20 VC FF 021: Steve O’Hear @ TechCrunch

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Steve O’Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products. He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch’s European coverage. However, in June 2011 having caught the startup bug, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy. Steve is also the writer and director of the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary ‘In Search of the Valley’.

Before we delve into the show today, our dear friend and kind donator, Brad Feld has agreed to do a competition giveaway featuring signed copies of his amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do to be in with a chance is headover to the website at www.thetwentyminutevc.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s that simple.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Where did it all start for Steve, how did you make he make his entrance into the tech industry, journalism and then founding Beepl?

2.) How did Steve find the transition from journalist to entrepreneur? What were the hardest aspects of the journey? What surprised Steve about the fundraising process for Beepl?

3.) In such a crowded space such as news generation, what is it about TechCrunch that makes it The Bible to the tech community?

4.) Obviously articles and news brings comments from the community. How do  TechCrunch try and engage and unite the community? Have there been any difficulties with the commenting process etc?

5.) How does a platform like TechCrunch plan to monetize content with the ever disappearing ad dollar? Is it something that concerns TechCrunch?

6.) Where does Steve think we are going in both wider media and journalism? Is journalism heading to the short form with the increasing prominence of platforms such as Buzzfeed? How does the industry

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Steve’s Fave Book: The Big Sleep

Steve’s Fave Blog: Tech.eu

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Steve 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 087: From The Investors Of Spotify, TrustPilot and Klarna with Jeppe Zink, General Partner @ Northzone

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Jeppe Zink is the General Partner at Northzone, who have investments in the likes of Spotify, Bloglovin and TrustPilot, just to name a few. Jeppe himself established the London office of Northzone and his primary areas of focus are fintech, SaaS, marketplaces and mobile and has made investments in Wallapop, SpaceApe Games and many more.

Before we delve into the show today, our dear friend and kind donator, Brad Feld has agreed to do a competition giveaway featuring signed copies of his amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do to be in with a chance is headover to the website at www.thetwentyminutevc.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s that simple.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Jeppe become a dane, living in London, investing in tech?

2.) Having seen the evolution of the European tech environment over the 17 years, which stage of the cycle does Jeppe prefer as a VC? Some say downturns lead to a flushing out of the weaker funding sources and startups. Do you agree?

3.) What is it that is attracting Jeppe to Fintech? Where does Jeppe think Fintech will be in the next 5-10 years? What areas of Fintech is Jeppe excited by? Is the excitement surrounding Fintech in London not driving up valuations of startups?

4.) When looking at the banking industry for example, there are large incumbents that have not changed in decades, many see this as opportunity, is this not just representative of structural advantages creating barriers to entry?

5.) Skype, Spotify, SoundCloud, Supercell, King, all nordics, what is it about the Nordics that is generating this unicorn club?

6.) In the past Jeppe has attributed Northzone with a rarity of investor quality, saying that like entrepreneurs, Northzone have ambition. How does Jeppe assess his ambition? What metrics does Jeppe use to create goals for startups?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jeppe’s Fave Book: Zero To One, Startup Growth Engines 

Jeppe’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC

Jeppe’s Productivity Tools: CityMapper, Genius

Jeppe’s Most Recent Investment: CrossLend

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jeppe 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 086: Starting A New Venture Fund and How London Compares To The US with Hussein Kanji @ Hoxton Ventures

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Hussein Kanji really is a pedigree in the industry having started off his career with Microsoft, he made the leap into venture with Accel Partners where he was a board observer with the likes of Playfish, acquired by Electronic Arts and made seed investments in the likes of OpenGamma and Dapper acquired by Yahoo. Following such success, Hussein raised his own fund and is now the founder of Hoxton Ventures, a 2013 fund with $40m under management. Despite, Hoxton’s age their portfolio is immense with the likes of Deliveroo, DarkTrace by the famous Mike Lynch from Autonomy and Campanja, recently acquired by 24/7 customer.

Before we delve into the show today, our dear friend and kind donator, Brad Feld has agreed to do a competition giveaway featuring signed copies of his amazing book, Venture Deals, all you have to do to be in with a chance is headover to the website at www.thetwentyminutevc.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s that simple.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hussein mad his way into the wonderful world of venture?

2.) What was it like to start a new fund with Hoxton and why did Hussein leave the security of Accel to start his own?

3.) Why did Hussein believe this was the stage with the most opportunity? Does he think there is too much capital chasing too few deals?

4.) With DarkTrace (portfolio company), Hoxton were the only VC money in at the early stage? How did that come about and what was it about Hoxton that made Mike take your money?

5.) Why did Hussein choose to setup the fund in London? What does he think is driving the surge in European tech with the rise of the Nordics etc?

6.) With Steve O’Hear Hussein stated he looks for brand new markets that are going to be formed (Playfish)? What does he think those are?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hussein’s Fave Book: The Second Bounce Of The Ball: Ronald Cohen, Flowers from Algernon

Hussein’s Fave Blog: Josh Koppelman: Redeye VC, Abnormal Returns

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Hussein 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 FF 20: Shaking Up The Food Industry With Willie Biggart @ Spoonfed

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Willie Biggart is the Chairman @ Spoonfed, a startup on the cusp of 2 extremely hot sectors, SaaS and food. Spoonfed offers a new way for catering companies and restaurants to take advantage of the growing corporate food drop off market. They are currently raising a £500,000 round on SyndicateRoom, which you can check out here! With regards to Willie himself, Willie founded his own business, BD Network in 1990 and exited in 2002 and BD Ntwk is now one of Europe’s largest marketing agencies. Since 1990 Willie has started, developed and sold 3 businesses.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Willie make his move into the entrepreneurial path and come to be Chairman of Spoonfed?

2.) Why does Willie believe it is more beneficial to have SaaS based businesses rather than people based businesses?

3.) Often the hardest problem for SaaS businesses is finding their first customers, how did Willie go about getting Spoonfed’s initial user base?

4.) What strategies did Willie undertake to try and understand what features his customers wanted and then how to attract them?

5.) Why does Willie believe the food tech space has seen explosive growth, both in the UK and the US?

5.) Having invested and raised money in the seed round of the funding cycle, both as investor and operator, what advice would Willie give for founders entering a seed round.

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

SpoonFed’s Current Fundraising Campaign on SyndicateRoom

Willie’s Fave Book: Eric Ries: The Lean Startup, The E-Myth Revisited

Willie’s Blog or Newsletter: Kenny Fraser, Sunstone Communications

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC 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 085: Mark Suster @ Upfront Ventures on Being A Super Entrepreneur Driven VC

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Mark Suster is Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures which he joined in 2007, having previously worked with Upfront for nearly 8 years as a two-time entrepreneur. Before joining Upfront Mark was Vice President, Product Management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral, where Mark was Founder and CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark was Founder and CEO of BuildOnline, a European SaaS company that was acquired by SWORD Group. Mark is also the writer of one of my favourite VC blogs, Both Sides Of The Table which is a centre piece to the whole VC community and is a must read for all interested in entrepreneurship and VC.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Mark make his way into the world of tech and later make the transition to VC?

2.) How have Mark’s entrepreneurial origins influenced his investment style and approach to startups?

3.) What really gets Mark excited in terms of the founders and the companies they have built?

4.) How does Mark recommend that startup founders can meet investors and get those initial meetings?

5.) What sector is Mark most excited by and why?

6.) Mark has said in the past ‘too much money too early often fucks companies up’. Why is that and how should founders determine what is the right amount to raise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

My Fave of Mark’s Posts: Entrepreneur DNA, I Invest In Lines Not Dots

Mark’s Fave Book: The Accidental Superpower

Mark’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Stratechery, Ben Evans, Chris Dixon, Tom Tunguz

Mark’s Most Recent Investment: Mitu Networks

As always you can follow Harry, Mark, The Twenty Minute VC and Upfront Ventures 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 084: Meet Felix Capital: The Venture Firm For The Creative Class with Antoine Nussenbaum @ Felix Capital

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Antoine Nussenbaum is a Principal and member of the founding team of Felix Capital. Prior to Felix, Antoine was a Partner at Atlas Global, a private equity fund originally part of GLG Partners. Over the past five years he has worked closely with various early-stage digital startups including Mirakl, Jellynote, Pave, Reedsy and 31Dover and actively helped them launch their businesses. If that wasn’t enough he has also been involved since inception with Huckletree, a fast growing coworking operator dedicated to the UK digital community which was started by his wife.

To check out the available positions at Felix Capital click here!

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Antoine make his move into the world of VC?

2.) What sectors do Felix invest in? What stage? Geography?

3.) How do Felix position themselves in the VC space? How do Felix plan to differentiate between other VCs firms in Europe? As for the structure of the fund, why did Felix choose an advisor heavy approach?

4.) Why does Antoine think Europe has the edge at the moment? Also, with the rise of the Nordics and Berlin, why did Felix choose to setup in London?

5.) How does Antoine assess the London and European funding and tech environment at the moment? Does Antoine agree with the media hype over a tech bubble?

6.) How do digital brands address the issue of the millenials with reducing brand loyalty? Does Antoine think this will be a problem for consumer startups in the fashion, food and travel space?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Felix’s Manifesto, HuckleTree, Co-Founder @ Huckletree on CNBC

Antoine’s Fave Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, Capital In The Twenty-First Century by Thomas Picketty

Antoine’s Fave Productivity Tools: Streak, Slack, Evernote, Pocket

Antoine’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Fred Wilson: AVC, ProductHunt

Antoine’s Most Recent Investment: The Food Assembly

As always you can follow Harry, Antoine, The Twenty Minute VC and Felix Capital 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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