segment allows you to collect data from every platform (mobile, web, server, cloud apps) and load it into Segment. Segment then sends the customer data to your tools and destinations where it can be used most effectively, destinations include email, analytics, warehouses, helpdesks and more. With over 200 sources and destinations on the Segment platform that can empower your team, Segment really is the last integration you will ever do and that is why the world’s best companies use segment to drive growth and revenue including Atlassian, New Relic and Crate & Barrel. Simply head over to segment.com to find out more.

Sep 8, 2017

Wayne Chang is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. His latest company, Crashlytics, was acquired by Twitter in a 9-figure acquisition, its largest acquisition at the time. 5 years later, Crashlytics was acquired again, this time by Google. Wayne is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio that includes the likes of OpenDoor, SoFi, Gusto, JetSmarter and Planet Labs just to name a few. If that was not enough, Wayne is also a limited partner in several prominent funds including the likes of 137 Ventures, Baseline Ventures, and Boston Seed Capital.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Wayne make his way into the world of founding tech companies and what was the founding story with Crashlytics?

2.) Why does Wayne believe that one of the first hires founders must make is a recruiter? What are the benefits of having this as a dedicated function so early? What must founders look for in these early recruiter hires?

3.) Why does Wayne believe that with regards to VC, you "must avoid the board room"? What is a better environment to interact and pitch? How can early stage startups look to stand out in the rather process driven pitching game?

4.) What is the optimal way for founders to be put in touch with VCs? Should founders speak to associates in the fundraising days? Why does Wayne believe the power of the warm intro is lopsided?

5.) How can founders look to create a sense of urgency within the VC community when raising and closing their round? How can founders look to create a sense of FOMO within the investor class they are pitching? Should they name other funds they are seeing?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Wayne’s Fave Book: Enders Game

Wayne’s Fave Blog: Hacker News

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Sep 6, 2017

Jon Callaghan is a founder of True Ventures, one of the West Coast's leading early stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit, recent unicorn Peloton, Automattic (makers of Wordpress) and more amazing companies. Jon also led the deals and sits on the board of Fitbit, Brightroll, Peloton and Glu Mobile, just to name a few. Prior to True, Jon founded 3 of his own companies, the first being in 1986 with Mountain Bike Outfitters Inc. Following several years founding companies, Jon made his move into VC with Summit Partners and then enjoyed roles with AOL's venture incubator, CMGi's Venture group and Globespan Capital.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jon made his first forays into the world of VC and came to co-found True with Phil Black?

2.) How does Jon look to straddle the divide of "founder/VC"? Why does Jon believe it is crucial to have an entrepreneurial mindset as an investor?

3.) Why does Jon believe VCs biggest bias is loss aversion? Why does Jon always believe that the role of the VC is to maximise risk? What 1 thing must all prospective investors get good at very quickly?

4.) How does Jon view reserve allocation? True invest -1% per deal in each company, how do they look to efficiently deploy reserves? What must the communication be between founder and VC with regards to attaining follow on funding?

5.) Why does Jon believe that current board meetings do not serve startup founders? What are the characteristics of the best board members and how they conduct themselves? What is the single biggest problem boards bring to founders?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jon’s Fave Book: Moby Dick

Jon’s Fave Blog: Dave Pell: NextDraft

Jon’s Most Recent Investment: Brava

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Sep 4, 2017

Phil Black is a founder of True Ventures, one of the West Coast's leading early stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit, recent unicorn Peloton, Automattic (makers of Wordpress) and more amazing companies. Prior to True, Phil learnt the craft of venture at Summit Partners and at the predecessor firm to Lightspeed Venture Partners. However, it was in 2003 that Phil co-founded a small angel fund, Blacksmith Capital with the mission to prove his thesis that great founders of early stage technology companies can and often prefer to start their businesses and get a lot of traction with $2.5 million or less of initial funding.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Phil made is first forays into the world of VC and his big learnings in the early days of cutting his teeth in the industry?

2.) What were the big takeaways for Phil from experiencing the massive dot com boom days to experiencing the very lowest of funding environments? How did that affect his investment mindset? How does that affect his view of startup raising?

3.) What does Phil consider the 4 major risk categories for startups? What combination of risk categories mean a successful outcome is more possible? Which combination mean that Phil would likely not invest in the company?

4.) How should startups determine the "right" amount to raise for? How does Phil assess optimising runway and evaluating burn? What does Phil make of the hailed "bridge round"? WHy does Phil believe lean is always best?

5.) With considerable funds AUM how does sharing in sub $2.5m rounds provide sufficient levels of ownership to ake fund returns? What is True's required level of ownership? How does Phil assess reserve allocation and pro rata rights?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Phil’s Fave Blog: Om MalikDan Primack: Axios

Phil’s Most Recent Investment: Orecco

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Sep 1, 2017

Tim Harris is the Founder & CEO @ Swift Navigation, the startup focused on building a world-class organization that will power the next generation of GPS-enabled robots and autonomous vehicles. They have raised over $45m in VC funding from some of our favourites including the likes of First Round, Felicis, Lemnos Labs and NEA. As for Tim, prior to Swift Tim held numerous roles from supply chain consulting to corporate finance encapsulating strategic partnerships and M&A.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Tim made his way from supply chain consulting to providing navigation for an automated future with Swift?

2.) Why does Tim believe that Silicon Valley is no longer optimised for deep tech creation and investing? Why does Tim believe we have seen the transition in Silicon Valley from technology innovation to business model innovation? Is this a problem?

3.) Tim has said before "there is a big lie to Silicon Valley", what is that lie? How does Tim assess unit economics with regards to deep tech businesses? How does he look to evaluate the viability of a deep tech business model? What are the core components?

4.) From the VC perspective, does Tim believe deep tech is an attractive investment opportunity for the current investor class? How does Tim respond to the longer exit cycles and higher capital intensity of deep tech? Does this create inherently frothy environments for valuations given the dilutive element?

5.) How does Tim view the working together of incumbents and deep tech startups? Is this an environment of consolidation, partnership or over arching disruption? What are the core questions founders must ask when considering a partnership?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Tim’s Fave Book: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Tim’s Fave Blog: First Round Review

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Aug 30, 2017

Alina Cohen is a General Partner @ Initialized Capital, one of Silicon Valleys leading early stage seed funds. Their portfolio includes the likes of recent unicorn, Coinbase, Flexport, Cruise Automation, OpenDoor and many more incredible companies. As for Alina, prior to Initialized, she ran tech investments for Tamares Group, the first outside investor in Palantir, and previously founded Recrec, a computer vision startup which was acquired by Facebook, where she worked on Platform and Groups.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alina made her way from selling her computer vision startup to Facebook to GP with one of SF's best new seed funds, Initialized?

2.) Why does Alina think gaming is so similar to start-ups? What core components are the same? What about gaming led Alina to realise there were secrets to the world of starting companies and growing startups in Silicon Valley?

3.) Why is Alina so focused on engineering-centric founders? Why does Alina feel they are the most attractive investment opportunities? Why are they the founder profile that deals best when pivots have to be made?

4.) Why does Alina think that AI is more artificial than intelligent today? If ML is a "leveraged play on data", where are the opportunities for startups with such data incumbency? Does AI just help the big get bigger?

5.) Why is Alina so bullish on the future of personal voice computing? What does Alina think will be the catalyst to consumer adoption? What are the compelling consumer applications with voice? Why does this remind her of the early FB platform days?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alina’s Fave Book: The Three-Body Problem

Alina’s Most Recent Investment: Fly.io

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Aug 28, 2017

Mike Jones is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Science Inc, one of America's most successful incubators with an incredible 3 Science Inc portfolio companies exiting in 2016 alone with the sales of Dollar Shave Club, Hello Society (acquired by NYT) and Famebit (acquired by Google). Science continue to push the frontier of tech with their recent announcement of Science Blockchain, the first ICO blockchain incubator ever, with the ICO pre-sale starting in just 13 days from now. Prior to Science, Mike was the CEO @ MySpace, where he was responsible for one of the most high-profile turn-around challenges in the industry.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his way from MySpace CEO to founding one of the nation's most successful startup incubators?

2.) Firstly, what is a token in the world of crypto? How does securitized and utility tokens differ? Why does Mike believe the current state of utility tokens is reminiscent of the early days of domain names?

3.) What are the core barriers to traditional investors transferring assets on mass into crypto? What will be the catalyst causing this asset allocation shift in the future? What needs to happen to crypto for it to be attractive for traditionals?

4.) How have we seen the M&A market respond to tokenization? How can we as an ecosystem look to build a framework and structure that allows for a healthy M&A environment?

5.) With so many ICOs occurring today, what will be the determining factors between those that succeed and those that do not? How can individuals from around the world look to assess potential ICO's?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Aug 25, 2017

Jonathan Abrams is the Founder and CEO @ Nuzzel, the startup that offers personalised news discovery and curated newsletters for busy professionals. They have backing from some of the investing greats including Marc Andreesen, Naval Ravikant, Homebrew, SoftTech and Lowercase just to name a few. Prior to Nuzzel, Jonathan was the Founder of early social media machine, Friendster attaining funding from Benchmark, Kleiner and Reid Hoffman. Jonathan is also a prolific angel investor counting AngelList, Docker, Front, Instacart, and Slideshare amongst his portfolio.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) Why does Jonathan dislike it when he hears that a VC "fell into the industry"? Why does that not resonate with entrepreneurs? How can it be better phrased to align with operationally minded people?

3.) Why is Jonathan tired of hearing the word conviction from investors? Why does it not make sense to say you invest with conviction? How would Jonathan like to see the use of data to prove conviction-driven (high ownership) is optimal for fund returns?

4.) Does Jonathan believe there are too many seed funds in market today? Why does he believe we have seen a reduction in the numder of $'s going into seed companies? Does Jonathan believe the future is thematic for seed funds?

5.) Why does Jonathan believe the majority of boards "are just not very successful"? What does Jonathan believe makes a great board member? Likewise, what can entrepreneurs do to most effectively manage their board? Why do we need more operational people on boards?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jonathan’s Fave Book: Beggars in Spain by Nanacy Kress

Jonathan’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Aug 23, 2017

Allison Goldberg is a Managing Director & Senior Vice President @ Time Warner Investments, focusing on investment opportunities that directly enhance Time Warner's ability to meet specific strategic goals. Their portfolio consists of the likes of Mashable, Discord, Admeld (acq by Google) and Mic just to name a few. Allison also directly sits on the boards of Outpost Games, Yieldmo, Bustle and Mic. Prior to Time Warner, Allison cut her teeth in the finance industry with a stint at Morgan Stanley.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Allison made her way from investment banking with Morgan Stanley to running the investment arm of Time Warner?

2.) How has Allison seen the world of corporate VC change over the last 16 years? How has Allison seen the VC perception of corporate VC change over the years? Do corporates still get the preference rights they once received?

3.) What are the big questions entrepreneurs must ask corporate VCs when entering into discussions with them? What are the big red flags entrepreneurs should look for in their dialogue? What line of conversation should give the entrepreneur confidence?

4.) Is there a signalling risk for startups of having corporate investors rather than Tier 1 VCs? How can this signalling risk be mitigated? Why does Allison not think corporates make for good Series A lead investors?

5.) How does Allison view fund structures for corporates? How does the lack of fund end affect how corporates can invest long term? How does it affect their time allocation without needing to raise future funds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Allison’s Fave Book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

Allison’s Fave Blog: NextDraft

Allison’s Most Recent Investment: Mic

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

Aug 21, 2017

Daniel Gross is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world's most successful accelerator with alumni that includes the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Flexport and many more incredible companies. At Y Combinator Daniel heads up all things YC AI having been a Director @ Apple where he focused on machine learning, as a result of his prior company, Cue (also a YC company) being acquired by Apple in 2013. If that was not enough, Daniel also has one of the valley's most impressive angel portfolios with investments in OpenDoor, Cruise (acquired by GM), Gusto and Github, just to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel made his way from YC founder to being acquired by Apple to being YC partner?

2.) How does Daniel respond to the statement that "AI, is in part, a scam"? Why does Daniel believe that the impact of AI has not lived up to the hype?

3.) What are the 3 economies of scale that you have with machine learning when you are a large company? What can startups do to mitigate these incumbency advantages? What does Daniel mean when he says it is his job to "democratize AI"?

4.) Does Daniel believe we will see the rise of "AI companies" or machine learning as a sustaining innovation that existing incumbents use? What is Daniel fearful of with regards to this?

5.) How does Daniel view the potential for business models to be built around AI? Daniel has said "machine learning software will eat the software that has eaten the world". What does he mean by this? How does this play out?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book: Enders GameHigh Output ManagementWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Daniel’s Fave Blog: Slate Star Codex

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: Rippling

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

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

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