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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: July, 2020
Jul 31, 2020

Clay Wilkes is the Founder & CEO @ Galileo, the API standard for card issuing and digital banking, powering many of the leading global FinTech companies including Chime, TransferWise and Monzo to name a few. Prior to their reported $1.2Bn acquisition by SoFi, Clay raised just $86M in funding with Galileo from the likes of Accel and Ryan Smith @ Qualtrics, having run the company as a profitable company before that for over 15 years. Clay also has a keen interest in philanthropy having created the Galileo foundation with his wife in 2005.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Clay made his way into the world of tech and startups more than 20 years ago and how he came to build the foundations for many fintechs today with Galileo?

2.) When looking at the current financial ecosystem does Clay believe we are in a phase of bundling or unbundling? Does Clay believe we will see the verticalisation of banking? Will every company become a payments company? Does Clay believe we will see consolidation in the space?

3.) What does Clay believe were the benefits of going 15 years withour raising VC money, building a profitable business? What are the trade offs? What could he have done if he had raised? With hindsight, does Clay wish he had raised earlier? Why was then the right time to raise?

4.) Why does Clay believe the discovery mechanism for VCs finding startups is broken? How did Clay select the venture firm he chose to work with, Accel? What advice does Clay give to board members when it comes to being the best board member to their founders?

5.) Why did Clay believe that selling to SoFi was the right decision? What are the benefits of the merger? How does Clay think about the competitive element that many of Galileo's current clients are competitors with SoFi? How do they remedy and solve for that today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

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

Jul 27, 2020

Brad Feld is a Co-Founder and Managing Director @ Foundry Group, one of the most successful venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Zynga, Fitbit and Sendgrid to name a few. Brad is also a co-founder @ Techstars and prior to Foundry, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital. 

Tracy Lawrence spent the last 8 years as Founder & CEO @ Chewse, the startup that it effortless for office managers to order delicious food for their teams.  Tracy grew the team to 300 people across 4 markets, raised millions in venture capital, and ultimately sold the business to Foodee.

Jerry Colonna is the CEO of Reboot.io where he is now the professional coach to some of the world's leading founders. Prior to his work with Reboot, Jerry was an early-stage VC co-founding Flatiron alongside Fred Wilson in 1996.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Brad, Jerry and Tracy all experience their first forms of depression? At what stage did it become a more prominent part of their life? Why do they think then was the catalyst?

2.) Why does Jerry believe that despite what people say, no one is crushing it? How can founders present their vulnerability as a strength? At what point did Tracy realise this? How did she convey her vulnerability to her team? Who is to blame for the lack of vulnerability and fear of opening up?

3.) How does Brad think about tying happiness to milestones? What are the biggest dangers of doing so? Does this mean one does not have goals? How does one balance between ambition and appreciating the present? How did Brad learn this when Amy asked for a divorce? How did he respond?

4.) Why does Brad believe fear, guilt and anxiety are useless emotions? What was the result of Tracy tying her mental state to her revenue line? How does Tracy think about the loneliness of being a founder? What does Brad believe is some of the biggest BS in the industry?

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

Jul 20, 2020

Steve Blank is one of the leading luminaries of Silicon Valley, credited with being foundational to the creation of The Lean Startup movement and having spent the last 9 years at Stanford University as a professor and the last 8 as a Senior Fellow @ Columbia University. Steve is the author of "The Four Steps To The Epiphany" and "The Startup Owner's Manual". Prior to joining the world of academics and writing Steve spent over 20 years in the world of entrepreneurship as part of, or co-founded eight Silicon Valley startups ranging from semiconductors, video games, personal computers, and supercomputers. If that was not enough, Steve is also on the Defense Business Board for the United States Department of Defence.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Steve made his way into the world of startups and Silicon Valley and how that led to his creation of "The Lean Startup Movement"?

2.) Why does Steve vehemently disagree with Adam's Smith's "Invisible Hand" theory when it comes to government intervention? Why is this proven to have failed? How does this only help the rich become richer? As a result, what needs to change in the mechanics of the economy?

3.) Why does Steve not believe that there is accountability placed on investors and founders for projects they create and invest in? Why does Steve believe for the majority of investors today, they have no social conscience? How could this be changed and improved?

4.) How did seeing the booms and busts of the dot com and 2008 impact Steve's operating mentality? What are the 3 core traits that will ensure success for founders in a post COVID world? How should founders change their decision-making process post-COVID? Why does Steve believe in "benign dictatorship"?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Steve’s Fave Book: Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

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.

Jul 13, 2020

Chamath Palihapitiya is Founder & CEO @ Social Capital, the organisation on a mission to transform society by using technology to solve the world’s hardest problems. Social's portfolio includes the likes of Slack, Yammer, Front, Intercom and Carta to name a few. As for Chamath, prior to founding Social, he spent an incredible 4 years at Facebook including as the original exec in charge of FB Platform as well as being responsible for overseeing core growth components and overseeing FB's mobile efforts. If that was not enough, Chamath is also an owner @ The Golden State Warriors & Chairman @ Virgin Galactic.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Chamath made his way into the world of tech and startups, came to be a VC with Mayfield before joining Facebook and then starting Social?

2.) What were Chamath's biggest takeaways from his team building the growth team at Facebook? Why does Chamath believe that forecasts are worthless? What should founders focus on instead? What did Facebook teach Chamath about defensibility and moat building?

3.) What was the realisation moment for Chamath that the venture firm he was building with Social was not what he wanted to build? Why does Chamath believe the biggest mistakes he made were "compensation and partner selection"? How would he do them differently now? What does he look for most in partners today? How does he detect for integrity?

4.) Why has Chamath doubled down on the SPAC model? What are the core benefits both to the founders and investors? What are the core challenges with both direct listings and IPOs? How does Chamath think about scaling his SPAC strategy? What are the core challenges in doing so?

5.) Facing alcoholism and psychological challenges with his parents, how did Chamath deal with becoming a carer sooner than expected? How has becoming a parent changed Chamath's operating mentality today? How does Chamath analyse his relationship to money today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Chamath’s Fave BookLiar's Poker: From the author of the Big Short

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.

Jul 10, 2020

Alex Mather is the Founder & CEO @ The Athletic, the startup bringing you in-depth sports stories you won't hear anywhere else. To date, Alex has raised over $139M with The Athletic from some of the best in the business including Founders Fund, Bedrock, Y Combinator and Emerson Collective to name a few. Before founding The Athletic, Alex spent an incredible 5 years as part of the hyper-growth @ Strava serving Vice President of Product Management and Product Design.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alex made his way into the world of tech and startups with Strava? How did his time at Strava lead to his founding The Athletic?

2.) With the scaling of The Athletic to over 500 people, how has Alex seen his leadership style change and adapt? What does he need to improve? How did having children impact how he thinks about management? What lessons did he take from Strava on what worked for community building?

3.) What was it like raising money for a subscription media business back in 2016? Who was the first person to really take a bet on Alex and The Athletic? What value adds does Alex think are the most important for VCs to provide? What are the biggest investor misconceptions around media?

4.) How does Alex see the future structure of the media landscape? What elements of media is Alex most concerned about right now? Does Alex view Substack as competition? What does Alex believe will be the 2 ways to succeed in media moving forward?

5.) What have been the biggest customer acquisition learnings for Alex from The Athletic? How does Alex feel about platform reliance for customer acquisition with Facebook? What does it take to successfully acquire customers on Facebook at scale?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alex’s Fave BookThe Kingdom of God is Within You

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

 
 
Jul 7, 2020

Joe Lonsdale is a General Partner @ 8VC and in the past has invested in many notable companies including Wish, Oculus, Oscar and Guardant Health. As a result, in both 2016 and 2017, Joe was the youngest member of the Forbes 100 Midas List. Prior to 8VC, Joe co-founded Palantir, one of the world's most impactful multi-billion dollar software companies. Joe also co-founded and serves as Chairman @ Addepar, which has over $1.8 trillion managed on its wealth management technology platform. If that was not enough, Joe is also a founder of AffinityAnduin and Esper.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Joe made his way into the world of tech and startups, came to co-found Palantir and Addepar and how that led to his founding 8VC? How does Joe

believe the study of history makes one a better investor?

2.) Why does Joe believe that the best VCs are company builders? How does Joe think about, evaluate and put into action the incubator model? How does Joe respond to LPs that suggest it is a distraction? How does voting for incubations differ for investment voting?

3.) What does contrarian thinking really mean to Joe? What does Joe do to specifically engender contrarian thinking in the 8VC partnership? What is the relationship between contrarianism and political correctness? How does Joe think about the dangers of woke culture today?

4.) How does Joe advise founders to think through cash burn and runway today? What is going to happen to companies that sacrified growth for gross margin in 1 year? How does Joe advise founders on the balance of sticking to your vision and mission vs knowing when to give up?

5.) Why does Joe think it is important to not just start new companies but new cities also? Despite the insane cost of living, why does Joe believe the Valley has given rise to the insane levels of innovation it has done? Will the dominance of the valley remain over the next decade?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Joe’s Fave BookHow Innovation Works, A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus

Joe’s Most Recent Investment: Beacon

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.

Jul 3, 2020

Julia DeWahl is one of the rising stars of the Silicon Valley angel investor community with a portfolio including the likes of Linear (Sequoia-backed), Modern Fertility (USV backed) and Primer (Founders Fund backed). Prior to angel investing Julia was one of the first 10 employees at Opendoor seeing their hyper-growth first hand in many different roles from Head of Seller Experience to being General Manager of Pheonix & City Operations. Before Opendoor, Julia spent 3 years as a consultant at Bain. If that was not enough, Julia is also an avid cyclist and is setting up a women's cycling apparel line alongside her investing.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Julia made her way into the world of startups with Opendoor from Bain and how that position at Opendoor led to her angel investing? What were the 1-2 takeaways for Julia from her time at Opendoor that have most impacted how she angel invests today?

2.) Customer Discovery: When is the right time to engage in deep customer discovery work? How does one select the customers to go deep with? How does Julia structure the process? What questions are most revealing? Where do many go wrong? How does one determine the feedback to accept vs which to reject?

3.) How does Julia think about implementing systems for growth? What is the structure of these systems? Where does one start? How does Julia determine the metrics to track and focus on? How does Julia balance between growth vs profitability?

4.) Does Julia believe people can really scale with the company? What are the leading indicators that people are struggling to scale with the company? How does Julia advise generalists to survive and thrive in a scaling organisation? Should they specialise?

5.) What have been some of Julia biggest lessons of what it takes to be successful as an angel today? Who has Julia learned and gained the most from in this new discipline? How does Julia measure her own success as an angel? What are the core challenges?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Julia’s Fave BookThe Courage To Be Disliked: How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness

Julia’s Most Recent Investment: Primer: Homeschool with superpowers

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

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