20 VC 076: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Aaron Harris, Partner @ YC

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Aaron Harris is a Partner at Y Combinator and also newly one of my favourite podcast hosts with his brilliant show, Startup School Radio, for all startup lovers it is a must listen. Prior to YC, Aaron was cofounder of Sequoia backed Tutorspree, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2011. Before Tutorspree he worked at Bridgewater Associates, where he managed product and operations for an analytics group. He also writes an awesome blog which can be found here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Aaron make his move into the world of entrepreneurship with Tutorspree and then become a YC Partner?

2.) Why did Aaron join YC and why does he believe the biggest potential lies at this stage of the cycle?

3.) Now at YC, Aaron is a Partner, what does that entail, what level of interaction do you have with the founders, where does YC look to add serious value?

4.) With the mass of startups now in the 100s coming out of each YC demo day, how does YC assure the same quality and level of value add?

5.) With regards to testing what is YC’s opinion? How does YC assess whether a product does have product market fit? What are the YC requirements for growth whilst in YC?

6.) What happens after the YC experience, does YC maintain conversations and communication? How does YC try to maintain valuations at a reasonable level to stop YC price inflation?

7.) What is the future for YC? Are we going to see another funding round? Is the YC model scalable? Could we have a YC Europe?

 Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Aaron & YC’s Podcast: Startup School Radio

Aaron’s Fave Book: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Founder’s At Work by Jessica Livingston

As always you can follow Harry, Aaron, The Twenty Minute VC and YC 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!

 

20 VC 075: Y COMBINATOR WEEK: Kirsty Nathoo, CFO @ Y Combinator

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Kirsty Nathoo is the CFO of Y Combinator. As CFO, she holds the keys to the kingdom – literally. Not only does she control and manage Y Combinator’s internal finances, from paying bills to helping organize demo days to actually making sure Y Combinator’s money is wired to startups from the proper accounts; but she helps YC startups coordinate outside financings, tax issues, incorporation and other fiscal matters. She’s the financial brains behind the entire operation, with YC partner Harj Taggar stating that ‘YC would cease to operate if Kirsty was not around’.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kirsty made her move from PWC in Cambridge to CFO at the World’s Most Successful Accelerator?

2.) Joining YC permanently in 2010, how has Kirsty seen it develop to today’s current state? What has been the key drivers to the success and growth of YC?

3.) As CFO Kirsty has developed a certain pattern recognition with regards to what investors and VCs like to see in the terms of startups. What are they?

4.) Kirsty has seen the progression of many startups, what are the most common problems startups face in the fundraising cycle? What are the commonalities in those that are successful?

5.) How does YC address the issue of potentially inflated valuations for their alum?

6.) What are some financials that all founders should know all the time?

7.) What is the future for YC? Are we going to see another funding round? Is the YC model scalable? Could we have a YC Europe?

 

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Y Combinator 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!

 

FF 014: Making Great Founders, Idea Creation and The First 100 Days Of A Startup with Alice Bentinck, Co-Founder @ Entrepreneur First

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Alice Bentinck is Co-Founder at Entrepreneurs First, the accelerator program that puts founders first! Previously, Alice worked at prestigious consultancy firm McKinsey & Co, before turning down an offer from Google to found Entrepreneur First alongside Matt. She taught herself to code, and founded Code First Girls in 2013 to help more women get into tech. She sits on the board of Sherry Coutu’s Founders4Schools, is on Imperial College London’s Department of Computing Industrial Liaison Board, and acted as the Prime Minister’s expert on startups at the Northern Future Forum. She has been recognised in Management Today’s 35 under 35 and the Evening Standard’s Top 1000 most influential Londoners.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alice came up with the idea for EF and why she decided to found the company?

2.) What would Alice recommend is the best way to build a company from scratch? EF is for technical individuals, what can non technical individuals do?

3.) What would Alice say makes a great founder? Has she seen any commonalities in the great founders that have exited EF?

4.) What is Alice’s opinion on equity divisions within startups? What is the right way to approach the topic?

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

6.) What has been the hardest aspect of growing the business and how did Alice overcome it?

 

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Alice on Twitter here!

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

 

20 VC 074: The Future of Healthcare with Bob Kocher, Partner @ Venrock

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Bob Kocher is a Partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. He currently serves on the Boards of Aledade and Jiff, and is a Board Observer at Grand Rounds and Doctor on Demand. Additionally, he is a Consulting Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and serves on the Advisory Boards of Harvard Medical School Health Care Policy Department. Prior to Venrock, Bob served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the National Economic Council. In the Obama Administration, Bob was one of the shapers of the Affordable Care Act. Before the White House, Bob was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where he led McKinsey Global Institute’s healthcare economics work and Center for United States Health System Reform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bob made his way from The White House to Venrock as a VC?

2.) How did working at The White House prepare Bob for his career as a VC, where does Bob have the biggest opportunity to change the healthcare system?

3.) What are the barriers to entry that a preventing full scale innovation and business growth in the healthcare IT space?

4.) Why have we seen a large increase in healthcare startups? What more would you Bob like to see in the healthcare space, either from the side of the startups or VC’s?

5.) How does Bob perceive the integration of software and healthcare in the future?

5.) As a healthcare professional, what would Bob recommend an individual with a high powered, demanding job in order to lead a healthy lifestyle?

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode:

Bob’s Fave Book: The System

Bob’s Most Recent Investment: Lyra Health

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Bob on Twitter here!

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

 

20 VC 073: Life Inside Accel Partners with Michael Treskow @ Accel

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Michael Treskow is a VC @ Accel Partners, one of the world’s most successful venture firms having funded the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, Etsy and many more.  At Accel, Michael is responsible for the firm’s investments in SpaceApe, a mobile games developer, and GoCardless, an online direct debt provider. Michael was also instrumental in Accel’s investments and ongoing work with Funding Circle, Packlink, Qubit, Semmle, Trufa and WorldRemit. Prior to Accel, Michael focused on early-stage and growth equity investments in technology companies at Warburg Pincus in San Francisco, invested in publicly traded technology companies at Highside Capital in Dallas, and helped advise technology companies on strategic alternatives as part of Morgan Stanley’s investment banking team in New York.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Michael made his way into the VC industry? Do you think it is very important for VCs to have entrepreneurial experience?

2.) How does Michael compare the investing environments between London and SF? What was his biggest takeaway from Warburg Pincus in SF?

3.) Accel is stage agnostic, why is that? What size market attracts Michael? How can Michael tell whether founders have the ability to exploit the market?

4.) What Michael believes are his key value adds? Have these changed over time?

5.) We often hear startups being described as ‘uber for’, ‘tinder for’. Do VCs like this simplification of business? How else would Michael suggest a complex concept can be broken down into something easily digestible?

6.) Does Michael still believe there is room for improvement in the consumerisation of enterprise software? Does Emergence Capital’s pivot signal a turning tide?

Items Mentioned In Todays Episode: 

Michael’s Fave Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma, Crossing The Chasm

Michael Productivity Tools: Wunderlist

Michael’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dan Primack, Term Sheet

Michael’ Most Recent Investment: CartoDB

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Michael on Twitter here!

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

 

 

FF 013: ‘Make Bets And Believe In What You Are Doing’ with James Borow @ Shift & Brand Networks

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James Borow is Chief Product Officer at Brand Networks which delivers social marketing and advertising to 650 enterprise customers, following their acquisition of Shift where James was CEO and Co-Founder and led the business to being the No 1 marketing software company for social advertisers with clients such as Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. James was named a semi-finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2014, and is a thought leader in digital advertising, with articles in Forbes, The New York Times, Bloomberg and Business Insider. James is also an active angel investor, having invested in Kixer, a mobile advertising platform, Gradient X, a mobile DSP (acquired by SingTel) and Conversion Logic, an online advertising attribution platform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were James’ entrepreneurial origins and what was his aha moment?

2.) How did James get his first clients and what were the hardest aspects of growing the business?

3.) What was it like working with these tech titans like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin?

4.) Shift obtained $14m in VC funding. How did James meet his investors? How was the fundraising experience for James? What were the surprises and challenging aspects?

5.) Shift was acquired by Brand Networks for $50m but what were James’ reasons for selling? Was there any clash between James and his investors when it came to the sale?

6.) What advice would James give to founders contemplating selling their business to larger acquirers?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

James’ Fave Book: John Adams by Dave McCullough

James’ Fave Apps: Snapchat, Business Insider and ProductHunt

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC 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!

 

20 VC 072: Super Angel, Fabrice Grinda: The Future Of Startup Investing

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Fabrice Grinda is among the world’s leading Internet entrepreneurs and investors with over $300 million in exits and 200 angel investments including the likes of Alibaba, LendingClub and BrightRoll. Fabrice is currently investing in startups and building companies through FJ Labs, which he cofounded with business partner Jose Marin. Fabrice is also co-founder and executive chairman of Beepi, a next generation used car marketplace which recently raised $60 million in series B funding.

Prior to FJ Labs and Beepi, Fabrice was co-founder and co-CEO of OLX, one of the largest websites in the world with over 200 million unique visitors per month.

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Submit Your Startup To Fabrice

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Fabrice make his entry into the world of investing?

2.) How important is it for investors to have entrepreneurial experience?

3.) What are the most common problems Fabrice’s portfolio companies face?

4.) What is Fabrice’s selection criteria for startups when investing and what determines the valuation of a startup?

5.) How does Fabrice respond to the allegation that he is a clone collector?

6.) With Fabrice’s $1m syndicate, does he believe syndicates have the potential to replace VC?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Fabrice’s Fave Book: What If by Randall Munroe, Think Like A Freak by Stephen Dubner

Fabrice’s Fave Newsletter: TechCrunch

Fabric’s Most Recent Investment: Flexport

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Fabrice on Twitter here!

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

 

 

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