Oana Olteanu is a Partner @ SignalFire where she focuses on enterprise software at Seed, Series A and Series B. Prior to joining SignalFire, Oana was at Scale Venture Partners where she invested in applied ML and developer tooling. Oana sourced Scale’s investments in Observe.ai, Flatfile, and Proscia. She was part of the deal teams for Honeycomb and AllyO (acquired by HireVue). She also supported existing portfolio companies such as Dialpad, Matillion, and BigID. Prior to Scale, Oana was an AI seed investor at SAP.io, SAP’s $35M seed fund, where she sourced the investments in Plum.io, Oto.ai, and Akorda.
In Today's Episode with Oana Olteanu We Discuss:
1.) From Tank Driving in Romania to VC's Rising Star:
- How Oana made her way from driving tanks in Romania to becoming a VC?
- How did leaving Romania for Germany and then moving to the West Coast impact her mindset?
- What does Oana know now that she wishes she had known when she entered VC?
2.) How to Assess a VC: The Founders Guide:
- Pre-investment, how can founders know whether a VC can add value? What are the signs?
- What three core questions will reveal how much value a VC can add?
- Post-investment, what can founders do to extract the most value from their VCs?
- What should the founders ask their investors for help with? What should they do themselves?
3.) The VC <> Founder Relationship:
- Oana has the highest founder NPS of any VC I have ever had on 20VC, what does Oana believe makes her founders rate her contribution so highly? What works? What does not?
- How does Oana give sometimes very hard feedback to founders but retain that relationship of trust and safety at the same time? What mistakes do other VCs make in giving feedback?
- What does Oana believe are the single biggest misalignment between VCs and founders?
4.) VCs Behaving Badly: 101
- What are the single biggest ways Oana sees VCs behaving badly?
- How does Oana think founders expectations of the product of venture should change?
- Does Oana believe boards are valuable? What can be done to improve them?
Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:
Oana's Favourite Book: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: Featuring new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius