20VC: Creating A Competitive Process Between VCs & Having Bill Gurley As A Board Member with Aaron Hirschhorn, Founder & CEO @ DogVacay

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Aaron Hirschhorn is the founder, CEO and “Top Dog” of DogVacay, the leading online and mobile pet sitting company. DogVacay connects pet parents in need of services with more than 25,000 vetted and insured pet caregivers in 10,000 cities across the country. Founded in March 2012 and based in Santa Monica, CA, the company has over 80 employees and has raised $47M from investors including Omers, Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to DogVacay, Aaron spent several years in venture capital and technology, working at Monitor Group, Upfront Ventures, and Monitor Ventures. Previously, Aaron was an analyst at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Aaron come to found one of the startup hits to come out of LA? In the beginning what was the harder element the demand or the supply side?

2.) How did Aaron know when he had achieved product market fit with DogVacay? What were the signs and how did he follow this up? How did Aaaron react to VCs laughing at his concept and how did he stay energised and positive?

3.) How was the fundraising process for Aaron with DogVacay and Benchmark, Andreesen and First Round? How can founders look to control the dialogue? How many investors should founders look to target? What makes Aaron want and not want a particular investor?

4.) What business fundamentally work in the on demand economy and what don’t ? How should marketplace founders be approaching the issue of unit economics and should growth still be the priority?

5.) What is it like having Bill Gurley as a broad member ? What will be the enabler that will allow DogVacy to achieve that market penetration required?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:
 
 Aaron’s Fave Blog Or Newsletter: Bill Gurley, Jason Calacanis: Inside
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Aaron 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why More People Should Be Entrepreneurs & How Do you Know When You Are Ready with Matt Clifford @ Entrepreneur First

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Matt Clifford is co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, Europe’s leading pre-seed investment programme for founders of deep technology startups. Founded in 2011, EF backs the world’s top technical talent pre-company. EF’s startups have raised over $100m in funding and are breaking ground in artificial intelligence, robotics and infrastructure, among other fields. Outside EF, he is co-founder and non-executive director of Code First Girls and non-executive director of Techfortrade. Before starting EF, Matt worked at McKinsey & Co. as a strategy consultant, and studied at the University of Cambridge and at MIT.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Matt come to found the world’s top technical talent pre-company programme?

2.)  Should everyone be an entrepreneur? How can a founder determine whether this is the right path for them? Can entrepreneurialism be taught or is it an innate skill within?

3.) What does Matt think of the idea and fear of many founders that they are simply not ready? How do we know when one is ready? What are the signs?

4.) How important is mindset for founders? Matt has previously stated the importance of a growth mindset? What does he mean by this and how does he advise founders to approach this?

5.) What is the most common mistake Matt sees entrepreneurs in EF make? How hoes he help to combat this?

6.) What does the future of work look like? Where will jobs be at this century?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Matt’s Fave Book: Sapiens (Same as Parker Thompson @ AngelList)

Matt’s Fave Blog: Marginal Revolution

Matt’s Most Recent Investment: Cloud NC, Third Eye

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Matt 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!\

20VC: Raising A Solo GP Fund & Why They Are So Prominent Today with Charles Hudson, Managing Partner @ Precursor Ventures

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Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner with Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on first check investments in strong teams developing innovative hardware and software products and services. Prior to founding Precursor, Charles was a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Internet and mobile startups. Prior to SoftTech, Hudson spent time at Google,  IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel.
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Charles made his way into VC from working with the CIA? What were Charles biggest takeaways from his operational experience?

2.) Why have we seen the rise of the solo GP fund? What tools and services can be used by solo GPs to make their lives easier?

3.) Chris Sacca said, ‘you have to be a moron to launch a solo VC fund’. What does Charles think about this and what was it about Precursor that made him want to leave SoftTech?

4.) How does Charles’ market requirements change now as a pre seed investor, a 100m exit is excellent. Do you you still need unicorns?

5.) How does Charles look to differentiate with Precursor in the sea of emerging VC funds? What is the most important thing for him about pr-seed investing?

6.) What is Charles’ vision for Precursor? What would success look like for him?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Charles’ Fave Book: Alec Ross: Industries of The Future

Charles’ Fave Blog: The Information
 

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Charles 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Why VC Is The Perfect Preparation For Founding A Startup & Changing The World Of Online Fashion with Chris Morton, Co-Founder & CEO @ Lyst

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Chris Morton the Founder & CEO @ Lyst, the fashion aggregation and discovery app and universal checkout cart that has pulled in more than $60m in funding from the likes of Balderton, Accel and DFJ. Chris was previously in the wonderful world of venture himself as an early stage investor with Balderton Capital where he focused on consumer internet companies. Prior to that Chris worked on various projects from making custard suits to working in renewable energy!
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Chris come to found one of the hottest fashion startups, Lyst? What was the interview process with Benchmark like?

2.) Why did Chris become a VC first before an entrepreneur? What does being a VC allow you to become a better entrepreneur with?

3.) Chris has said before that we have not scratched the surface of e-commerce, so why have we not? What is the vision and what are the challenges that stand in the way? Question from Harry Briggs: Will we see physical retail stores largely disappear?

4.) Lyst place heavy emphasis on data collection and usage. Why is this? What does it power to Lyst to do? What interesting consumer trends and behaviours have been revealed from the data?

5.) How was the fundraising process for Chris? What did being in VC teach him about the process that he could implement in entrepreneurship? What were the challenges? What would he do differently if he were to raise again?

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Chris 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!

20VC: Accel’s Brian O’Malley On The Prioritisation Of Growth, Metrics That Show True Customer Retention & Why The Most Interesting Companies Create A Market

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Brian O’Malley is a Partner @ Accel Partners, where he spearheads Accel’s work with next-generation marketplaces and consumer-focused companies. He led the firm’s investments in Amino, Gametime, HotelTonight and Luma, as well as disruptive software-as-a-services businesses Duetto and Narvar. Brian joined Accel from Battery Ventures, where as a general partner he led investments in companies like Dollar Shave Club, BazaarVoice (public), Coupa, Skullcandy (public) and TradeKing (acquired by Ally). Prior to Battery, Brian led sales efforts and built some of the first web service-based API integrations for Bowstreet, Inc. (acquired by IBM).

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Brian make his way into one of the world’s leading VC firms? What were Brian’s biggest takeaways from being in the trenches during the bust of the dot com bubble?

2.)  What is the macro economic view to value compression? How should startups being approaching and dealing with this?

3.) How can startups maintain growth as the priority whilst maintaining investor expectations on burn rates? What is Brian’s approach to the growth vs retention theory?

4.) What retention metrics would Accel look for indifferent products? How does this vary from category to category? What are the commonalities Brian has seen in products that have insane retentive ability??

5.) Where does Brian stand on market size and the potential for market transition down the line? Does the market even need to be there today for it to be investable today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Brian’s Fave Book:  Zero To One By Peter Thiel

Brian’s Most Recent Investment: Luma: Fast, Reliable Wifi

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Brian 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!
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20VC: Bessemer’s Byron Deeter on The Commonalities Of Truly Great Founders and Learnings From Investing In Box, Twilio and GainSight

 

image1Byron Deeter is a Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Prior to being a VC, Byron himself was a veteran cloud CEO & Founder returning to venture capital in 2005 to lead Bessemer’s global cloud practice where he has been actively involved with over 100 cloud investments representing a third of the market cap of all public cloud companies. Byron has lead investments in the likes of Box, Twilio, Intercom, Cornerstone On Demand and many many more. Byron’s pedigree is recognised globally as he is consistently ranked one of the top global investors across all industries.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Byron make his way into VC from being a veteran cloud CEO and Founder?

2.)  What are the commonalities angst the truly exceptional operators that Byron has worked with? What is it that makes the likes Aaron Levie so special?

3.) We saw a $63bn drop in late stage SaaS valuations, so what does this really mean for the early guys? In these markets should founders be placing greater emphasis on unit economics?

4.) With the increasing importance of customer retention will we see further increased growth in the field of customer success? How important is it really now for startups?

5.) How does Byron define efficient growth, what does cash is king mean? Where does Byron stand on the bottoms up sales approach, is this the new sales method of the 21st century?

6.) What have been the biggest takeaways for Byron of watching Box, Sendgrid, Twilio go into hyper growth mode and scale into the rocketships that they are

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Byron’s Fave Book: The Everything Store 

Byron’s Fave Productivity Tools: Clutter

Byron’s Fave Blog: Bleacher Report, Techcrunch 

Byron’s Most Recent Investment: Rainforest QA

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Byron 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!
The Twenty Minute VC is brought to you by Leesa, the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Lees have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is order completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10 inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com/VC and enter the promo code VC75 to get $75 off!
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