20VC: ‘The Best Seed Investors Hunt’ with Paige Craig @ Arena VC

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Paige Craig is a Founder and General Partner of Arena Ventures. He is an experienced angel investor who has invested in over 110 startups in the last seven years, including companies like Lyft, AngelList, Wish, Postmates, Twitter, Styleseat, Zenpayroll, Quizup and more. Paige spent the first half of his career in the Marine Corps and US Intelligence Community and later launched a defense contractor, driving alone into Iraq in 2003 with just $10,000 and expanding operations across the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and Southeast Asia.

As always we would like thank the awesome team at Mattermark for providing us with all the data and analysis for the show today, check out Mattermark search here
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) What were Paige’s biggest takeaways from his previous career in the military? How did this shape his investment thesis?

3.) Arena VC have both the fund and the AngelList syndicate, why did Paige choose this dual model? What have been the drivers of it’s success?

4.) What does Paige believe makes a great VC? What aspects of himself would he like to improve upon? Is an inherent fight mode common among VCs?

5.) What advice would Paige give to someone looking to start a syndicate? What would Craig recommend to someone looking to join a syndicate?

 

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Paige’s Fave Book:

Paige’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Paige 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!

20VC: Homebrew’s Satya Patel on The Key Components of Being A Great VC & The 3 Main Reasons Startups Fail At Seed

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Satya Patel is a Partner @ Homebrew alongside Hunter Walk. Prior to Homebrew, Satya was VP Product at Twitter, building and leading the Product Management and User Services teams. Before Twitter, Satya was a Partner at Battery Ventures, where he co-led the seed and early stage investing practices. In 2003, Satya joined Google and was responsible for AdSense product management and partnerships. Before heading to Silicon Valley for Google, I worked for DoubleClick, in venture capital and as a strategy consultant.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Satya made his way into the world of tech and came to Partner with Hunter @ Homebrew?

2.) Is hustle the key component of a great VC? What does Satya believes makes a great investor?

4.) How can startups present emotion and depict their narrative to the VC? What are the benefits of doing so? What founder is most

5.) From Satya’s experience, what are the most common reasons startups fail at the seed stage? What can they do to maximise their chances of survival?

6.) We always hear that products should focus on a niche but how then do you attract VC money that is looking for a broad opportunity that can return the fund?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Satya’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: CB Insights, Fred Wilson, Brad Feld

Satya’s Fave Book: A Fine Balance

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Satya 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!

Immediately’s Branko Cerny on The Rise Of Bottoms Up Sales and The Importance of Branding For Enterprise SaaS Companies

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Branko Cerny is the Founder and CEO at Immediately, the mobile platform for modern sales professionals whose mission is to elevate sales back to it’s core foundation, a relationship driven craft. Immediately has some of the US’s finest backing in terms of investment with the likes of Naval Ravikant @ AngelList, Ryan Holmes @ Hootsuite, Jonathan Abrams @ Friendster and Nuzzel and previous guest Kate Shillo @ Galvanize.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Branko made his way into the world of tech and came to be CEO @ Immediately?

2.) How does Branko find being one of the youngest enterprise CEO in the business? What are the challenges and what are the benefits?

3.) What can enterprise companies learn from the likes of Tinder and Equinox? How important is brand building for emerging enterprise sales companies?

4.) To what extent will we see the bottoms up sales process continue in enterprise sales? How does this change Immediately approach to UX, UI and brand building? Why did Branko choose to focus on a mobile platform with Immediately?

5.) How did Branko come to meet his stellar lineup of investors? What value add was he looking for when assembling the lineup? Is he concerned by the large number of investors Immediately has at an early stage?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Branko’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: First Round Review, Nir Eyal

Branko’s Fave Productivity Tool: IntercomMoleskin Notebook (Harry’s Productivity Tool too!)

Branko’s Fave Book: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Branko 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!
How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? A hundred? A thousand? The answer is too many. But here’s the thing—even though I knew I wanted to do something about it, I didn’t know how. It’s called SaneBox. SaneBox sorts through your email and moves all of the trivial stuff into a different folder so the only messages in your inbox are the ones you actually want to see. Visit sanebox.com/20VC today and they’ll throw in an extra $20 credit on top of the two-week free trial. 

20VC: Rebecca Kaden @ Maveron

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Rebecca Kaden is a Partner at Maveron where she identifies emerging consumer-focused entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Southern California, and New York. Rebecca also plays a leading role in Maveron’s seed program, where they partner with emerging consumer companies at their earliest stages. She’s a Board Observer at August, Common, Darby Smart, Dolls Kill, Eargo, Earnest and General Assembly. Her outstanding achievements have been recognised by Forbes who included Rebecca is their annual ’30 Under 30′.
As always we would like thank the awesome team at Mattermark for providing us with all the data and analysis for the show today, check out Mattermark search here
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rebecca made her way into the wonderful world of VC?

2.) Maveron have shown their belief in the consumerisation of IOT. What are Rebecca’s thoughts on the space, how it is progressing, barriers that are preventing mass adoption?

3.) What is your take on the integration of messaging and chat with IOT? Whis there a recent broader market positivity towards chat interfaces at the moment?

4.) Maveron have also shown their likeability towards hardware investments so why is this? Why do Maveron not feel the broader VC market concerns of shipping, logistics? Are we seeing a shift in investing patterns in hardware?

5.) How do Rebecca approach the common problem with consumer startups transtioning from an early adopter market to a mass market product?  What does Rebecca feel is the tipping point? What is necessary to make the transition from SF hipster client to everyone?

6.) What are the benefits are of having a narrow investing thesis (only consumer)? How has Rebecca found it? Is it challenging when finding companies you would like to invest in but are outside the mandate?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Rebecca’s Fave Book:

Rebecca’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Rebecca’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rebecca 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!
How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? A hundred? A thousand? The answer is too many. But here’s the thing—even though I knew I wanted to do something about it, I didn’t know how. It’s called SaneBox. SaneBox sorts through your email and moves all of the trivial stuff into a different folder so the only messages in your inbox are the ones you actually want to see. Visit sanebox.com/20VC today and they’ll throw in an extra $20 credit on top of the two-week free trial. 

Uber’s First Investor, First Round Capital’s Rob Hayes on How The Deal Of The Decade Originated and Why Product Orientated VC Is The Future

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Rob Hayes is a partner at First Round Capital where he opened up the firm’s San Francisco office. Over the past ten years, he has led investments in companies such as Mint.com (acquired by Intuit), Gnip (acquired by Twitter), Square, Uber, eero, and Planet Labs. Prior to joining First Round, Rob became the first venture investor at Omidyar Network, the investment firm started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. While there, he led most of the initial venture capital deals and later built and ran the technology investing group.
Before that, Rob worked at Palm, where he product managed Palm OS and started the company’s corporate venture fund.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Rob made his move into the VC world from working with Palm in the heyday?

2.) Question From David Hornik : How did Rob’s seed investment in Uber originate? What made Rob invest? Did Rob realise the potential for Uber when he invested? When did Rob realize it was going to be huge?

3.) Has the investment in Uber changed how Rob views seed investing? Talking of the Uber’s of the world, how do you ensure that you find and decide to invest in the next Uber, when it raises a seed round?

4.) In terms of deal closing, how does Rob approach that element of the deal and what was the competition and closing environment around the Uber deal?

5.) Question from Satya at Homebrew: Stepping back and looking at First Round, what has changed in FRC’s approach as the firm has grown? How does the firm think about managing generational transition?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Rob’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:

Rob’s Most Recent Investment:

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Rob 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!
How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? A hundred? A thousand? The answer is too many. But here’s the thing—even though I knew I wanted to do something about it, I didn’t know how. It’s called SaneBox. SaneBox sorts through your email and moves all of the trivial stuff into a different folder so the only messages in your inbox are the ones you actually want to see. Visit sanebox.com/20VC today and they’ll throw in an extra $20 credit on top of the two-week free trial. 

Pre-YC Demo Day: Msg.ai’s Puneet Mehta on The Rise of AI, The Potential For Messaging and Life As A Current YC Startup

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Puneet Mehta, Founder @ Msg.ai, an artificial intelligence startup for conversational commerce and for an AI founder you don’t get much better than starting your career at IBM’s TJ Watson Center, which is exactly what Puneet did. He then went on to build predictive platforms to power large-scale trading systems aka bots on Wall St. It is clearly not joust us who think he is awesome as Advertising Age named Puneet to the Creativity 50 list in 2014, honoring the most creative and innovative thinkers and doers.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Puneet made his way into the world of AI and came to be the founder of YC’s latest, Msg.ai?

2.) How has the YC experience been for Msg.ai and for Puneet as a founder? Have YC been able to keep the same quality of mentorship with the largely expanding number in their latest batch?

3.) VC funding is usually very available to YC alums graduating, how will Puneet go about picking his investors? What are the fundamental determinants?

4.) What have been the biggest takeaways for Puneet? What has been the highlight? What has been tough? What was surprising and unexpected? How did Puneet deal with the requirement for 10% weekly growth?

5.) Taking a step back now, Puneet has stated before about building the Turing test for money. So what does he mean by this and how does he look at AI as a key driver for conversational commerce?

6.) What is it about messaging that makes Puneet believe this is the platform of the future? What is it that bots provide that has never been possible before?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Puneet’s Fave Blog or Newsletter:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Puneet 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!

This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.

 

20VC: The Three Fundamental Forces in Society with Ciaran O’Leary, Partner @ BlueYard

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Ciaran O’Leary is the General Partner at one of Europe’s newest funds, BlueYard. A $120m fund located at the early stage, centring around 3 key areas: The decentralisation of markets, the democratisation of capabilities, and the liberation of data. Prior to BlueYard, Ciaran was a Partner at Earlybird with investments in the likes of Peak Games (emerging markets social gaming), 6Wunderkinder (productivity apps), Moped (private messaging), B2X Care Solutions (outsourcing platform), madvertise (mobile targeting network) and simfy (digital music distribution company). Before Earlybird, Ciarán co-founded a startup and gathered operational experience at others.

We would like to say a special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data used in the show today and you can check out Mattermark Search here!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ciaran made his way into startups and the investing industry?

2.) What is the thesis with BlueYard? What is the preferred cheque size, sector and geography?

3.) With the mass of VCs emerging, how can startups at the early stage determine whether a VC really is early stage? Are there any defining characteristics?

4.) For startup founders out there who always hear from fellow founders that everything is going gangbusters, how should they react to that? How can you determine whether a startup really is doing well?

5.) Say the startup really is going well and they are looking to scale and hire, we always hear we need a world beating, world class X? How can they communicate that hire better to their current team and their board? What should the CEO or Head of Talent be focusing on when viewing talent? Is there anything they should look out for in particular?

6.) Now when a startup really scales, board meetings become a big part of a CEO’s life. So how can CEO’s turn useless board meetings into very useful value added meetings? How can they optimize that time? What should they look for? What should they ask for?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ciaran’s Fave Book: The Road

Ciaran’s Fave Blog: The Economist Espresso

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Ciaran 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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