20VC: How Both Founders & GPs Should Construct Their Pitch, Why VCs Are Eternal Optimists & What Makes The Best Post-Investment VC/Founder Relationship with Brian Ascher, Partner @ Venrock

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Brian Ascher is a Partner @ Venrock, a leading fund with prior investments including Nest, Dollar Shave Club, AppNexus and many more. At Venrock, Brian invests broadly across enterprise and consumer markets and has enjoyed no less than 10 of his investments exit successfully. Due to this exit rate,Brian has been named to the Forbes Midas List multiple times, for the VCs who have backed the most profitable winners in the last four years. Prior to Venrock, Brian was a Senior Product Manager at Intuit responsible for Quicken and Quicken.com.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Brian made his way into the world of VC and came to be a partner at Venrock?

2.) Does Brian believe that in today’s world of ‘ask for advice and get money’, that slide decks are necessary anymore?

3.) How does Brian like pitches to be structured? How should the deck start? Why should the deck not start with the team or the origin story? Should the deck include the amount being raised?

4.) What are the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make in pitches? How can they turn these into an advantage and show the VC their unparalleled insight?

5.) How does Brian view the post-investment relationship with founders? What makes for the optimal relationship? Is it possible for VC to be both friend and board member? How does Brian look to scale the relationship curve when getting to know a founder?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Brian’s Fave Book: Extreme Ownership

Brian’s Most Recent Investment: Socrates

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

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

Zoom is the No 1 Video and WebConferencing Service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including online meetings, video webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms and business instant messaging. Plus, it is the easiest solution to use, buy and scale with the most straightforward pricing. Do not take our word for it, Zoom’s their partnership with Sequoia in their latest 100m funding round says it all. Zoom is a must for your business.

ViewedIt is a free video-recording tool that makes it easy for organizations to embrace the power of video for personalized communications. ViewedIt enables sales professionals, executive leaders and customer support teams to easily record personalized videos and add them to their email conversations. Plus, with built-in tracking powered by the Vidyard platform, video creators will know who is watching what, and which video messages resonate with viewers. They’ll receive immediate playback notifications that will eliminate the wondering of whether the recipient received or watched their content. Find out more and download ViewedIt for free at vidyard.com/viewedit.

20VC: Kleiner Perkins’ Muzzammil (MZ) Zaveri on Why Success In Venture Is About The 3 F’s, How VCs Can Manage Deal Heat & Is There Too Much Venture Dollars At Seed

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Muzzammil (MZ) Zaveri is a Partner @ Kleiner Perkins, one of the world’s most prestigious venture funds with prior investments in the likes of Google, Amazon, Twitter, Square and Airbnb just to name a few. Prior to KPCB, MZ was with Tencent, where he was part of the investment team in Palo Alto, working on investments in companies such as Vurb, Tile, Satellogic, and Weebly to name a few. Prior to Tencent, Muzzammil co-founded Proxino, a Y Combinator (S11) backed startup in the JavaScript error detection space.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How MZ made his way into the world of VC and came to be a partner at Kleiner Perkins?

2.) What were MZ’s biggest takeaways from his time with Tencent? How does that inform how he evaluates and analyses startups today with KPCB?

3.) MZ has said before, ‘success in venture is all about the 3 F’s’. What does he mean by this? Question from Niko Bonatsos @ General Catalyst: How does MZ look ensure the best opportunities are in the pipeline? How does MZ then look to manage and optimise that pipeline?

4.) What are MZ’s thoughts on deal heat? How does MZ look to avoid being sucked into echo chambers of Silicon Valley of what is “hot or not”? What does MZ mean when he says “deal heat can be a false positive when there are more seed funds than ever”?

5.) How does MZ evaluate the seed market today? Does he believe it is over financed with the 10x increase in funds we have seen over the last 10 years? What fund model innovations is MZ most excited by and why?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

MZ’s Fave Book: Neverwhere by Neil Gaimon

MZ’s Fave Blog/Podcast: The Twenty Minute VC

MZ’s Most Recent Investment: UJet

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

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

Zoom is the No 1 Video and WebConferencing Service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including online meetings, video webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms and business instant messaging. Plus, it is the easiest solution to use, buy and scale with the most straightforward pricing. Do not take our word for it, Zoom’s their partnership with Sequoia in their latest 100m funding round says it all. Zoom is a must for your business.

ViewedIt is a free video-recording tool that makes it easy for organizations to embrace the power of video for personalized communications. ViewedIt enables sales professionals, executive leaders and customer support teams to easily record personalized videos and add them to their email conversations. Plus, with built-in tracking powered by the Vidyard platform, video creators will know who is watching what, and which video messages resonate with viewers. They’ll receive immediate playback notifications that will eliminate the wondering of whether the recipient received or watched their content. Find out more and download ViewedIt for free at vidyard.com/viewedit.

20VC: Tinder’s Sean Rad on Why Humility Is The Key Trait For Founders To Have, Why Today’s Incumbents Are Stronger Than Any Before Them & How Leaders Need To Scale With The Scaling Of Their Company

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Sean Rad is the Founder & Chairman @ Tinder, the world’s most popular app for connecting with new and interesting people around you. Every single day there are 26m matches made on Tinder. Alongside his role with Tinder, Sean is the Chairman of Swipe Ventures, the investment vehicle that will continue to grow Tinder’s reach through acquisitions, investment opportunities and development of new business. Prior to Tinder, Sean was the Founder and President of both Adly and Orgoo.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sean made his way into the world of startups and changed the way people connect with Tinder?

2.) How has Sean seen his startup evaluation process evolve since his time angel investing to now, investing institutionally with Swipe Ventures?

3.) What are the character traits that Sean most looks for when evaluating startup founders? Why is humility key to success as a founder? How can this be balanced with passion and vision?

4.) How has Sean seen his leadership and mentality evolve with the growth of Tinder?What have been the major inflection points in his learning as CEO?

5.) Why does Sean believe that today’s incumbents are different than any we have seen before? How does their mentality to startup competition differ from incumbents before them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Sean’s Fave Book: The Nurture Assumption

Sean’s Fave Blog: TechCrunch

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

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

Zoom is the No 1 Video and WebConferencing Service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including online meetings, video webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms and business instant messaging. Plus, it is the easiest solution to use, buy and scale with the most straightforward pricing. Do not take our word for it, Zoom’s their partnership with Sequoia in their latest 100m funding round says it all. Zoom is a must for your business. 

ViewedIt is a free video-recording tool that makes it easy for organizations to embrace the power of video for personalized communications. ViewedIt enables sales professionals, executive leaders and customer support teams to easily record personalized videos and add them to their email conversations. Plus, with built-in tracking powered by the Vidyard platform, video creators will know who is watching what, and which video messages resonate with viewers. They’ll receive immediate playback notifications that will eliminate the wondering of whether the recipient received or watched their content. Find out more and download ViewedIt for free at vidyard.com/viewedit.

20VC: The Biggest Indicators Of Success In Founding Teams, How To Balance Both Vision and Operations & Taking Money From “The Man At The Rug Store” with Mar Hershenson, Founding Managing Partner @ Pear.vc

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Mar Hershenson is a Founding Managing Partner @ Pear.vc alongside Pejman Nozad. After earning a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1999, Mar had developed a ground-breaking technique for optimizing the design of analog semiconductors. Having combined a hardware/software focus during her studies, she spent the next 13 years co-founding three startups in the mobile/e-commerce, enterprise software, and semiconductor industries, work that led eventually to her registering 14 separate patents. Mar has been recognized by MIT Technology Review as a Top Innovator Under 35 and named a Champion of Innovation by Fast Company.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Mar make her way from professor @ Stanford to startup founder to founding Pear.vc?

2.) Question from Matin @ Heap: How does Mar decide which founders have the highest potential? What are the seeds that suggest huge potential growth on initial screening?

3.) Question from Nicky @ Nova Credit: How does one look to balance the inherent challenge of vision and operations? What do the best founders do?

4.) How important is it for there to be role segmentation in a VC partnership? Why does it not matter at certain stages of the funding lifecycle?

5.) Why does Mar believe venture is an intensely service based industry? How does Mar look to maintain her scaling board roles with a scaling portfolio?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mar’s Fave Book: The Four Steps To The Epiphany

Mar’s Fave Blog: Elad Gil, Dan Primack

Mar’s Most Recent Investment: Nova Credit

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

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

Zoom is the No 1 Video and WebConferencing Service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including online meetings, video webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms and business instant messaging. Plus, it is the easiest solution to use, buy and scale with the most straightforward pricing. Do not take our word for it, Zoom’s their partnership with Sequoia in their latest 100m funding round says it all. Zoom is a must for your business. 

ViewedIt is a free video-recording tool that makes it easy for organizations to embrace the power of video for personalized communications. ViewedIt enables sales professionals, executive leaders and customer support teams to easily record personalized videos and add them to their email conversations. Plus, with built-in tracking powered by the Vidyard platform, video creators will know who is watching what, and which video messages resonate with viewers. They’ll receive immediate playback notifications that will eliminate the wondering of whether the recipient received or watched their content. Find out more and download ViewedIt for free at vidyard.com/viewedit.

20VC: Founders Fund’s Kevin Hartz on Why Investing In Silicon Valley Is Broken & Why Fearlessness Is What Makes The Truly Great Investors

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Kevin Hartz is a Partner @ Founders Fund, one of the world’s most prestigious and successful VC funds with prior investments in the likes of Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, Spotify and many more incredible companies. Prior to Founders Fund, Kevin was Founder & CEO @ Eventbrite, the company that powers thousands of millions of events around the world with backing from the likes of Sequoia and SV Angel. Before that Kevin was the Founder of Xoom Corporation, the international money transfer company that went public in 2012 and was acquired by Paypal in 2015. Kevin has also been a prolific angel with a personal portfolio including Airbnb, Uber, Paypal, Pinterest and Yammer.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) Question from Brian Singerman: How did Kevin come to be the world famou Kevin Hartz? What was Kevin’s entry into the world of VC?

2.) How has Kevin seen his investment decision making and evaluation process change when comparing his angel deals in Uber, Paypal and Airbnb to today, investing institutionally with Founders Fund?

3.) How does Kevin see believe his time in operations lends to him being a better investor today? Does Kevin agree with Pat Grady @ Sequoia in stating, ‘the rate of decay on operating experience has never been greater’?

4.) With no Monday morning Partner meetings, if a Partner wants to push a deal through, how do you do it at Founders Fund? How do you structure those conversations internally?

5.) What have been Kevin’s biggest learnings since joining Founders Fund? How did Kevin look to scale the VC learning curve as fast as possible? What elements did Kevin find most challenging?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kevin’s Fave Book: Peter Thiel: Zero To One

Kevin’s Most Recent Investment: HyperTrack 

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

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

Zoom is the No 1 Video and WebConferencing Service, providing one consistent enterprise experience that allows you to engage in an array of activities including online meetings, video webinars, collaboration-enabled conference rooms and business instant messaging. Plus, it is the easiest solution to use, buy and scale with the most straightforward pricing. Do not take our word for it, Zoom’s their partnership with Sequoia in their latest 100m funding round says it all. Zoom is a must for your business. 

Vidyard is the video platform for business that helps marketing and sales teams drive more revenue through the use of online video. Going beyond video hosting and management, Vidyard helps businesses drive greater engagement in their video content, track the viewing activities of each individual viewer, and turn those views into action. Global leaders such as Microsoft, McKesson, Lenovo, and LinkedIn rely on Vidyard to power their video content strategies and turn viewer into customers. Check them out at vidyard.com.

20VC: The Future Business Model For Drones & Why Enterprise Drones Need To Be As Boring As Possible with Jonathan Downey, Founder & CEO @ Airware

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Jonathan Downey is the Founder & CEO @ Airware, the startup that allows you to make better-informed decisions with aerial date, captured by drones. They have raised over $65m in VC funding from some of the very best in the industry including a16z, Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures just to name a few. Jonathan is also the General Partner @ Commerical Drone Fund, making $250K-$1m investments in early stage companies in the commercial drone space. Prior to Airware, Jonathan was a commercial pilot and a flight controls engineer @ Boeing.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jonathan made the move from commercial pilot to startup founder with one of the hottest drone startups, Airware?

2.) What has been the catalyst for the rising belief in the potential for drones? What has changed about the landscape to make them now not only a commercially viable opportunity but also consumer viable?

3.) How does Jonathan view the commercial landscape today? Where does Jonathan see the highest potential for the commercial application of drones? How does one approach go to market strategy and business model in a completely undefined landscape?

4.) What are the current barriers to adoption for corporations with drones? What does it mean and entail for an organization to adopt drones in terms of new workflows and training? What are the key transformative technologies that will enable new applications and market expansion?

5.) With incumbents now heavily investing in the space, does Jonathan believe this will be a market of disruption or consolidation and acquisition by the exisiting incumbents?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jonathan’s Fave Book: Elon Musk by Ashley Vance

Jonathan’s Fave Blog: Chris Dixon

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

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

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com – and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

20VC: Why It Is Good Company Funding Has Been Down 6 Quarters In A Row, Why Unanimity Does Not Work In VC Decision-Making & Why It Is Dangerous To Be A Spreadsheet Investor with Scott Raney, Partner @ Redpoint Ventures

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Scott Raney is a Partner @ Redpoint Ventures, one of the valley’s leading multi-stage funds with over 434 investments, close to $4bn in assets under management and 136 IPOs and M&A. At Redpoint Scott has made investments in the likes of Twilio, Stripe and Heroku, just to name a few. Prior to Redpoint, Scott was responsible for new products at NorthPoint Communications, and before that Scott worked at Bain & Company helping clients in the private equity and technology industries.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Scott made his first forays into the world of VC and came to be a Partner @ Redpoint Ventures?

2.) Why does Scott think it is a good thing that we have seen company funding down 6 quarters in a row? What does this mean for startups trying to raise?

3.) What 2 types of companies will continue to find it easy to raise in these markets? What types of companies will struggle to raise? Is there market cyclicality or a return to normal more sustainable times?

4.) Why are investors a lot less willing to take future fundraising risk? How does Scott view the optimal investment decision-making process for a VC partnership? Why does unanimity not work?

5.) Why does Scott believe it is dangerous to be a spreadsheet investor? With the bar being higher today, what are the milestones that startups need to reach in order to be attractive from an investment perspective?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Scott’s Fave Book: Born To Run By Bruce Springsteen 

Scott’s Fave Blog: Tom Tunguz

Scott’s Most Recent Investment: Hashicorp

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

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

Eight is a sleep innovation company. With their latest product, the Eight Smart Mattress, being a bed that literally tells you how well you slept last night, paired with an intelligent sensor cover that measures the quality of your sleep and delivers a daily sleep report. In order to bring you the best product, Eight used anonymized sleep data and feedback from over 10,000 people, to understand which materials and types of mattresses give customers the best sleep resulting in their unique blend of four responsive and high-density foam layers plus one layer of proprietary technology that helps people track and improve their sleep. You can check it out on Eightsleep.com – and if you use the code 20VC you will get a whopping 20% discount!

FullContact provides the ability to organize your contacts, gain rich insights into them and therefore build deep relationships. With features like automatically identifying and merging duplicate contacts to the ability to snap a photo of a business card and FullContact will transcribe them for you, so no more lost and loose business cards at events. It is with these features just being the tip of the iceberg, FullContact really is the best all in one solution for contact management and you can check them out on fullcontact.com.

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