Info

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.
RSS Feed
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
2020
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: 2019
Dec 30, 2019

Rob Salvagno is VP of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments at Cisco, where he is responsible for leading all M&A efforts as well as managing Cisco’s strategic venture capital which invests hundreds of millions of dollars annually. At Cisco, Rob led the $1.2 billion acquisition of Meraki, one of the most successful platform acquisitions in Cisco’s history, and the $3.7 billion acquisition of AppDynamics, cementing Cisco’s place in the business intelligence, analytics and IT operations market. Most recently, Rob engineered the $2.3 billion acquisition of Duo, the leading provider of unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud. Prior to the world of M&A, Rob was a technology investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rob made his way from investment banking to leading the M&A and venture activity for one of the world's largest tech players of the last decade?

2.) How do M&A teams like to get to know startups that they could invest in or acquire? How does Rob like to work with the venture ecosystem? How does Rob think on Paul Graham's comment of "do not talk to corp dev"? What are the nuances here? How does it differ for consumer vs enterprise? 

3.) How does Rob define true success when it comes to M&A evaluation? Should corp dev be strategy first or transaction first? What have been Rob's biggest lessons on successful integration? Where do so many go wrong with integration post M&A? What questions can be asked ahead of time to know if integration and culture will be a fit? 

4.) How does Rob reflect on his own price sensitivity today? How does Rob feel about the multiples enterprise companies are currently trading at? What have Rob's most successful acquisitions taught him about price and price sensitivity? How does Rob deal with the inherent conflict of investing and also acquiring companies? How does he communicate that to the companies he invests in? 

5.) What does the acquisition-decision making process look like at Cisco? How does it differ on a deal by deal basis? What do Cisco do to allow them to move so much faster than any other M&A teams? What have been Rob's lessons on the importance of speed in winning the best transactions? 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rob’s Fave Book: The Poisonwood Bible

Rob’s Most Recent Acquisitions: CloudCherryVoicea

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

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

Dec 23, 2019

Bill Gurley is a General Partner @ Benchmark Capital, one of the most successful funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Uber, Twitter, Dropbox, WeWork, Snapchat, StitchFix, eBay and many many more. As for Bill, widely recognised as one of the greats of our time having worked with the likes of GrubHub, NextDoor, Uber, OpenTable, Stitch Fix and Zillow. Prior to Benchmark, Bill was a partner with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Before entering venture, Bill spent four years on Wall Street as a top-ranked research analyst, including three years at CS First Boston where his research coverage included such companies as Dell, Compaq, and Microsoft, and he was the lead analyst on the Amazon IPO.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Bill make his way into the world of VC from Credit Suisse and come to be GP at one of the world’s leading funds in the form of Benchmark? What were Bill’s biggest takeaways from seeing the boom and bust of the dot com? How did that impact Bill’s investment mentality today?

2.) Why does Bill believe that one of the biggest challenges today is the abundance of capital? Subsequently, does Bill agree with Peter Fenton statement, “never turn down a deal based on the valuation it is a mental trap”? How does Bill assess his own price sensitivity? What was his learning here in meeting Larry and Serge early on with Google?

3.) How does Bill think about and approach market sizing today? How important is it to him when analysing an investment? Where does Bill believe a lot of managers make mistakes when assessing market sizing today? What was his big lesson here with Uber? How does Bill think about and evaluate market creation and market expansion plays?

4.) Bill has spent over 3,000 hours on some of the most famed boards of the last decade, how has Bill seen his style of board membership change over the last 10 years? What advice would you give to someone who has just joined their first board? How does Bill think about time allocation across the portfolio? What is the right ratio?

5.) How does Bill and Benchmark approach the element of partner selection today? What are the 5 core things that Bill looks for when adding to the partnership? What have Benchmark done that have allowed them to be so successful in generational transition? Why is an equal partnership so transformative when it comes to generational transition?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Bill’s Fave Book: Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos

Bill’s Most Recent Investment: Good Eggs

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

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

Dec 20, 2019

Brandon Deer is VP of Operations & Strategy @ UiPath, one of the world's fastest-growing companies providing a complete software platform to help organizations efficiently automate business processes through robotic process automation. To date, UiPath has raised over $977m in funding from some of the best in the world including Sequoia, Accel, Meritech, IVP, CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins, Coatue and more. As for Brandon, prior to UiPath he spent 4 years as Vice President @ OpenView Partners where he made investments in Expensify, Logz.io, VTS and Pipefy to name a couple. Before OpenView, Brandon spent close to 4 years at Intuit in Strategy and Business Development.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brandon made his way from being a rising star in the world of venture with Openview to leading one of the fastest-growing companies in history in UiPath? What has been the most surprising element in making the transition from investor to operator?

2.) How does Brandon think about decision-making today? How does he determine what to spend time on vs what to delegate? What does he mean when he says, "you have to think whether it is rubber or crystal?" How does that ultimately guide decision-making?

3.) What does the UiPath software actually do? What is the relationship between RPA and AI? Where do they differ? Where do they intersect? Recently, RPA has seen a meteoric rise, is this sustainable over the long term? How does Brandon respond to the suggestion that RPA is replacing human jobs? What is the human and societal impact?

4.) How does Brandon think about vulnerability in leadership? Why does Daniel and Brandon's relationship work so well today? What has Daniel (Founder) taught Brandon about communicating that vulnerability the right way and authentically? What does Brandon advise founders in terms of being open to their vulnerabilities?

5.) What are the biggest challenges in scaling an organisation to the 1,000+ person organisation that UiPath is today? What breaks When does it break? How does one maintain culture wit such scale? What have been the challenges of building a truly global business from Day 1? How do they look to mitigate them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brandon’s Fave Book: The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable

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

Dec 16, 2019

Adam D’Augelli is a Partner @ True Ventures, one of the West Coast’s leading early-stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit, Peloton, Hashicorp, Tray.io, Ring, Automattic (makers of WordPress) and many more amazing companies. As for Adam, he has spent close to 10 years at True where he has led investments in Hashicorp, Ring, Splice and Namely, just to name a few. Prior to joining the world of venture with True, Adam was an instructor at The University of Florida in Business Finance. Before that Adam was the Founder of Perfect Wave Records, a donation-based record label - helping bands better monetize the relationships with their fans.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Adam made his way into the world of venture with True having had a slightly unorthodox start as an Instructor at The University of Florida?

2.) How does Adam think about portfolio construction today with True? Is it still possible to get 20% ownership on first check? Does Adam believe you can build ownership in subsequent rounds? Does this mean we are seeing the end to rounds being co-led? What does Adam make of pre-emptive rounds? How do True respond to them today?

3.) How does True think about initial vs re-investment decision-making? How do the decision processes differ? Does Adam believe it is possible to stack rank companies and allocate capital accordingly? What is the right way to tell a founder you will not be re-investing? How does Adam think about risk maximisation at a company level?

4.) As a partnership, how does True look to create an environment of safety where both conviction and concerns can be expressed? What should partnerships not do? Why is attribution so dangerous to this EQ of the partnership? How does the partnership work with the companies at a company level? How does True view board seats? How does True think about when is the right time to roll off boards?

5.) What were Adam's biggest takeaways from leading Ring's seed to their acquisition by Amazon? How does Adam think about the importance of market vs the importance of people when investing? How does Adam think about company failure, post-mortems and subsequent next steps?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Adam’s Fave Book: Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation and the State

Adam’s Most Recent Investment: Membio

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

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

Dec 9, 2019

John Vrionis is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Unusual Ventures, the firm that is redefining seed investing and raising the bar for what entrepreneurs should expect from a seed investment firm. Prior to founding Unusual, John spent 11 years as a Partner @ Lightspeed where his investments included Mulesoft, AppDynamics, Nimble Storage and Heptio to name a few. Before Lightspeed John spent time in product management and sales @ Determina and Freedom Financial Network.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did John make his way into the world of venture and come to be a Partner @ Lightspeed? How did that lead to his founding Unusual? How did his father's MS diagnosis change his mentality towards both investing and how he views the world? What were John's biggest takeaways from his 12 years with the Lightspeed partnership?

2.) Where does John feel the bar needs to be raised in venture? What does the current product not offer? What do seed-stage founders fundamentally need? How have Unusual structured the firm to provide this? How was the fundraise for John? What does John know post-closing that he wishes he had known at the beginning? What advice would John give to aspiring emerging managers? Why is LP diversity so important to John?

3.) Why does John believe taking multi-stage money at seed is not in the best interests of the founder? How does John explain this logically to founders? Does John agree with Semil Shah, "founders are voting with their feet and choosing multi-stage funds"? Why does John believe to be truly best in class, you have to specialise? Does this not go against the data of Benchmark, Sequoia, Founders Fund, all generalist funds, having the best returns?

4.) How does John think about being company vs being founder first? What does one do when alignment erodes between the interest of the firm and the interest of the founder? How does John look to build a relationship of trust and honesty with his founders? What works? What does not work? How does John feel about VCs being friends with their founders?

5.) What is the most challenging element of John's role today with Unusual? Who is the best board member John has ever sat on a board with? Why and what did he learn? What would John most like to change about the world of venture today? What would he like to remain the same?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

John’s Fave Book: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKEGive and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

John’s Most Recent Investment: Shujinko

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

Dec 6, 2019

Emmanuel Schalit is the Founder & CEO @ Dashlane, the company that provides your all-in-one internet shortcut for passwords, payments and personal info. To date, Emmanuel has raised over $192m in funding for Dashlane from some of the best in the business including Jim Goetz @ Sequoia Capital, Rick @ Firstmark, Alex @ Bessemer and Habib @ Rho, just to name a few. As for Emmanuel, prior to founding Dashlane, he was the CEO @ CBS Outdoor in France and before that COO @ La Martiniere Group.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Emmanuel made his way from CEO of 5,000+ people companies to founding Dashlane and changing the world of passwords and identification? How does Emmanuel asses his own risk profile moving from CEO of a large company to starting Dashlane?

2.) Is Emmanuel concerned by the excess capital available today? Why does Emmanuel believe that raising a mega-round makes your life as a founder harder, not easier? What specifically becomes harder? How does Emmanuel advise founders when it comes to burn and capital efficiency? How does Emmanuel think about when is the right time to pour fuel on the fire? 

3.) Where does Emmanuel think that VCs do tangibly add real value? Where does Emmanuel believe that despite what some think, VCs do not add value in certain areas? What have been Emmanuel's biggest lessons of operating and managing a VC board? What does he advise founders starting out on this learning curve?

4.) What does Emmanuel believe are the core challenges of scale? What breaks at what specific points? How has Emmanuel seen himself scale in his role as CEO? What have been the most challenging element to scale into? How did Emmanuel get through them and what does he do to mitigate them now?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

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

Dec 2, 2019

David Tisch is the Founder & Managing Partner @ BoxGroup, one of the leading early-stage firms in NYC with a portfolio that includes the likes of Flexport, RigUp, Ro, Glossier, Clearbit, PillPack and Plaid, to name a few. Recently they raised their first external capital with 2 separate vehicles totalling over $160m. David is also Professor and Head of Startup Studio @ Cornell Tech. Prior to BoxGroup, he was Managing Director of Techstars NYC and before that was an Executive Vice President @ KGB.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of early-stage investing? How he made the transition from prolific angel investor to raising $160m+ in external capital? Why did David feel now was the right time to raise external funding after 10 years of self-funding? How has taking on external capital changed his investing mindset?

2.) Many suggest that "concentrated seed investing does not work", how does David think about and assess portfolio construction? May others also suggest that, "seed investors are not company builders", does David agree with that? Does David believe investors can change the trajectory of a company? Where can they help the most? Where do many think they help but they actually do not?

3.) Why does David believe that founders do not speak openly about bad experiences with VCs? What have been David's biggest lessons on the right way to turn down an opportunity? Do founders really want direct and honest feedback? Is it actually damaging to give it to them? Why? How does David approach this?

4.) Why does David believe "consumer social is interesting again"? Why was it not interesting for a while? How does that mean David is approaching the category? What does David mean when he says, "for the first time ever there is no channel to arbitrage on the internet"? Is David concerned by the state of CACs today? How much attention does David pay to CAC/LTV in the early days? What are the key signals?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave TV Show: Survivor

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

Nov 29, 2019

Jason Brown is the Founder & CEO @ Tally, the startup that allows you to pay off your credit card debt faster and save money. To date, Jason has raised over $92m for Tally from the likes of Mamoon @ Kleiner, Angela @ a16z, Nikhil @ Shasta and Aileen @ Cowboy just to name a few. As for Jason, prior to Tally, he spent 5 years as the Founder and CEO Kleiner Perkins backed, Gen110. Before that Jason founded Bask, a company providing both technical support and pro-active maintenance.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jason came to change the world of consumer finance with Tally having spent 5 years in the solar financing sector and even a year in venture? Given his prior entrepreneurial activities, does Jason agree with Joe Fernande @ JoyMode that "serial entrepreneurship is overrated"?

2.) Does Jason believe that founders should always be raising? What is the right way to truly determine whether an investor is aligned to your mission? What should you look for in how they behave and speak? How does Jason like to build relationships with investors pre-term sheet? Is Jason concerned by the compressed fundraising timelines today?

3.) Why does Jason believe that VC funded companies are largely not over-priced? What elements of the macro-economy does Jason attribute as the reason for the high valuations today? Why does Jason believe that we should not celebrate new fundraising? Is the celebration not good for the morale of the team? What should we celebrate instead?

4.) Why does Jason believe that the target for investors is they provide no value? What are you looking to avoid? What are the core ways an investor can damage the success of a company? What can founders do to truly extract the most from their investor base? Does Jason believe one should focus on the VC partner or the firm? Why?

5.) What does Jason believe makes the best board members? What advice would Jason give to new board members on how they can truly be the best board member? Why does Jason do onboarding sessions for all new board members? What does he look to instil in this process? What behaviour at the board should not be tolerated? How should the founder communicate this to their investor?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

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

Nov 25, 2019

Josh Buckley manages a $50m early-stage fund and as an angel has built a portfolio that includes the likes of Clearbit (Chairman), Rippling, Boom Supersonic, Lattice, Embark and many more incredible companies. Josh is also the Founder & Chairman @ Mino Games, the gaming studio he scaled to $20m in annual revenue and raising $40m in funding for the company.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Josh make his way into the world of startups at the age of just 15? How did that lead to becoming the youngest YC founder ever?

2.) What does Josh mean when he says, "the best entrepreneurs are cockroaches"? How does Josh think about capital efficiency today? Does Josh agree with Bill Gurley in stating the biggest challenge today is "the oversupply of capital"? How does Josh advise his portfolio today on raising big rounds? Capital efficiency? Burn rates?

3.) As both a fund manager and founder, what have been some of Josh's biggest takeaways from now investing in 100+ companies as an angel? How has investing impacted Josh's operating mentality? What are the benefits of angel investing? What are the potential dangers? What advice would Josh give to founders entering the world of angel investing?

4.) What are the biggest elements people underestimate when it comes to CAC? What have been Josh's biggest lessons on the volatility of CAC over time? How are we seeing the platforms evolve and develop their tech and pricing? How important is channel diversity to Josh? What is balanced? What is not? What have been Josh's biggest lessons when it comes to payback period and it changing over time?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Josh’s Fave Blog/ Newsletter: Paul Graham Blog

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

Nov 18, 2019

Ash Fontana is a Managing Director @ Zetta Venture Partners, the fund that invests in AI-first companies with B2B business models. As for Ash, prior to Zetta he started the money side of AngelList, where, he launched online investing, created the first startup ‘index fund’. He also ran special projects like AngelList’s expansion into Europe and the UK. Simultaneously, Ash led syndicates and made investments in Canva, Mixmax and others. Before AngelList, Ash co-founded Topguest, a Founders Fund-backed company that built customer analytics technology and was ultimately sold in an 8 figure transaction 18 months after the company was founded.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ash made his way into the world of venture with AngelList and how that led to his joining Zetta today, investing exclusively in AI? What did Ash's time working on his family farm teach him about vertically integrated businesses? What were his biggest takeaways from AngelList and working alongside Naval?

2.) What does AI-first really mean to Ash? How crucial is it for companies to have proprietary datasets today? Are data moats truly defensible and real? What are the 5 characteristics that determine the level of defensibility of a dataset? How does Ash analyse the quality of a dataset? What does Ash do to determine if they are predictive of value?

3.) We often hear the term, "system of record", why is Ash so much more excited by the "system of intelligence"? Why is the basis of competitive advantage shifting from SaaS today as a model? How do the margin structure vastly differ when comparing AI-first companies to SaaS companies? How does that mean one should view capital efficiency?

4.) What does Ash believe drives business model quality? What are the commonalities in the business models of those that have made it big? Why does Ash believe it is difficult for incumbent companies to become AI-first? How difficult is it for incumbents to acquire smaller AI-first firms and integrate their policies and technology?

5.) Why does Ash love Howard marks and what has been his biggest learnings from studying him? How has Ash applied these learnings to his investing today? What has Ash also learned from the Italian masters of design? How has this study helped Ash as a VC? What has Ash optimised lately? What is Ash's favourite optimisation?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ash’s Fave Book: The Strategy of Life: Teleology and Mechanics in Nineteenth-Century German Biology

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

 

Nov 15, 2019

Dom Holland is the Founder & CEO @ Fast, the world's fastest login and checkout with no more passwords, no more typing credit card details or shipping addresses. The special announcement today, Fast have just raised their seed round led by Jan Hammer @ Index, joined by Susa Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Global Founders Capital and then angels including Nick Molnar, Founder @ Afterpay and proud to say I joined the round as an angel also. Prior to Fast, Domm was a Director @ Tap Tins, a network of smart tap-to-donate collection terminals. Domm was also the Founder & CEO @ Tow, an on-demand towing platform which transacted $50m in its first 4 years.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Domm made his way from founding an on-demand towing company in Queensland, Australia to founding one of Silicon Valley's hottest new startups in Fast?

2.) What did Domm do in prior companies that worked and he will do again with Fast? What did not work and he will look to avoid? Does Domm agree with Joe Fernandez @ JoyMode in saying, "serial entrepreneurship is overrated"? What advice does Domm give to first-time founders? Where do they most often make mistakes?

3.) Over the last few years we have seen incredible innovation on the merchant side of payments with Stripe and Adyen but why does Domm believe we have seen no innovation on the consumer side? Why have large internet platforms not built it themselves? Does it have to be an independent 3rd party, external to Google, Facebook, Amazon etc?

4.) With the war for talent, rising rents and a lower standard of living, why did Domm choose SF as the base for Fast? How has the move been? What have been the biggest challenges? What would Domm advise founders contemplating moving to SF? How has Domm been able to hire some big hitter valley operators so early on? How does Domm think about equity sharing and optimising ESOP plans?

5.) Jan Hammer @ Index has discussed Domm's work mentality, so how does Domm structure his day? What does Domm do to ensure he optimises every minute? What work habits has Dom found to be most effective? What has not worked? How does Domm think about balancing speed and quality when executing today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dom's Fave Productivity Tool: Superhuman

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

Nov 11, 2019

Rick Heitzmann is a Founder and Partner @ Firstmark Capital, one of the leading East Coast venture funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Airbnb, Pinterest, InVision, Shopify and Discord to name a few. As for Rick, he led the seed round for Pinterest and also led the deals from Firstmark in Ro, Riot Games, Draft Kings, Discord and Airbnb. Prior to founding FirstMark, Rick was an entrepreneur as a founding member at First Advantage which he helped grow and sell to First American (NYSE: FAF). Rick has been recognized by CB Insights and the New York Times as a Top 100 Venture Capitalist globally.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rick made his way into the world of venture and came to found one of NYC's leading venture funds in the form of Firstmark?

2.) How did seeing the booms and bust of the macro impact Rick's investment mentality today? With the impending crash, what 2 things does Rick advise managers need to prepare their portfolio by doing? Does Rick agree with Bill Gurley in saying, "the biggest challenge of today is the over-supply of capital"?

3.) How has Rick seen his style of investing change over the last 20 years? How does Rick think about price sensitivity today? How has that changed over the years? How has Rick seen himself change and evolve as a board member? What does Rick believe makes the best board members? What advice would Rick give to someone who has gained their first board seat?

4.) How does Rick think about the structure of the Firstmark portfolio today? How important does Rick believe it is to have temporal diversification within the portfolio? How does Rick think about optimising investment decision-making processes at Firstmark? Why does Rick believe, despite the negatives, that attribution is fundamentally important?

5.) Does Rick believe that we are in a consumer bubble today? What are the core elements that pique Rick's interest when analysing a consumer investment today? How does Rick think about CAC's scaling way faster and higher than anyone expected? Why does Rick believe the duopoly of FB and Google is now over? Why does Rick believe that true venture size exits can still occur in consumer?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rick’s Fave Book: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Rick’s Most Recent Investment: Crisp

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

Nov 8, 2019

Ryan Denehy is the Founder & CEO @ Electric.ai, the company that provides a world-class IT solution that's centralized, secure, and lightning-fast. To date, Ryan has raised over $37m in funding from some dear friends of the show in Rich @ GGV, Bessemer, Primary, Bowery, just to name a few. As for Ryan, he started his career at the tender age of 17 launching an action sports video production company, which was acquired just 4 years later. Ryan then spent 5 years at USA Today in numerous different roles. Following USA Today, Ryan started his second company, Swarm, acquired by Groupon just 3 years later.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ryan made his way into the world of startups from launching an action sports video production company at the age of 17?

2.) Having founded 2 prior companies, would Ryan agree with Joe Fernande @ JoyMode in saying that "serial entrepreneurship is overrated"? What did he do right in the first 2 companies that he would look to do again? What did not work that he is avoiding? Where does Ryan most often see first-time founders make mistakes scaling?

3.) How does Ryan think about and assess wartime leadership? What is the right leadership style and approach to battle through the really tough times? Ryan's investors talk of his speed of execution, how does Ryan balance the speed with the quality when it comes to execution? How has Ryan seen both his role and the way in which he executes it change with the scale of the company and of himself? 

4.) How does Ryan thnk about and assess forward planning when it comes to recruitment? How should this recruitment planning align to fundraising? Why must it start before the fundraise? How does Ryan think about levelling up individuals internally vs hiring external candidates? How does Ryan think about and present internal expectation setting? 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ryan’s Fave Book: Barbarians At The Gate

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

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

Nov 4, 2019

Lisa Edgar is a Managing Director @ Top Tier Capital Partners, one of the leading venture fund of funds over the last decade. Included in their stellar fund portfolio is the likes of Index, Initialized, True Ventures, a16z and Boldstart, to name a few. Prior to Top Tier, Lisa was part of the asset management team at WR Hambrecht + Co focusing on new and emerging private equity funds. Before that, Lisa spent ten years at Horsley Bridge.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Lisa make her way into the world of investing in funds and how did that lead to her becoming Managing Director at one of the leaders, Top Tier?

2.) Lisa has seen the boom and bust of the macroeconomy twice now, how has that impacted her mindset today when investing in funds? What have been the most prominent changes in the venture ecosystem that Lisa has seen over the last 20 years? What changes have been good? What changes have been bad?

3.) What is the best way to get in the room with LPs? Does it have to be through warm intro? What are the signs for the GP that that first meeting went well? If an LP does not respond to emails, does that mean they don't want to do it? How does Lisa and Top Tier structure the investment decision-making process? How does that differ when re-investing in existing managers? Is it worth it for first-time funds to pitch institutions for fund 1 when they know they will not invest in the fund?

4.) How does Lisa think about GP commits today? How does Lisa look at what is reasonable and what is required? Is it individual and context-based? How does Lisa feel about different carry structures? Are kickers when past a certain return profile amenable to LPs?

5.) Lisa has seen some of the best emerging managers in the US over the last decade, what learnings does she have from them in terms of what separates the good from the great? How do they think about partnership dynamics? How do they think about firm culture? How do they think about generational transition?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Lisa’s Fave Book: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Lisa’s Most Recent Investment: Boldstart Ventures

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

Nov 1, 2019

Vlad Magdalin is the Founder & CEO @ Webflow, the startup that allows you to build better business websites, faster, without coding. To date, Vlad has raised over $73m with Webflow from some dear friends of the show including Accel, Ron @ Rainfall, Brianne @ Work Life, Benjamin Ling and Y Combinator to name a few. Prior to founding Webflow, Vlad was a Senior Software Engineer @ Intuit. Before Intuit, Vlad co-founded Chatterfox, a web application allowing people to stay in touch with groups of friends, family, or co-workers.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Vlad made his way into the world of startups? How did the original idea to democratise the world of design and site creation with Webflow come about?

2.) Webflow has had an unorthodox funding path with their recent $73m Series A, how was it for Vlad raising the seed round with Webflow? What lessons did he learn from that raise? Why did they drive to be breakeven so much earlier than others might? Why did Vlad believe now was the right time to go big and raise the Series A?

3.) Vlad chose to partner with Accel, what advice does Vlad give to founders in determining which funding partner to choose? What makes for the best VC <> founder relationships? What is the optimal way to build those relationships? Where does Vlad believe that VCs can strategically move the needle? Where do many think VCs can really help but they most often cannot?

4.) What have been Vlads biggest lessons when it comes to successful board management? What advice would Vlad give Harry when it comes to joining boards as new board member? What does Vlad mean when he says, the best board members come to the board with the mindset of "servant leadership"? How do they show that in their actions? How can investors create an environment of trust at the board?

5.) Vlad AMA: Why does Vlad believe that it is a distraction for founders to be angel investing alongside their role as a founder? How does he believe this creates a wedge between them and the team? How has having kids impacted how he thinks about operating today? What have been the big takeaways from fatherhood?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Vlad’s Fave Book: Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

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

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

Oct 28, 2019

Ben Horowitz is a Co-Founder and General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, one of the leading and most prestigious venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Github, Slack, Lyft, Coinbase and many more incredible companies. Ben is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, and the upcoming Harper Business book, What You Do Is Who You Are, available October 29. Prior to a16z, Ben was Co-Founder and CEO of Opsware, acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in 2007. Previously, Ben ran several product divisions at Netscape Communications, including the widely acclaimed Directory and Security product line.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Ben make his way into the world of venture having previously co-founded Opsware? What was the original thinking for a16z? How did seeing the booms and busts of the market as an operator, impact how Ben thinks about investing today?

2.) In the book Ben says, "If soldiers trust the general, communication will be vastly more efficient". What have been Ben's biggest lessons on how to create an environment of trust quickly? As a board member, how does Ben create an environment of trust for the founder? What is Ben's advice to Harry having just gained his first board seat last year?

3.) Ben has said before of the importance of creating "shocking rules". What are the rules for creating these shocking rules? What are the best rules composed of? Given their shocking nature, how does one instil them in the organisation? What does Ben think is the most shocking rule he has implemented at a16z?

4.) What does ben believe that founders can take away from the rituals of the Samurai? Why does Ben believe that "meditating on company downfalls will enable you to build your culture the right way". Why is the negativity so helpful in forming the right culture? How does ben advise founders when their company is struggling, the team knows it and morale is low? What happened at Okta? How did they turn the culture and business around?

5.) Ben has previously spoken about bringing in external leadership from the cultures you want to master. How does one know when is the right time to bring in this external influence? What can we learn from observing Google Cloud's strategy? How does one retain the old culture but augment it with the new? What were some of Ben's biggest hiring lessons when operating? How does Ben get employees to "feel a sense of urgency", when a change needs to occur?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Book: The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution

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

Oct 25, 2019

Steve Huffman is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Reddit, home to thousands of communities, endless conversation, and authentic human connection. To date, Reddit has raised over $550m in funding from some of the world's leading investors including Sequoia Capital, Marc Andreesen, Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Sam Altman, Josh Kushner, Alfred Lin and Tencent, just to name a few. Steve started his career at Y Combinator as one of their first alumni back in 2005. At YC, Steve co-founded Reddit with Alexis Ohanian, which they sold in 2006 to Conde Naste Publications. In 2010, Steve co-founded Hipmunk, making business travel seamless and easy. Then in 2015, Steve re-joined Reddit as their CEO.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Steve made his way into the world of startups and came to be one of the very first ever entrants in the now hailed Y Combinator? How did that lead to the founding of Reddit? Why did Steve return to Reddit, the company he founded, in 2015?

2.) What were Steve's biggest lessons from his journey with Hipmunk when it came to product feedback and iteration? How does Steve assess people's reliance on data today to drive product decisions? Why does he believe 3 criteria must be considered? What are the other two? What time did Steve see the confidence of his own intuition really increase?

3.) How does Steve think about stress management today? What was he like when he was younger in his relationship to stress? What did he actively do to change his relationship to stress? How has Steve seen himself change and develop as a CEO? What have been the inflection points? What has he struggled and also made mistakes in the journey?

4.) What have been Steve's biggest lessons when it comes to hiring truly A* talent at scale? What are the commonalities in the very best hires Steve has made? In the cases of it not working, what does Steve advise founders on the right way to let someone go? How does one do it with efficiency and compassion?

5.) Why does Steve believe that in dense cities, self-driving cars will not be that useful? How does Steve envisage the future of consumer transportation? What does he believe are the alternatives to self-driving cars? How does Steve see the future for the unbundling of social networks? Will they be unbundled into specific communities? How will this look?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Steve’s Fave Book: Shogun: The First Novel of the Asian saga: A Novel of Japan

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

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

Oct 21, 2019

Arif Janmohamed is a Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the leading firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Snapchat, Mulesoft, Max Levchin’s Affirm, AppDynamics and many more incredible companies. Some of Arif's most notable companies that he has led or been involved with for LSVP includel; TripActions, Blend, Nutanix, AppZen, MoveWorks and more. Prior to Lightspeed, Arif worked in the corporate business development team @ Cisco as part of transaction leadership and execution on a number of deals including WebEx. Before WebEx, Arif founded WVP Ventures, a student-run venture capital organization.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Arif made his way into venture and came to be one of the valley's leading enterprise investors with Lightspeed?

2.) We are seeing pricing hit 100x ARR multiples, does Arif believe we are seeing enterprise investing as past it's peak? Are we seeing late-cycle momentum investing? Would Arif agree with matt Harris, "Series A pricing does not matter anymore?" How does Arif assess his own price sensitivity today? How has it changed over time?

3.) Why does Arif believe that market risk is the most dangerous risk to underwrite as a VC? How does Arif think about and assess market timing? What has changed over the last few years to unlock such quantums of capital into the enterprise market? With the acquisitions of Duo, Mulesoft, Qualtrics, will we have a next-gen incumbent set or will it be an environment of existing incumbent consolidation?

4.) What does Arif specifically believe founders need to get right when it comes to company design, in order to scale to a $5-10Bn market leader? In terms of the go-to-market, who does Arif think has nailed it most recently? Why? How does Arif test for a founding team's ability to execute on go-to-market when meeting them early on?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Arif’s Fave Book: Stumbling on HappinessHow Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease

Arif’s Most Recent Investment: TripActions

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

Oct 18, 2019

Roy Bahat is the Head of Bloomberg Beta, one of the leading early-stage funds in the valley and NYC with a portfolio that includes the likes of Flexport, Kobalt, Textio, Rigetti Computing and more incredible companies. Prior to Bloomberg Beta, Roy was the Co-Founder & Chairman @ Ouya, the company that created a new kind of games console and raised over $33m from the likes of Kleiner, Alibaba and even $8.6m on Kickstarter. Before the world of startups, Roy held numerous incredible and fascinating roles including Director of International Strategy at New York's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games and also was a Senior Policy Director in the Office of the May of New York City.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Roy made his way from policy director for Mike Bloomberg to entering the world of venture and leading Bloomberg Beta?

2.) What is the big news when it comes to Bloomberg Beta? Roy has previously said, "your fund size is your strategy", what did he mean by this? What does that mean for BB moving forward? How has Bill seen what founders want from their VC change over the last 6 years? How is being "founder-friendly" vs the founder being your "customer" different?

3.) Investment Decision-Making: Does Roy believe that speed is the biggest determinant in winning deals today? What else does Roy believe is crucial? What have been some of Roy's biggest lessons in how to build trust early with founders? How does Roy and BB approach investment decision-making on initial investment? How does this change when it comes to reserve allocation decisions?

4.) Price sensitivity: Roy has said before that, "price is the dependent variable", what does he mean by this? Why is it wrong to assume that the price a VC is willing to pay shows their level of belief in your company? How does fund size change this? How does Roy think about large multi-stage funds playing at seed? How has it impacted seed?

5.) Boards: Why does Roy call boards "b-o-r-e-d-s"? When does Roy think it is important to instil a board? Why is it dangerous to have a board too early in the life of a company? What have been some of Roy's biggest lessons from sitting on a board with Alfred Lin @ Sequoia?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Roy's Fave Book: Ain't No Makin' It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood

Roy’s Most Recent Investment: States Title

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

Oct 14, 2019

Brianne Kimmel is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Work Life Ventures, a very new firm focused on the future of work backed by some of the best in the valley including Marc Andreesen, Chris Dixon, Zoom's Eric Yuan, InVision's Clark Valberg and then dear friends of the show, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan and Matt Mazzeo. To date, Brianne has invested in the likes of Webflow, Tandem, Lunchclub and Girlboss to name a few. Prior to starting Work Life, Brianne spent 2 years at Zendesk on their GTM strategy; building Zendesk for startups, ultimately representing 3,000 startups and 250 accelerators. From 2013-2017 Brianne also taught over 5,000 students at General Assembly all things user acquisition and growth marketing.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brianne made her way into the world of startups and SaaS, how that led to her angel investing and what was that a-ha moment for the founding of Work Life? Why did Brianne choose to structure Work Life as a holding company?

2.) With the fund, how does Brianne think about portfolio construction? What is the right check size for her? Why does Brianne think we are seeing more angel funds than ever today? Why are we seeing so many celebrity names on the cap tables of great companies? How does Brianne think about scout programs? What impact have they had? Why is Brianne against founders actively angel investing?

3.) What does Brianne advise founders on how to structure a high-signal round? What are the two types of angels that exist in the world today? What can founders do to keep their angels actively engaged? How have what founders expect from their angels changed over the last few years? How does one measure the true value of an angel?

4.) Does Brianne agree with Semil Shah, we are seeing "founders vote with their feet and bypass seed funds for multi-stage funds"? How does Brianne advise founders when choosing between a boutique seed firm and a large multi-stage firm? What does Brianne believe are the pros and cons of taking multi-stage money at seed?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brianne’s Most Recent Investment: Pace

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

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

Oct 11, 2019

Rachel Carlson is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Guild Education, the leader in education benefits offering the single most scalable solution for preparing the workforce of today for the jobs of tomorrow. To date, Rachel has raised over $71m in funding with Guild from some of the best in venture with the likes of Michael Dearing @ Harrison Metal, Wes Chan @ Felicis, Byron Deeter @ Bessemer, Aileen @ Cowboy Ventures and Scott Raney @ Redpoint, all backing Guild. As for Rachel, prior to Guild, Rachel was the Founder of Student Blueprint, providing students with academic and career planning tools. 

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rachel made her way into the world of startups having started her career in politics and how insights gleaned from politics formed the idea for Guild Education?

2.) Why does Rachel believe that ambitious Mums are the most under-utilized asset in the economy? What are the biggest misconceptions people have about hiring and working with Mums? How can founders really implement practically facilities, tools and an environment where one can be both ambitious personally and professionally?

3.) Before the show, Byron Deeter @ Bessemer said, "Rachel has been among the best at recruiting star execs across their portfolio”. What have been Rachel's biggest lessons when it comes to hiring the very best talent? Where do most go wrong? How has her hiring style changed over the years? What are Rachel's favourite questions to ask candidates?

4.) Why does Rachel believe that mission and margin are tightly integrated? How did Rachel acquire Walmart as one of their first clients? What are the positives and negatives of having a client so huge, so early? What advice would Rachel have for other early-stage companies when they have such behemoths as clients in the early days?

5.) Why did Rachel make the move from SF to Colorado? What did Rachel strategically do to ensure the chances of success were higher? How does Rachel feel about keeping leadership teams in SF and then the rest elsewhere? How did the move impact their ability to hire the best talent? How did their move impact their ability to access the best capital? Between customers, capital and employees, who is it most important to be near?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rachel’s Fave Book: To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster CareWhere The Crawdads Sing

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

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

Oct 7, 2019

John Fein is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Firebrand Ventures, one of the leading early-stage funds in the midwest with a portfolio including the likes of ScaleFactor, Replica, Dwolla and more fantastic companies. As for John, prior to founding Firebrand, he was the Managing Director of Techstars based in Kansas City and before that spent close to 9 years at OptumRx where he managed multi-billion dollar large-scale programs for the $15B pharmacy benefit manager division of UnitedHealth Group.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How John made his way into the world of venture from scaling a pharmaceuticals business to almost $2Bn in revenue and how that led to founding Firebrand?

2.) What was it like for John raising the first fund for Firebrand with no existing network of LPs or high-net-worth individuals? How did John approach his closing strategy? How did he decide the amount of money to raise for the fund? How did Techstars Founder, David Cohen change and impact his thinking here? Was John surprised by how long the fund took to raise?

3.) What does John know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of the fundraise for the first fund? Does it ever get easier? What does John believe are the biggest challenges in managing your own fund? What does he do to mitigate them? How does running your own fund differ from operating in a venture partnership?

4.) "Seed" is so confused in meaning today so what does "seed stage" really mean to John? Does John agree with Harry that we are seeing the eradication of the pre-seed stage? Where does John believe is the ideal insertion point? Does John believe that ownership can be built over time? How does John think about reserve allocation?

5.) How does John think about the relationship-building process with founders? Is John worried by the compressed fundraising timelines we are seeing today? What can investors do to build trust with founders quickly? What signs impress John in the early days of getting to know the founder? What are some common red flags for John?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

John's Fave Book: Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna

John’s Most Recent Investment: The Minte

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

Oct 4, 2019

Jason Boehmig is the Founder & CEO @ Ironclad, the startup that provides powerful legal contracting for modern legal teams. To date, Jason has raised over $84m with Ironclad from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, Accel, Greylock, Emergence, IA Ventures, Semil Shah's Haystack and Ali Rowghani who led their recent $50m Series C from Y Combinator Continuity Fund. As for Jason, prior to founding Ironclad, he was both a corporate attorney with Fenwick & West and then also an adjunct professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jason left the world of law and made his way into the world of startups and came to be founder of one of Silicon Valley's hottest startups, Ironclad? How did Jason's experience at Lehmann Brothers impact his operating mentality today as a founder? What were his big lessons on personal conviction from seeing Lehmann unravel?

2.) Ironclad is famed for their customer discovery process, so how does Jason think about product development in the early days? What core questions does Jason ask to understand customer needs and desires? How does Jason determine what to implement and what to prioritise? How does Jason think about the balance between data vs gut in product decision-making? What have been his lessons here?

3.) When it comes to hiring, how does Jason approach keeping top of funnel constantly full? Why does Jason believe that when hiring, "when there is doubt, there is no doubt"? What are the common reasons that Jason does not hire a potentially strong candidate? How does Jason determine between a stretch VP and a stretch too far?

4.) How does Jason think about relationship building with VCs? Where do so many founders make mistakes in this process? What advice does Jason have on successfully negotiating with VCs? What works? What does not? What value-add has Jason realised VCs really can and do provide? Where is there a suggestion that they do but rarely do?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jason’s Fave Book: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

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

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

 
Sep 30, 2019

Brad Feld is Managing Director @ Foundry Group, one of the most successful venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio that includes the likes of Zynga, Fitbit, SendGrid and many more incredible companies. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars, the worldwide network of entrepreneurs in 150 countries and 300,000 alumni. Brad is also the co-author of the incredible, Venture Deals, for your chance to win a signed copy email venturedeals@foundrygroup.com with the code "First Episode".

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brad made his way into the world of venture following 40 angel checks and how that led to his co-founding Foundry Group? Why did Brad find the transition from angel to VC in the early days such a challenge? What 2 core things did he focus on when writing angel checks? How has that changed now as a VC?

2.) How did seeing the boom and bust of the dot com impact Brad’s investing mindset today? How does Brad think about investing through market cycles and the right way to think about investment cadence? Why does Brad believe that to be successful as a VC you have to be fundamentally optimistic?

3.) Where does Brad believe we are today in the cycle? Does he agree with Bill Gurley on the biggest challenge being the "oversupply of capital"? What must entrepreneurs understand with regards to market cycle dynamics and how they can and need to future-proof their business?

4.) From analysing his best investments, why has Brad come to the conclusion that TAM in the early days is really not helpful? What are the commonalities in how Brad's most successful companies approach experimentation?

5.) What does Brad mean when he says, "don't have fake CEO or fake VC days"? What does he mean when he often says, "run your fucking business"? What in Brad's mind would constitute a "fake day" vs moving the needle for your business? What does Brad think is the best way for VCs to truly get to know one another? Why is, "hey let's do a deal together one of the most hollow and fake statements in venture?"

6.) Brad has sat on some of the most meaningful boards of the last 2 decades, what have been Brad's biggest learnings on what it takes to be a great board member? How does that change with the progression of your career? What advice would Brad give to me, having just gained my first board seat? If the VC does not support the CEO, what is the right process? Why does Brad believe the VC should work for the CEO?

7.) What is Brad's biggest advice when it comes to learning how to say no? What advice does Brad hear most often that he commonly disagrees with? Why does Brad feel we are in a moment of peak noise in the ecosystem today? To be a great leader, what 2 skills does Brad believe you need to have?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brad’s Fave Book: Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry ColonnaThe Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Brad’s Most Recent Investment: Boundless

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

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

Sep 27, 2019

Julia Enthoven is the Founder & CEO @ Kapwing, the startup that provides a new, collaborative platform for creating images, videos, and GIFs. To date they have raised $13m from some dear friends of the show including Saar Guur @ CRV, Mamoon Hamid @ Kleiner Perkins, Niv Dror @ Shrug and Nikhil Basu Trivedi @ Shasta. Prior to founding Kapwing, Julia was an Associate Product Manager @ Google where she worked on everything from image search to sign up workflows.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Julia made her way into the world of startups and came to found the future of content editing with Kapwing?

2.) What does Julia believe are the 4 benefits to building a website over an app today? How does this change your development cadence and speed of product iteration? How does this change your economics and margin structure? Where does Julia see many founders making mistakes here?

3.) Why does Julia believe that marketing innovation is as important as product innovation? Kapwing is now at 1m users per month, what has been Julia's biggest lessons in scaling a customer base to this size with very little spend? How does Julia think about marketing channel mortality rate? How should founders approach this?

4.) Why did Julia decide it was better to bootstrap than straight away trying to raise VC dollars? What were the benefits of this? Was it the right decision? What was the turning point when Julia realised was the moment to raise external funding? How did her mindset change as a result of the funding? How does bootstrap life compare to VC funded startup?

5.) How is Julia finding the personal scaling journey from PM to CEO? What have been some of the biggest challenges? What has she done to overcome them? What advice would Julia have for other newly minted CEOs? What have been some of Julia's biggest lessons in what it takes to hire the very best talent early?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Julia’s Fave Book: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

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

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

1 2 3 4 Next »