20 VC: How To Say No Fast and Efficiently and Why UX Must Always Be At The Core Of What You Do with Sitar Teli, Managing Partner @ Connect Ventures

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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 Blog or Newsletter: Benedict Evans Newsletter
Sitar’s Fave Apps: Outlook, Sunrise, Citymapper
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

20 VC: The Ultimate Guide To Marketplaces with Boris Wertz, Founding Partner @ Version One Ventures

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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 Blog or Newsletter: AVC by Fred Wilson 
Boris’s Most Recent Investment: Headout
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!
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

20 VC: Are Unicorns Necessary To Make Big Returns and The Series A Crunch with Sumeet Shah @ Brand Foundry Ventures

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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.

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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 Primack, Strictly 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 Harry, The 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!

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

 

20 VC: Running Lerer Hippeau Ventures Like A Startup with Eric Hippeau, Managing Partner @ Lerer Hippeau Ventures

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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 VC, Dan 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!
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

20 VC FF 027: Risk, Incentive and Opportunity in Starting A Company with Daniel van Binsbergen, Founder @ Lexoo

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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: Mattermark, Seth Godin, James Altucher
Daniel’s Must Have Software: Sunrise, Trello
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VC, Harry 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!
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

20 VC 097: Betting Big On Consumer Fintech with Matthew Bradley, Investor @ Forward Partners

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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! 

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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 Daily, The Equity Kicker, First 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!

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

 

20 VC 096: Developing The Idea Muscle and VCs Providing More Than Just Money with Dharmesh Raithatha, Partner @ Forward Partners

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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! 

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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!

Free Conversion Rate Optimisation Ebook Download 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

 

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