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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: October, 2020
Oct 29, 2020

David Helgason is the Founder @ Unity, the company that gives content creators the tools to create innovative RT3D experiences and deliver better processes for almost every industry. Prior to their IPO in 2020, Unity raised from the likes of Sequoia, Thrive, DFJ, SilverLake and then individuals including Max Levchin and VMWare's Diane Greene. If that was not enough, David is currently a Partner @ Nordic Makers, a group of ten top Nordic angels working together to be the best angel investors in the Nordics. David also serves on the board of Labster, Realm.io and Quizup.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way from founding Unity in a cafe in Denmark to the $10Bn+ public company it is today?

2.) How would David describe his leadership style? How has it changed over time? What were the biggest challenges David faced as the Founding CEO?

3.) What was the decision-making behind David's transition out of the CEO role? What was challenging? What was key to make the transition successful? How did David know John Riccitiello was the right person for the role? How does David advise other founders contemplating the same?

4.) How does David analyse his own board management style? What are the most important elements a board member can do to help the company and founder? What makes Roelof Botha such a special board member to have? How does David advise new board members today to be successful?

5.) Why does David believe running a company is like a liberal art? How does David think about the importance of vision? How does David assess the current state of the European tech landscape? What can be done to improve it? How can investor approach change for the better?

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 26, 2020

Roleof Botha is a Partner @ Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s leading venture firms with a portfolio including the likes of Airbnb, Instacart, Stripe, UiPath, Zoom, the list goes on. As for Roelof, at Sequoia he has led rounds into the likes of YouTube, Instagram, Eventbrite, Square, MongoDB, 23andMe and Unity Technologies to name a few. Before joining the world of venture, Roelof was the CFO @ Paypal playing a key role in their hyper-growth from 2000-2003.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Roelof go from actuary in South Africa to CFO @ Paypal? What were his biggest lessons from seeing Paypal burn $10M per month? How did Paypal lead to his joining Sequoia as a Partner?

2.) Market Evaluation: Does Roelof agree that the market is crazy today? How does today compare to prior vintages? How does Roelof assess the compression of fundraising timelines? With compressed timelines, how does he build relationships of trust with founders?

3.) Founder Evaluation: What were Roelof's lessons on founder assessment from Don Valentine? What matrix did Don teach Roelof to assess founders on? How does Roelof feel about the rise of competitive rounds? When should founders take them vs remain heads down on execution?

4.) Investment Mentality: How did Roelof prevent becoming too confident when early investments went well? How does Roelof prevent relying on past failures as a reason for turning down opportunities today? What can investors do to retain a very flexible mind? Why does Roelof believe you are only as good as your next investment?

5.) Sequoia's Edge: How does Roloef think about what it takes for Sequoia to retain it's edge at the top? How does Roloef measure the success of the Sequoia scout program? How did they structure it? How has the structure changed? What do they plan to do moving forward?

6.) Board Membership: How would Roloef evaluate his current style of board membership? How has that style changed over time? What elements did he find challenging? What advice would Roelof give to new board members adopting their first board seats?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Roelof’s Favourite Book: Man's Search For Meaning

Roelof’s Most Recent Investment: mmhmm

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 22, 2020

Eoghan McCabe is a technology entrepreneur. He's started a number of companies, the most notable of which is Intercom, the conversational relationship platform. He was CEO of Intercom for nearly 10 years, during which he grew the company to hundreds of millions in annual revenue, nearly 700 employees, and raised nearly $250M from the likes of Kleiner Perkins, Index, Bessemer, and ICONIQ. He's also invested in dozens of companies including Stripe, Figma, SuperHuman, and Coda. In the summer of 2020 he moved to the role of Chairman of Intercom.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Eoghan made his way into the world of startups from Ireland and came to build one of the Valley's greats with Intercom?

2.) How does Eoghan thinking about living and thriving with a chip on one's shoulder? What does Eoghan advise in terms of one's search for their true selves? What were his biggest learnings in his search? What does Eoghan advise people who maybe feel they have lost themselves?

3.) Having been CEO of a $Bn company for close to 10 years, how does Eoghan think about dealing with the weight of expectation placed on shoulders? How did he manage it? How does he think about his identity being so tied to his company?

4.) In terms of being one's authentic self, how can one achieve this while also respecting their stakeholders who may hold different views? How does Eoghan think about being an authentic leader vs bowing down to the demands of your team? What is the right balance?

5.) Why does Eoghan think that vision can actually be limiting? How does Eoghan think about stress testing one's vision and ambition? What adversity from early VCs did Eoghan have to fight against? How does Eoghan encourage dissent and debate within his teams?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Eoghan’s Fave Book: Breathe: simple breathing techniques for a calmer, happier life

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 19, 2020

Cyan Banister is one of the most successful and renowned early-stage investors of the last decade. Her portfolio includes the likes of SpaceX, Uber, Affirm, Opendoor Postmates, Niantic and Thumbtack to name a few. Today Cyan is a Partner @ Long Journey Ventures, joining the team there following a 4-year stint @ Founders Fund where she led deals in both Niantic and HQ Trivia. Prior to Founders Fund, Cyan was a super successful operator and angel, co-founding Zivity and before that being an early employee at Ironport, leading to their acquisition by Oracle.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Cyan made her way into the world of startups? How SpaceX came to be her 1st angel investment? How that led to her joining the world of VC?

2.) How does Cyan think about and assess her relationship to money? Why does someone believe she had a fear or loathing of money? What made Cyan the capitalist she is today? How does Cyan analyse her relationship to risk? Has Cyan always trusted her own convictions?

3.) How does Cyan think about her own investment decision-making process? What were Cyan's biggest lessons from her experience with HQ Trivia? How did she change how she interacts with founders pre-investment? Why does Cyan never Google someone before meeting?

4.) How does Cyan think about price sensitivity today? Why does she believe there will be a reckoning? How will this shake out in terms of who succeeds and who fails? Why is Cyan in favour of party rounds? How does she think about VCs with sharp elbows?

5.) Why does Cyan believe SF is eating itself? What can be done to reinvigorate the city positively? What can be done to solve much of the homelessness problem? Why does Chesa Boudin never convict anyone? Why does Cyan believe her "BLM tweet is not spicy"? Why is Cyan fundamentally sad and worried for the current state of the world?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Cyan’s Fave Book: Snow Crash

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 16, 2020

Spike Lipkin is the Founder & CEO @ Newfront Insurance, the modern insurance brokerage empowering risk management experts with advanced technology to deliver innovative solutions to their clients'. To date, Spike has raised from some of the best in the business including Founders Fund, Meritech and 20VC Fund. Prior to founding Newfront, Spike was one of the first employees at Opendoor, where he helped grow the team from 5 people to an enterprise value of over $5Bn today. Prior to Opendoor, Spike was an investor at Blackstone, where he served on the startup team that built Invitation Homes into the largest owner of single-family real estate in the United States.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Spike made his way from banking to be one of the first operators at Opendoor to founding the next generation of insurance with Newfront?

2.) What were some of the biggest takeaways for Spike from his time at Opendoor as employee #5? How does Spike approach prioritisation? How does he determine what to delegate vs what to control?

3.) How would Spike describe his own style of leadership? How has Spike needed to change his style with the business? What does Spike believe is his biggest weakness as a leader? What is he doing to confront it and grow as a leader? What is the most important thing a leader can do?

4.) How does Spike think about what it takes to acquire the very best talent? What does his framework for hiring look like? Why did Spike decide to hire a COO? Why was then the right time? How does Spike think about the balance between hiring external vs promoting internal?

5.) Why did Spike believe it was important not to announce any of his prior fundraises? How did Spike approach investor selection with Newfront? Does Spike believe founders should meet with VCs between fundraises? Which angel has done the most to move the needle for the company? How?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Spike’s Fave BookTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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 12, 2020

George Zachary is a General Partner @ CRV, one of the nation's oldest and most successful early-stage venture capital firms with a portfolio including the likes of Airtable, DoorDash, Dropbox, Niantic and many more. As for George, today at the firm he focuses on advancing health through revolutionary computer science, centred around bio-engineering. During his incredible 16 year tenure at CRV, he has led deals in the likes of PillPack, Udacity, Scribd and HealthIQ. Before joining CRV, George was a General Partner @ Mohr Davidow Ventures for over 6 years.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How George made his way into the world of venture over 21 years ago and how he came to be a General Partner @ CRV 16 years ago?

2.) How did seeing the booms and busts of the dot com and 08 impacts George's investment mindset? What is the right way to voice concerns in an internal investment discussion? How does George now view capital intensity? How does it impact his conviction and check size?

3.) Why does George believe one should invest in founders who do not need their investors help? Why does George believe the best founders have experienced some form of parental instability? How does George detect the psychological need to win when he meets founders? What are the signs?

4.) How would George describe his own philosophy of board membership? How has it changed over time? What are the 2 control functions that a board member has? What advice does George give to new board members today? Where do many young board members make mistakes?

5.) How does George analyse his own personal relationship to money? How has it changed over the years? How did his relationship to money change his relationship with people? Was that challenging? How did he cope with it? How does he advise others who experience the same?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

George's Favourite Book: Foundation Trilogy

George’s Most Recent Investment: Glympse Bio

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 8, 2020

David Lawee founded CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund, in 2013, drawing on his experience both at Google and as a serial entrepreneur. Since then, he has helped transform high-potential startups into some of the most highly valued businesses of our generation, including Airbnb, Lyft, Snap, Robinhood, Credit Karma, Oscar, Lending Club and Thumbtack. Prior to CapitalG, David played a pivotal role in Google’s growth story--first as Google’s Chief Marketing Officer and then as the instrumental VP of corporate development where his group spearheaded over 100 acquisitions for the company.

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of startups, came to be the first CMO @ Google and how that led to his founding CapitalG?

2.) Having operated and invested through both the dot com and 08', how has seeing the booms and busts impacted David's investing mindset? How does David think about temporal diversification today with CapitalG? Why does David believe diversification is largely overrated?

3.) How does David think about portfolio construction today, given CapitalG is a growth fund? How does David compare early-stage to growth today? How does David think about loss ratios at growth? How does David benchmark good vs great from a multiple perspective at growth?

4.) How does CapitalG approach investment decision making today? How does David avoid consensus thinking/following the crowd when it comes to deals? Why does David believe investment clubs operate much more successfully than partnerships? How does that change the structure for CapitalG?

5.) How has David seen himself evolve and develop as a board member of the years? What type of board member would David say he is today? How does that change with the founder? Who is the most memorable board member David has sat on a board with?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave BookBorn A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood 

David’s Most Recent Investment: Albert

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 5, 2020

Arlan Hamilton is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Backstage Capital, the seed fund that has paved the way investing exclusively in startups that are led by underrepresented founders. Backstage Capital also expanded their model and now have Backstage Accelerator working with companies across 4 cities. Last month, Mark Cuban gave Arlan $6M to invest in underestimated founders (ArlanWasHere Investments Fund I). Arlan is also an Author of "It's About Damn Time". If you would like to invest with Arlan, you can, check out BackstageCrowd.com with over 2,000 accredited and non-accredited investors, they just completed their 6th deal and $1m raised within 3 months of launch.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Arlan made her way from the airport floor to founding her own venture firm, Backstage Capital and writing a book, "It's About Damn Time"?

2.) How does Arlan assess her own relationship to money and wealth? What is Arlan's thinking around her desire to give away 90% of her wealth? How does Arlan evaluate her own appetite for risk? How has that changed over time?

3.) From a strategic perspective, what are some core elements to Arlan's strategy that are not obvious? What are the main misconceptions that remain with regards to under-represented founders? What does Arlan believe are the leading indicators when assessing founders today?

4.) What does Arlan believe have been the biggest challenges in building the firm that is Backstage? What have been the core breaking points in the scaling of people and strategy? How does Arlan think about the relationship between brand vs reputation? What does Arlan believe are the main misconceptions people have about her?

5.) How would Arlan like to see the world of venture change over the next decade? What can LPs do to encourage more under-represented founders are backed? How can this be measured? Who should be held accountable?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Arlan’s Fave BookWhat I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

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 1, 2020

Katherine Boyle is a Partner @ General Catalyst, one of the leading venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Snapchat, Airbnb, Canva, Cazoo, the list goes on. As for Katherine, at GC she has led deals in game-changing companies such as Anduril, Nova Credit, Spring Discovery and Airmap to name a few. Prior to General Catalyst, Katherine entered the world of venture with Founders Fund and before that spent an incredible 4 years at The Washington Post where Katherine investigated entrepreneurship in many forms.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Katherine made her way from investigating entrepreneurship at The Wall St Journal to being an intern at Founders Fund to today, being a Partner @ General Catalyst?

2.) Why does Katherine believe that journalism is like venture? Why does Katherine believe there are two different styles of venture? What were Katherine's biggest takeaways from her formative years in venture with Founders Fund? How did that impact her investing mindset?

3.) What does Katherine mean when she says she "invests solely on founder narrative fit"? Are there leading indicators of this fit? What advice did Katherine take from her conversation with Mike Moritz pre VC career? How does Katherine strategically avoid consensus thinking and decisions?

4.) How does Katherine approach market sizing? How does Katherine think about strategic insertion into niches that expand to much larger markets? How does Katherine assess market timing? How does Katherine determine the velocity of a market tailwind? What is an example of this?

5.) How does Katherine evaluate the rise of pre-empted rounds today? What advice does Katherine give to founders considering taking multi-stage money at seed? Why did it make sense for Anduril? How does Katherine gain the time of the founders when they are not raising?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Katherine’s Fave BookThe Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success

Katherine’s Most Recent Investment: Ophelia

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.

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