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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: May, 2018
May 29, 2018

Glenn Solomon is a Managing Partner @ GGV Capital, one of the world's leading venture funds with  $3.8Bn under management across 8 funds and a portfolio including the likes of Airbnb, Xiaomi, Alibaba, Slack, Square, the list goes on. As for Glenn, since joining GGV in 2005 Glenn has helped 7 companies go public including Pandora, Zendesk, Square, SuccessFactors and more and has led investments in Airbnb, Slack, Opendoor, DOMO and Hashicorp just to name a few. Prior to GGV, Glenn was a General Partner with Partech and before that spent time with Goldman Sachs. You must also check out Glenn's blog here.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Glenn made his way from tennis at Stanford to the walls of Goldman Sachs before entering the world of VC with Partech and then GGV?

2.) Having been in VC for over 20 years, how has Glenn fundamentally seen the startup and VC landscape alter? How did advice from John Doerr alter his thinking on platform shifts? Does Glenn agree with Elad Gil that we are all looking for the next vein of innovation to explore? How must VCs respond?

3.) How has Glenn seen the development of himself as an investor over the last 20 years? What has he found to be the commonalities amongst the very best VCs? How does Glenn think about the importance of investor specialisation?

4.) How does Glenn think about price sensitivity? When has Glenn made his biggest mistakes with regards to price? How does Glenn's opinions change with the differing insertion points from Series A to pre-IPO?

5.) What does Glenn believe makes the truly special board members? What does he mean when he says being on a board is a "full contact" sport? What are the foundational pillars that Glenn has learnt make the most productive and successful board meetings? What can both founders and VCs do to drive efficiency from their time in board meetings?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Glenn’s Fave Book: Shoe DogBorn A CrimeIrena's Children

Glenn’s Most Recent Investment: Unravel Data

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

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

Highfive makes meetings better for thousands of organizations with insanely simple video conferencing designed for meeting rooms. It's the easiest-to-use solution, with all-in-one hardware and intuitive cloud software. Plus, it's a high-quality experience with industry-leading audio powered by Dolby Voice. It's so easy to use, that there's no pin codes or app downloads. Just click a link in your browser, and you're in the meeting. With customers in over 100 countries, Highfive is already trusted by the likes of Warby Parker, Evernote, Expensify, and Betterment and you can learn more by simply heading over to highfive.com.

Culture Amp is the platform that makes it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback. From onboarding surveys to company-wide engagement, individual effectiveness and more, the platform manages multiple sources of feedback and connects the dots for you and that is why companies like Slack, Nike, Oracle and Lyft all trust CultureAmp. So put your people and culture first and find out more on cultureamp.com.

May 25, 2018

Adrian Aoun is the Founder & CEO @ Forward, a health care system combining world-class doctors with advanced technology to empower patients to take control of their health. To date Adrian has raised funding from some of the true greats of the business including Marc Benioff, Eric Schmidt, Joe Lonsdale, Aaron Levie and Josh Kushner, to name a few. As a result of the incredible work at Forward, they were named to TIME’s Best Inventions of 2017. Before Forward, Adrian was the head of special projects for the CEO of Google/Alphabet and Adrian arrived at Google following the acquisition of his artificial intelligence (AI) company, Wavii. Adrian is also a prolific angel with the likes of WorkRamp, Atrium, Convoy and more in his incredible portfolio.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Adrian made his way from selling Wavii to running special projects for the CEO @ Google, to now changing the world of healthcare with Forward?

2.) Why does Adrian believe that ideas don't have to be inspiration based and you can follow a process to come to a startup idea? What is the framework for that process? What is it fundamental that one focuses on the problem not the solution? Post problem identification, what is the next step?

3.) Why does Adrian believe that today, the Lean Startup Methodology makes less and less sense? What leads Adrian to suggest that "regulation is not nearly as scary as people think? How does Adrian break regulation up into 3 different categories? How should investors assess and evaluate opportunities that do face regulation?

4.) What does Adrian believe are the core benefits he has received from investing in over 150 startups? What has Jason recognised with regards to the power law effect when investing? How does Adrian approach pro-rata? What has being on the other side of the table taught Adrian about good and bad actors in the world of VC?

5.) How can angels act as a check/balance on the behaviour of VCs? How does Adrian think about investor behavior in both the good and the bad times? How do the best in the business react in both situations?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Adrian's Fave Book: Sapiens

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

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

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

May 21, 2018

Dan Scheinman is one of the West Coast's leading angel investors with a portfolio including the likes of Zoom.us, Tango.me, TomFoolery (acquired by Yahoo) and Arista Networks, where he also sits on the board. Prior to angel investing, Dan spent 18 years at Cisco in numerous roles including Senior Vice President of Corporate Development where he rebuilt corp dev as a growth enabler for Cisco. Dan was also the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Cisco Media Solutions Group (CMSG), an internal startup which successfully developed and marketed a hosted software.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dan made his way into the world of angel investing following leading the M&A and Corp Dev teams at Cisco?

2.) Why does Dan believe that the days of spray and pray angel investing at seed are over? What does the re-entrance of large funds like Sequoia back into seed investing mean for angels and early-stage VCs? How must the early stage alter their approach with the re-entering of these giants?

3.) Why does Dan believe that the No 1 destroyer of value in a VC portfolio is founder drama? How does this lead his thinking when assessing opportunities? How can this be mitigated? Why does Dan believe it is much harder for people over 35 to raise VC funding?

4.) Why does Dan believe that in the best deals price does not matter? What opportunities has Dan passed on a deal due to price, what have been his subsequent learnings? How does Dan approach the aspect of reserve allocation? What is the decision-making process around reserves? What are the reasons he would not take his pro-rata? How does he communicate this to founding teams?

5.) Why are incumbents no longer so willing to acquire for technology and talent? What problems do these early-stage acquisitions cause for their internal dynamics and culture? When done, why are these early-stage acquisitions less and less friendly for the early investors of the company being acquired?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dan's Fave Book: Moneyball

Dan’s Most Recent Investment: Cycognito

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

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

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

May 18, 2018

Seth Sternberg is the Founder & CEO @ Honor, the startup that provides homecare your family will love. To date Seth has raised over $60m in funding with Honor from the likes of Thrive Capital, a16z, Homebrew and 8VC. Prior to Honor, Seth was the Co-founder & CEO of Meebo, a web communications platform backed by the likes of Sequoia, Khosla and True Ventures. Meebo reached $50M in revenue and close to half of the US internet population before being acquired by Google for $100M in 2012. At Google, Seth became a Product Director working on the Google+ Platform and GoogleX. Seth is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit and Gusto to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Seth made his way into the world of startups with the founding of Sequoia backed, Meebo? How did he transition from social network to homecare provision?

2.) From his experience with Meebo, what are the biggest elements Seth has done differently with the building of Honor? What was successful the first time that he has carried with him to Honor? How does Seth approach the hiring process fundamentally differently the 2nd time around?

3.) Seth has worked with the likes of Sequoia, Khosla, Thrive and more, what are the commonalities that make the best VCs so special? Where does Seth believe VCs can add true value? Where do many seriously detract value? Why does Seth believe that 80% of VCs are actually detrimental to board meetings?

4.) What 3 questions must all founders ask when considering to take on a new investor? What is that investor-founder assessment structure? When there is a disagreement with investors, how does Seth approach this? What is the best method for doing this in as fast and efficient method as possible?

5.) Would Seth agree with David Barrett @ Expensify that we are going through a wave of founders creating companies for the quick flip? How does Seth's 20-year time horizon with Honor affect how he both thinks about hiring and individual scaling within the firm? Why is he so jealous of Google and Facebook with regards to this?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Seth’s Fave Book: The Firm

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

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

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

May 14, 2018

Boris Wertz is the Founding Partner @ Version One Ventures, one of North America's leading early-stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of previous guests Coinbase, AngelList, Shippo, TopHat, Polychain Capital and many more incredible companies. As for Boris, prior to VC, Boris was the COO @ Abe Books, where he led a team of 60 people until their acquisition in 2008 by Amazon. In addition to this, Boris is also a Board Partner with a16z and the lead independent director @ Ether Capital, a Toronto-based technology company aiming to become the central investment hub for the Ethereum ecosystem.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Boris made his way from creating the largest European marketplace for used books to becoming one of North America's leading investors with Version One?

2.) How does Boris analyze where we are at now in the development and hype cycle of crypto? How does it compare to the internet bubble of 99'? Does Boris get concerned by the amount of dumb money entering the space? What resources and tools does Boris advice for people looking to learn the foundations as quickly as possible?

3.) Why does Boris believe you have to apply a new mental model when investing in crypto? What do existing VCs need to do to ensure they are not left behind by the emerging world of crypto? What does Boris believe would need to happen for the existing institutional LP class to embrace crypto?

4.) Does Boris believe existing investors can transition into this space or will vertically specialised funds be the clear winner? If existing investors can, what is required within their partnerships to make this happen? What does Boris make of VCs investing in ICOs? How does Boris evaluate the Telegram ICO?

5.) How does Boris view the future of VC in tandem with the world of crypto and ICOs? What would VCs becoming small cap hedge funds mean for the industry? How would life change? What have been Boris' biggest learnings from watching first hand a16z's attempts to innovate the VC model at scale?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Boris' Fave Book: Shoe Dog

Boris' Most Recent Investment: Coinbase

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

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

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

May 11, 2018

Andrew Dudum is Co-Founder & CEO @ Hims, the fastest growing men’s health and wellness brand that has raised over $45m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including Thrive Capital, Forerunner Ventures, IVP, Redpoint and SV angel just to name a few. Andrew is also co-founder and General Partner at Atomic, a venture-builder backed by Peter Thiel, Marc Andreesen and many of the world’s best investors. Prior to Atomic and Hims, Andrew led Product at TokBox.com, the leader in web-based communication. In 2012 TokBox was acquired by the global telecommunications company Telefonica ($TEF).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andrew made his way into the world of startups, came to build a venture builder backed by Thiel and Andreesen before starting the fastest growing men's health and wellness brand in Hims?

2.) How does Andrew view the world of online and offline marketing in today's proliferated D2C space? What were the core elements that allowed Hims to achieve such success with their branding? How does Andrew respond to suggestions that there is a lack of free and open distribution due to incumbents paying up for traditional channels making CAC unachievable for startups? How does Andrew look to solve for this?

3.) What does Andrew believe it is that has allowed Hims to execute faster than any other D2C brand in history? How does Andrew distinguish between people and process when considering the scaling at different stages of the business? What are the pros and cons of having such constraints on headcount? When is the right time to pour fuel on the fire? 

4.) Hims raised their last round at a $200m valuation in less than a year of operating, how did Andrew evaluate this one? Does this not effectively price Hims out of the majority of M&A?  What leads Andrew's thesis with his suggestion that he thought the valuation was "quite frankly, a great price for investors"? What advice would Andrew have for founders entering the fundraising process?

5.) Andrew is also the co-founder @ Atomic, so what really is a venture builder? How have Atomic built a framework around idea generation? How do Atomic determine which ideas to pursue and which to disregard? How does data and benchmarking play a central role in this process? 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andrew’s Fave Book: Creativity Inc

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

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

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

May 8, 2018

Andy McLoughlin is Partner @ Uncork Capital, formerly SoftTech and one of the leading early-stage funds on the West Coast. In their incredible portfolio, they have the likes of Fitbit, SendGrid, PostMates, Front, PoshMark, Eventbrite and many more. As for Andy, he loves to invest in "unsexy ideas" with stellar teams and has led deals in the likes of Postmates, LaunchDarkly, Human Interest (previously Captain 401), and Focal Systems just to name a few. Prior to VC, Andy co-founded Huddle, an enterprise collaboration platform which raised more than $80M in venture funding before its acquisition in 2017. Andy also has a stellar angel portfolio with the likes of Buffer, Intercom and Pipedrive all angel investments.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andy made the transition from Founder of one of the UK's hottest startups to one of the leading early-stage VCs in Silicon Valley?

2.) Why did Softtech decide to make the big decision to rebrand to Uncork several years into the journey? What is core to successfully relaunching a VC brand to the ecosystem?

3.) Andy likes to back "non-obvious founders" building "non-sexy businesses". What does Andy mean by "non-obvious founder"? How do they tend to behave differently to more seasoned serial entrepreneur founders from the valley? What does a "non-sexy business look like to Andy"? Why does he see such inherent opportunity within these segments?

4.) How does Andy evaluate the challenge of immensely long sales cycles within these industries? How can these be mitigated and measured against? How does this affect Andy's thinking on the right amount of runway to raise for? How does Andy assess the often issue of regulation? How does Andy distinguish between viable/ non-viable?

5.) How does Andy assess VC value add? Where does Andy believe he can provide the most value to his portfolio? Why does Andy believe startups are not just competing against other plays in their space but every startup in the valley?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Andy’s Fave Book: Venture Deals

Andy’s Most Recent Investment: Fritz

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

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

We also speak about Movidiam – as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours – tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

May 4, 2018

Jesse Genet is the Founder & CEO @ Lumi, the startup that is used by thousands of e-commerce companies to get world-class packaging at unbeatable prices. To date, Jesse has raised close to $10m in VC funding from some of the best in the business and old friends of the show including Satya @Homebrew, Kirsten @ Forerunner, Spark Capital, Lowercase, Ludlow and more incredible names. Prior to Lumi, Jesse founded Inkodye, a bootstrapped business that Jesse scaled to 7 figures in revenue and was sold in retail stores around the world.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jesse made her way into the world of startups and VC having bootstrapped her prior business to 7 figures in revenue and being sold in 1,500 stores?

2.) Given that Lumi is Jesse's first VC backed business, does this make Jesse a first-time founder? How did the bootstrapping to 7 figures in revenue with her last business, influence her philosophy and mindset with Lumi? What has Jesse done differently as a result? What are the dangers that Jesse was aware of and looks out for?

3.) What types of companies does an active content strategy make significant sense for? What are the core benefits of a well-executed content strategy? What have been the core pillars to Jesse's success with content? Where does Jesse see many firms going wrong with their content strategy? How does Jesse look to measure the ROI from content?

4.) How was the fundraising experience for Jesse, given the "non-sexy" sector of packaging and supply chains? How did Jesse determine whether an investor was engaged or not? What does Jesse think she did well in the fundraising process? What would she like to improve for the next round? What is the common stereotype that VCs attribute to founders with bootstrapping experience?

5.) How does Jesse think about the benefits of her team being small vs her 10,000+ incumbent challenger teams? Why does this mean she has the advantage? How does Jesse manage the expectations of her employees when no one could do 1/10 of what Jesse does?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jesse's Fave Book: Gone with the Wind

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

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

We also speak about Movidiam - as brands turn to smarter ways of creating video and digital content, the Movidiam platform offers faster turnarounds whilst maintaining or improving quality. They’re already working with some of the biggest, most innovative companies to help compare teams and freelancers across the global curated network of creative talent. Producers and marketers looking for the best creatives can get a shortlist from Movidiam’s account managers in hours - tailored to their project’s needs. Submit a brief or check out the platform at Movidiam.com.

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