20VC: How AI Can Enhance Not Replace Humans? What Will Differentiate Between The Winners & Losers In AI? Why AGI Is Further Away Than We Think with Nitesh Banta, Founder & CEO @ B12

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Nitesh Banta is the Founder and CEO @ B12, the startup that uses AI to superpower their team of world class creatives to create even more intelligent websites. They have backing from the likes of Jim Breyer, General Catalyst and our friends at Founder Collective. As for Nitesh, prior to B12, he was on the dark side as a VC with General Catalyst for 5 years before Co-Founding Rough Draft Ventures, the General Catalyst program designed to develop the next generation of student founders.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Nitesh made the move from VC with General Catalyst to AI Startup founder with B12?

2.) How difficult was it for Nitesh to leave the security of venture to start B12 as Founder? What does Nitesh suggest to those that are unsure of whether to make the jump?

3.) Why does Nitesh believe that AGI (artificial general intelligence) is not as close as people predict? What are the implications of this towards humans relationship with technology?

4.) Is Nitesh bullish on humans creating new and unique machine learning algorithms or the rise of ‘machine learning as a service as a sector? Where does the real value lie, the data or the machine learning algorithms?

5.) Why is Nitesh contra the common pessimism surrounding AI and the future of work? How does Nitesh believe AI will impact human work processes in a positive way?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Nitesh’s Fave Blog: Bill Gurley: Above The Crowd, Nuzzel

Nitesh’s Fave Book: Oh The Places You’ll Go

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

20VC: Using Valuation As A Litmus Test, Why Valuation Does Not Matter At Seed Stage & How Seed Funds Can Serve Founders Better with Kent Goldman, Founder @ Upside Partnership

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Kent Goldman is the Founder of Upside Partnership, one of the leading seed-stage investment firms in SF with investments in the likes of Laurel and Wolf, Digit and Lily. In 2015, he was named to the Midas Brink List. Prior to forming Upside Partnership in 2014, Kent was a Partner at seed investment pioneer First Round Capital. While there he led investments in companies including Airware, Hotel Tonight, and MemSQL. He also served on the board of Mashery (acquired by Intel). Earlier in his career, Kent was a member of Yahoo!’s corporate development team and also led business strategy for Yahoo! products generating $1 billion in annual revenue.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kent made his way into the world of early stage investing and came to found Upside?

2.) What were the big takeaways from First Round for Kent? How has he applied those learnings to his formation of Upside?

3.) What does Kent look for in the LPs that invest in his fund? Why should founders look to learn which LPs are invested in the fund investing in them?

4.) How has Kent seen his investment decision-making process alter with time? What have been the big changes?

5.) Why does Kent believe valuation does not matter so much at the seed stage? What does really matter to him at the seed stage? How does this progress with rounds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kent’s Fave Blog: Howards Marks: Oaktree Capital

Kent’s Fave Book: A River Runs Through It And Other Stories

Kent’s Most Recent Investment: Live Neighborly

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

20VC: What VCs Really Mean They Say ‘Stay In Touch’, Why Incentivisation Through Perks Is Lazy & Why Founders Should Always Under-Promise & Over-Deliver with David Politis, Founder @ CEO @ Bettercloud

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David Politis is the Founder & CEO @ Bettercloud, the first ever unified SaaS management platform. Bettercloud have raised over $40m in funding from some of today’s best investors including past guests from Accel, Greycroft Partners and Flybridge Partners, just to name a few. Before founding BetterCloud, David was an early employee of Cloud Sherpas (acquired by Accenture [NYSE: ACN]) where David led Cloud Sherpas to become the leading Google Apps services provider and reseller to SMBs worldwide. Prior to Cloud Sherpas, David was the founding employee and General Manager of Vocalocity (acquired by Vonage [NYSE: VG]), which he grew into one of the top providers of cloud PBX technology.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Dave came to found Bettercloud? What was the a-ha moment for him?

2.) Why does David like to invest in everything but perks? What are the challenges of incentivising a team with Perks? What are the alternatives?

3.) What are the limits to transparency? Can there ever be too much transparency? How do you engender a culture of radical transparency within the workforce?

4.) How was the fundraising process for David? how did it alter and develop with every round? What did he do well and what would he improve upon?

5.) How can founders optimise the on boarding process for new hires? What is fundamental? What are the common mistakes and how can this be hacked for success?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Blog: Recode

David’s Fave Book: Banker To The Poor 

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: AngelList’s Parker Thompson on How He Evaluates Startup Founders & Why The Move To Series A Is Harder Than Ever?

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Parker Thompson is a Partner @ AngelList and creator of popular parody Twitter Account, Startup L Jackson. At AngelList Parker has made investments in the likes of former guests, Algolia, Realty Shares and Keen IO. Prior to joining AngelList, Parker was a Partner at 500 Startups in SF and his illustrious path prior to investing includes Pivotal Labs, co-founding PlaceSite, preserving the interwebs at the Internet Archive, and working on digital copyright at UC Berkeley’s iSchool.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Parker made his way into the world of early stage investing from the world of operations?

2.) How does Parker look to evaluate startup founders? What questions does he like to ask? What traits does he like to see in the core exec?

3.) Why does Parker think “not enough traction” is a BS VC excuse? How should VC’s approach saying no to founders? What are the real reasons a VC is saying no in this case?

4.) Why does Parker believe the jump to Series A is bigger than ever? What has caused this? What metrics do startups have to achieve to make this move successfully?

5.) How should founders determine how much money to raise? If they can should they raise a ‘warchest’? Why should founders not be concerned with dilution in the early days?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Parker’s Fave Blog: Stratechery, Nuzzel

Parker’s Fave Book: The Modernist Cuisine 

Parker’s Most Recent Investment: Common Networks 

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Rebecca Lynn

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Rebecca Lynn is a Partner @ Canvas, where she focusses on Fintech, Digital Health, SaaS and mobile. Rebecca led an early stage investment in Lending Club, which was the largest US technology IPO of 2014 and the 4th largest Internet IPO since 2001. She has also led investments in the likes of Check (acquired by Intuit), RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce), Proximity, Practice Fusion and more incredible companies. Prior to being in VC, Rebecca held operational roles at NextCard where she rose to become VP of Marketing and Head of Customer Acquisition and saw the company going public with a $1.3bn market cap.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

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

2.) How does Rebecca view the importance of brand and thematic focus in the world of VC today? How can a VC be focussed thematically without missing moonshots?

3.) What were Rebecca’s biggest lessons from sitting on boards with the likes of Mary Meeker and Larry Summers? How did that change how Rebecca viewed being a board member?

4.) “Fintech is all about distribution and acquisition”. What does Rebecca make of this statement? How have we seen evolution in both distribution and acquisition in the rising tide of new fintech startups?

5.) How does Rebecca analyse fund economics? What does she make of the mega $1Bn funds raised over the last year? What is the optimal size fund for Rebecca?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Rebecca’s Fave Blog: The Daily Shot

Rebecca’s Fave Book: Influence by Robert Cialdini

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Qualtrics’ Ryan Smith on Building A $Bn Company & Raising The Largest Series A Since 2008 From Sequoia & Accel

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Ryan Smith is the Founder & CEO @ Qualtrics, an online survey company with 1,200 employees and a valuation of more than $1bn. They have backing from some of the world’s best investors including the likes of Sequoia, Accel and Insight Venture Partners having raised a $150m Series B in 2014. As for Ryan, there are many awesome things, first, he has built Qualtrics from Utah allowing him to gain perspective outside of the traditional tech bubbles, second, he held off on attain VC funding for many years despite the common belief that it is necessary for unicorn growth and finally he has the most incredible work life balance I have seen and if you have not already you must check out this piece on him in Forbes, it really is a must.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ryan made his way into startups and came to found Qualtrics?

2.) Sequoia’s Bryan Schreier states that Ryan’s success is due to running the company on ‘first business principles’. What does he mean by this? How does this affect the way Ryan runs Qualtrics?

3.) Why did Ryan decide to bootstrap the company for such a long time with the likes of Accel and Sequoia looking to invest? What are the benefits of retaining such control? What are the financial requirements to do so?

4.) What makes the best CEO’s? How do they view the internal structure of the company? How do they perceive their role? How do they manage their day and optimise their time?

5.) How does Ryan look to instill ‘radical transparency’ in the organisation? What are the benefits of doing so? Can an organisation ever be too transparent? What are the challenges of such transparency?

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

20VC: Garry Tan on The Biggest Takeaways From Advising 700 Companies @ Y Combinator & Why Now Is The Golden Age For The Early Stage?

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Garry Tan is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner @ Initialized Capital, one of Silicon Valleys leading early stage seed funds. Prior to founding Initialized, Garry was a Partner at Y Combinator where he invested in and directly worked with over 700 companies in 5 years from the earliest possible stage, often just an idea. Garry’s portfolio includes the likes of previous guests Tilt, Eero, Flexport, LendUp and many more incredible companies.
Before being at YC, Garry Co-Founded Posterous and helped build it to a world-class website used by millions, ultimately acquired by Twitter. Garry also co-founded the engineering team for Palantir Technology’s quant finance analysis platform.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Garry made the transition from Founder @ PostHaven to YC Partner to Initialized GP?

2.) What were Garry’s biggest takeaways from advising 700 startups at YC that he has taken with him to Initialized?

3.) Why does Garry believe now is the golden age for early stage investing? What opportunity does the mass of late stage capital provide the early stage?

4.) How does Garry approach desired ownership? What level of ownership provides incentive for a VC to work whilst also allowing collaboration with other VCs in a round?

5.) What are Garry’s thoughts on the rise of thematic investing? Why does he not believe it to be optimal at the seed stage?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Garry’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

Garry’s Fave Book: Chaos Monkeys

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Pearl believes the latest automotive technology should be available to every driver – whether it’s time for you to buy a new car or not. RearVision is our first step in driving this commitment forward. Pearl RearVision is the only wireless backup camera and alert system that installs in minutes and updates throughout its lifetime. Pearl literally takes less than 10minutes to install and is completely wireless because it’s solar powered. Since RearVision is software based, we’re able to push updates and new features over the Pearl App in the exact same way you receive updates for other apps on your phone. Pearl RearVision is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their car in minutes. Pearl RearVision is $499.99 and available at PearlAuto.com. It’s also available on Amazon and through Crutchfield.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to- use online accounting software for small businesses. With Xero, you can easily manage your accounting anytime, anywhere from your computer or mobile device.When you add Xero to your small business you are able to: Send online invoices and get paid faster. Get an instant view of your cash flow. Track your payroll and keep tabs on your inventory. Partner with your accountant and bookkeeper in real time whenever you like. You can also customize your Xero experience with over five hundred business apps, including advanced solutions for point-of- sale, time tracking, ecommerce and more. Sign up for a free thirty-day trial at xero.com/20vc

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