20VC: Why AI Is More Artificial Than Intelligent, Why Engineering-centric Founders Are Able To Pivot Best & Why Startups Are Like Games with Alina Cohen, General Partner @ Initialized Capital

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Alina Cohen is a General Partner @ Initialized Capital, one of Silicon Valleys leading early stage seed funds. Their portfolio includes the likes of recent unicorn, Coinbase, Flexport, Cruise Automation, OpenDoor and many more incredible companies. As for Alina, prior to Initialized, she ran tech investments for Tamares Group, the first outside investor in Palantir, and previously founded Recrec, a computer vision startup which was acquired by Facebook, where she worked on Platform and Groups. You can also check out Alina’s voice controlled Arduino/Raspberry Pi here.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alina made her way from selling her computer vision startup to Facebook to GP with one of SF’s best new seed funds, Initialized?

2.) Why does Alina think gaming is so similar to start-ups? What core components are the same? What about gaming led Alina to realise there were secrets to the world of starting companies and growing startups in Silicon Valley?

3.) Why is Alina so focused on engineering-centric founders? Why does Alina feel they are the most attractive investment opportunities? Why are they the founder profile that deals best when pivots have to be made?

4.) Why does Alina think that AI is more artificial than intelligent today? If ML is a “leveraged play on data”, where are the opportunities for startups with such data incumbency? Does AI just help the big get bigger?

5.) Why is Alina so bullish on the future of personal voice computing? What does Alina think will be the catalyst to consumer adoption? What are the compelling consumer applications with voice? Why does this remind her of the early FB platform days?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alina’s Fave Book: The Three-Body Problem

Alina’s Most Recent Investment: Fly.io

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Alina on Twitter here!

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: The First ICO Blockchain Incubator Ever, Why ICO’s Will Change The World of Venture As We Know It & How The M&A Market Will Respond To ICO’s with Mike, Jones, Co-Founder @ Science Inc

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Mike Jones is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Science Inc, one of America’s most successful incubators with an incredible 3 Science Inc portfolio companies exiting in 2016 alone with the sales of Dollar Shave Club, Hello Society (acquired by NYT) and Famebit (acquired by Google). Science continue to push the frontier of tech with their recent announcement of Science Blockchain, the first ICO blockchain incubator ever, with the ICO pre-sale starting in just 13 days from now. Prior to Science, Mike was the CEO @ MySpace, where he was responsible for one of the most high-profile turn-around challenges in the industry.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Mike made his way from MySpace CEO to founding one of the nation’s most successful startup incubators?

2.) Firstly, what is a token in the world of crypto? How does securitized and utility tokens differ? Why does Mike believe the current state of utility tokens is reminiscent of the early days of domain names?

3.) What are the core barriers to traditional investors transferring assets on mass into crypto? What will be the catalyst causing this asset allocation shift in the future? What needs to happen to crypto for it to be attractive for traditionals?

4.) How have we seen the M&A market respond to tokenization? How can we as an ecosystem look to build a framework and structure that allows for a healthy M&A environment?

5.) With so many ICOs occurring today, what will be the determining factors between those that succeed and those that do not? How can individuals from around the world look to assess potential ICO’s?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Mike’s Fave Book: Ready Player One

 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Mike on Twitter here!

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: Nuzzel’s Jonathan Abrams on Why The Top VCs Do Not Have A PlayBook For Startup Success, Why Most Boards Are Not Successful & Why He Is Bored Of Hearing “I Fell Into VC”

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Jonathan Abrams is the Founder and CEO @ Nuzzel, the startup that offers personalised news discovery and curated newsletters for busy professionals. They have backing from some of the investing greats including Marc Andreesen, Naval Ravikant, Homebrew, SoftTech and Lowercase just to name a few. Prior to Nuzzel, Jonathan was the Founder of early social media machine, Friendster attaining funding from Benchmark, Kleiner and Reid Hoffman. Jonathan is also a prolific angel investor counting AngelList, Docker, Front, Instacart, and Slideshare amongst his portfolio.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jonathan made his way into the world of startups and came to found Nuzzel?

2.) Why does Jonathan dislike it when he hears that a VC “fell into the industry”? Why does that not resonate with entrepreneurs? How can it be better phrased to align with operationally minded people?

3.) Why is Jonathan tired of hearing the word conviction from investors? Why does it not make sense to say you invest with conviction? How would Jonathan like to see the use of data to prove conviction-driven (high ownership) is optimal for fund returns?

4.) Does Jonathan believe there are too many seed funds in market today? Why does he believe we have seen a reduction in the numder of $’s going into seed companies? Does Jonathan believe the future is thematic for seed funds?

5.) Why does Jonathan believe the majority of boards “are just not very successful”? What does Jonathan believe makes a great board member? Likewise, what can entrepreneurs do to most effectively manage their board? Why do we need more operational people on boards?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jonathan’s Fave Book: Beggars in Spain by Nanacy Kress

Jonathan’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Jonathan on Twitter here!

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: What Are The Big Questions Entrepreneurs & VCs Must Ask Corporate VCs, Why Corporate VCs Are Not Your Best Lead For Series A & Why The “You Have To Network Your Way To Us’ Is Wrong with Allison Goldberg, Managing Director @ Time Warner Investments

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Allison Goldberg is a Managing Director & Senior Vice President @ Time Warner Investments, focusing on investment opportunities that directly enhance Time Warner’s ability to meet specific strategic goals. Their portfolio consists of the likes of Mashable, Discord, Admeld (acq by Google) and Mic just to name a few. Allison also directly sits on the boards of Outpost Games, Yieldmo, Bustle and Mic. Prior to Time Warner, Allison cut her teeth in the finance industry with a stint at Morgan Stanley.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Allison made her way from investment banking with Morgan Stanley to running the investment arm of Time Warner?

2.) How has Allison seen the world of corporate VC change over the last 16 years? How has Allison seen the VC perception of corporate VC change over the years? Do corporates still get the preference rights they once received?

3.) What are the big questions entrepreneurs must ask corporate VCs when entering into discussions with them? What are the big red flags entrepreneurs should look for in their dialogue? What line of conversation should give the entrepreneur confidence?

4.) Is there a signalling risk for startups of having corporate investors rather than Tier 1 VCs? How can this signalling risk be mitigated? Why does Allison not think corporates make for good Series A lead investors?

5.) How does Allison view fund structures for corporates? How does the lack of fund end affect how corporates can invest long term? How does it affect their time allocation without needing to raise future funds?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Allison’s Fave Book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

Allison’s Fave Blog: NextDraft

Allison’s Most Recent Investment: Mic

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Allison on Twitter here!

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: YC’s Daniel Gross on How YC Can Democratise AI & Reduce Incumbency Advantages& Why ML Enabled Software Will Eat The Software That Ate The World

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Daniel Gross is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with alumni that includes the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, Flexport and many more incredible companies. At Y Combinator Daniel heads up all things YC AI having been a Director @ Apple where he focused on machine learning, as a result of his prior company, Cue (also a YC company) being acquired by Apple in 2013. If that was not enough, Daniel also has one of the valley’s most impressive angel portfolios with investments in OpenDoor, Cruise (acquired by GM), Gusto and Github, just to name a few.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel made his way from YC founder to being acquired by Apple to being YC partner?

2.) How does Daniel respond to the statement that “AI, is in part, a scam”? Why does Daniel believe that the impact of AI has not lived up to the hype?

3.) What are the 3 economies of scale that you have with machine learning when you are a large company? What can startups do to mitigate these incumbency advantages? What does Daniel mean when he says it is his job to “democratize AI”?

4.) Does Daniel believe we will see the rise of “AI companies” or machine learning as a sustaining innovation that existing incumbents use? What is Daniel fearful of with regards to this?

5.) How does Daniel view the potential for business models to be built around AI? Daniel has said “machine learning software will eat the software that has eaten the world”. What does he mean by this? How does this play out?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book: Enders Game, High Output Management, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Daniel’s Fave Blog: Slate Star Codex

Daniel’s Most Recent Investment: Rippling

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Daniel on Twitter here!

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: What Larry Paige, Mary Meeker and Ben Horowitz All Have In Common, Why You Have To Build A Movement Not A Brand & Why This Really Is A Great Time To Be An Entrepreneur with Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founder @ Allbirds

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Joseph Zwillinger is the Founder @ Allbirds, the startup that makes the world’s most comfortable shoes check this out, made out of wool. They have funding from the likes of Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and Slow Ventures and an army of loyal fans that includes Larry Paige, Ben Horowitz, Mary Meeker and Dick Costolo. Prior to co-founding Allbirds, Joey enjoyed a range of careers from investment banking with Goldman Sachs to venture capital with Industry Ventures to working at next generation food and nutrition company, TerraVia.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Joey made his way from investment banker to venture capitalist to Founder @ Allbirds, Silicon Valley’s hottest brand?

2.) How does Joey view the core tenets to creating a successful brand? Why must brands today go further to more of a movement? How can companies look to create movements within their customer base?

3.) How does Joey assess the effects of Amazon on retail? How does Joey evaluate the economic ramifications of Amazon’s flea market approach on the brands behind the products? Why does Joey want Allbirds to stay far away from Amazon?

4.) How does Joey look to prioritize what he and Allbirds focus on? What is the one core metric that guides all their decisions and behavior? How is this applicable to every company of all stage and sector?

5.) Why does Joey think that not enough VCs are people orientated? How does Josh assess the VC class of today? What does he look for when deciding which investors to choose?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Joey’s Fave Book: Man’s Search For Meaning

Joey’s Fave Blog: First Round Review, Dan Primack

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

20VC: How To Design Investment Decision Making That Allows For Outliers, Why Personal Voice Computing Is The Next Big Platform & The Challenges That Could Prevent It with David Beisel, Founding Partner @ NextView Ventures

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David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures, one of the East Coast’s leading early stage funds with their recent $50m seed fund being announced just this month. David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of early stage venture and came to co-found NextView?

2.) How did Nextview design an investment decision-making process that allows for outliers to get through? How does this change with the decision for follow on investment?

3.) Why should firms write investment memos for every investment, regardless of stage and sector? How can firms implement a voting process that is both rigourous yet innovative?

4.) Why is David so excited by the voice computing space? With incumbents like Google and Amazon dominating, where is the opportunity for startups to play? Why does David believe that voice is the most natural user interface possible?

5.) Why does David believe distribution is one of the biggest challenges facing startups today? What does David look for in founders that suggest inherent knowledge of marketing and distribution prowess?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: Look Homeward, Angel

David’s Fave Blog: Gotham Voices, Hearing Voices

David’s Most Recent Investment: Skyways

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

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

Pendo delivers the only complete platform that helps companies create great products. The Pendo Product Experience Platform enables product teams to understand product usage, collect user feedback, measure NPS, assist users, and promote new features in-app – all without requiring any engineering resources. This unique combination of capabilities helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase revenue. Pendo is the proven choice of Salesforce, Cisco, Optimizely Citrix, BMC and many more leading companies. Start a free trial at http://go.pendo.io/harry

Treehouse is an online school where you can learn how to build websites and apps. Their course library has thousands of hours of content, where you can learn all sorts of topics, including Javascript, iOS, Android and more.  With high-quality video instruction from real industry experts teaching you all you need to know, and quizzes and code challenges keep you engaged and on track. Learn on your own schedule and go from beginner to pro. Go to teamtreehouse.com to start your free trial.

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