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The Twenty Minute VC (20VC): Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

The Twenty Minute VC (20VC) interviews the world's greatest venture capitalists with prior guests including Sequoia's Doug Leone and Benchmark's Bill Gurley. Once per week, 20VC Host, Harry Stebbings is also joined by one of the great founders of our time with prior founder episodes from Spotify's Daniel Ek, Linkedin's Reid Hoffman, and Snowflake's Frank Slootman. If you would like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC (20VC), head to www.20vc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and more.
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Now displaying: Page 31
Jan 25, 2016

Bryan Johnson is an entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of OS Fund and Braintree, the latter of which was bought by eBay in 2013 for $800 million in cash. Bryan launched OS Fund in 2014 with $100 million of his personal capital to support inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity. His investments include endeavors to extend healthy human life to 100+ (Human Longevity), replicate the human visual cortex (Vicarious), mine an asteroid (Planetary Resources), reinvent transportation (Matternet), and reimagine food (Hampton Creek), among others.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bryan made his start in the world of tech and how he has come to the OS fund today?

2.) What was the pivotal moment in Bryan's career? When was the turning point? What was was the hardest part of the entrepreneurial journey and how did Bryan conquer it?

3.) What is the main motivation behind the OS fund? Which areas does Bryan most want to solve and where does he see significant market opportunities?

4.) Does the longevity of return to Bryan's exits concern him? Most investments exit with 10 years, human lifespan startups take a little longer! What sort of time frame does Bryan have in mind when investing in these companies?

5.) What does Bryan really perceive synthetic biology to mean? Are we seeing improvements in this sector?

6.) The OS Fund have recently released a white paper detailing extensively their process for investing? Why did Bryan decide on this open source style of investing?

7.) What would Bryan like to see more of? Where does Bryan see a lot of people investing that he thinks is a mistake?

 
Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Bryan's Fave Book:

Bryan's Most Recent Investment:
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Bryan on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Jan 22, 2016

James Beshara is the Co-Founder @ Tilt the micro-crowdfunding platform that allows you to receive funding from friends—changing the way collaborative funding works. Tilt has raised $37 million from 3 rounds of funding from the likes of Andreesen, SV Angel, Alexis Ohanian, Naval Ravikant and Sean Parker just to name a few. As for James Before co-founding Tilt, he studied Development Economics as an undergrad and then went on to build dvelo.org, a site for crowdfunding loans and donations to poverty-alleviation organizations in developing countries. In order to vote for who you think will win James and Harry's beer pong match, head over to @twentyminutevc on Twitter and vote using our poll.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
Click To Play
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:
 

1.) What were the origins of Tilt? How did James go from a micro loans collector in Africa to founder of one of SF's hottest startups?

2.) What does James make of the current crowdfunding landscape? What will it take for crowdfunding to go mass market?

3.) What are Tilt doing to make crowdfunding more bite sized and consumer friendly? How important is the on boarding process for Tilt? How are Tilt approaching customer retention? What are James' targets for the year ahead with Tilt?

4.) With investors like Andreesen, SV Angel, Naval Ravikant, Sean Parker just to name a few, what the investment journey like? I heard the first funding took 6-8 months and the series A took 6 days with a16z. What changed to turn it around?

5.) On PH LIVE James stated that founding a company is a destination less journey and although admirable I struggle with that from the investors perspective. How did James sell a startup in a pitch with no exit strategy?

6.) What was it that attracted James to the investors that he chose? What value add was James most attracted to?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
James' Fave Book: 100 Years of SolitudeThe Power Of Now
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and James on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Jan 20, 2016

James Cameron is an early stage investor at Accel where he focuses on enterprise software, security, fintech and marketplace businesses. Prior to joining Accel, he founded and ran BipSync, a SaaS-based research platform for investment management. James also spent time on the tech banking team at Morgan Stanley and as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

 
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) How does James go about finding the needles in the haystack in the sea of amazing startups? Do James use data to find great companies? Do you think this will be a continuing trend, in terms of algorithmic deal sourcing?

3.) What cool stuff has James been seeing in the enterprise software and security sector? Does James think there are any underhyped or overhyped segments of these markets?

4.) One very dominant eco system for tech in general but specifically security is Israel, how do the UK and Israeli ecosystems differ? Is there anything we can do in the UK to harness the spirit encapsulated by the Israeli ecosystem?

5.) What are the catalysts or drivers of these communities’ growth? Do you agree with Marc Andreesen in saying we shouldn't think about building "The Silicon Valley of X" because the components that make up SV aren't repeatable and areas should instead specialize on specific verticals, like bitcoin or security. What do you think about that concept?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
James' Fave Book: Crossing The Chasm 
James' Fave Blog or Newsletter: Adrian Colyer: The Morning Paper
James' Most Recent Investment: Doctolib
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and James on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Jan 18, 2016

Fred Destin is General Partner at Accel in London where he focuses on consumer and software investments. He is the lead investor and board member at DeliverooPillpack (featured in ep: 89 with Eric Paley) and KNC. Prior to Accel, he was a partner at Atlas Venture where he worked with with companies like Zoopla (public), Secret Escapes, Integral Ad Science, Dailymotion (acquired by Orange), PriceMinister (acquired by Rakuten) and others.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
Click To Play
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Fred made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) What is it like investing in rocketships like Deliveroo and PillPack?

3.) What are the reasons most startups fail at the seed stage? What are the most common reasons that founders get fired?

4.) Why does Fred believe raising a Series B so tough? Is it the embodiment of the funding barbell?

5.) What are Fred's thoughts on VC founder alignment? Why does Fred deliberately cause tension between a founder prior to making an investment? In what form does this take?

6.) When I asked Fred for topics he was interested in, he gave me a list and one of them, I have never had suggested before and it is ‘Why are VC’s so schizo’? What does Fred mean?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Fred's Fave Book:  Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master & Margarita
Fred's Fave Blog or Newsletter: The AtlanticTech.eu
Fred's Most Recent Investment: Deliveroo
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Fred on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

Jan 15, 2016

Matt Lieber is cofounder and President of Gimlet Media. In a previous life, Matt produced radio shows (On Point, Fair Game) and podcasts (Slate Culture Gabfest). He also worked as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, where he focused on media and digital business. Then he chucked it all for Gimlet. He holds an MBA from MIT Sloan. 

In Today's Show You Will Learn:

1.) Matt reveals the origins of Gimlet?

2.) What were the dilemmas for Matt in raising Gimlet's round? What determinant made Matt realize raising was right? What advice would Matt give to founders who are unsure if they should raise or not?

3.) One of the main concerns with raising suggested by Alex Blumberg was that the company would feel like a totally different company, and by different ‘I mean worse’, to quote Alex. So how can a Founder maintain company culture as they grow excessively?

4.) Why did Matt decide to play it cool and not announce to VCs Gimlet were raising? Did Matt expect to get a term sheet as quickly and easily as he did? Were there any hiccups to the funding process? Were Gimlet tempted by any other offers? What value add about Tim O'Reilly made Gimlet most attracted to him?

5.) Question from Matt Hartman at Betaworks: How does Gimlet decide which new shows to create? Is it about creating new shows for an overlapping audience or to expanding audience demographics??

6.) Where does Matt see the future of podcasting going? Many do not believe in it’s potential to be a big business, what does Matt say? What are the challenges, what needs to happen to combat them?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Matt's Fave Book: Great Plains by Ian Frazier

Matt's Fave Blog: Stratechery by Ben Thompson

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Matt on Twitter here!

Likewise, if you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, follow him on Instagram here!

Jan 13, 2016
Kate Shillo is Director @ Galvanize Ventures, a prolific seed fund which acts as the the investment arm of Galvanize -- a collection of "tech campuses" that offer coworking space and educational programs in order to encourage continuous learning and helping others to grow. within Galvanize, the organization focused on continuous learning and helping others to grow. To date Galvanize ventures have made an astonishing 48 investments in 2 years. Prior to Galvanize, Kate helped Ken Lerer launch Lerer Ventures, now called Lerer Hippeau Ventures due to the addition of Eric Hippeau who was only the show only recently, there Kate lead the investments in the likes of Venmo and Paperless Post.
 
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:
 

1.) How Kate made her way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) What were the biggest takeaways from Kate's time at Lerer Hippeau Ventures and working with the amazing Ken Lerer?

3.) What was it about Galvanize that made Kate  leave LHV and Kate provides a brief synopsis on Galvanize Ventures? Sectors? Stage? Geography?

4.) With 42 investments since Feb 2014. What is the strategy at Galvanize? Galvanize's sector weighting is largest in mobile, how does Kate view the space and how would Kate respond to the likes of Fred Wilson stating consumer mobile is very difficult with difficult customer acquisition and then even harder, customer retention?

5.) How has the process been for Kate in establishing the fund? What are Kate and Galvanize's key differentiators to the sea of other NYC seed funds? How does Kate  approach deal sourcing at Galvanize? If investing outside the Galvanize community, what channels are the preferred channels?

6.) Why is Kate so excited about hardware? Where does Kate see the future of IOT going? Is crowdfunding an option for hardware startups?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Kate's Fave Book: The God of Small Things
Kate's Fave Mobile Apps: SlackSunrise CalendarMomentsTwoDotsPannaWildcard
Kate's Fave Blog or Newsletter: AVCBen Evans
Kate's Most Recent Investment: Msg.ai
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Kate on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
Jan 11, 2016
David Tisch is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, one of New York most prolific seed investors with investments in over 120 seed-stage technology companies including VineSunrise CalendarWarby ParkerHarry’sOscarMeerkat, and Zady. As of 2014, David is also the Co-Founder of Spring, an app that allows the worlds best brands to sell directly to consumers on mobile, with his brother Alan who is the CEO. Prior to Box and Spring, David co-founded TechStars NYC, and was named to NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology.
 
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
Click To Play
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn: 

1.) How David made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) Having started Box in 2008, how has David seen the NY venture and startup scene develop over the last years? Matt Hartman @ Betaworks: how has that impacted the type of investments you make? Has it changed your thesis, theme, or any other aspect of how you invest? Kanyi Maqubela @ Collaborative: Does an ecosystem need anchor companies to be great? What are New York's anchor companies?

3.) What is the vision with Box? Is this a fund that lasts through the ages? Last year I heard you made 3 hires, is this a sign of a desire to create the NYC fund? At Box you have a weighting towards mobile consumer tech, how do you respond to Fred Wilson’s post about the mobile downtown and the difficulty in attaining and maintating traction for mobile apps?

4.) What was the motivation behind moving into the world of entrepreneurship with Spring? What aspects of Alan's and Box as a product has contributed to it’s massive success?

 
Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
David's Fave Productivity Tools: Captio 
David's Most Recent Investment: Nucleus: The Smart Home Wireless Intercom
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and David on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Jan 8, 2016

Ivan Mazour is a serial entrepreneur, investor and author. He is the CEO and Founder of Ometria - a predictive analytics and marketing platform built specifically for retailers, letting them use data to increase revenues and provide an improved customer experience. Alongside this main role, he is also the Founding Partner of Innova Kapital - an early stage VC firm investing in UK-based technology startups, including companies like YPlan and organisations like Entrepreneur First. Ivan also writes a popular blog called “A Young Entrepreneur in London”.

 
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
Click To Play
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ivan progressed from making 30+ investments to founding one of Europe's hottest startups?

2.) Considering Ivan's recent fundraising, what does Ivan think of the recent funding environment and landscape? How was it raising venture funding now?

3.) What was the difference between raising an angel round to raising a VC round? Did Ivan have to adapt your pitch accordingly? Do they have differing desires and expectations?

4.) Having raised both VC and angel money recently for Ometria, how has that led Ivan to view his own investing style? Is there anything Ivan looks for or at differently now he has experienced fundraising from the other side?

5.) What have been the hardest and most challenging aspects of growing Ometria? How did Ivan overcome them?

6.) Taking futuristically now on the sector of e-commerce, where does Ivan see the future of technology integrating with retail? Will we see an end to bricks and mortar stores?

 
Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Ivan's Fave Book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad & How To Win Friends And Influence People
Ivan's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Saastr
Ivan's Fave Productivity Tools: ToDoistGoogle KeepGoogle Hangouts
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Ivan on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
 
Jan 6, 2016
Philipp Moehring is Head of AngelList Europe and their first European hire, a role he has had since Jan 2014. Whilst being Head of AngelList Europe, he is also Venture Partner for 500 Startups and prior to 500 and AngelList, Philipp was a Principal at Seedcamp and has been involved in more than 100 startups since becoming an investor. For anyone looking to join an AngelList syndicate, absolutely check out Philipp’s here!
 
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Philipp made it into startups and investing with AngelList and now 500?

2.) In a recent post Philipp said that management consulting, investment banking and accounting were the worst backgrounds for VCs. Why do you think this and where would you like to see the new breed of VCs emerging from?

3.) Considering your work with AngelList, how do you think the US investing scene differs from the European? Why are we seeing this sudden influx of US capital into European markets? What is driving this influx?

4.) The recent £400m that AngelList received from CSC, Philipp tells us a little more about this and what it means for European companies?

5.) How does Philipp's role with 500 integrate with the AngelList model? How does Philipp split the time? Is Philipp ever concerned that with the dominance of syndicates in the years to come, VCs will become non existent?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Philipp's Fave Book: Snow crashFollow Philipp on GoodReads Here
Philipp's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Brad Feld's: Feld Thoughts
Philipp's Biggest Productivity Tips: SelfControl (Mac)
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Philipp on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
Jan 4, 2016

Morten Lund, best know for his seed investment in Skype, he has also founded and co-invested in more than 100 startups including the likes of Airhelp who you might recognize as we interviewed their CEO Nicolas Michaelsen in episode check 32, as well as Bullguard, Maxthon and many more. In today’s incredible interview we talk about the story behind his skype investment, how he went from $150m to bankruptcy moving to the present both with his work with Coders Trust helping coders in developing countries to improve their lives to his rocketship journey with one of the world’s most exciting fintech companies in Tradeshift, who have raised a total of over $200m. If you love today's episode, simply click here and share the love!

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Morten got into the technology industry and the world of investing?

2.) How did Morten's investment in Skype come about? How did Morten deal with the bankruptcy and how it changed him as a person?

3.) How does Morten view the current state of European fintech? Where are the significant market opportunities that are yet to be exploited?

4.) Following Morten bankruptcy, he only works with "really cool people". So what makes Morten like someone and believe in them?

5.) How did TradeShift come about from Morten's basement? What was the a-ha moment? What has driven the immense success with over $200m invested? What is the future for the company and the future of money?

6.) Looking forward, what is Morten's main goal and aspiration and how does he plan on attaining it?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Morten's Fave Book: Shantaram
Morten's Fave Blog or Newsletter: The Economist
Morten's Most Recent Investment: Hippocorn
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Morten on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
Jan 1, 2016
Richard Hanson is CEO and co-founder of HiringScreen, where rocket science meets recruitment. Founded in Jan 2015 in Hong Kong, HiringScreen has raised over $800,000 from a number of investors with plans to expand into the Philippines and Indonesia. Before founding HiringScreen, Richard was an award winning headhunter and recruitment consultancy owner. A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were the origins of Hiring Screen? What was the a-ha moment for Richard?

2.) What advice would Richard give to founders contemplating entering accelerators? What should they look for and why should they be wary of?

3.) Why does Richard believe that a startup with multiple founders is more beneficial than single founder startups? What would he suggest someone looking to find a co-founder is to do?

4.) Why did Richard start Hiring Screen in Hong Kong? What are Richard's views on Asia's emerging tech scene? What advice would Richard give to a founder deciding where to start a startup?

5.) What has been the most challenging element of growing Hiring Screen? How did Richard overcome it and alter the company from there?

6.) If Richard were to found Hiring Screen again, what would he do differently? Is there anything he wishes he had known before the process?

 
Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Richard's Fave Book: The Alliance by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh
Richard's Fave Blog or Newsletter: CalacanisFeld Thoughts
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Richard on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
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Dec 30, 2015

Sitar Teli is Managing Partner at Connect Ventures and has been a venture capitalist for eight years, focusing on early-stage investments in both consumer and B2B companies. Previously with Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, where she led their Series A round in SoundCloud, she has experience with content, gaming and ecommerce startups. Sitar has a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from Duke University.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
  
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:
 
1.) How did Sitar make her way into the wonderful world of VC?
 
2.) How does Sitar approach the difficult task of saying no to entrepreneurs? What is the framework she has adopted over her 8 years in venture?

3.) There are a large amount of sources of capital for business in the seed stage, why did Sitar believe this was the stage with the most opportunity? Is too much capital chasing too few deals?

4.) With the increasing prominence of crowdfunding, is it a viable alternative to VC? Is Sitar concerned that quality deal flow is being lost to Crowdfunding?

5.) What is driving the growth of the European tech startup scene?

6.) Prior to making investments such as that of Citymapper, one obviously has to look at the team and the product. So what do you look for in a founder and what to you makes a great product? 

 
Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Sitar's Fave Book: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Sitar's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Benedict Evans Newsletter
Sitar's Fave Apps: OutlookSunriseCitymapper
Sitar's Most Recent Investment: Knyttan
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Sitar on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
 
 
Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk
Dec 28, 2015

Boris Wertz is one of the top tech early-stage investors in North America and the founding partner of Version One.  He is also a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz. Before becoming an investor, Boris was the COO of AbeBooks.com which sold to Amazon in 2008. He was responsible for marketing, business development, product, customer service and international operations – leading a team of 60 people. In 2005, he was named the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:
 
1.) How did Boris make his way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) Why have we seen a mass re-emergence of the marketplace model now?

3.) What was the objective in writing Version One’s book, A Guide To Marketplaces? What did Boris feel the public needed to know that was not already known?

4.) For an entrepreneur looking to move into the marketplace sector, how can they select the right market, are there any essential components they must consider?

5.) The book discusses the benefits of both direct and indirect network effects for marketplaces but in the early days what should startups focus on; demand or supply? How should they go about addressing this element?

6.) What are the core required elements of scaling a marketplace?

 
Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Boris's Fave Book: Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Boris's Fave Blog or Newsletter: AVC by Fred Wilson 
Boris's Most Recent Investment: Headout
 
To check out The Two Minute Takeaway from today's show, click here!
 
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Boris on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
 Free Ebook: How to boost your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) by over 100%
 
Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk
 
Dec 23, 2015

Sumeet Shah is an investor @ Brand Foundry Ventures, who have investments in the likes of Warby Parker, Birchbox and Contently. Sumeet himself is pivotal in sourcing and managing new opportunities at Brand Foundry with over 6 years of experience across the startup and private equity industries, formerly running new business strategies at Gist Digital and handling business development and project work at Gotham Consulting Partners.

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sumeet made his way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) What stage is Brand Foundry active in? Does Sarah Lacy’s analysis of a ‘Series A Crunch’ concern Sumeet? Has he seen a widening in the gap between the amount that raise seed to then go onto raise Series A?

3.) What does Sumeet believe are the key pieces to run a successful business? In the first 100 days, what are the most important elements to focus on?

4.) Sumeet recently tweeted ‘To All Startups, the most helpful investor is not always the largest’. How can startups determine who is the most helpful? What should startups expect from their investors? What does Sumeet believe makes the best investor?

5.) What would Sumeet say is his biggest strength as an investor and what would he most like to improve upon? As a seed investor, how does Sumeet respond to Aileen Lee’s suggestion that in investing you can only make really money when invested in unicorns?

6.) Is Sumeet bullish on the future of NYC tech? What are the strengths of NY? Where is it booming? Are there any elements of SF, Sumeet would like NY to have?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Sumeet's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Term Sheet by Dan PrimackStrictly VC

Sumeet's Fave Book: Things A Little Birdy Told Me by Biz Stone

Sumeet's Most Recent Investment: Lola: A Better Month Awaits You

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

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Dec 21, 2015
Eric Hippeau is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. He is the chairman of RebelMouse and co-founder of NowThis Media. Previously, Eric was the Chief Executive Officer of The Huffington Post and a Special Partner at Softbank Capital, where he served as Managing Partner. Prior to Softbank Capital, Eric was Chairman and CEO of Ziff-Davis, which was the largest media company serving the technology sector. He serves on the Board of various private and public companies, including Buzzed & Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:
 
1.) How did Eric make his way into the world of tech and venture?
2.) Question from Eric Paley: How does Eric compare the role of VC to the role of operator and does Eric think each draws on the same skills and strengths? 

3.) What does Eric think makes a great VC and what makes a great operator? Are there any commonalities in the individuals he has come across?

4.) Eric reveals the best pitches he has seen and what made them so effective and flips the coin to discuss the worst pitches and what not to do when pitching a VC?

5.) Eric has made many investments in adtech and content, an area most VCs are hesitant of. So why are VCs hesitant of this space and why does Eric think he and Ken have been able to master it and produce great returns?

6.) With Eric's experience as CEO at Huffington Post, how does Eric view the changes to the media landscape and what are his predictions and concerns for the next few years?

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Eric's Fave Book: The Lord of The Rings
Eric's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Strictly VCDan Primack: Termsheet
Eric's Most Recent Investment: The Drone Racing League
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Eric on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
 Free Ebook: How to boost your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) by over 100%
 
Have you ever wanted to know who someone is simply from an email address? 
With Loyalty Bay's Super Users product now you can. Simply input an email address and it will go off and find publicly available profile information i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc for that email address. This is incredibly powerful in building a richer data profile on your users for marketers and business development people alike. Free 30 day Trial. Check out www.loyaltybay.co.uk
 
 

 

Dec 18, 2015
Daniel van Binsbergen is CEO and co-founder of Lexoo, an online marketplace that connects businesses with lawyers. Founded in 2014 in London, Lexoo has raised over $1.7M from a number of investors, including Forward Partners. Before founding Lexoo, Daniel was a senior associate at an international law firm, working in London and Amsterdam. A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today's show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
 
In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were the origins of Lexoo? What was the a-ha moment for Daniel?

2.) Was Daniel nervous about leaving the security of the legal profession to found a startup? What does Daniel advise people who want to make the leap but are not sure if it is worth risking everything?

3.) Why is there a divergence between the advancement of tech and the lacking progression of the legal space?

4.) Why did Daniel start Lexoo in a completely no tech, manual way? How was that? What would Daniel advise fellow founders who do not have the technical skills to build their idea?

5.) How did Daniel meet his investors? How did he find the fundraising experience? What was the challenging and surprising elements of the journey?

6.) If Daniel were to found Lexoo again, what would he do differently? Is there anything he wishes he had known before the process?

 
Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:
Daniel's Fave Book: The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick 
Daniel's Fave Blog or Newsletter: MattermarkSeth GodinJames Altucher
Daniel's Must Have Software: SunriseTrello
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Daniel on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
 
Dec 16, 2015

Matthew is an Investor at Forward Partners: a super-early stage London VC. Forward Partners invests in solo-founders, idea stage and seed stage eCommerce, marketplace and related software businesses providing them with funding, office space and the support of an expert in-house engineering, product and growth team. Before becoming a VC, Matthew had varying degrees of success (!) with retail and security tech start-ups. He began his career in Sales, Structuring and Trading at investment banks. He holds a BA in Economics and Politics and an MBA from SDA Bocconi. A huge thank you to Mattermark for all the data discussed in today's show and you can find them here! 

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Matt make his way into the world of VC? What would he advise someone wanting to get into the industry?

2.) How does Forward Partners differentiate themselves in such a sea of seed funds? What is unique about their model?

3.) What are the key activities that entrepreneurs can do to build a successful business, ready for Series A? What would Matt advise someone who has an idea but no technical skills?

4.) What are the nuances and complexities of the early stage funding environment? How do Forward approach and overcome them? Are there any common misconceptions?

5.) What are the similarities and differences between the US and the UK with regards to start-up attractiveness? Where would Matt choose to found his startup if he were a founder?

6.) Considering YC’s recent intake, where does Matt see growth areas in consumer facing startups?

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Matthew's Fave Book:  Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master & Margarita

Matthew's Fave Newsletter: Mattermark DailyThe Equity KickerFirst Round Review

Matthew's Most Recent Investment: Live Better With

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

Dec 14, 2015

Dharmesh Raithatha is the Product Partner at Forward Partners. He works with idea stage investments on product, growth and business strategy. He has a passion for User Research, Lean UX and using data to inform decision making. Dharmesh has over 15 years in product roles for companies like Mind Candy and the BBC. He has founded 2 startups and successfully sold one. A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in today's episode and can find out more about Mattermark here! 

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Dharmesh make his way into the world of VC?

2.) How has Dharmesh's startup driven past, altered his investment pattern? What are the benefits and weaknesses to this kind of operational experience?

3.) At Forward there Open Office Hours where people come and share ideas, so what is it about the ideas you like that make them good, what makes the bad ones bad?

4.) What are Dharmesh's tips or advice for idea creation and brainstorming?

5.) What would Dharmesh advice non-technical people looking to found a tech startup?

6.) What does Dharmesh believe makes a great founder? Has he seen any commonalities in the great founders he has worked with?

7.) What should teams focus on in the first 100 days of their startup? What is the 20% that produces 80% of the results?

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Dharmesh's Fave Book:  How To Create A Product Customers Love by Marty Cagan

Dharmesh's Fave Newsletter: Silicon Valley Product Group

Dharmesh's Most Recent Investment: The Gifting Company

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

I would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsor for today's show: LoyaltyBay. Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

 

Dec 11, 2015

Ryan Hoover is the Founder and CEO @ ProductHunt, winner of TechCrunch "Best New Startup 2014". ProductHunt is a community of people sharing, upvoting, and geeking out about new technology products, games, and books. Before Product Hunt, Ryan was an EIR at Tradecraft and Director of Product at PlayHaven. As a writer, Ryan has contributed to Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal and written many essays, including features for TechCrunchForbes, Pando, Fast Company, and The Next Web. He writes about startup trends, product designs, and production growth on his blog, ryanhoover.me.

I would like to thank Mattermark for providing all the data and analysis for this interview and you can check them out here!

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did ProductHunt get started and what was the a-ha moment for Ryan in the founding of ProductHunt?

2.) PH has gone from a newsletter to friends to a a16z backed startup with employees around the globe. What have been the drivers of PH's success?

3.) PH harness the crowd for feedback on everything from designs to features. Why does Ryan prefer this open sourced feedback approach? What are the benefits? What would Ryan suggest to founders looking to adopt a similar feedback style?

4.) Question from Matt Hartman at Betaworks: Considering Ryan's work with Nir Eyal on Hooked, are there elements of Hooked that Ryan baked into the infrastructure of PH and what were they?

5.) How has Ryan created such a close and intimate relationship with his audience? What are the tools and strategies that Ryan uses to build that community? What advice does Ryan give for people looking to network and make a community around them?

6.) Where does Ryan see PH in 5 years time? What is his vision for the PH platform? How does a platform such as ProductHunt plan to monetise?

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Ryan's Fave Book: The Art of Game Design: A Book Of Lenses

Ryan's Fave Podcasts: TWIST by Jason CalacanisStartup: Gimlet MediaMystery Show: Gimlet Media

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Dec 9, 2015

David Teten is a Partner at ff Venture Capital and is also Founder and Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York, the largest angel group in New York. David is currently co-leading the first study on “how to disrupt the investing industry.”  He led the first-ever study of best practices of venture capital and private equity funds in originating new deals (#1 all time most-read study in the Journal of Private Equity) and the first-ever study of VCs in creating portfolio company value.  He has published in Harvard Business Review, Institutional Investor, and other leading publications. David's blog is one of the most extensive and actionable blogs there is, seriously you have to check it out and it can be found at teten.com.

I would like to thank Mattermark for providing all the data and analysis for this interview and you can check them out here!

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did David make the move into the world of vc and technology?

2.) What is David's approach to deal sourcing? What strategies would he recommend to other VCs to find the best startups and entrepreneurs?

3.) What does David think are the most effective ways that VC and PE funds are helping to increase portfolio company value?

4.) How should an entrepreneur evaluate how value-added a VC can be? Are there any signs that one VC has more value add than another?

5.) Is VC moving to the operational model in terms of headcount, with the moves of firms like a16z who provide extensive services as additional value add?

5.) Why did David and ff invest in Indiegogo? Is it not an alternative finance method that is competing with VC? Has David notice a loss in deal flow to AngelList?

 

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

David's Fave Book: Edward Tufte: Graphical Communication of Quantitative Data

David's Fave Blog: PandoDaily

David's Most Recent Investment: Skycatch

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

Dec 7, 2015

Kanyi Maqubela is a Partner at Collaborative Fund, who have made investments in AngelList, CodeAcademy, AltSchool, Reddit, Task Rabbit just to name a few. On a more personal note, and a little background on Kanyi, he is originally from Johannesburg South Africa, and was a founding employee at Doostang, a venture-backed peer-to-peer career marketplace, he attended Stanford University and as Kanyi states his most meaningful and difficult work done so far is his work on the Obama Campaign in 2008. You can checkout Kanyi's blog here! I would like to thank Mattermark for providing all the data and analysis for this interview and you can check them out here!

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kanyi made the move into VC and tech from South Africa?

2.) Was the decision to leave Stanford tough? Why would Kanyi advise others to say in school? What was so tough about the startup experience for Kanyi?

3.) What is the investing thesis at Collaborative Fund? What stage do you prefer? Average cheque size? Sector preference? Does specializing in themes result in higher returns?

4.) How is it being such a young partner in the industry? What are the challenges Kanyi has face? Does Kanyi think his age acts as a disadvantage when it comes to attracting older founders?

5.) What are Kanyi's personal marketing strategies that he uses to establish his own personal brand? What platforms are most effective?

6.) How effective does Kanyi find demo days and hackathons as source of deal flow? Are there any tips Kanyi would suggest to maximise their utility? What is Collaborative's most effective form of deal sourcing today?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Kanyi's Fave Book: The Brothers Karamazov

Kanyi's Most Recent Investment: CircleUp

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

Dec 4, 2015

Erin Glenn is the CEO @ Quire where she aims to create a way for communities to invest and collaborate with companies and their founders. Quire is changing the way companies are owned and built. Prior to being CEO, Erin was CFO at SF based video game maker KIXEYE, an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and UBS, and a management consultant in the US and South East Asia. All the data and research mentioned in today's show is provided by the kind team at Mattermark, check them out here!

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Erin made her way into the wonderful world technology?

2.) What is Quire, how does Quire work, what companies does Quire raise for?

3.) Over the last few years we have seen a massive increase in the crowdfunding sector in general. What are the key drivers of the rise of this sector?

4.) With the greater and greater amounts being raised on these platforms, many are suggesting they have the potential to replace VC. What are Erin's thoughts on this? Or are the systems fundamentally different?

5.) What are the greatest barriers to mass market adoption of the crowdfunding model? What have been the biggest challenges faced in the journey with Quire?

6.) How does Quire, as a crowdfunding platform plan to draw investors away from funds and other portfolio based assets given the level of risk associated with investing in young companies?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Erin's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson: AVC

Erin's Fave Book: Magic

Erin's Fave Quire Funded Companies: Gimlet Media, Kano, Duel

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Dec 2, 2015

Samir Kaji is the Managing Director @ First Republic Bank, a leading private bank and wealth management company on Sand Hill Road. Samir, has 13 years of banking experience, working with venture capital and private equity clients in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining First Republic, Kaji worked for Silicon Valley Bank. Samir writes an awesome blog on the VC, investing and startup scene at (http://pevcbanker.com). All the data and research mentioned in today's show is provided by the kind team at Mattermark, check them out here!

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Samir made his way into the wonderful world of venture and technology?

2.) We often hear the term, Micro VC bandied around, are there any common characteristics and criteria that discern Micro VCs from traditional VCs?

3.) Why has there has been this massive growth of the seed stage funding environment? What is driving this end of the funding cycle? Is it being damaged with the rise of AngelList syndicates?

4.) What trends and emerging themes has Samir seen come out of this exponentially expanding sector? What effect has AngelList had on the MicroVC market?

5.) What are Samir's thoughts for the future of seed funding? What do you think the seed funding landscape will look like in 20 years time?

6.) Why do smaller funds tend to outperform larger VCs?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Samir's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dan Primack: TermSheetEzra Galston: Breaking VC

Samir's Fave Book: Phil Jackson: A Team In Search Of It's SoulAdam Grant: Give & Take

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

 

 

Nov 30, 2015

Ed Sim, Founding Partner @ Boldstart Ventures, Ed truly has had the most astonishing career in early stage SaaS having led first round investments in todays market leaders, LivePerson (now on Nasdaq) and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Over the 19 years in early stage SaaS he has also helped a number of entrepreneurs scale from seed to market leader with his portfolio companies being acquired by the likes of Google, Linkedin and Salesforce, and I would like to say that all the data and information presented in today's show is provided by the kind folks at Mattermark, check then out at www.mattermark.com

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ed made his way into the wonderful world of venture?

2.) Why did Ed start a seed stage SaaS fund? Where did he see the market opportunity?How was the fundraising process for Ed? Were there any surprises?

3.) How does Ed view the current seed stage funding environment, is there too much money chasing too few deals?

4.) Ed backed cloud companies in 2000. What is different from then vs today’s saas companies?

5.) How do you value early stage SaaS startups, when there are often very few clear metrics at this stage?

6.) What makes a great enterprise founder at seed stage?

7.) How has the seed stage SaaS environment changed over the 19 years of Ed's career?

Items Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Ed's Fave Blog or Newsletter: Jason Calacanis: LaunchTicker

Ed's Fave iPhone App: Slack

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

Have you ever wanted to know who someone is simply from an email address?
With Loyalty Bay's Super Users product now you can. Simply input an email address and it will go off and find publicly available profile information i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc for that email address. This is incredibly powerful in building a richer data profile on your users for marketers and business development people alike. Free 30 day Trial. Check out www.loyaltybay.co.uk

 

Nov 27, 2015

Nikos Moraitakis is the Founder & CEO @ Workable, one of Balderton Capital's latest additions to their portfolio. Workable is the affordable and usable hiring software that which replaces email and spreadsheets with an applicant tracking system that your team will actually enjoy using. Prior to founding Workable, Nikos was a Senior VP of Business Development at Upstream where he played a key role in the company's growth from startup into one of the world’s top marketing technology companies, where he was actively involved in enterprise sales across 40 countries in 4 continents.

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nikos made his way into the world of startups and tech and founded Workable? What was the a-ha moment?

2.) What was it like starting a company in Greece? Were there sufficient levels of engineers? Why did Workable decide to move some operations to the US?

3.) Why does Nikos think the enterprise SaaS space has become so hot? What has changed? Has this upturn in interest made it easier with more capital inflowing or more difficult with increased company creation?

5.) How did Workable meet their investors? How was the fundraising experience? What was the challenging and surprising elements of the journey? Advice to founders?

6.) Looking back at his time founding Workable, what does Nikos wish someone had told him at the beginning?

Items Mentioned In Today's Show:

Nikos' Fave Book: Fooled by Randomness

Nikos' Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd

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

If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!

I would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors today, LoyaltyBay. Have you ever wished more of your website visitors would convert into a sale, signup or referral? If so, you need Loyalty Bay. With their saas conversion optimizer tool they increase any conversion metric by offering potential customers a choice of personalised rewards to get them to convert. They work with large enterprises like Virgin Media through to startups and have increased conversions on average by over 100%. Free 30 day trial at www.loyaltybay.co.uk

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