One of the core questions in AI and investing today; who wins, startups or incumbents? Startups have speed and innovation but incumbents have scale, resources, and distribution?
Today we hear from 6 leading investors and founders discussing where they place their bets who has the advantage; startups or incumbents?
Emad Mostaque is CEO @ StabilityAI, the parent company of Stable Diffusion. To date, Emad has raised over $110M with Stability with the latest round reportedly pricing the company at $4BN.
Yann LeCun is VP & Chief AI Scientist at Meta and Professor at NYU. He was the founding Director of FAIR and of the NYU Center for Data Science.
Clem Delangue is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Hugging Face, the AI community building the future. Clem has raised over $160M from the likes of Sequoia, Coatue, Addition and Lux Capital to name a few.
Sarah Guo is the Founding Partner @ Conviction Capital, a $100M first fund purpose-built to serve “Software 3.0” companies. Prior to founding Conviction, Sarah was a General Partner at Greylock.
Vince Hankes is a Partner @ Thrive Capital where he has led the firm’s investments in OpenAI, Melio, and Airplane.dev. Prior to Thrive, Vince learned the craft of venture from Lee Fixel @ Tiger.
Tomasz Tunguz is the Founder and General Partner @ Theory Ventures, a $230M fund that invests $1-25m in companies that leverage technology discontinuities into go-to-market advantages.
David Alleman is the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman @ On Running one of the fastest-growing global sports brands with over 17 million products sold in 60+ countries. In 2021, On went public on the NASDAQ and today has a market cap of $8.7BN. However, it all started with three friends in the mountains experimenting with making shoes with pieces of garden hose to create a running shoe with a totally different feel.
1. From the Swiss Mountains to NASDAQ IPO:
2. The Launch: First Customers:
3. Retail: Expanding into Own Store vs Partnerships:
4. Roger Federer: Working with a Legend:
5. Financing, IPOs, and Brand:
Adam Besvinick is the Founder of Looking Glass Capital, a pre-seed-focused firm started in 2020. Before starting Looking Glass, Adam spent about 5 years at Deep Fork Capital and Anchorage Capital Group investing in pre-seed through Series C. Adam's portfolio across funds includes the likes of BigID, Transfix, NomNom, and Hone Health, to name a few.
1. How Twitter Led to Founding a Venture Firm:
2. Raising Fund I: The Process:
3. Looking Glass: The Very Disciplined Pre-Seed Strategy:
4. The Market: Multi-Stage Firms Destroying Seed
Tomer Cohen is the CPO @ Linkedin. Since joining in 2012, Tomer has served in key leadership roles, helping launch and scale new innovative member and customer experiences. He previously led the growth and development of LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions portfolio and LinkedIn's consumer and mobile products. Prior to LinkedIn, Tomer worked as an entrepreneur with Greylock Partners and founded a company in the personal CRM space.
1.) From Israeli Military and Chip Design to CPO @ Linkedin:
2.) Product: Art or Science:
3.) Linkedin: Review of Current Products: Feed, Stories, Messenger
4.) AI Changes Everything:
Guy Podjarny is the Founder of Snyk, the leading Developer Security platform, helping developers secure as they build. Guy was previously CTO at Akamai, co-founded Blaze.io (acquired by Akamai), and was the product manager of AppScan, the first AppSec scanner, through Sanctum, Watchfire and IBM. Guy is a public speaker, O’Reilly author, and an active early stage angel investor.
1.) From Israeli Military to Founding a $10BN Company:
2.) The Secret to Finding Product Market Fit:
3.) Defensibility and Being First to Market:
4.) Lessons from 100 Angel Investments:
Nico Wittenborn is the Founder of Adjacent, one of the best early-stage firms created over the last 5 years. Before starting Adjacent, Nico spent over 3 years at Insight Partners in New York and before that learned the craft of venture from some of the best in early-stage, Point Nine, where he spent over 4 years. Nico's portfolio across funds includes the likes of Revolut, Chainalysis, Oura, RevenueCat and PhotoRoom to name a few.
1.) From Selling Mobile Phones to Leading Early-Stage Investor:
2.) Is Consumer Subscription Even a Good Place to Invest?
3.) Adjacent: The Fund, The Strategy:
4.) Nico: The Investor: Lessons:
5.) The Future of Venture:
Ryan Wiggins is the VP of Growth and Analytics at Mercury where he oversees a Growth team and founded the Analytics function. Prior to this, Ryan built Growth teams at WhatsApp, where he helped grow WhatsApp Business from 0->100M users, Workplace, and Facebook Ads. If that was not enough, Ryan is also an active angel investor.
1.) From US Department of Commerce to Leading Growth Teams:
2. ) Who and When: Building the Team:
3.) How to Hire: The Process:
4.) Onboarding: Setting Growth Up for Success:
Emad Mostaque is the Co-Founder and CEO @ StabilityAI, the parent company of Stable Diffusion. Stability are building the foundation to activate humanity's potential. To date, Emad has raised over $110M with Stability with the latest round reportedly pricing the company at $4BN. Investors include Coatue, Lightspeed, Sound Ventures, OSS Capital and Airstreet Capital, to name a few. Prior to Stability, Emad was in the world of hedge funds, that was until his son was diagnosed with autism and he left to make a difference in the space and help find treatments and solutions.
1.) From Hedge Funds to Finding Treatments for Autism to Leading the World of AI:
2.) Models: What is Real? What is False?
3.) Who Wins: Startups or Incumbents:
4.) The Next 12 Months: What Happens:
5.) Open or Closed: What Wins:
Yann LeCun is VP & Chief AI Scientist at Meta and Silver Professor at NYU affiliated with the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences & the Center for Data Science. He was the founding Director of FAIR and of the NYU Center for Data Science. After a postdoc in Toronto he joined AT&T Bell Labs in 1988, and AT&T Labs in 1996 as Head of Image Processing Research. He joined NYU as a professor in 2003 and Meta/Facebook in 2013. He is the recipient of the 2018 ACM Turing Award for "conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing". Huge thanks to David Marcus for helping to make this happen.
1.) The Road to AI OG:
2.) The Next Five Years of AI: Hope or Horror:
3.) Will Anyone Have Jobs in a World of AI:
4.) Open or Closed: Who Wins:
5.) Startup vs Incumbent: Who Wins:
Clem Delangue is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Hugging Face, the AI community building the future. To date, Clem has raised over $160M from the likes of Sequoia, Coatue, Addition and Lux Capital to name a few. Prior to Hugging Face, Clem was in product and marketing at two different startups both of which were acquired.
1. From Tamagotchi to Leading the World of AI:
2. AI: Trend or Transformation:
3. Open vs Closed: Which Model Wins:
4. Regulation: What Happens Now:
5. Fundraising: Lessons and Reflection on Raising $160M:
Today's 20Sales is a special Mother's Day edition where we are joined by 6 of the best sales leaders who also happen to be rockstar mothers.
Maggie Hott is on the GTM Team (Go-To-Market) at OpenAI. Before OpenAI, Maggie was Director of Sales @ Webflow and before Webflow spent an incredible 6 years at Slack.
Stevie Case is the CRO @ Vanta. Prior to Vanta, Stevie spent an immensely successful 6 years at Twilio as VP of Mid-Market Sales.
Renu Gupta is an advisor and sales consultant to some of the fastest-growing SaaS companies today. Previously she has held sales leadership roles at Slack, Thrive and Dropbox.
Lauren Schwartz is the VP Enterprise Sales @ Fivetran. Before Fivetran, Lauren spent 4 years at Segment as Senior Director of Enterprise Sales leading to their acquisition by Twilio.
Julie Maresca is the Head of Global Accounts at Atlassian. Prior to Atlassian, Julie spent an immensely successful 6 years at Slack in numerous roles including Head of Enterprise Sales for North America.
Jessica Arnold is the VP of Global Sales Development @ Amplitude. Before Amplitude, Jessica was the Senior Director for Inside Sales North America at Dropbox for close to 6 years.
1.) How have you navigated growing in your career at the same time, growing your family?
2.) How do you balance your career and being a mother - when do you lean in and out?
3.) What are some specific strategies or tools that have helped you maintain a work-life balance?
4.) How do you prioritize your mental health and wellbeing while juggling your responsibilities at work and at home?
5.) How do you handle the guilt that many working mothers experience when they have to focus on their career?
6.) What are the unique challenges and advantages of being a mother in a sales leadership role?
7.) How has your experience as a mother influenced your leadership style and decision-making?
8.) How have you navigated going out on maternity leave without it having an impact on your career?
9.) America has one of the worst parental leaves of any country in the world. How can you advocate for parental leave if the existing policy isn’t up to par?
10.) What are some ways that companies can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for working mothers in sales leadership roles?
Chris Paik is a General Partner @ Pace Capital, an early-stage venture firm in NYC. Pace's first fund was $150M and their second was $250M. Before co-founding Pace, Chris was a General Partner at Thrive Capital where he spent an incredible 8 years having joined the firm when they were on their first $10M Fund.
1. From Hipster to One of NYC's Best VCs:
2. The Core Pillars of Successful Venture Investing:
3. What is Wrong with Venture Capital: The Misalignments:
4. The Future of Social and User Generated Content Platforms:
Alex Rodriguez is a businessman and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of A-Rod Corp, a broad-based investment firm that bets on world-class startups and partners with leading global companies across the real estate, health and wellness, technology, and sports & entertainment industries. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14x MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), for more than 25 years, Alex leads a team of experts building high-growth businesses and is co-owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
1.) From MLB to Business MVP:
2.) Lessons from Magic Johnson and Warren Buffet:
3.) Alex Rodriguez: The Business Builder and Investor:
4.) Alex Rodriguez: The Father and Son:
Vince Hankes is a Partner @ Thrive Capital where he has led the firm’s investments in OpenAI, Melio, and Airplane.dev. He currently sits on the board of Airtable, Benchling, Lattice, and Melio. Prior to joining Thrive, Vince was an investor at Tiger Global where he learned the craft of venture from the legend that is Lee Fixel.
1. From Tiger Global to Partner @ Thrive Capital:
2. The OpenAI Investment: The Memo:
3. AI: Hype or Generational Defining Transformation:
4. The Changing Investor: Lessons from Good and Bad:
Mark Carney is the Vice Chair and Head of Transition Investing @ Brookfield Asset Management, one of the world's leading asset managers with over $800BN in AUM. Mark is also United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. He has also served as Finance Advisor to the British Prime Minister. In addition to this, Mark is on the board of Stripe, PIMCO and The World Economic Forum. In a previous life, Mark spent over a decade as a Central Banker, most recently as Governor of The Bank of England and before that as Governor of The Bank of Canada.
1. Is The Banking Crisis Over? What Happened?
2. The Impact of the Banking Turmoil: What Happens Now?
3. What Happens To The Macro Now?
4. The Future of Climate and Net Zero:
Sarah Guo is the Founding Partner @ Conviction Capital, a $100M first fund purpose-built to serve “Software 3.0” companies. Prior to founding Conviction, Sarah was a General Partner at Greylock where she made investments in the likes of Figma, Coda, Neeva and many more incredible companies. Sarah also hosts her own podcast, No Priors with the wonderful Elad Gil.
1. From Large Multi-Stage Firm to Founding Conviction:
2. The Future for AI: The Opportunities and the Challenges:
3. Startup and VC Principles That Are BS:
4. Sarah Guo: The Investor
Jack Brody is the VP Product @ Snap. Jack joined Snap in 2014 as a Product Designer, and ultimately helped build out the design organization as the Head of Design before taking on his current role overseeing all of Product for the Snapchat application and Hardware. In his 9 years at Snap, he helped create Memories, the Snap Map, and AR Lenses like Face Swap.
2. Product 101: Art vs Science:
3. The SNAP Hiring Process: What Works and What Does Not:
4. SNAP, The Future, and The World Around Us:
Avlok Kohli is the CEO @ AngelList. Under his leadership, Avlok has taken AngelList from an SPV provider to a company that is becoming the software platform for the entire industry. Today, AngelList supports over $15BN in assets and 40% of US unicorns have had a GP invest in them through AngelList. Prior to becoming CEO @ AngelList, Avlok founded 3 companies, all of which were acquired including by the likes of Square and eBay.
1. From 3x Founder to Scaling AngelList to $15BN in AUM:
2. What is Going On in Venture: New Funds, LPs, Secondaries:
3. What is Going on in Startups: Rounds, Valuations, Party Rounds
4. The Business of AngelList and its Future:
Tomasz Tunguz is the Founder and General Partner @ Theory Ventures, just announced last week, Theory is a $230M fund that invests $1-25m in early-stage companies that leverage technology discontinuities into go-to-market advantages. Prior to founding Theory, Tom spent 14 years at Redpoint as a General Partner where he made investments in the likes of Looker, Expensify, Monte Carlo, Dune Analytics, and Kustomer to name a few. Tom also writes one of the best blogs and newsletters in the business which can be found here.
2. From 150 LP Meetings to Closing $230M: Raising a Fund I
3. Where Will Value Accrue in the Next Decade of AI:
4. AI and The World Around It:
Mark Goldberger is Head of Enterprise Sales at Ramp, the fastest-growing corporate card and bill payment software in America, and recently named Most Innovative Company in North America by Fast Company. Prior to joining Ramp, Mark was the first enterprise rep at TripActions (now Navan), where he helped bring in more than $100m of ARR as an IC and sales leader. Before TripActions, Mark worked at Highfive, a video conferencing company since acquired by Dialpad.
1. From Wine Industry to Sales Leader:
2. The Sales Playbook and Why You Should Never Hire a Sales VP First:
3. How to Hire 10x Sales Teams: The Process:
4. Discounting, Champions, Creating Urgency:
5. Building a High-Functioning Sales Org:
From college party promoter to managing global stars to CEO and investor. Scott “Scooter” Braun is one of the most powerful people in media and one of the most multi-faceted entrepreneurs we have ever met. As the founder of media company SB Projects and the co-founder of TQ Ventures, he has backed prominent companies such as Pinterest, Spotify and Uber and managed some of the world’s biggest names in music including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato. Braun’s other accolades include founding Ithaca Ventures (acquired by HYBE for $1BN+) in 2021, and philanthropic efforts such as being a Make-A-Wish board member, raising $55M+ for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief and continuing to instill the value of social good wherever possible.
1. From College Party Promoter to Managing The World's Biggest Superstars:
2. College Party Promoter Turned Venture Investor:
3. Scooter's Lessons on Success (And How to Deal With It):
4. The Secrets to Being a Better Parent, Child, and Partner:
5. Finding the "Scott" Buried Inside "Scooter":
David Marcus is the co-founder and CEO of Lightspark, building infrastructure that extends the capabilities and utility of Bitcoin. Prior to Lightspark, David led all payment and crypto efforts at Facebook/Meta and scaled Messenger to 1.5BN users. David previously founded three other companies: Zong (acquired by eBay/PayPal for $240M), Echovox (acquired by MBO), and GTN (acquired by World Access).
1. From Losing Everything to Becoming Changing the World of Fintech:
2. The Secret to Building a Great Company from Mark Zuckerberg's ex-Right Hand Man:
3. Crypto & AI's Ripple Effect on The Rest of The World:
4. How The Best Leaders Hire The Best Talent:
Joost De Valk is one of the OGs of SEO. As the Founder of Yoast, he scaled what was a side project plugin into a multi-million dollar business, used by 13 million sites and selling to Newfold Media in 2021. As one of the early SEO pioneers he is also an extremely coveted angel investor and invests through his company, Emilia Capital.
1. From Side Project to Multi-Million Dollar Business:
2. When, How and Why To Invest in SEO:
3. AI Changes The World of Context:
4. Creating a Developer-Led Brand and Mastering PLG:
Rob Lacher founded Visionaries Club in 2019, in just 3 years he has scaled the firm to $600M AUM and backed some of Europe's best including Xentral, Personio, Miro, and Ledgy. Prior to Visionaries, Rob founded the fashion platform AMAZE in 2014 which he sold to Zalando, and founded the European seed and growth stage venture capital fund La Famiglia in 2016.
1.) From Novice Tennis Player to Investing on a Global Stage:
2.) The Secret to Building a Fund? Hire People With No Experience:
3.) The Red Ocean of European Venture:
4.) Lessons on Investing From a Pro:
Mike Salguero is the Founder and CEO @ ButcherBox, the meat delivery subscription service that he has scaled to $600M in revenue, 215 employees and the national leader in the space. All of this achieved while raising $0 of venture capital. Prior to ButcherBox, Mike was the Founder & CEO @ CustomMade, an online marketplace that, unlike ButcherBox, raised millions in venture funding from prominent VCs.
1.) The Makings of a Great Entrepreneur:
2. Consumer Subscription is Not a VC Backabale Business Model:
3. The Secret to Efficient Marketing:
4. The Economics of a $600M Revenue ButcherBox:
5. Venture Capital: To Raise or Not to Raise: