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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
Jul 6, 2015

Alessandra Sollberger is a VC at Mosaic Ventures, a new Silicon Valley style venture firm based in London, focussing on Series A rounds. Alessandra previously worked in private equity at Blackstone, covering sectors ranging from consumer brands to software. Prior to that, she worked in startups in the US and Europe and in M&A at Goldman Sachs. She is also the founder of Bright Mentors, an edtech non-profit teaching coding and science in secondary schools through a network of technology professionals.

                     In todays episode you will learn:

  • How Alessandra made her move into the VC world?
  • What are you Mosaic looking for? What is their typical investment size? 

     

  • What Alessandra thinks of the different paths into venture? 

  •  What advice would you give someone looking to enter venture?

  •  

    Why Alessandra believes there has been a resurgence in marketplaces? What is driving this growth? 

  • What startup marketplaces is Alessandra most excited about? 

     

  • Alessandra's thoughts on the next big sector to be disrupted and why?

 

As always you can follow HarryAlessandraThe Twenty Minute VC and Mosaic Ventures on Twitter here!

 

Jul 3, 2015

Today is a very special show as James Wise, Principal at Balderton Capital turns the tables on Host of The Twenty Minute VC, Harry Stebbings. In today's brilliant interview by James we delve into what has led to Harry's interest in the VC industry, why did Harry start The 20 Minute VC, how does Harry identify guests to interview, how does he approach those guests, how has Harry found his first experience in the venture industry, what has surpassed Harry about the VC industry, what traits has Harry spotted that are common among the great VCs interviewed, is Harry optimistic or not about the venture industry, what would Harry recommend for other people looking to go into venture.

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

Harry's Favourite Books: Tim Ferris: 4 Hour Work Week4 Hour Body

Shyp

Crowdcube3DHubsTictail

MMC VenturesFounders Forum

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

Jul 1, 2015

Jason Lemkin is Managing Director at Storm Ventures focussing on early stage SaaS and enterprise startups. Jason is an acknowledged thought leader in SaaS through his creation of the SaaStr community, connecting thousands of SaaS entrepreneurs and generating upwards of 1,000,000 views a month around core SaaS topics, with a particular focus on accelerating revenue and early-stage SaaS sales and marketing. Prior to Storm, Jason served as CEO and co-founder of Storm Ventures-backed EchoSign, the web’s most popular electronic signature service. Jason led EchoSign from inception through its acquisition by Adobe Systems Inc. in 2011. He then served as Vice President, Web Services at Adobe, where he oversaw the growth of EchoSign and Adobe Document Services to $100,000,000+ ARR in 2013.

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

How Jason made his way into the SaaS and VC industry?

What actions did Jason do to get his blog to 1m+ page views per month?

What advice would Jason give to founders thinking of selling to large companies?

What type of entrepreneur does Jason like to invest in?

How does Jason see SaaS valuations, with recent enormous rounds from Zenefits?

What areas of the SaaS industries are neglected or undervalued?

 

Is the 40% growth rule broadly correct and can this be applied to early stage tech companies?

What is Jason's pre-investment meeting approach like?

What makes a founder insane in a good way, rather than a bad way?

How are SaaS companies innovating to acquire new customers?

Quick Fire Round:

  1. Apple: Hit or Miss
  2. Most exciting SaaS companies and sectors
  3. Jason's favourite book and why?

Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:

SaaStr: Jason's Blog

Jason's Favourite Book: The Lion Who Shot Back

Mark Suster: Both Sides

Follow: @saleshacker (amazing content from VPs of Sales @ Top Tech Startups)

Emergence Capital: Joe Floyd

David SaksYammer

SlackStewart ButterfieldZenefitsParker Conrad

 

Jun 29, 2015

Spencer Lazar is a Principal at General Catalyst Partners, based in New York City. He focuses on early stage software & internet investments, with a particular interest in online marketplaces, mobile applications, web services, and enterprise IT. Spencer was previously the cofounder of Spontaneously, Inc - an iOS development studio. Prior to that he was an early stage software & internet investor at Accel in London, where he sourced and worked with companies including HailoBirchboxBonobosForgeRock, and Qriously.

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

How is the roads into the venture industry changing?

What young people can do to make themselves more attractive to VCs?

What would make Spencer's perfect founder?

How important is geography when investing in startups?

How does Spencer feel the education technology space is developing?

What metrics Spencer examines when investing in a startup?

What sectors is Spencer most interested in?

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Spencer's Favourite Book: The Everything Store on Jeff Bezos

Spencer's Latest Investment: CampusJob

Insight Venture Partners

How Lightspeed's Jeremy Liew invested in Snapchat?

Hot EdTech Startups: Lynda.comPluralSightGeneral AssemblyGrovoClimbCredit

Oscar, Sensio

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

Jun 26, 2015

Anand Sanwal is the CEO and Co-Founder of CB Insights. Specifically, CB Insights tracks financing trends and private companies in the healthcare, industrial, technology, software, energy & utilities, renewable, internet and mobile industries. CB Insights works primarily with venture capital, private equity, angel investors, corporate development, corporate strategy and family offices. Formerly, Sanwal was the Vice President at American Express. Sanwal was responsible for managing three primary functions which included the (1) Chairman’s $50 Million Innovation Fund, (2) CFO’s strategic planning function and (3) Enterprise Investment Optimization group. He is the author of “Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management” which features a forward by former American Express and Citigroup CFO, Gary Crittenden.

In Todays Episode You Will Learn:

  • Why Anand chose not to take VC funding for CB Insights?
  • Should all subscription based companies be revenue funded?
  • What one key determinant has contributed to the success of CB Insights?
  • How has Anand's hiring strategy changed over time?
  • How strategies does Anand use to create this company culture?
  • What is the biggest challenge facing Anand today?
  • What tactics have not worked when trying to create a good working environment?
  • Is CB Insights replacing VCs, potentially losing their core customers?
  • What metrics Anand would most look for in a startup?

We then delve into a quick fire round and discover what is Anand's favourite business book, what gets Anand excited, what advice Anand would give to himself 10 years ago starting out in the industry and finally the next 5 years for Anand and CB Insights.

Jun 24, 2015

Quote of the Day: "Capital is a crappy differentiator". Dustin Dolginow

Christian Claussen is a Managing Partner with Ventech, a VC firm with offices in Munich and Paris. He has 16 years of experience investing in innovation and he leads Ventech investment activities in the German-speaking regions of Europe. He serves as a board member for Picanova and TV Smiles.

In today's amazing episode with Christian we learn:

  • Which value adds are most important for founders to look for?
  • How can Founders determine whether VCs will carry out on their 'Value Add'?
  • What are the signs of VC bulls***?
  • Will we see all VCs transition to Andreesen Horowitz service based VC model?
  • How have VCs offerings to startups changed over time?
  • What advice would Christian provide to founders entering a round of funding?

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Christian's Favourite Book: Phillip Roth: Everyman

Christian's Article on VC Value Add

Speex: Online Language Training That Really Works

Andreesen Horowitz

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

Jun 22, 2015

Rob Moffat is Principal at Balderton Capital, one of London's leading VC firms. At Balderton Rob specialises in Fintech, Martech, Gaming and Marketplaces. Rob is currently a board director or observer with six portfolio companies: QubitWoogaHousetripCarwowRentify and Nutmeg. Other investments Rob has been involved with at Balderton include Citymapper, Top10, Scoot and Archify. Prior to joining Balderton Rob worked for Google in London, as a Manager in the European Strategy and Operations team. He started his career with five years in strategy consulting with Bain, working mostly with financial services clients.

 

In today's amazing discussion with Rob we discover:

  • What characteristics make a great VC?
  • How VCs assess incoming business plans and investment opportunities?
  • The biggest problem facing Rob today, as Principal at Balderton?
  • How the structure of VC firms is changing to a service based environment?
  • Does Crowdfunding pose a threat to VC as a alternative method of finance?
  • For individuals wanting to move into Venture, what can they do to optimise their employability in the VC world?

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

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

 

Jun 18, 2015

Alan Chiu is a Partner at XSeed Capital, with a strong background in enterprise software and data storage. Alan is currently Vice President for Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, an alumni association that seeks to strengthen Stanford’s startup community by fostering relationships among entrepreneurs and alumni investors. Prior to XSeed, Alan was previously Director of Product Management at Bycast (acquired by NetApp), and was engineering manager at Creo, which was acquired by Kodak for $1B in cash.

In todays amazing discussion with Alan we discover:

  • What the checklist is for Alan when investing in startups?
  • Why Stanford is the amazing place it is for startups?
  • What is the most important value add that VCs can bring to a startup?
  • When is the right time to pivot and how important is a product roadmap?

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

Jun 15, 2015

Alan Jones is Chief Growth Hacker at Bluechilli, who have set the incredible goal of building 100 startups by 2016! Alan is also Founding Investor and Mentor at Startmate, an Australian Y Combinator style accelerator. If that wasn't enough Alan also invests and advises through Blackbird VenturesPollenizer and Startmate.

In Today's Amazing Discussion with Alan We Discover:

  • What you should do when you have a great idea?
  • How to validate a market?
  • How to figure out if it is a viable business?
  • What can non technical co-founders do to get their idea of the ground?
  • What individuals can do to meet technical co-founders?
  • What are the biggest tips for entrepreneurs when facing a pitch? 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational

Tzukuri: Bluetooth Wearable Technology

TreeHouse

Quora

OtherLevels: Mobile Marketing Automation Platform

 

Jun 11, 2015

Doug Scott has one of the largest AngelList syndicates, now with an incredible £396,000 in his. Doug is one of first investors in TechstarsIgnite.io and Entrepreneurs First in Europe ( still an investor in all 3 ). Prior to angel investing Doug founded several internet companies based in the UK, carrentals.co.uk - over 1 million rentals, discountvouchers.co.uk - 6 million subscribers, timetobreak.com - over 5 milion page views per day. 

In today's discussion Harry and delves into what Doug really expects from founders, how Doug would like to be pitched by prospective startups, is AngelList challenging the VC model, what investors and startups can expect from Doug's syndicate, his biggest tip to an aspiring entrepreneur and much more...

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Doug's AngelList SyndicateGil Dibner's AngelList SyndicateTim Jackson AngelList Syndicate

Oxygen AcceleratorJon BradfordSpringboard

CashkaroMealsLifeboxChew

You can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Doug on Twitter here!

Jun 8, 2015

Charlie O'Donnell is the Founder and Sole Partner @ Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn. Prior to founding Brooklyn Bridge, Charlie worked at the prestigious First Round Capital, with the likes of Josh Koppelman and Union Square Ventures with Fred Wilson. If that wasn't enough Charlie is one of only a dozen to be named to Business Insider's 100 Most Influential People in NY Tech five or more times and has served on the founding board of the New York Tech Meetup and is one of the group's first 100 members. His blog, This is Going to Be BIG!, is one of the ten most widely read VC blogs in the country with over 8,000 readers.

Among the many discussions Harry and Charlie delve into how to enter the VC job industry, how the seed stage fund raising environment is behaving, what Charlie learnt from Union Square and First Round, tactics that individuals can do to increase their own branding, Charlie's views on investing in hardware, investing in Kickstarter backed companies, the next five years for Charlie, what has blown Charlie's mind in the last four weeks, the marketing possibilities of Instagram for startups and much more...

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Jun 4, 2015

James Altucher is a successful entrepreneur, investor, board member, and the writer of 11 books including the recent WSJ Bestseller, "Choose Yourself!" (foreword by Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter). He has started and sold several companies for eight figure exits. He's on the board of a billion $ revenue company, has written for The Financial Times, The New York Observer, he's run several hedge funds, venture capital funds, and is a successful angel investor, having invested in over 30 startups alongside Silicon Valley's Top VC's.

In today's conversation Harry and James discuss how to continuously come up with great ideas, what tasks activate the 'idea muscle', what tactics have produced the greatest investing returns for James, what traits do great founders have, how has James' investing strategy developed, what is the future for Uber, the scam that is University and much more...

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Alternatives to College and Careers: Learn to Become an iOS DeveloperLearn to Become a Web Developer

James Altucher: Choose Yourself!

Tim Ferriss: AngelList Syndicate

Shyp: The Easiest Way To Ship Your Stuff

 

Jun 1, 2015

Jason Calacanis is arguably the world's greatest angel investor with over 60 investments including the likes of Uber (1st round), ThumbTack and Calm, just to name a few. Jason is also the Host of This Week In Startups, the world's biggest startup podcast and Founder of Launch and Launch Festival, the world's biggest startup festival.

In this interview we discuss, how Jason invested in Uber's 1st round, what Jason looks for in startups, how Jason can tell whether a founder has got what it takes, which VC's Jason most likes to work with, which entrepreneurs Jason most likes to invest in, what pisses Jason off more than anything, what inspires him more than anything, what industries will see the most disruption in the coming years, what makes a great entrepreneur and how startups can position themselves best for entering a round of funding.

Enjoy! All show notes, links and resources from this episode can be found at http://www.thetwentyminutevc.com and you can follow HarryJason and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter.

Mentioned in Today's Show:

May 28, 2015

Scott Taylor is the CEO @ miDrive, a startup focussed on reinventing the learner driving experience. Scott is also an advisor to leading London based VC firm EC1 Capital. If that wasn't enough he is a mentor at Richard Branson's Virgin Startup Program and an investor in Coupang and Mavrx. Prior to miDrive, he was Chief Product Officer at Livedrive, one of Europe's leading cloud storage providers, assisting with its sale to j2 Global.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where it all began for Scott and how he made his move into technology and venture?

2.) Having founded several successful companies, what Scott believes the qualities required to be a good founder are?

3.) The hardest part for Scott in building companies and how he overcome them?

4.) What is Scott's role at EC1, what is he looking for in companies at EC1 and how does that differ from his own angel investments?

5.) At Virgin Start Up, what is the process like to attain funding?

6.) What are Scott's views on early stage funding? Does he agree with the friends and family round?

7.)What would you suggest to entrepreneurs looking to gain external capital?

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round. Where we hear Scott's thoughts on:

Next 5 years for Scott? Asian tech market? Favourite book and why? Most recent investment and why he said yes?

You can follow HarryScott and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter

May 25, 2015

Simon Menashy is Investment Director at MMC Ventures where he is responsible for leading new and follow on investments as well as supporting existing MMC portfolio companies. He also sits on the board for WeDoBoticca and Sky Futures and works closely with a number of other B2B and B2C businesses including Growth Intelligence, Mubi, Small World, Somo.  Prior to MMC Simon worked in European tech and media consulting, working with clients including the BBC, Virgin Media, BT, Thompson Reuters and Ofcom as part of the Deloitte Strategy team in London

 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Simon made his move from consulting into the world of VCs?

2.)Simon recently tweeted how not to pitch to VCs, so what should founders be doing when pitching? What are the fundamentals in terms of required documentation? 

3.) Does Simon agree with Peter Thiel’s opinion that disruption is fundamentally bad for society? What industries does Simon feel will be next disrupted?

4.) With the increasing length of time it takes for venture backed companies to IPO, how does Simon feel the funding path is changing?

5.) How does Simon believe the tech eco system is going in London and what can be done to increase VC funding and engender a silicon valley esque feel to London?

Today's episode finishes with a quick fire round where we hear Simon's thoughts on the apple watch, what the biggest red flags are when viewing a pitch and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

You can follow HarrySimon and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter.

 

May 21, 2015

Angela Tran Kingyens is an associate at Version One Ventures, where Angela manages the day to day activities of the fund from identifying new startups to advising portfolio companies on product. Prior to Version One, Angela Co-Launched Insight Data Science, a Y Combinator backed startup, helping academics transition into a career in industry. In today's episode, Angela describes the best ways to network with VCs, how you can increase employability instantly and the most effective ways to conduct market research!

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

mattermark Daily Newsletter

Dan Primack: TermSheet

Fred Wilson: AVC

Good To Great by Jim Collins

Headout: Your Best Local Friend in a New City

In Today's Episode you will Learn:

1.) How Angela made the transition from a career in academia to a YC backed startup to a Palo Alto Venture Fund?

2.) What can individuals do to network effectively with VCs, even if they have no existing VC contacts?

3.) What advice Angela would give to someone looking to leave the academic path for a career in tech? How can they maximise employability?

4.) What should individuals look for when considering incubators? Do they increase the validity of a startup, from the Version One perspective?

5.) Version One specialise in Marketplaces. Why is that? Is it normal for VC funds to specialise? What Angela thinks the future of marketplaces will look like?

6.) How to identify where there are up and coming areas for disruption? What resources are most effective for this market research?

We then finish today's episode with a lightning round where we hear Angela's thoughts on what industry she would never invest in, whether Uber will be a $trillion company, how VCs measure their own success, Angela's favourite business book and her most recent investment and why she said yes?

You can follow HarryAngela and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here.

 

May 18, 2015

Tak Lo is Director at Techstars, helping entrepreneurs do more faster - on both sides of the Atlantic through Techstars London and Techstars NYC. Tak is also Founder at Travelst and Frontlyst. Prior to his road into entrepreneurship, Tak was a Consultant at Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton and was a specialist in the US ARMY. In today's incredible episode Tak shares his lessons from his own startup experience, the required reading for all entrepreneurs and of course when thinking TechStars, how can we not discuss the man himself, Brad Feld, and how Tak has adopted Brad's use of open office hours.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

  • How and why Tak made the transition first from the army to a career in consulting and then what made Tak take the entrepreneurial route and start his own company?
  • Tak is renknowned for the amazing service and contribution he brings to every startup. What services does Tak bring and what does Tak feel all entrepreneurs and advisors must add?
  • Does Tak back singular founders, or does he prefer a founding team?
  • Tak is a Specialist on Leadership, for founders wanting to gain or develop their leadership skills, what can founders do, read or learn to further their leadership skills?
  • For individuals contemplating moving into the tech world, how do they know which is the right job? Are there any immediate aspects they must look for or be wary of?
  • What are the biggest misconceptions of the tech industry?
  • How can people find out about networking events 
  • What sector Tak believes is the next to be disrupted and why?
  • What is the premise behind Brad Feld's 'Open Office Hours'? Why has Tak decided to adopt this tactic? What does Tak hope to gain from it? How is it going so far?

We then finish today's episode with a lightning round, hearing Tak's thoughts on the greatest leader and why, the future of the asian tech market, his favourite book and why and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

Follow HarryTakThe Twenty Minute VC

May 14, 2015

Stephan von Perger is an Early Stage VC at Wellington Partners where his primary role is identifying investment opportunities and building lasting relationships with the entrepreneurs behind these companies. Stephan started his career at McKinsey before moving to Stylistpick.com as Head of Operations, he then progressed to setup and run the business operations at CityMapper.com. In today's interview Stephan walks us through the pitching process from the first email to signing the term sheet!

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

  • How and why Stephan made his move from the world of startups to the venture industry?
  • What are the right reasons for a founder to enter a round of venture funding?
  • How should founders go about meeting and connecting with VCs? What can founders actively do to position themselves well and how should founders phrase their emails and communication?
  • Are there any aspects or buzzwords in emails which instantly make VCs interested?
  • What documentation is required for the initial meeting? Is there anything founders must bring?
  • How can founders make the most out of their meeting with VCs? Are there any questions founders should ask? How should founders respond to a question they do not know the answer to?
  • What happens if a VC says they will contact you but a week later the founder has heard nothing? What should the founder do?

We then finish todays episode with a quick fire round where we hear Stephan's thoughts on which pitch or communication has impressed him the most, what single thing Stephan most looks for in founders and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

May 11, 2015

Jay Acunzo is NextView Ventures VP of Platform and runs the View from Seed blog. At NextView, he leads the creation of business development and educational resources for startups, from board deck templates to mobile workshops to the popular Hitchhiker's Guide to Boston Tech (bostontechguide.com). Prior to NextView, Jay led content marketing and production teams at HubSpot (IPO) and Dailybreak Media (acquired). A former sports journalist, he began his career in tech at Google. As a result of Jay's tremendous success Jay has been named Top 10 B2B Marketer in Boston, 70 Rising Social Media Stars and 100 Most Influential Content Marketers.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

 

In Today's Episode you will Learn:

  • How Jay made his move into the world of tech with Google and how he then transitioned into the world of venture with NextView?
  • What does VP of Platform really entail? Why has it become an emerging trend in the venture industry?
  • How is the structure of VCs firms changing, with the likes of a16z moving to a much more service orientated venture fund.
  • Are there any individuals or sections of society that should or should not be blogging?
  • How can individuals drive traffic to their blog and what tactics Jay uses to get visitors to his blog?
  • What Jay would suggest to business and startup founders thinking about whether to start blogging?
  • What is the best platform to market your content or startup? Is Twitter really an effective marketing tool? How can individuals and businesses increase engagement on Twitter? What not to do on Twitter?

We then finish today's episode with a lightning round where we hear Jay's thoughts on the best and worst aspects as VP of Platform, his best resource for content marketing, his favourite book and why.

 

May 7, 2015

Jon Staenberg is one of the most experienced venture capitalists in the Pacific Northwest, having made over 250 startup investments and having raised two funds totaling over $100 million. Jon's investments include the likes of AngelListStubHubSAPHOKitchenBowl (through AngelList syndicates) and many more. If that wasn't enough Jon sits on the boards of Class.com, Micropath and even owns his own vineyard! Previously, Jon worked in the marketing area at Microsoft for six years and is a Stanford alum!

Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jon started off in the tech industry and then made his move into venture?

2.) Having established 5 companies, what was the hardest element of the process and how did Jon overcome it?

3.) Having invested in over 250 startups what is Jon's investment strategy? What is Jon looking for in startups?

4.) Once invested in a startup, what is Jon's role and what services can VCs bring to a startup?

5.) Whether Jon feels AngelList syndicates are going to change the funding environment? Does it present a challenge to the more traditional VC model?

We then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Jon describe the highlight of his glittering career, the biggest tip Jon would give to an aspiring entrepreneur and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

 

May 4, 2015

Quote of the Day: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." John F. Kennedy

Chris Dark is President International at C2FO, the Union Square Ventures backed company is the priceline for working capital where companies 'name their own price'. Prior to C2FO, Chris was VP at Atomico, the London based venture fund founded by Nicklas Zennstorm. At Atomico, Chris was on the boards of Chemist DirectFabHailoQuipperWrappKnewtonBebestore, and Gengo. If that wasn't enough Chris has also held roles at AOLBain & Co and started his own company GameReplays.org, an early esports community, which Chris built to 1 million uniques per month!

Items Mentioned in Today's Show

 

In Today's Show You Will Learn:

  • Where it all began for Chris and how he made his move into venture?
  • What skills Chris learnt from founding his company and how he applied them to the venture industry?
  • What were the hardest aspects of building Chris' company and how did he overcome them?
  • What are the best reasons to want to join the venture industry?
  • What made Chris leave his VP role at Atomico to rejoin the entrepreneurial game with C2FO?
  • Having both invested in startups and raised funds as a startup, what tips would Chris give to founders potentially entering a round of funding?
  • How does Chris feel the tech eco system in London is developing and what Chris believes can be done to further improve it?

We finish today's show with a lightning round where we hear Chris' thoughts on whether university is necessary or not, the next 5 years for him and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

Apr 30, 2015

In today's show I am joined by the immensely talented Nicolas Michaelsen, Founder & CMO at AirHelp, the go to place if you have grievances during air travel. Nicolas draws back the curtain on the exclusive world of Y Combinator, this includes the admissions process, the infamous interview, the tutoring available to YC startups, the effects of YC on the valuation of startups and the key takeaways from his time at YC. 

 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In today's show you will learn:

  • How Nicolas got AirHelp started?
  • At what point did Nicolas realise that Y Combinator was the place to go?
  • Had Nicolas considered other more local incubators?
  • What was the admissions process like? Is there any specific documentation required to apply?
  • How is the YC interview structured? What type of questions do the partners ask?
  • What percentage of the partners need to say yes for a startup to be accepted?
  • How does the tutoring system work at YC? Who did Nicolas receive as tutors for AirHelp?
  • What is a typical day in the life of a YC startup?

We then finish today's episode by hearing Nicolas' thoughts on his most valuable takeaway from YC, the impact of YC on the valuation of a startup, what the future holds for AirHelp?

If you would like to follow The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter, click here!

If you would like to stay up to date with Nicolas and AirHelp, click here!

 

Apr 27, 2015

Maha Ibrahim is General Partner at Canaan Partners. Maha is renowned in the venture industry for her ability to to spot technology trends extremely early, proven through Maha being one of the 1st investors to recognise the huge potential of social gaming. As a result, Maha led Canaan's early investment in social games pioneer PicksPal (acquired by Liberty Media) and was a seed investor in Kabam, the world's largest developer of massively multiplayer social games. Due to Maha's incredible success in venture, she was included in Silicon Valley the '40 Under 40' award by The Silicon Valley Business Journal and is a regular on Bloomberg TV.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In today's episode you will learn:

  • How Maha made her transition into the world of Venture Capital?
  • As one of the 1st investors in social gaming, what did Maha see that other people did not?
  • With the gaming industry being as fast moving and fickle as it is, shown through the likes of Zynga's troubles, is Maha concerned for her gaming portfolio companies, in their ability to maintain their dominant presence in the sector?
  • Maha is an investor in The Real Real, a company which had revenues of over $100m last year. What does Maha believe is the reason for this incredible success and where does she see the future for The Real Real?
  • Increasing amounts of capital means increasing competition for VCs, what does Maha believe VCs can bring to the table to beat off the competition?
  • What is Maha most impressed by, in terms of entrepreneurs pitching to her?
  • Where does Maha believe the next big forms of disruption are coming from?

We finish today's episode with a quick fire round where we hear Maha's thoughts on the hardest part about being a VC, how Maha measures her success as a VC and her most recent investment and why she said yes?

You can follow Maha on Twitter here!

 

Apr 23, 2015

In today's show I am joined by John Taylor, a nationally recognised authority in the venture capital and entrepreneurial finance sector. Currently, John is Head of Research at the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). In 2003, he co-founded the NVCA CFO Task Force which focuses on regulation and emerging issues dealing with a diverse range of

Some of the many gems of this conversation include: where venture funds actually obtain their funds from, what is the main difference between an angel and a VC, what investors expect from their VCs, how has the IPO market changed since 2000, what do VCs look for in potential investments, how do VCs manage their time, what is the typical workload of a VC, can University students go straight into the VC industry?

 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Dave McClure | Lean VC | 500 Startups

Andreeson Horowitz 

Apr 20, 2015

The debate over whether or not we are in a tech bubble is dominating the minds of many in the tech world and today Harry talks to major player, Brandon Lipman, Co-Founder of 3DLT and writer of the recent TechCrunch Article: The Potential Upside To A Technology Bubble. Brandon shares his views on why seed deals have decreased by 300%, following from Scott Nolan's TechCrunch article, Brandon answers Does Burn Rate Really Matter, what sectors will survive or thrive in a tech bubble and why companies are preferring to raise later rounds rather than go public. They also dive into the dogfight between Meerkat and Periscope, the biggest winners from a bubble and the companies Brandon is most excited about.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Chris Sacca and Tony Hawk with Jason Calacanis on TWIST

500 Startups: Dave McClure on Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

MatterMark Complete Report

Meerkat vs Periscope

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