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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: Category: investing
Sep 20, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Jeremy’s Fave Blog: Dan Primack: Pro Rata

Jeremy’s Most Recent Investment: Marble

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

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

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

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

Sep 18, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Undaunted Courage 

Mike’s Fave Blog: The Information

Mike’s Most Recent Investment: Eero

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

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

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

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

Sep 13, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kat’s Fave Book: Atlas Shrugged

Kat’s Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

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

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

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

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

Sep 11, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Andy’s Fave Blog: Phish.netContinuationsRadio Free Mobile

Andy's Most Recent Investment: Flip

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

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

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

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

Sep 8, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Wayne’s Fave Book: Enders Game

Wayne’s Fave Blog: Hacker News

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

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

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

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

Sep 4, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Phil’s Fave Blog: Om MalikDan Primack: Axios

Phil’s Most Recent Investment: Orecco

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

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

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

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

Sep 1, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Tim’s Fave Book: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Tim’s Fave Blog: First Round Review

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

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

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

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

Aug 30, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alina’s Fave Book: The Three-Body Problem

Alina’s Most Recent Investment: Fly.io

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

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

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

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

Aug 28, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

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

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

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

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

Aug 25, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Jonathan’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC

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

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

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

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

Aug 23, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Allison’s Fave Blog: NextDraft

Allison’s Most Recent Investment: Mic

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

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

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

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

Aug 21, 2017

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

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

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

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Daniel’s Fave Blog: Slate Star Codex

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: Rippling

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

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

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

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

Aug 18, 2017

Joseph Zwillinger is the Founder @ Allbirds, the startup that makes the world's most comfortable shoes check this out, made out of wool. They have funding from the likes of Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and Slow Ventures and an army of loyal fans that includes Larry Paige, Ben Horowitz, Mary Meeker and Dick Costolo. Prior to co-founding Allbirds, Joey enjoyed a range of careers from investment banking with Goldman Sachs to venture capital with Industry Ventures to working at next generation food and nutrition company, TerraVia.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Joey made his way from investment banker to venture capitalist to Founder @ Allbirds, Silicon Valley's hottest brand?

2.) How does Joey view the core tenets to creating a successful brand? Why must brands today go further to more of a movement? How can companies look to create movements within their customer base?

3.) How does Joey assess the effects of Amazon on retail? How does Joey evaluate the economic ramifications of Amazon's flea market approach on the brands behind the products? Why does Joey want Allbirds to stay far away from Amazon?

4.) How does Joey look to prioritize what he and Allbirds focus on? What is the one core metric that guides all their decisions and behavior? How is this applicable to every company of all stage and sector?

5.) Why does Joey think that not enough VCs are people orientated? How does Josh assess the VC class of today? What does he look for when deciding which investors to choose?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Joey’s Fave Book: Man's Search For Meaning

Joey’s Fave Blog: First Round ReviewDan Primack

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

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

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

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

Aug 16, 2017

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures, one of the East Coast's leading early stage funds with their recent $50m seed fund being announced just this month. David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of early stage venture and came to co-found NextView?

2.) How did Nextview design an investment decision-making process that allows for outliers to get through? How does this change with the decision for follow on investment?

3.) Why should firms write investment memos for every investment, regardless of stage and sector? How can firms implement a voting process that is both rigourous yet innovative?

4.) Why is David so excited by the voice computing space? With incumbents like Google and Amazon dominating, where is the opportunity for startups to play? Why does David believe that voice is the most natural user interface possible?

5.) Why does David believe distribution is one of the biggest challenges facing startups today? What does David look for in founders that suggest inherent knowledge of marketing and distribution prowess?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Look Homeward, Angel

David’s Fave Blog: Gotham VoicesHearing Voices

David’s Most Recent Investment: Skyways

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

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

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

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

Aug 11, 2017

Brad Hargreaves is the Founder & CEO @ Common, the startup that provides shared housing for those that live in common. They have raised over $20m in VC funding from some of our very favorites including the likes of Maveron, Slow Ventures, Lowercase Capital, 8VC and Brendan Wallace @ Fifth Wall. Prior to Common, Brad was the Founder of General Assembly, the global school for tech, business, and design which has, to date, raised over $140m and has locations across 4 continents.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brad made his way into the world of tech, came to found General Assembly and then made his move into the world of real estate with Common?

2.) Why have we seen the price of real estate in core urban areas hit an all time high today? How does Brad think this will affect the future of malls?

3.) Why does Brad think that in a scalable business not every element has to scale? What does he mean by this? What proportion of elements have to scale? What are the inflection points in scaling that suggest potential for venture returns?

4.) How does Brad think about the secondary affects of AVs? Which areas does Brad think have the most potential for innovation? How does Brad think about the negative externalities of AV's? What can be done to mitigate their effects? 

5.) Why does Brad think that occupational licensing is one of the biggest barriers to economic growth in the US? What reform can be made to enhance this and allow for growth?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brad’s Fave Book: The Lever of Riches

Brad’s Fave Blog: Kim Mai CutlerFifth Wall NewsletterSteven Smith

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Aug 9, 2017

Renata Quintini is a Partner @ Lux Capital, one of the leaders in the rise of deep tech investing supporting scientists and entrepreneurs providing solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time, the more ambitious the project, the better. Before Lux, Renata was a partner at Felicis Ventures, where she worked with the likes of Cruise, Dollar Shave Club, Rigetti Computing and Bonobos, just to name a few. Prior to VC, Renata was an investment manager at Stanford University’s endowment, which invests in dozens of private equity and venture capital funds.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Renata made her way from LP in venture with Stanford University to dominating seed VC with Felicis to now leading the deep tech investing charge with Lux Capital?

2.) How does the mentality shift from making the move of LP with Stanford to VC with Felicis and Lux? How does Renata believe being an LP made her a better VC? How has what it takes to be a successful emerging manager changed over the last 5-10 years?

3.) What are the 7 rules that Renata gives to all startups at the start of their journey to ensure they do not implode? Where do startups most often falter, from Renata's perspective? How have the requirements and demands of founders changed recently?

4.) How does Renata look to approach every investment opportunity, mentality wise? Why does Renata believe this stance is optimal over the alternative? What are the caveats that must be placed on this to ensure for realism also?

5.) What makes Renata believe that we are seeing the humanisation of technology? How does this affect how deep tech will be designed moving forward? How does this affect how technology truly interacts and integrates with consumer behaviour?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Renata’s Fave Book: Daring Greatly 

Renata’s Most Recent Investment: Common Networks

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Aug 7, 2017

Seth Bannon is a Founding Partner at Fifty Years, a San Francisco seed fund that backs entrepreneurs solving the world's biggest problems with technology. With a proclivity for deep tech, Seth has invested in a range of startups shaping the world for the better -- from a company culturing real meat to eat without animals, to a company building small satellites to cover the earth in internet. A graduate of Y Combinator, Seth was named twice to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurship.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Seth made his way from working on Obama's digital campaign to being a YC founder to now, founding Fifty Years?

2.) What is the Friedman Doctrine? Why does Seth think it is the most dangerous doctrine in the world? What leads Seth to believe in the potential for both purpose + profit? What is driving this change in millennial mindsets for the importance of purpose?

3.) Why does Seth believe we have seen a large increase in VC $ moving into deep tech as a space? What are the technical reasons for why seed stage deep tech investing is now such an attractive market segment? Do we have adequate deep tech growth financing?

4.) Why does Seth believe that much of Silicon Valley's talent is going to waste? How would Seth like to see talent redistributed to produce the greatest returns for society? What needs to be done for that to occur?

5.) Why is Seth so bullish in his belief for the need for fund cycles to be extended? How does Seth respond to suggestions that due to long development cycles in deep tech, investors have to carry companies for much longer? How has Seth seen the secondaries market open up over the last few years?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Seth’s Fave Book: The Idea Factory

Seth’s Fave Blog: Hacker News

Seth’s Most Recent Investment: Athelas

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Aug 4, 2017

Brian Armstrong is the Founder & CEO @ Coinbase, the startup that provides the world's most popular way to buy and sell bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. They have backing from some of the biggest and best in VC having raised over $100m from the likes of Andreesen Horowitz, USV, DFJ and many more incredible investors. As for Brian, prior to Coinbase he was a Software Engineer @ Airbnb and before that founded his own startup, Universitytutor.com

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brian made his way from Airbnb to founding one of the early disruptors in the crypto space with Coinbase?

2.) Doing an 80/20 analysis, what are the 3 fundamental differences between Bitcoin and ethereum? What is Brian's opinion on the scaling path ahead for ethereum? How do the teams behind ethereum and Bitcoin differ and what effect do these differing approaches have?

3.) What is an ICO? Does Brian believe ICOs will be a sustainable method of company financing in the future? What needs to take place to ensure for the continued momentum of ICOs? What have been the biggest surprises of ICOs for Brian?

4.) How does Brian view the regulatory stance around both ICOs and blockchain more generally? What is he concerned will happen? What would be the optimal regulatory framework for the theme to thrive? 

5.) How does the rise of blockchain disrupt the VC industry? Why does Brian agree with Naval in stating the future will involve the unbundling of money, control and advice from the realms of VC?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

Brian’s Fave Blog: Week In Ethereum

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Aug 2, 2017

Max Gazor is a General Partner @ CRV, one of the nation’s oldest and most successful VC firms now on their 16th fund and with a prior portfolio consisting of the likes of Twitter, Yammer, Zendesk and ClassPass just to name a few. As for Max, he has led deals in the likes of Airtable, Simplivity, Xamarin and many more incredible companies. Prior to CRV, Max led acquisitions and investments across enterprise and emerging technologies for Cisco’s Corporate Development team.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Max made his entry into VC and came to be General Partner @ CRV?

2.) How does Max look to really build conviction around the 1% of companies that he invests in? CRV, now on Fund 16, what have been the major lessons as a firm about operating a VC fund successfully? How does CRV actively implement policies to place the entrepreneur first?

3.) How does Max consider capital allocation across stages and the efficient use of follow on funding? How does he stack rank the portfolio and determine which companies to double down on and which not to?

4.) Why does Max believe that AI is where the cloud was 10 years ago? Within the segment, where is Max most excited? Why does Max often advocate for his startups to remain in stealth mode following funding?

5.) When is the right time for startups to formalize their boards? What is the right size of board in the early days? What is the one feeling that the board should make the founder feel in meetings?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Max’s Fave Book: Old Man and The Sea

Max’s Fave Blog: The Twenty Minute VC

Max’s Most Recent Investment: Airtable

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Jul 31, 2017

Will Porteous is the General Partner & COO @ RRE Ventures, one of New York's leading venture funds with investments in the likes of Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Giphy and Paperless Post just to name a few. As for Will, he works primarily with media and hardware companies, where he is a Director of BuzzFeed, Paperless Post, Spaceflight, and Spire. Prior to VC, Will held senior management positions with SupplyWorks and NetMarket, the e-commerce pioneer now owned by Cendant Corp.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Will made his entry into VC and came to be the hardware and media specialist as General Partner and COO @ RRE Ventures?

2.) Why does WIll believe VC is like the movie industry? How can VCs be prepared to movie producers? How does the talent required to make a great movie resemble that of making a great startup?

3.) Why does Will think the current venture model of 10-year life cycles is broken? How would he like to see LP liquidy opened with iterations on the current venture model? How can the secondary market be revolutionized to provide such liquidity?

4.) Why does Will believe that location awareness will drive a wave of value creation an order of magnitude greater than anything we have seen before? What is the thesis behind this? What are the barriers, both from a technology and cultural perspective?

5.) What were Will's biggest takeaways from being mentored by the legend, Bill Campbell, Former Chairman and CEO @ Intuit? What did he learn about leadership and incentivising a workforce from Bill? What example does Bill provide from seeing this at Google?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Will’s Fave Book: Radical Candor; Be A Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

Will’s Fave Blog: AVC by Fred Wilson

Will’s Most Recent Investment: The Outline

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visitwepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Jul 28, 2017

Nathan Wenzel is the Founder & CEO @ SimpleLegal, the startup that helps legal operations reduce legal spend and improve operational efficiency. They recently raised their $10m Series A led by leading SaaS investors, Emergence Capital with participation from our favourites in the team at Susa Ventures and Rincon Venture Partners. As for Nathan, prior to founding SimpleLegal he spent time in consulting and as a Partner @ BI analytics firm, Edge Solutions.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nathan made his way from consulting to BI analytics to founding one of SaaS's hottest "overnight successes" in SimpleLegal?

2.) Why does Nathan advocate for the slow and steady approach in startups? What type of business does this make sense for? Does this not go contra the traditional theory of move fast and break things?

3.) Nathan has said before that "most bay area millennials have not seen market corrections". How does Nathan's experience seeing these corrections affect his running of SimpleLegal? Why does Nathan think we have an impending market correction to come?

4.) Why must founders always know the day that they will become profitable? How does that change the way they operate and strategise the running of the business? Why is it also crucial for them to know their zero cash day?

5.) What did John really look for in his investors? What questions should founders ask potential investors pre-investment? How would John look to improve his fundraising process for the Series B?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nathan’s Fave Book: Only The Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove

Nathan’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Jul 26, 2017

Michael Ma is a Founding Partner @ Liquid 2 Ventures, one of San Francisco's younger and more exciting seed funds, also unique in having Hall of Fame quarter back, Joe Montana as another Founding Partner. Their portfolio includes the likes of previous guest, WorkRamp, NerdWallet, FanDuel and many more very exciting young companies. Prior to Liquid 2, Michael was the co-founder of TalkBin, a YC alum that later sold to Google and was an Investment Team Partner @ First Round's Dorm Room Fund.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How from Michael's parents arriving in the US with $300 Michael made his way into tech ended up in YC, selling his company to Google and ultimately being a VC with Liquid 2?

2.) Does Michael agree with the common suggestion that too much money is chasing too few deals at seed? How does Michael think raising now is different to when raising for Liquid 2? How did having Joe Montana as a founder affect the fundraise?

3.) How does Michael view the optimal decision making process? Does Michael believe in unanimity or conviction driven processes when investing with a partnership? How does this change for follow on? Why is it so important to have silver bullet deals in partnerships?

4.) Does Michael agree with the commonly stated assessment that with the scaling of YC the quality has reduced? How does Michael use his own YC experience to argue against this? How should investors be approaching YC today, in this structure?

5.) How does Michael view fund cycles when investing in such deep tech as he has? Are they too short? How does Michael look to scale the learning curve on new industries and transformational technology?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Michael’s Fave Book: Count of Monte Cristo

Michael’s Fave Blog: TermSheet

Michael’s Most Recent Investment: Vivid Vision

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users – within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visitwepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Jul 24, 2017

Rahul Mehta is a Managing Partner @ DST, one of the world's leading late stage venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Spotify and Alibaba just to name a few of the incredible companies they have backed. As for Rahul himself, he leads the firm's efforts in the US, Indonesia and India where he led deals in Snapchat, Slack, Ola Cabs, Houzz and Zalando. As a result of this incredible portfolio, Rahul was listed to the Forbes Midas List in 2016.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rahul made the way from tech investment banking to one of the leading growth funds of all time with Yuri Milner investing in Facebook?

2.) Having invested in the likes of Facebook, Snap and Alibaba, how does Rahul assess the leadership teams of some of today's leading players? What makes them the great leaders they are? How can leaders look to make the transition from Founder to CEO?

3.) Why does Rahul argue that founder led businesses are always best? What are the fundamental benefits to this? What hurdles do they have to face to remain CEO for the duration? Where does Rahul see commonalities of CEO's struggling?

4.) How does Rahul look to assess unit economics? What does Rahul have to see in the market to see the long term sustainability of unit economics? Why do companies sometimes have to have poor unit economics in the beginning?

5.) How does Rahul assess the balance of building competitive barriers to entry or focussing on aggressive expansion and being first to market? How does this differ according to sector and funding? How will this change in the future?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rahul’s Fave Book: Open by Andre Agassi

Rahul's Most Recent Investment: Wish

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users - within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Jul 21, 2017

Jenna Brown is the Founder & CEO @ Shipamax, a data driven communications platform for brokers and operators. They recently raised their seed round from the likes of FF Angel, Y Combinator, Cherubic Ventures, and top angels including Lee Linden and my personal favorite, Andy Rankin. Prior to Shipamax, Jenna was Head of Global Expansion @ GoCardless, one of London's leading Fintech players and before that was herself a trader at RWE Trading.

 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jenna made her way from ship broker to YC alum, changing the world of shipping with Shipamax?

2.) How does Jenna compare fundraising in the UK to Europe? Was it a challenge raising US funds, considering Jenna was operating outside of the valley? How did Jenna look to mitigate these concerns?

3.) How did Jenna experience both direct and indirect sexual discrimination throughout the fundraising process? Which form was harder to deal with? How did Jenna respond? In hindsight, would Jenna have done anything differently?

4.) What does Jenna advise founders in terms of taking operator VC money vs non-operator VC money? What differing questions must be asked? What should founders be wary of with both types of investors?

5.) Why does Jenna disagree with the commonly held suggestion that you must get people to pay for your product as soon as possible? Why is this not the case always? In what cases is it optimal to have a smoother and faster onboarding?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jenna’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

Jenna’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

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

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

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users - within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

Jul 19, 2017

Jason Pressman is a Managing Director @ Shasta Ventures who have made investments in the likes of Nest, Dollar Shave Club, Smule, Class Dojo and more. With 10 portfolio company investments under his belt, Jason invests in both enterprise and consumer, currently serving on the boards of Crittercism, subscription billing unicorn Zuora, as well as Nextdoor and mobile music platform Smule. Prior to joining Shasta, Jason was Vice President, Strategy and Operations at venture-backed Walmart.com, where he took the online retailer from zero to large scale revenue in five years.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jason made his way into the world of venture from Walmart? What were the big takeaways from seeing Walmart enter their hyper-growth phase?

2.) Why does Jason believe it is bullshit to say, "you never regret paying a high price for getting into a good company"? How does Jason evaluate entry point? What makes one entry point attractive and another not?

3.) What does Jason see as the catalysts for the opening of public markets to tech companies? How long does he think this will continue? Is he concerned by the likes of Yext, IPOing with less than aggressive growth rates?

4.) Why does Jason believe there are only 2 price points that work in SaaS? What are they? How does this affect the structure and operations of your SaaS startup? What are the circumstances in which these price points do not apply?

5.) Why does Jason believe that eSports will be bigger than the NBA in 5 years? What are the catalysts driving this change? What needs to be formulated within eSports for this to happen?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jason’s Fave Book: First, Break All The Rules

Jason’s Most Recent Investment: Plays.tv

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.

WePay helps online platforms increase revenue through integrated payments processing, helping platforms offer ROI-positive integrated payments to their users - within their UX and without taking on fraud & regulatory exposure. WePay also offers award-winning support and can even work with your team thru Slack or Zendesk. Get the payments revenue you want, without getting bogged down every time a user has a payments question. Simply visit wepay.com/harry

PipeDrive is the Sales CRM and pipeline management software to use, with the primary view being the pipeline a clear visual interface that prompts you to take action, remain organized and stay in control of a complex sales process. This is why sales pros and deal makers love it (my words, not Pipedrive’s). Plus it easily lets you find the stats you need and is fully customizable. Even better, you can signup for free on here it really is a must.

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