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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 35
May 25, 2015

Simon Menashy is Investment Director at MMC Ventures where he is responsible for leading new and follow on investments as well as supporting existing MMC portfolio companies. He also sits on the board for WeDoBoticca and Sky Futures and works closely with a number of other B2B and B2C businesses including Growth Intelligence, Mubi, Small World, Somo.  Prior to MMC Simon worked in European tech and media consulting, working with clients including the BBC, Virgin Media, BT, Thompson Reuters and Ofcom as part of the Deloitte Strategy team in London

 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Simon made his move from consulting into the world of VCs?

2.)Simon recently tweeted how not to pitch to VCs, so what should founders be doing when pitching? What are the fundamentals in terms of required documentation? 

3.) Does Simon agree with Peter Thiel’s opinion that disruption is fundamentally bad for society? What industries does Simon feel will be next disrupted?

4.) With the increasing length of time it takes for venture backed companies to IPO, how does Simon feel the funding path is changing?

5.) How does Simon believe the tech eco system is going in London and what can be done to increase VC funding and engender a silicon valley esque feel to London?

Today's episode finishes with a quick fire round where we hear Simon's thoughts on the apple watch, what the biggest red flags are when viewing a pitch and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

You can follow HarrySimon and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter.

 

May 21, 2015

Angela Tran Kingyens is an associate at Version One Ventures, where Angela manages the day to day activities of the fund from identifying new startups to advising portfolio companies on product. Prior to Version One, Angela Co-Launched Insight Data Science, a Y Combinator backed startup, helping academics transition into a career in industry. In today's episode, Angela describes the best ways to network with VCs, how you can increase employability instantly and the most effective ways to conduct market research!

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

mattermark Daily Newsletter

Dan Primack: TermSheet

Fred Wilson: AVC

Good To Great by Jim Collins

Headout: Your Best Local Friend in a New City

In Today's Episode you will Learn:

1.) How Angela made the transition from a career in academia to a YC backed startup to a Palo Alto Venture Fund?

2.) What can individuals do to network effectively with VCs, even if they have no existing VC contacts?

3.) What advice Angela would give to someone looking to leave the academic path for a career in tech? How can they maximise employability?

4.) What should individuals look for when considering incubators? Do they increase the validity of a startup, from the Version One perspective?

5.) Version One specialise in Marketplaces. Why is that? Is it normal for VC funds to specialise? What Angela thinks the future of marketplaces will look like?

6.) How to identify where there are up and coming areas for disruption? What resources are most effective for this market research?

We then finish today's episode with a lightning round where we hear Angela's thoughts on what industry she would never invest in, whether Uber will be a $trillion company, how VCs measure their own success, Angela's favourite business book and her most recent investment and why she said yes?

You can follow HarryAngela and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here.

 

May 18, 2015

Tak Lo is Director at Techstars, helping entrepreneurs do more faster - on both sides of the Atlantic through Techstars London and Techstars NYC. Tak is also Founder at Travelst and Frontlyst. Prior to his road into entrepreneurship, Tak was a Consultant at Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton and was a specialist in the US ARMY. In today's incredible episode Tak shares his lessons from his own startup experience, the required reading for all entrepreneurs and of course when thinking TechStars, how can we not discuss the man himself, Brad Feld, and how Tak has adopted Brad's use of open office hours.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

  • How and why Tak made the transition first from the army to a career in consulting and then what made Tak take the entrepreneurial route and start his own company?
  • Tak is renknowned for the amazing service and contribution he brings to every startup. What services does Tak bring and what does Tak feel all entrepreneurs and advisors must add?
  • Does Tak back singular founders, or does he prefer a founding team?
  • Tak is a Specialist on Leadership, for founders wanting to gain or develop their leadership skills, what can founders do, read or learn to further their leadership skills?
  • For individuals contemplating moving into the tech world, how do they know which is the right job? Are there any immediate aspects they must look for or be wary of?
  • What are the biggest misconceptions of the tech industry?
  • How can people find out about networking events 
  • What sector Tak believes is the next to be disrupted and why?
  • What is the premise behind Brad Feld's 'Open Office Hours'? Why has Tak decided to adopt this tactic? What does Tak hope to gain from it? How is it going so far?

We then finish today's episode with a lightning round, hearing Tak's thoughts on the greatest leader and why, the future of the asian tech market, his favourite book and why and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

Follow HarryTakThe Twenty Minute VC

May 14, 2015

Stephan von Perger is an Early Stage VC at Wellington Partners where his primary role is identifying investment opportunities and building lasting relationships with the entrepreneurs behind these companies. Stephan started his career at McKinsey before moving to Stylistpick.com as Head of Operations, he then progressed to setup and run the business operations at CityMapper.com. In today's interview Stephan walks us through the pitching process from the first email to signing the term sheet!

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

  • How and why Stephan made his move from the world of startups to the venture industry?
  • What are the right reasons for a founder to enter a round of venture funding?
  • How should founders go about meeting and connecting with VCs? What can founders actively do to position themselves well and how should founders phrase their emails and communication?
  • Are there any aspects or buzzwords in emails which instantly make VCs interested?
  • What documentation is required for the initial meeting? Is there anything founders must bring?
  • How can founders make the most out of their meeting with VCs? Are there any questions founders should ask? How should founders respond to a question they do not know the answer to?
  • What happens if a VC says they will contact you but a week later the founder has heard nothing? What should the founder do?

We then finish todays episode with a quick fire round where we hear Stephan's thoughts on which pitch or communication has impressed him the most, what single thing Stephan most looks for in founders and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

May 11, 2015

Jay Acunzo is NextView Ventures VP of Platform and runs the View from Seed blog. At NextView, he leads the creation of business development and educational resources for startups, from board deck templates to mobile workshops to the popular Hitchhiker's Guide to Boston Tech (bostontechguide.com). Prior to NextView, Jay led content marketing and production teams at HubSpot (IPO) and Dailybreak Media (acquired). A former sports journalist, he began his career in tech at Google. As a result of Jay's tremendous success Jay has been named Top 10 B2B Marketer in Boston, 70 Rising Social Media Stars and 100 Most Influential Content Marketers.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

 

In Today's Episode you will Learn:

  • How Jay made his move into the world of tech with Google and how he then transitioned into the world of venture with NextView?
  • What does VP of Platform really entail? Why has it become an emerging trend in the venture industry?
  • How is the structure of VCs firms changing, with the likes of a16z moving to a much more service orientated venture fund.
  • Are there any individuals or sections of society that should or should not be blogging?
  • How can individuals drive traffic to their blog and what tactics Jay uses to get visitors to his blog?
  • What Jay would suggest to business and startup founders thinking about whether to start blogging?
  • What is the best platform to market your content or startup? Is Twitter really an effective marketing tool? How can individuals and businesses increase engagement on Twitter? What not to do on Twitter?

We then finish today's episode with a lightning round where we hear Jay's thoughts on the best and worst aspects as VP of Platform, his best resource for content marketing, his favourite book and why.

 

May 7, 2015

Jon Staenberg is one of the most experienced venture capitalists in the Pacific Northwest, having made over 250 startup investments and having raised two funds totaling over $100 million. Jon's investments include the likes of AngelListStubHubSAPHOKitchenBowl (through AngelList syndicates) and many more. If that wasn't enough Jon sits on the boards of Class.com, Micropath and even owns his own vineyard! Previously, Jon worked in the marketing area at Microsoft for six years and is a Stanford alum!

Items Mentioned in Today's Episode:

In Today's Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jon started off in the tech industry and then made his move into venture?

2.) Having established 5 companies, what was the hardest element of the process and how did Jon overcome it?

3.) Having invested in over 250 startups what is Jon's investment strategy? What is Jon looking for in startups?

4.) Once invested in a startup, what is Jon's role and what services can VCs bring to a startup?

5.) Whether Jon feels AngelList syndicates are going to change the funding environment? Does it present a challenge to the more traditional VC model?

We then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Jon describe the highlight of his glittering career, the biggest tip Jon would give to an aspiring entrepreneur and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

 

May 4, 2015

Quote of the Day: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." John F. Kennedy

Chris Dark is President International at C2FO, the Union Square Ventures backed company is the priceline for working capital where companies 'name their own price'. Prior to C2FO, Chris was VP at Atomico, the London based venture fund founded by Nicklas Zennstorm. At Atomico, Chris was on the boards of Chemist DirectFabHailoQuipperWrappKnewtonBebestore, and Gengo. If that wasn't enough Chris has also held roles at AOLBain & Co and started his own company GameReplays.org, an early esports community, which Chris built to 1 million uniques per month!

Items Mentioned in Today's Show

 

In Today's Show You Will Learn:

  • Where it all began for Chris and how he made his move into venture?
  • What skills Chris learnt from founding his company and how he applied them to the venture industry?
  • What were the hardest aspects of building Chris' company and how did he overcome them?
  • What are the best reasons to want to join the venture industry?
  • What made Chris leave his VP role at Atomico to rejoin the entrepreneurial game with C2FO?
  • Having both invested in startups and raised funds as a startup, what tips would Chris give to founders potentially entering a round of funding?
  • How does Chris feel the tech eco system in London is developing and what Chris believes can be done to further improve it?

We finish today's show with a lightning round where we hear Chris' thoughts on whether university is necessary or not, the next 5 years for him and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

Apr 30, 2015

In today's show I am joined by the immensely talented Nicolas Michaelsen, Founder & CMO at AirHelp, the go to place if you have grievances during air travel. Nicolas draws back the curtain on the exclusive world of Y Combinator, this includes the admissions process, the infamous interview, the tutoring available to YC startups, the effects of YC on the valuation of startups and the key takeaways from his time at YC. 

 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In today's show you will learn:

  • How Nicolas got AirHelp started?
  • At what point did Nicolas realise that Y Combinator was the place to go?
  • Had Nicolas considered other more local incubators?
  • What was the admissions process like? Is there any specific documentation required to apply?
  • How is the YC interview structured? What type of questions do the partners ask?
  • What percentage of the partners need to say yes for a startup to be accepted?
  • How does the tutoring system work at YC? Who did Nicolas receive as tutors for AirHelp?
  • What is a typical day in the life of a YC startup?

We then finish today's episode by hearing Nicolas' thoughts on his most valuable takeaway from YC, the impact of YC on the valuation of a startup, what the future holds for AirHelp?

If you would like to follow The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter, click here!

If you would like to stay up to date with Nicolas and AirHelp, click here!

 

Apr 27, 2015

Maha Ibrahim is General Partner at Canaan Partners. Maha is renowned in the venture industry for her ability to to spot technology trends extremely early, proven through Maha being one of the 1st investors to recognise the huge potential of social gaming. As a result, Maha led Canaan's early investment in social games pioneer PicksPal (acquired by Liberty Media) and was a seed investor in Kabam, the world's largest developer of massively multiplayer social games. Due to Maha's incredible success in venture, she was included in Silicon Valley the '40 Under 40' award by The Silicon Valley Business Journal and is a regular on Bloomberg TV.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In today's episode you will learn:

  • How Maha made her transition into the world of Venture Capital?
  • As one of the 1st investors in social gaming, what did Maha see that other people did not?
  • With the gaming industry being as fast moving and fickle as it is, shown through the likes of Zynga's troubles, is Maha concerned for her gaming portfolio companies, in their ability to maintain their dominant presence in the sector?
  • Maha is an investor in The Real Real, a company which had revenues of over $100m last year. What does Maha believe is the reason for this incredible success and where does she see the future for The Real Real?
  • Increasing amounts of capital means increasing competition for VCs, what does Maha believe VCs can bring to the table to beat off the competition?
  • What is Maha most impressed by, in terms of entrepreneurs pitching to her?
  • Where does Maha believe the next big forms of disruption are coming from?

We finish today's episode with a quick fire round where we hear Maha's thoughts on the hardest part about being a VC, how Maha measures her success as a VC and her most recent investment and why she said yes?

You can follow Maha on Twitter here!

 

Apr 23, 2015

In today's show I am joined by John Taylor, a nationally recognised authority in the venture capital and entrepreneurial finance sector. Currently, John is Head of Research at the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). In 2003, he co-founded the NVCA CFO Task Force which focuses on regulation and emerging issues dealing with a diverse range of

Some of the many gems of this conversation include: where venture funds actually obtain their funds from, what is the main difference between an angel and a VC, what investors expect from their VCs, how has the IPO market changed since 2000, what do VCs look for in potential investments, how do VCs manage their time, what is the typical workload of a VC, can University students go straight into the VC industry?

 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Dave McClure | Lean VC | 500 Startups

Andreeson Horowitz 

Apr 20, 2015

The debate over whether or not we are in a tech bubble is dominating the minds of many in the tech world and today Harry talks to major player, Brandon Lipman, Co-Founder of 3DLT and writer of the recent TechCrunch Article: The Potential Upside To A Technology Bubble. Brandon shares his views on why seed deals have decreased by 300%, following from Scott Nolan's TechCrunch article, Brandon answers Does Burn Rate Really Matter, what sectors will survive or thrive in a tech bubble and why companies are preferring to raise later rounds rather than go public. They also dive into the dogfight between Meerkat and Periscope, the biggest winners from a bubble and the companies Brandon is most excited about.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Chris Sacca and Tony Hawk with Jason Calacanis on TWIST

500 Startups: Dave McClure on Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

MatterMark Complete Report

Meerkat vs Periscope

Apr 16, 2015

Keith Teare is the Founder of Palo Alto incubator, Archimedes Labs whose incubated startups include the likes of M.Dot (acquired by GoDaddy)TechCrunch (acquired by AOL) and Ivan Kalanick's Red Swoosh. Keith is also the Co-Founder of TechCrunch alongside Michael Arrington. Prior to TechCrunch Keith founded RealNames Corporation raising more than £130m of venture funding before filing for an IPO with an implied valuation of £1.5bn. 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

What you will learn in todays show:

  • How did Keith get into the tech world at a time when technology was not mainstream?
  • A venture of Keith's, Cyberia was heavily used by women. Does Keith believe that there have been improvements in balancing the gender gap?
  • What Keith believes can be done to reduce the gender inequality that persists throughout the tech sector?
  • How did Keith's Co-Founding of TechCrunch with Michael Arrington come about?
  • Why did Keith try and persuade Michael not to create TechCrunch?
  • What are the benefits of bootstrapping your startup and not raising venture funding?
  • Why Keith was never able to raise venture funding in the UK?
  • How is the valley different from creating a company in the UK?
  • Keith's beliefs on the barbell venture capital ecosystem that persists in the US?

We then finish today's episode with a quick fire round where we hear the best advice Keith has ever been given, the highlight of his career so far and the 3 companies that he is most excited about and why?

Apr 13, 2015

Greg Rogers is Managing Director at Techstars, the world’s leading accelerator programme for early stage technology start-ups and is responsible for the Barclays Accelerator. Prior to joining Techstars, he spent eleven years in New York City as an entrepreneur and senior manager. Most recently, he was founder and CEO of Pictela, a super rich media technology company that was acquired by AOL in 2010. An active angel, Greg was an early investor in Schedulicity and has recently co-founded SmartUp, a new ed-tech company with Frank Meehan (Siri)Brent Hoberman (Lastminute.com), and Barry Smith (Skyscanner).

 

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

The Fundraising Rules by Mark Peter-Davis

Brent Hoberman, Frank Meehan, Jon Bradford

LastMinute.com

Aire

DoPay

Squirrel 

In today’s episode you will learn:

 

1.) How Greg got into the TechStars world?

2.) What attracted Greg to the the Fintech space and how has he seen Fintech develop over the last 5 years?

3.) What areas within the Fintech space Greg finds most interesting and why?

4.) What does Greg see the future of Fintech looking like? Does he see any trends arising in the space in 2015?

5.) What does Techstars offer startups and what do they take in return?

6.) What does Greg think are the characteristics of effective mentors? Are mentors necessary for startups in their early growth?

7.) What is Greg’s new venture, SmartUp. Who is involved and what are his plans for the future of SmartUp?

 

We finish today’s episode with a quick fire round where we hear Greg’s plans for the next five years, what tip Greg would give Fintech entrepreneurs and the 3 companies from TechStars or Barclays Accelerator that Greg is most excited about and why?

Apr 9, 2015

Chris Redlitz is Managing Partner at Transmedia Capital, an early stage venture fund specializing in digital media. Their portfolio includes the likes of Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, just to name a few. Chris also Co-Founded The Last Mile with his wife Beverly, a program that integrates the nation’s penal system with the technology business. Prior to Transmedia and The Last Mile, Chris launched the first online independent yellow page directory, automated coupon platform and content syndication system. As a result, he received Ad Age's prestigious i20 award for his contributions to the development of interactive marketing and advertising.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

In today’s Episode you will learn:

1.) How Chris made his transition into the Venture Capital industry?

2.) How do VCs compete to be involved in the funding rounds of such attractive startups, such as, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook etc?

3.) How has Chris’ investment strategy changed over the years? What were his early deals? What did he learn from them? What does he do differently now?

4.) What is the premise of The Last Mile?

5.) How does Chris plan to scale the Last Mile to be nationally adopted in all prisons in the US?

6.) What has been the most challenging aspect of Chris’ journey with the Last Mile and how did he overcome it?

 

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Chris plans for the next five years for The Last Mile, the resource he would most recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

Apr 6, 2015

John Henderson is Principal at White Star Capital, a VC firm helping exceptional entrepreneurs build great technology companies, with a presence in Europe and North America. Prior to White Star, John was Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, playing a crucial role in the build up to their acquisition by Yahoo in May 2013. John has also spent time at Facebook working in strategy and business development and was a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.

 

Items (and incredible people!) Mentioned in Today's Show:

Ben Horowitz: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (THE TWENTY MINUTE VC BOOK CLUB: WEEK ONE)

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

Shakil KhanChristian HernandezNick D'AloisioFrank Meehan

Bloglovin

Nuzzel

PandoDaily

TechCrunch 

What you will learn in today's episode:

  • How John got into the technology industry and later made his transition into the world of Venture Capital?
  • As Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, what was it like for John working with Nick D'Aloisio? How did his role change in the buildup to the acquisition by Yahoo?
  • What does John think about Summary's evolution into Yahoo News Digest?
  • What has been the biggest difference between John's life as a entrepreneur compared to his life as a VC?
  • Does John believe it is crucial for startups to find a well-suited VC for their startup?
  • What does John advise startup founders to do or ask to ensure that a VC is the right match for them and their company?
  • Having made angel investments of his own, does John approach these personal investments in a different manner to his professional investments? 
  • What advice John would give to anyone contemplating angel investing?

The episode then finishes with a quick fire round where we hear John's thoughts on the future of bitcoin, John's personal news reading preferences and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

 

Apr 2, 2015

Marc Bernegger is Venture Partner at Orange Growth Capital, a Fintech investment firm with notable investments in the likes of BuxKnip and Zopa. Prior to OGC, Marc was Partner at Next Generation Finance Invest (today Ayondo Holdings). However, Marc has experienced both sides of the table, as he was only 20 when he founded usgang.ch (trade sale to Axel Springer) and later went on to be founder of amiando (trade sale to Xing). As a result of these many successes Marc was awarded 'Newcomer of the Year 2010' by Swiss ICT.

Items mentioned in today's show:

In today's show you will learn:

1.) How and why Marc made his entry into the VC world in 2010?

2.) Marc specializes in the Fintech sector and has done since 2010, when it was really a very niche sector. How has Marc seen Fintech develop over the last 5 years? What did Marc see that everyone else did not? 

3.) Which areas within the Fintech space Marc finds most interesting?

4.) What Marc sees the future of Fintech to look like? Does Marc see any trends arising in the space in 2015?

5.)In recent years Switzerland has trailed behind the likes of London and Scandinivia in Fintech, this seems to be changing with the recent Fintech hackathon held in Zurich, what does Marc think is bringing about this change?

6.)Where does Marc stand on the social integration of mobile payments?

7.) OGC is a investor in Bux, the social gamified trading platform, is this the way Marc believes stock market trading is moving? How does Marc respond to critics who suggest Bux allows the mass market who do not have the significant investing knowledge to gamble recklessly.  

 

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Marc's thoughts on the future of Bitcoin, what tips Marc would give to aspiring entrepreneurs and what the biggest difference between being an entrepreneur and an investor. 

 

Mar 30, 2015

Tom Britton is Co-Founder and CTO of Syndicate Room, an equity crowdfunding platform that allows it's members to co-invest alongside professional investors. To date Syndicate Room have raised an incredible £20m for 30 companies. Prior to Co-Founding Syndicate Room, Tom was a professional football player playing in a number of countries including the US and UK.

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

Nesta Report: Crowdfunding Page 52

Crowdcube

Ego Airplanes

Inn Style

Salty by Simon West

In today's episode you will learn:

1.) How Tom got into the technology industry and then moved into the very early concept at the time of, equity crowdfunding?

2.)How does SynidcateRoom operate and does their process differs from the likes of Crowdcube?

3.) How much of the £19m was invested by people on the Syndicate Room network rather than the anchor angels? 

4.) Does Tom believe with the rise of crowdfunding in recent years, the crowd are a competing finance model to the traditional VC model? 

5.) Having witnessed numerous successful campaigns to date, what does Tom believe are the recipes for a successful crowdfunding campaign?

6.) For startups contemplating raising funds for their business, what are the largest benefits of raising seed capital through SyndicateRoom?

7.) CrowdCube is the No 1 equity crowdfunding site in the UK, how does SyndicateRoom treat this competitive threat?

 

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Tom's plans for the next 5 years, the hardest obstacles Tom has faced in building Syndicate Room and the 3 companies that Syndicate Room has funded that Tom is most excited about?

         

 

Mar 26, 2015

Matthew McCall is a Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital and was previously a Partner with DFJ Portage. He has been involved with investments with Feedburner (acquired by Google), Playdom (acquired by Disney) and EverDream (acquired by Dell), just to name a few. Matt has been named in Chicago's '40 under 40' and their Top Tech 25 list. He has been named as one of the Top 100 VCs in the US, a Media 100 and a Hollywood 100 Power Player.

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

In todays show, you will learn:

  • How Matt got into the VC world?
  • What is Matt's normal investment size? 
  • When investing does Matt have a mental timeline of the startup with a clear strategy of when a desired exit will take place? 
  • Matt has been named to the AlwaysOnTop 100 VCs list, leading me to ask how has Matt's investment strategy changed over the years? What were his early deals? What did Matt learn from them? What does Matt do differently now?
  • Matt has written about the 15 year tech cycle and has quoted Steve Juvertson ‘if you can see it, it isn’t the revolution’, leading me to ask where does Matt stand on a ‘tech bubble’. Is it occurring and why does he say that?
  • Has Matt seen a rise in the emergence of the female entrepreneur?
  • Matt LOVES commencement speeches. Why is that and are there any Matt would recommend in particular?

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear the resource that Matt would most recommend to an aspiring Founder and Matt's recent investment and why he said yes?

*Shortly after the interview Matt strongly recommended to me Never Eat Alone by Keith  Ferrazzi 

 

Mar 19, 2015

Sharon Wienbar invests in Mobile and Internet companies at Scale Venture Partners, where she sits on the board of ActianceApplauseBeachMintEveryday HealthPlayPhoneReply.com and uTest. Prior to working at Scale Venture Partners, Sharon was VP of Marketing for Amplitude Software and Critical Path. 

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

What you will learn in Today's Show:

  • How Sharon made her entry into the technology world and later the Venture Capital sector?
  • Why is there gender misrepresentation in both the tech and the VC industry and what can be done to improve this gender inequality.
  • What Sharon's views are on investing outside of the valley?
  • What are the necessary aspects required for a startup located outside of the valley?
  • With such large amounts of capital creating extremely high valuations, is it possible to make money investing in startups?
  • With increasing competition between VC firms for startups, what else can VC's bring to the table other than capital?
  • What sector is Sharon most excited about and why?

We then move on to a quick fire round where we hear Sharon's thoughts on what Sharon likes and dislikes about being a VC? The most recent investment Sharon has made and why she said yes? 

 

Mar 16, 2015

Luke Lang is Co-Founder and CMO of Crowdcube, the world's leading investment Crowdfunding platform. Crowdcube enables anyone the opportunity to invest alongside professional investors in start-up, early-stage and growth businesses. They have raised over £67m for an incredible 207 companies and have an amazing 150,000 registered investors

Items Mentioned in Today's Show:

What you will learn in today's episode:

  • How Luke got into the technology industry and really came to be Co-Founder to the world's 1st quit Crowdfunding platform in the world?
  • Other than capital what else will Balderton bring to you to aid your growth and development?
  • Does Luke believe Crowdfunding is a competing finance model to the traditional VC model?
  • Having seen 207 companies experience successful Crowdfunding campaigns, Luke describes what he believes the formula to be for a successful campaign?
  • For businesses thinking about Crowdfunding, what are the biggest benefits to businesses of raising seed capital through the Crowd?
  • With the increasing number of Crowdfunding sites, how does Crowdcube treat the competitive threat?
  • Is there an opportunity to attract more institutional style money to Crowdcube through retail bonds, which might appeal to income funds.

As the interview comes to a close we engage in a quick fire round where we hear Luke's views on the hardest obstacle Luke has faced in building Crowdcube? Where Luke sees Crowdcube in 5 years time? 3 companies funded by Crowdcube that Luke is most excited about?

Mar 12, 2015

James Wise is Principal at Balderton Capital, one of Europe's most successful venture funds. At Balderton, James invests and advises early-stage technology start-ups, holding board member positions at Crowdcube.comSurnrise.am3Dhubs.com and many more... Prior to Balderton, James helped build one of the UK's first social venture funds and was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, working with entrepreneurs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Items Mentioned in Todays's Show:

What you will learn in today's show:

  • How James made his entry into the world of Venture Capital?
  • How does James feel the VC model differs in the UK compared to the US?
  • Does Silicon Valley deserve the plaudits it receives for producing revolutionary tech companies?
  • Following Balderton's recent investment in Crowdcube.com, how does James believe the crowd will become more involved in the future?
  • Is Crowdfunding not a competing method of financing to Venture Capital?
  • What is Balderton's competitive advantage for winning deals?
  • What James believes makes the perfect Series A round?
  • Does James believe the mini-bond, introduced by Crowdcube.com have the potential to revolutionise funding for businesses?
  • Which sector James is most excited about and why?
  • When thinking of success who is the first person that comes to James' mind and why?

We then move into a rapid fire round where we hear James' thoughts on his latest investment and why he said yes? Does James experience a fear of missing out (FOMO) when passing on investments? Finally, James' favourite book and why?

 

Mar 9, 2015

Stefan Glaenzer is Founding Partner at Passion Capital an early stage VC fund who have invested in the likes of DueDilGoCardless and CarThrottle. He is also Co-Founder of White Bear Yard, a co-working space in London's East End. Prior to Passion, Stefan was Chairman of Last.fm, an early investor in Wahanda and remains an active member of their board and founder of Ricardo, which went public in 1999.

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

What you will learn in today's episode:

  • How Stefan got into the technology industry and later pivoted into the VC world?
  • What is Stefan's preferred stage to enter into an investment and what is the standard amount invested in a startup?
  • How much equity Stefan would look for in an investment?
  • What interaction is typical for VCs following investing in a startup?
  • How individuals should pitch their idea to Stefan?
  • How many startups does Passion typically invest in on an annual basis?
  • Does Stefan encounter the fear on missing out on a startup?
  • What is it about the Peer to Peer lending sector that excites Stefan so much?
  • Does Peer to Peer have a brighter future than Crowdfunding?
  • What sector is Stefan most excited about and why?
  • How can an entrepreneur show their enthusiasm and make an awesome pitch?
  • Is there a formula for making a successful pitch?
  • What are Stefan's red flags when a startup pitches to him?

As the interview concludes we ask Stefan some quick fire questions where we hear his thoughts on the hardest decision of his life? The best piece of advice Stefan has been given and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

For all the resources mentioned in today's show head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com

Likewise, if you have a suggestion for a VC that you would like us to interview please do let me know by emailing harry@thetwentyminutevc.com

Mar 5, 2015

Nektarios Liolios is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Startupbootcamp Fintech, the leading innovation program in the financial industry providing access to a global network of investors and VCs for up to 10 lucky startups selected. Nektarios himself has more than 15 years in business, having spent the last three with InnoTribe, running the Innotribe Startup Challenge.

Items mentioned in today's show:

What you will learn in today's episode:

  • How Nektarios got into the world of tech accelerators?
  • How Startupbootcamp Fintech varies from the traditional VC model?
  • What makes the best pitches at Demo Days?
  • What is the selection process to get accepted at Startupbootcamp?
  • What can startups prepare to do before pitching to Startupbootcamp?
  • What is the most common reason Nektarios says no to startups?
  • What would Nektarios advise someone who is looking to find a co-founder?
  • What sector is Nektarios most excited about for the future?
  • What Nektarios thinks about the future of bitcoin?

We then complete todays interview by having a quicker round where we hear Nektarios' thoughts on his favourite entrepreneur? The happiest moment Nektarios has enjoyed in his career? A day in the life of a Managing Director of a Startupbootcamp? What was Nektarios' most recent investment and why he said yes?

For all the resources mentioned in today's show, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com

For any suggestions about future guests or questions you would like to hear, we would love to hear from you. If so email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com

 

Mar 2, 2015

Mike Seibel has enjoyed the most incredible career in the technology industry on both the Founder and the VC side of the table. He was Co-Founder and CEO of Justin.TV which was part of the Y Combinator Winter Class of 2007, and was later acquired as Twitch.TV by Amazon for $970 million. In that time Mike also created a spin off from Justin.TV, SocialCam, where he was Co-Founder and CEO, culminating in their acquisition in 2012 for $60 million by Autodesk. 

Items mentioned in Todays' Show:

  • Twitch.TV
  • SocialCam
  • Y Combinator
  • Dropbox

What you will learn in this episode?

  • How Mike got into the technology industry and later the tech accelerator business with Y Combinator?
  • Why Mike did not learn to code?
  • Mike's own experiences in Y Combinator.
  • What is it that Y Combinator does to produce such amazing and revolutionary companies?
  • What does Demo Day look like at Y Combinator?
  • What is the selection process for choosing which companies to back and which not to?
  • What do you look for in the interviews with the Founders?
  • Are top level University degrees necessary for entry into the Y Combinator class?
  • What are Mike's biggest red flags when looking at startups?
  • Why Mike would never outsource engineering?
  • What can startups do to prepare themselves for the Y Combinator process?
  • What sector is Mike really excited about and why?
  • What is a day in the life of a Y Combinator partner?

We then finish todays episode with a rapid fire round where we hear Mike's thoughts on the best piece of advice Mike has received, the hardest decision Mike has had to make in his career, how can an individual start a company with no technical skills or experience?

 

For all the resources mentioned in today's show, check out www.thetwentyminutevc.com

Likewise, we would love to hear from you, so if you have any questions you would like asked or VCs you would like to have on the show, send an email to harry@thetwentyminutevc.com

Feb 26, 2015

Lisa is Vice President at Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), where she focuses on early to late stage investments with emphasis on consumer internet. Before joining NVP, Lisa worked in Amazon's Worldwide Corporate Development Team, in which she evaluated acquisition targets and identified strategies for potential expansion. Prior to Amazon, Lisa was at Bessemer Venture Partners. If that wasn't enough Lisa also founded her own startup, Banzaa! Fresh, providing high quality nutritious foods to schools and hospitals in Northern California.

Items Mentioned in Todays show:

Etsy

Lending Club

SkyBox

FireEye

Jet

DoubleClick

What you will learn in today's show:

  • How Lisa got into the investing game?
  • Why Lisa is investing in marketplaces?
  • What Lisa's normal investment size is?
  • Lisa's most recent investment and why Lisa said yes?
  • Does Silicon Valley deserve the accolade it gets? Or is NYC fast approaching?
  • Do VCs investment attitudes differ when comparing SF to NYC?
  • How early is too early for Lisa to invest?
  • What was the one thing that propelled Lisa's career? 

We then move into a quick fire round where we hear Lisa's thoughts on the best advice she has ever been given, the number 1 reason Lisa says no to startups and what Lisa would do if all she had was a laptop and $100!

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