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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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Now displaying: 2015
Oct 30, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

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

Ashish's Fave Entrepreneurial Resources: Gary VaynerchukThis Week In StartupsHow To Start A Startup

Ashish's Fave Blog: James AltucherTim Ferriss,

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VCAshish and LawTrades on Twitter here!

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

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

 

Oct 28, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Marvin's Fave Book:The Art of Worldly WisdomThe 4 Hour Work Week

Marvin's Fave Productivity Tool: EvernoteCalendly.com

Marvin's Fave Blog: James ClearJames AltucherTim FerrissFred WilsonMark Suster

Marvin's Most Interesting Investments: NeighborlyAgfunder

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VCMarvin and 500 on Twitter here!

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

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

 

Oct 26, 2015

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

10 Growth Hacking Tools To Disrupt Your Competitors

Growth Hacking 101

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Matt's Recent Investments: Tom Beverly: FyTamatem

Matt's Fave Book: Do You Talk Funny: The Guide To Public SpeakingThe One Thing You Need To Know

Matt's Fave Newsletter: Doug ScottSusan Su: Distro SnackTim Ferriss Podcast

Matt's Growth Hacking Idols: Dave McClure: Pirate Metrics TalkSean Ellis: Inventor of Growth Hacking TermAndy Johns @ WealthFront,

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VCMatt and 500 Startups on Twitter here!

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

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

Oct 23, 2015

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

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

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Brian's Fave Book: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Brian Fave Blog: Inside.com by Jason Calacanis

Brian's Fave Productivity Tool: EvernoteBox

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

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

Oct 21, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Weston's Fave Book: The Sixth Extinction 

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

Weston's Most Recent Investment: Jet.com

 

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

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

Oct 19, 2015

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

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

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

Patricia's Fave Blog: Strictly VC, Owler

Patricia's Most Recent Investment: Mayvenn 

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

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

 

 

Oct 16, 2015

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

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

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Kuan's Fave Reading Material: MediumInstapaper

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

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

Oct 14, 2015

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

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

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Productivity Tools: Reeder

Peter's Fave Blogs or Newsletter: Jason HirschhornREDEFProductHunt

Peter's Fave Book: Antifragile

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

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

Oct 12, 2015

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

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

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

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

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

Matt's Fave Productivity Apps: Drafts

Most Recent Investment: Disruptive Multimedia by Ryan Leslie

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

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

 

 

Oct 9, 2015

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

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

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

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

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

 

Oct 7, 2015

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

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) What worries Kamal about the tech scene?

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

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

Kamal's Fave Book: The AlchemistThe Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope

Kamal's Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal's Most Recent Investment: Bolt

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

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

Oct 5, 2015

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

 

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

6.) What worries Kamal about the tech scene?

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Kamal's Fave Book: The Alchemist, Hemingway, The Great Work of Stephen Cope,

Kamal's Fave Blog: James Altucher

Kamal's Most Recent Investment: Bolt

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

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

 

Oct 2, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Eric's Fave Book: I, Robot

Eric's Fave Blog: AppSumo by Noah Kagan

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VCEric and Paribus on Twitter here!

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

 

Sep 30, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Aaron & YC's Podcast: Startup School Radio

Aaron's Fave Book: The Diving Bell and The ButterflyFounder's At Work by Jessica Livingston

As always you can follow HarryAaronThe Twenty Minute VC and YC on Twitter here!

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

 

Sep 28, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Sep 25, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Sep 23, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode:

Bob's Fave Book: The System

Bob's Most Recent Investment: Lyra Health

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

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

Sep 21, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode: 

Michael's Fave Book: The Innovator's DilemmaCrossing The Chasm

Michael Productivity Tools: Wunderlist

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

Michael' Most Recent Investment: CartoDB

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

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

 

Sep 18, 2015

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

 

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

James' Fave Book: John Adams by Dave McCullough

James' Fave Apps: Snapchat, Business Insider and ProductHunt

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

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

 

Sep 16, 2015

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

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

Submit Your Startup To Fabrice

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Fabrice's Fave Book: What If by Randall MunroeThink Like A Freak by Stephen Dubner

Fabrice's Fave Newsletter: TechCrunch

Fabric's Most Recent Investment: Flexport

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

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

 

Sep 14, 2015

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

 

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

5.) How does Nicholas evaluate the valuation ecosystem?

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

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

Nick's Fave Newsletter: Wait But Why

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

Best Meditation Apps: HeadspaceCalm

 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VCNick and Notation on Twitter here!

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

 

Sep 9, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) How being a founder affected how Eric interacted and invested in startups?

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Eric's Fave Book: The Lean Startup by Eric RiesCrossing The Chasm by Geoffrey Moore

Eric's Fave Newsletter or Blog: Tomasz Tunguz

Research and analysis provided by CB Insights

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

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

Sep 7, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Jeff's Fave BookJune by Gerbrand Bakker

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

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

Sep 6, 2015

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

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

4.) How does Javier approach product market fit?

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

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

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

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

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

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

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

 

Sep 4, 2015

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

 

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Ben come up with Butterfleye?

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

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

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

5.) How did Ben get his first customers?

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

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

 

               Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Ben's Fave Book: The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

Ben's Fave Newsletter or Blog: Brad Feld's Feld.comJason Calacanis' Launch Ticker

Ben's Fave Productivity Apps: AsanaSunrise CalendarCalm Meditation App

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VCBen and Butterfleye on Twitter here!

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

 

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