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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: 2017
May 1, 2017

Beezer Clarkson is Managing Director @ Sapphire Ventures where she leads Sapphire’s investments in venture funds domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Sapphire, Beezer managed day-to-day operations @ DFJ’s Global Network, which had $7 billion under management across 16 venture funds worldwide. She has also spent time at Omidyar Network created by Ebay founder, Pierre Omdiyar, Hewlett Packard and Morgan Stanley. Beezer also founded OpenLP.com, an effort to help foster greater understanding in the entrepreneur-to-LP tech ecosystem. 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Beezer make her way into the world of limited partners?

2.) How has the venture industry performed as a whole for Q1 2017 both in funds raised and $ invested? How does this compare to previous years?

3.) How is the 1st time fund manager ecosystem developing? Is it fair to say that first-time funds and micro funds are now an established part of LP portfolios? To what extent does shortening fund cycles concern Beezer?

4.) What other areas of the market have we seen explosive growth in? Why was the # of $100-$250m down last year? Why is it different this year?

5.) How does Beezer analyze the recent activity in the public markets? How does this liquidity affect the fundraising market for both startups and GPs? Will we see a return to bubble like times?

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Beezer on Twitter here!

The thoughts, comments and opinions in this podcast do not represent investment advice and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sapphire Ventures.

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

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com – and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

Apr 28, 2017

Jason Brown is the Founder & CEO @ Tally, the startup that is building a better credit card experience giving power to the consumer. They have investment from some of the leading names in early stage finance including Shasta Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Ludlow Ventures and Blake Byers @ GV just to name a few. As for Jason, prior to Tally, he founded 3 further startups including most recently Gen110 where helped to bring a new consumer debt product market that finances residential solar installs.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jason come to found Tally following his 3 prior startup founding experiences?

2.) Why does Jason think you should never settle with candidate hires? What shall startups do when they are growing fast and need someone now? Why does Jason believe you should never use external recruiters?

3.) As this is Jason's 4th startup and he has raised from the likes of Kleiner Perkins in the past, what has Jason learned in terms of fundraising through his past entrepreneurial experiences? What does Jason believe founders should look for from their VCs?

4.) Why does Jason believe that in the majority of cases 'move fast and break things is completely wrong'? What industries does Jason believe you have to lean into the regulators?

5.) How does Jason look to instill radical candor within Tally as a fast scaling startup? What does Jason think this is important for all startups to have engrained in them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jason’s Fave Book: Science of Interstellar

Jason’s Fave Blog: First Round Review

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

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

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com - and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

Apr 26, 2017

Gene Frantz is a Partner of CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth investment fund which has investments in the likes of Airbnb, Snap Inc and Stripe. As for Gene, before joining CapitalG, Gene was a partner at TPG Capital, a global private equity fund. During his 13 years at TPG, Gene was responsible for multiple technology and telecom investments and represented TPG on multiple public and private company boards of directors. Prior to TPG Capital, Gene worked at Oracle Corporation leading its venture capital effort and previous to that in corporate development.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Gene made his way from the world of traditional private equity to investing with Google?

2.) Gene has seen many investment cycles, how has Gene experience of both the ups and the downs of the market affected how he invests today?

3.) What does a company need to show or provide today in order to get a large late-stage cheque or IPO? How has this changed over the years?

4.) Why does Gene think that late stage financing has been massively commoditized? How can late stage funds looks to differentiate themselves in today's market?

5.) How does Gene view the extension of private markets and the delayed IPO? Why does he think management teams are less willing to IPO today? Does it concern him?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Gene’s Fave Book: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Religion & Politics

Gene’s Fave Blog: The Information

Gene’s Most Recent Investment: Stripe

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

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

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com - and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

Apr 24, 2017

Laela Sturdy is a Partner @ CapitalG, Alphabet's growth investment fund that have invested in the likes of Stripe, Snap Inc, Airbnb and many more incredible companies. As for Laela, she has made investment in category leaders such as language learning platform, Duolingo, payroll and benefits provider, Gusto and jobs site, Glassdoor. Prior to investing with CapitalG, Laela was a Director of Sales & Business Operations at Google where she helped start, scale, and lead teams in several emerging product areas including video and display advertising, local and SMB services, and mobile commerce.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Laela made the transition from an operator at Google to one of the industry's rising star investors with CapitalG?

2.) Market size is fundamental to CapitalG decision-making process so; what is a large enough market? How does Laela look to evaluate market size; bottoms up or top down?

3.) How does Laela look to assess product differentiation? Is brand significant enough IP to be classed as product differentiation?

4.) Why does ownership not play such a pivotal role in investment decision-making process? How crucial is unit economics to Laela at this stage of investment?

5.) With Google's obvious operational value add, does Laela believe we will see the further rise of operational value add within VC? What does this mean for entrepreneurs?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Laela’s Fave Book: Americanah

Laela’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack: Axios

Laela’s Most Recent Investment: Care.com

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

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

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com - and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

Apr 21, 2017

Leura Fine is the founder and CEO of leading online interior design service Laurel & Wolf. Driven by the desire to connect clients and designers through a digital platform, Leura launched Laurel & Wolf from her home dining room in 2014. Two years later, she has a rapidly growing team of more than 60 employees and a marketplace of more than 1,000 interior designers. They have raised over $30m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including Benchmark, CRV and former guest, Kent Goldman @ Upside Partnership.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leura made her way from interior designer to founder of one of today's hottest marketplace startups, Laurel & Wolf?

2.) Why does Leura feel it is harder to be a female CEO than a male CEO? How are her actions compared and judged differently than those of her male counterparts?

3.) How does Leura approach the selection element of choosing her investors? What should matter to founders that their investors can bring? How does Leura look to select the best board member?

4.) How did Leura approach the chicken and egg problem of marketplaces in the beginning with Laurel & Wolf? What is her big advice to other founders building out their marketplaces?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leura’s Fave Book: Pride & Prejudice

Leura’s Fave Blog: Oh Joy

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 19, 2017

Leo Polovets is a Co-Founder and General Partner @ Susa Ventures, one of the west coast's most exciting new seed funds. They have investments in the likes of previous guests RobinHood, Flexport, Andela, LendUp, and Qadium, just to name a few from their stellar portfolio. As for Leo, Prior to Susa, Leo was one of the first engineers at LinkedIn in 2003, then worked on payment fraud detection at Google, then designed and built the data cleaning and deduping engines at Factual. He is an angel investor in over a dozen companies, including DataFox, Boomtrain, Lumoid, and Momentum Machines.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leo made the transition from the world of operations with LinkedIn to co-founding Susa Ventures?

2.) How does Leo evaluate the supposed success that comes from investing with a contrarian mindset? This that the only way? Is investing merely a game of access without picking?

3.) If one is to follow the crowd, there is often a high price? What is Leo's approach to valuation sensitivity? At what stage does price become unreasonable? How does Leo instill a sense of disciple and rigor in maintaining this mindset?

4.) How does Leo react to founders who raise large sums of capital on slowly increasing caps? How central should dilution be to the mindset of founders when raising?

5.) Why does Leo think there is very little valuable to be gained from enaging in technical due diligence at seed? What else does need to be examined pre-investment?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leo’s Fave Book: Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers

Leo’s Fave Blog: Mattermark Daily, 25IQ

Leo’s Most Recent Investment: TalentIQ

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 17, 2017

Josh Felser is a Co-Founder and General Partner at Freestyle, one of SF's leading early stage seed funds with investments in the likes of About.me, Airtable, Intercom and Patreon just to name a few. As for Josh, prior to being in VC with Freestyle, Josh started two successful Internet companies, Spinner and Grouper/Crackle, which were acquired by AOL Time Warner and Sony for $320 million and $65 million, respectively.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh made the transition from the world of startups to founding Freestyle?

2.) Can founders really trust their VC? What is the sign that you can and then cannot trust your VC? How does this depend on the differing stages?

3.) When is the right time for founders to throw in the towel and sell? What are the signs? Is it the role of the board member to encourage and push the founder forward?

4.) Josh has said before that 'companies are sold and not bought'. What does he mean by this? How can founders optimize the acquisition process in terms of the dialogue with the acquirer? How should they approach the topic of valuation? How can they create a sense of urgency? Who are the certain stakeholders they must be talking to?

5.) How has Josh seen himself develop as a board member? What have been the inflection points in his learnings? What are the core components that make up a great board member?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Josh’s Fave Book: Snowcrash

Josh’s Fave Blog: Five Best Ideas of The Day: The Aspen Institute

Josh’s Most Recent Investment: Carbon Robotics

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 14, 2017

Spencer Kimball is the Founder & CEO @ Cockroach Labs, the open-source database for building global, scalable cloud services that survive disasters. They have backing from some of the greats of the world of VC having raised from the likes of Sequoia, Benchmark, Google Ventures and Index. As for Spencer, prior to Cockroach he spent 10 years at Google where he oversaw their hyper growth transition from startup to global behemoth. He also spent two years at unicorn payments company, Square as well as co-founding 2 prior startups.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Spencer made his move from a decade @ Google to starting Cockroach Labs?

2.) Why does Spencer enjoy speaking to VCs? What has Spencer taken away from the best of VC conversations? What are the best ways Spencer feels investors can make initial contact? What are the signs of bad investor interactions?

3.) How does Spencer want his VCs and board members to interact with him? How do the best board members provide constructive advice and feedback?

4.) How can investors get into the best deals? If they fail the first time, what can be done on their behalf to show continued interest?

5.) How does Spencer implement a 4 day work week at Cockroach and remain so highly productive? What are the benefits of this for the team and culture?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Spencer’s Fave Book: The History of The Decline & Fall of The Roman Empire

Spencer’s Fave Blog: Ben Bernanke, Paul Krugman

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 12, 2017

Nagraj Kashyap is the Head of Microsoft Ventures, the early stage investment arm of Microsoft. They have made investments in the likes of Cahoot, CloudSimple and Outreach just to name a few from their fantastic portfolio. As for Nagraj, prior to Microsoft, he was a senior vice president and head of Qualcomm Ventures where he built Qualcomm Ventures from a US/China-focused team of three in 2003 to a global leader in corporate venture capital with 25 investment professionals and direct investments around the world.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nagraj made his way into the world of corporate VC and came to be Head of Microsoft Ventures?

2.) Question from Matt Goldstein: What does it take to start a fund from scratch and build a team like Nagraj is doing with Microsoft Ventures? How does he look to establish mindshare for entrepreneurs with a new brand?

3.) Why does Nagraj feel that corporate VC is not viewed in the same regard as traditional VC? Why is this view wrong? What are the benefits of taking corporate VC money?

4.) Why does Nagraj feel it is imperative to let young VCs write cheques and learn from their mistakes? How does Nagraj structure the learning process for new and young VCs?

5.) What does the future hold for the world of corporate VC? Will we see an expansion of this capital source? Why is Nagraj so bullish?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nagraj’s Fave Book: The Omnivore's Dilemma

Nagraj’s Most Recent Investment: Kahoot

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 10, 2017

Naval Ravikant is the CEO and a co-founder of AngelList, where the world meets startups either to find great jobs, invest in startups or raise funding. Before AngelList, he co-founded Epinions, which went public as part of Shopping.com, and Vast.com. He is an active angel investor and has invested in more than 100 companies, including more than a few “unicorn” mega-successes. His deals include Twitter, Uber, Yammer, Postmates, Wish, Thumbtack, and OpenDNS, which Cisco just bought for $635 million in cash.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Naval made his way into angel investing and came to found AngelList?

2.) Question from Parker Thompson: How does Naval internalize the power law math and how does that affect his ability to pick the best companies?

3.) Why does Naval believe venture to be a bundle of advice, control and money? How does that affect his thought process surrounding what makes a good investor?

4.) Why does Naval believe we will see the unbundling of VC firm brands and the rise of personal partner brands? How will this affect access to proprietory deal flow?

5.) Question from Jonathan Abrams @ Nuzzel: What is the vision for AngelList? How much further up the funding stack can AngelList go?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Naval’s Fave Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Naval’s Fave Blog: Farnham Street

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 7, 2017

Anna Shedletsky is the Founder & CEO @ Instrumental, the startup that helps consumer electronics companies ship high-quality hardware, on time. They have funding from some of the best in the business including First Round Capital and a huge thanks to Phin Barnes @ First Round for the intro to Anna today. As for Anna, prior to Instrumental, Anna was a product design lead and manager for the Apple Watch and before that, a product design engineer for the Apple iPod.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Anna made the move from working on the Apple Watch to starting her own startup Instrumental?

2.) How does Anna approach the learning of new things? What is the methodology? What elements in particular has Anna found most challenging to grasp?

3.) Anna has experienced 2 very strange and different fundraising processes? What was strange about them? How did they differ? What did she learn from this experience?

4.) How can founders create a feeling of FOMO within their investors? What is core to this? What should founders be careful of when doing this? How should this be structured?

5.) Coming from Apple, Anna did not have a network among VCs and Founders. How did Anna build her network of VCs and founders? How can others founders do this? What is required for this to be done in a non-transactional organic way?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Anna’s Fave Book: The Lord of The Rings

Anna’s Fave Blog: First Round Review

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 5, 2017

Josh Breinlinger is a Managing Director @ Jackson Square Ventures where he has made investments in the likes of Contently, OfferUp and rented.com, just to name a few incredible companies. He is also the ultimate master of all things marketplaces, especially when early stage startups must deal with the inevitable chicken and egg problem. Prior to life as a VC with JSV, Josh was part of the founding team @ ODesk, a co-founder @ Rev and the Head of Product and Marketing @ Adroll.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Josh made the transition from the world of startups to investing with Jackson Square?

2.) Josh previously said, 'data informed VCs will always beat data-driven VCs'. What makes Josh say this? What does being data-driven lead to weak investment decision making?

3.) Josh also said, 'we will see the rise of the master marketplace'. What does he mean by this? How is this different from current marketplace startups today? With such specialization does this not make it an unattractive sector for VCs with a smaller TAM?

4.) Following from Josh's statement that 'not all GMV is equal', how does that affect how Josh views; transaction size and frequency, share of wallet, value post-match being made and disintermediation?

5.) Why does Josh think rewarding VC activity is fundamentally wrong? What does it show that is, in reality, a falsehood?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Josh’s Fave Book: The Wright Brothers

Josh’s Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

Josh's Most Recent Investment: ScriptDash

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Apr 3, 2017

Hunter Walk is a founding partner @ Homebrew, one of Silicon Valley's breakout seed funds of the last 5 years. They have investments in the likes of Shyp, the Skimm, Managed By Q just to name a few incredible companies. As for Hunter, prior to Homebrew, Hunter led consumer product management at YouTube, which he originally joined in 2003, managing product and sales efforts for Google Adsense. Hunter is also a thought leader in the industry and his excellent blog can be found here.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hunter made the transition from Google to VC with the founding of Homebrew?

2.) How does Hunter view the bridge round? Does he agree with Mike Maples @ Floodgate in stating, 'it is often not a bridge but a pier to nowhere'?

3.) How does Hunter look to package his portfolio companies for the next round of investors? Does Hunter agree with Jason Lemkin in stating, 'the best investors are those that specifically know the metrics required to achieve the next round'?

4.) Why does Hunter not believe there is a Series A crunch? How can founders look to describe their story in a narrative that is attractive for VCs? What one trait does Hunter look for in founders more than any other?

5.) What is the biggest challenge in the coming year for Hunter with Homebrew? How does he measure his success as a VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hunter’s Fave Book: Harold and The Purple Crayon

Hunter’s Fave Blog: Ben Thompson: Stratechery

Hunter's Most Recent Investment: JoyMode

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Mar 31, 2017

Melody McCloskey is the Founder & CEO @ StyleSeat, the largest and fastest growing marketplace in the $78b beauty and wellness industry. They have raised over $40m in challenging funding conditions from some of the true greats of the business including Alfred Lin @ Sequoia, Chris Sacca, Jeff Clavier, Aileen Lee, Lightspeed, the list goes on. As for Melody, as well as running StyleSeat she is also a mentor for the Thiel Fellowship working with some of the brightest and best next generation entrepreneurs.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What was the origin story of StyleSeat for Melody and how did Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp come to be angel investors?

2.) Melody has previously stated that 'CEOs do not have all the answers'. What did Melody find most challenging that she struggled to answer? How has her approach to decision making and delegation changed over the last few years?

3.) Melody has been CEO for 6 years, a rarity in tech today, so what has been the core to her success long term as the leader of StyleSeat?

4.) With $40m in funding over 3 rounds, how did Melody find the fundraising experience? How did she feel the rounds differed? What does Melody believe she did well and what would she improve for further rounds?

5.) How does Melody approach transparency internally with fundraising? Should founders tell the team about fundraise opportunities? When is the right and wrong time to do so?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Melody’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Mar 29, 2017

Jared Friedman is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world's most successful accelerator with portfolio companies including the likes of AirBnB, Dropbox, Stripe, Zenefits, Twitch, the list goes on. Prior to YC, Jared was Co-Founder & CTO @ Scribd, the digital library and document sharing platform, which has over 80 million users and attained funding from the likes of Marc Andreessen, Redpoint and CRV. As well as his time in operations, Jared is also a prolific angel investor with investments in the likes of Instacart, FundersClub and Cruise Automation just to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jared made his way from founding the immensely successful, Sribd, to being a YC partner?

2.) What is the process behind the invites for YC demo day? What does it take for one to get a hotly anticipated seat? Is there really a black list?

3.) A lot of investors suggest that if you are seeing the company at demo day it is too late, what is the thesis around letting friends and family in to view and invest in the companies before demo day?

4.) How can investors look to get into the best YC companies? What can the investors do to show their value to both the companies and the YC partnership? How do you look to advise companies with regards to selecting investors?

5.) Demo days have scaled massively so I have to ask, is there enough capital to go into the 120+ companies now being produced at YC demo days? What are the strategies for scaling YC effectively?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jared's Fave Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Jared’s Fave Blog: HackerNews

Jared Most Recent Angel Investment: Starcity

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite's CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code "20MinuteVC" at checkout. 

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse's Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that's scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Mar 27, 2017

Saar Gur is a General Partner @ CRV, one of the nation's oldest and most successful VC firms now on their 16th fund. At CRV, Saar has made investments in some incredible companies including DoorDash, Dropbox, Patreon and Ring to name a few. His brilliance in VC is not just acknowledged by us but Forbes and Venture Capital Journal who named Saar to the top 8 up and coming Venture Capitalists and a top 10 VC under the age of thirty-six. Prior to VC, Saar was the Founder of Brightroll, a leading video ad network that was acquired by Yahoo for a reported $640m.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Saar made his way into the world of VC and came to be a GP at CRV?

2.) When can VCs know when to pull the plug on an investment? How does Saar balance financial prudence with vision and belief in the startup and founder?

3.) What does Saar's relationship building process look like? How does Saar build relationships with founders in natural and organic ways?

4.) How can VCs handle founder disputes? How does Saar look to be as helpful and productive in this process as possible? What does Saar recommend to other VCs in this situation?

5.) How does Saar view the inflection points in the growth of startups? At what moments is their the potential for elements to break? How should this be mitigated?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Saar’s Fave Book: The Wright Brothers

Saar’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: TechCrunch

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite's CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code "20MinuteVC" at checkout. 

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse's Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that's scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

Mar 24, 2017

Christian Lanng is the Founder & CEO @ Tradeshift, the startup with the vision to transform the way businesses work together. With 250+ people, offices in 9 countries and over $200m in funding from some of the best including Data Collective, HSBC and Intuit, they are likely one of the biggest and best startups you might not have heard of. As for Christian, he is one of the most visionary European entrepreneurs of the last decade having grown from digitising invoices in Denmark when he was at Uni to working on digitizing the EU later.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Christian made his way from Denmark to founding one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley?

2.) What does Christian mean when saying, "we should be discussing the globalization of technology"? How will we see the evolution of manufacturing over time? What is the bottleneck for automation?

3.) Christian has previously stated that his competitors have 'hostages not customers'. Why does he say this and how does that affect his view of competition and customer service?

4.) Christian has raised over $200m in varying fundraising climates, how did the rounds differ? What were Christian's keys to fundraising success? What does he know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?

5.) How does Christian approach networking in a very unconventional style? What are the benefits of doing so? What does Christian advise startup founders looking to expand either their founder network or their investor network?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Christian’s Fave Book: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck

Christian’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

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

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

But before we dive into the show today, there are some products that you simply cannot remember what life was like before them—for me that is x.ai. They bring you Amy and Andrew, the AI-powered personal assistants who schedule meetings for you. The beauty of Amy or Andrew is that you interact with them just like you would any other person, in plain English. You hand over meeting scheduling, and they get the job is done. Which means that you can avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong usually required to schedule a single meeting. Even better though, there is no sign in, no password, nothing to download. All you do is cc amy@x.ai Beautiful! And you can check it out now on https://x.ai/20vc/ It really is a must!

Link: https://x.ai/20vc/
Code for your first month free: 20VC

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 22, 2017

Alex Mittal is the Founder & CEO @ Funders Club, the company that uses software and networks to provide investors with access to the world's most promising startups. Their portfolio includes the likes of Slack, Greenhouse, Shippo and Flexport just to name a few. They are backed by some of the world's leading investors themselves with the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, Felicis Ventures and First Round Capital. Prior to starting FundersClub, Alex was the founding CEO of Innova Dynamics, a VC-backed touchscreen hardware company, leading the company from university laboratory to securing design-in collaborations with today's major consumer electronics companies. Previously, he was the founding CTO of Crederity, a VC-backed identity and credential verification enterprise software company. 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alex made his way from YC founder to revolutionizing seed stage investing with Funders Club?

2.) Why is Alex still so bullish on the on-demand space? How does Alex evaluate on-demand startups? What metrics are attractive in the space? What do good unit economics look like for on-demand startups?

3.) Does Alex agree that we are experiencing a AI bubble? Where are the shortcomings in the current state of AI and machine learning? How does Alex expect the space to play out and what does Alex advise entrepreneurs in the space?

4.) What does Alex make of the rise of investing in hard science startups? Why does he get concerned to see traditional software VCs investing in the space? How should VCs view the rise of nontech businesses both in hard science and consumer?

5.) You have said before that 'the API is not in the past but is still to come'. Why are you so bullish on the continued expansion of APIs? Where do the inherent oportuities and use cases remain?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alex's Fave Book: The Art of War by Sun Tsu

Alex's Fave Blog: Eric Newcomer, Mattermark Daily

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

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

X.ai is AI-powered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 20, 2017

Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr, now with the $70m SaaStr Fund, Jason has paved the way for the new wave of VC in what I describe the 'platformification of VC'. Jason has led or sourced the first VC investment in some of the fastest growing SaaS companies of today with the likes of Algolia, TalkDesk, Rainforest QA and PipeDrive. Prior to being in VC, Jason was the Co-Founder @ Echosign, leading to the very successful acquisition by Adobe where he oversaw Jason oversaw the growth of Adobe Document Services ARR from $50m in 2012 to $100m in 2013.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jason made his way into the world of VC from being a $100m+ exit founder to founding SaaStr and SaaStr Fund?

2.) What is it like for Jason having his own fund vs being part of a bigger fund? What does the investment cheque size say to founders about the fund? Should they be concerned if the investment represents less than 1% of the fund?

3.) What was the fundraising process and environment like for Jason with SaaStr? Is all LP money the same? What differentiated value-add elements can LPs provide fund managers?

4.) Does Jason agree that most VCs do not add value? How does Jason look to add value with his 3 pronged approach? Where does Jason believe that most startups need help and advice?

5.) How does Jason evaluate the micro-VC stage at present? Where does Jason see opportunity? Where does he believe the space is over-heated?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: 

Jason’s Most Recent Investment: Automile

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

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

X.ai is AI-poweredered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 17, 2017

Kevin Chou is co-founder and CEO of Kabam, a world leader in mobile free-to-play games. At Kabam, Kevin catapulted revenue to $400 million and a valuation of more than $1 billion in 2014. Under Kevin’s leadership, Kabam has raised more than $240 million from venture and strategic investors, including some of the world’s largest entertainment and internet companies such as Alibaba, Google, Intel and Warner Brothers. Before Kabam, Kevin worked at Canaan Partners, Kabam’s initial investor and where he invested in 14 consumer technology and online media companies. In 2014 Kevin was named one Fortune magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” and, in 2012, was identified by Fortune as one of the “Smartest People in Tech.”

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kevin came to found the wildly successful Kabam from a life in VC with Canaan Partners?

2.) How does Kevin respond to investors that say games is so challenging as it is so hits driven? What are the requirements to build an enduring and successful games company?

3.) What are the metrics that define success in gaming? Why does Kevin believe that gaming is unlike any other in terms of metrics?

4.) To what extent does Kevin believe it is right to monetise games from the beginning vs the free to play market? What are the features and challenges required for success in the premium end of the market?

5.) How does gaming alter both in terms of design and monetisation when comparing the East to the West? What feature sets are preferrable in both? Why doe the East want to pay for as much up front as possible?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kevin’s Fave Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Kevin’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dean Takahashi: VentureBeat

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

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

X.ai is AI-poweredered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 15, 2017

Carl Eschenbach is a Partner @ Sequoia Capital, one of the world's leading funds with investments in the likes of Google, Apple, Whatsapp, Paypal and Stripe just to name a few. As for Carl, prior to Sequoia, Carl was President and CEO @ VMWare where he grew the team from 200 to 20,000 people. If that was not enough Carl has also stepped in as CFO at a $5Bn company and transitioned 3 CEOs.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Carl made the move from President and CEO @ 20,000 person company, VMWare to Partner @ Sequoia?

2.) Question from Alfred Lin, Partner @ Sequoia: How did Carl look to build a culture of performance at VMWare?

3.) Question from Pat Grady, Partner @ Sequoia: What were Carl's biggest learnings with regards to high performance teams? What are the common mistakes in scaling a go to market strategy?

4.) How does Carl view the internal workings at Sequoia to the external perception? Was the move to Sequoia everything he expected? What was different or challenging?

5.) What does Carl believe are the core components that make a great board member? How has Carl's time in operations affected his view of boards and their working?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Carl’s Fave Book: Half Time

Carl’s Most Recent Investment: Zoom

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

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

X.ai is AI-poweredered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 13, 2017

Pat Grady is a Partner @ Sequoia Capital, one of the world's leading funds with prior investments in the likes of Apple, Google, Whatsapp, Paypal, Stripe and many more. At Sequoia, Pat has made investments in many past guests of this show and the SaaStr podcast including Zoom, Namely and Qualtrics, just to name a few. Prior to Sequoia, Pat spent 3 years with the team at Summit Partners.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Pat made his way into the world of VC and one of the most famous funds in the world, Sequoia?

2.) How does Pat view the apprenticeship model in VC? How can VCs attempt to develop and convey the founder empathy when they have not been a founder? Do 'career VCs' get the same respect from founders?

3.) What does Pat believe to be the defining characteristics of the next generation of great software? What are the commonalities?

4.) Pat has said before that 'data is the new oil', what makes Pat think this? How does this affect his investment thesis going forward? Are there elements of being 'data long' that make Pat nervous?

5.) How does Pat think the data incumbency advantage can be mitigated? What can startups do to build a moat?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Pat’s Fave Book: The Boys In The Boat

Pat's Fave Blog: CB Insights

Pat’s Most Recent Investment: Namely 

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

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

X.ai is AI-poweredered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 10, 2017
From 1995 until 2004 Andy Rachleff was a co-founder and General Partner of Benchmark Capital, who have backed the likes of Twitter, Snapchat, Dropbox, Uber and Instagram. Upon his retirement from Benchmark, Andy joined the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business to teach a variety of courses on entrepreneurship. In 2008 he co-founded Wealthfront Inc, the online financial advisor and investment management solution,  where he now serves as Executive Chairman. In just 3 years, Wealthfront now have over $2bn AUM.
 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made his way into the world of VC, became the Co-Founder @ Benchmark and what was the origin story behind the founding of Wealthfront?

2.) On rejoining Wealthfront as CEO Andy stated, 'I am an investor, not a CEO but what I did not realize was that I am a founder'. At what point did Andy realize this? Would Andy say that this is a strategic inflection point for Wealthfront with his return?

3.) What are the few elements that will make or break Wealthfront in the coming years? It it the best CEOs that are able to both balance the challenges with the opportunities?

4.) What does the future hold for Wealthfront? What is the exciting news? What does this mean for the road ahead and the world of automated personal finance?

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

X.ai is AI-poweredered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 8, 2017

Lee Hower is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures, one of the East coast's leading early stage funds with investments in the likes of Dia & Co, Sunrise, TaskRabbit and GrabCad just to name a few. As for Lee, prior to being a VC with NextView, Lee started his career as an early employee of PayPal in product and business development roles, through the company’s 2002 IPO and sale to eBay. After PayPal, Lee was a co-founder of LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) and served as head of corporate development.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Lee made his way from the early days of PayPal with Elon Musk to the founding team of LinkedIn with Reid Hoffman to founding NextView and being a VC?

2.) What were Lee's biggest takeaways from his time working with Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman in the early days of PayPal? How has that experience affected how he invests today?

3.) Unlike other Paypal mafia members, Lee decided not to pursue the multi-stage investing strategy. Why was this? How does Lee evaluate the current seed environment?

4.) Why does Lee believe it is fundamental to study the history of VC and innovation? How does this affect his mindset when investing?

5.) What would Lee advice to a junior VC or someone looking to move into the industry in terms of differentiation and personal branding? What is key? How should this be approached?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Lee’s Fave Book: The Globalisation Paradox

Lee's Most Recent Investment: Optimus Ride

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

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

X.ai is AI-poweredered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

Mar 6, 2017

John Borthwick is the Founder & CEO @ Betaworks, the New York-based startup platform combining 3 areas of expertise. They have a studio where they have built products including Giphy, Dots, Bitly and more. They have a fund with prior investments including Tumblr, Medium and Kickstarter. Finally they have a camp, a thematic accelerator program for companies in frontier technology sectors. As for John, Prior to Betaworks, John was an SVP at Time Warner Inc following John's previous company, WP-Studio, being acquired by AOLTW.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How John made his way from AOL and Time Warner to founder of Betaworks?

2.) Why is John skeptical of the traditional VC model? Why does John believe that the market has adapted but the VC model has not?

3.) Why does John believe fund cycles are simply too short, in the same school of thought as Matt Ocko @ Data Collective? What are the problems with this?

4.) How does John evaluate Fred Wilson's post on the consumer downturn? Why does John think we are addicted to short term rapid fire hits?

5.) Why is John not surprised that AI, Bots, VR and AR are being 'labeled a disappointment for the last year? What does he think will be the catalyst for their rise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

John’s Fave Book: King Lear

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

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

X.ai is AI-poweredered personal assistant for scheduling meetings bringing you Amy or Andrew. The assistant you interact with like you would to any other person and it allows you to avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong in order to schedule one meeting. Even better, there is no sign in, no password, no download, all you do is cc amy@x.ai beautiful! And you can check it out now on x.ai it really is a must!

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

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