20 VC 036: The Pitching Process: From Email to Term Sheet with Stephan von Perger @ Wellington Partners

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Stephan von Perger is an Early Stage VC at Wellington Partners where his primary role is identifying investment opportunities and building lasting relationships with the entrepreneurs behind these companies. Stephan started his career at McKinsey before moving to Stylistpick.com as Head of Operations, he then progressed to setup and run the business operations at CityMapper.com. In today’s interview Stephan walks us through the pitching process from the first email to signing the term sheet!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

  • How and why Stephan made his move from the world of startups to the venture industry?
  • What are the right reasons for a founder to enter a round of venture funding?
  • How should founders go about meeting and connecting with VCs? What can founders actively do to position themselves well and how should founders phrase their emails and communication?
  • Are there any aspects or buzzwords in emails which instantly make VCs interested?
  • What documentation is required for the initial meeting? Is there anything founders must bring?
  • How can founders make the most out of their meeting with VCs? Are there any questions founders should ask? How should founders respond to a question they do not know the answer to?
  • What happens if a VC says they will contact you but a week later the founder has heard nothing? What should the founder do?

We then finish todays episode with a quick fire round where we hear Stephan’s thoughts on which pitch or communication has impressed him the most, what single thing Stephan most looks for in founders and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

20 VC 035: The Ultimate Marketing Guide for Startups with Jay Acunzo, VP of Platform @ NextView Ventures

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Jay Acunzo is NextView Ventures VP of Platform and runs the View from Seed blog. At NextView, he leads the creation of business development and educational resources for startups, from board deck templates to mobile workshops to the popular Hitchhiker’s Guide to Boston Tech (bostontechguide.com). Prior to NextView, Jay led content marketing and production teams at HubSpot (IPO) and Dailybreak Media (acquired). A former sports journalist, he began his career in tech at Google. As a result of Jay’s tremendous success Jay has been named Top 10 B2B Marketer in Boston, 70 Rising Social Media Stars and 100 Most Influential Content Marketers.

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In Today’s Episode you will Learn:

  • How Jay made his move into the world of tech with Google and how he then transitioned into the world of venture with NextView?
  • What does VP of Platform really entail? Why has it become an emerging trend in the venture industry?
  • How is the structure of VCs firms changing, with the likes of a16z moving to a much more service orientated venture fund.
  • Are there any individuals or sections of society that should or should not be blogging?
  • How can individuals drive traffic to their blog and what tactics Jay uses to get visitors to his blog?
  • What Jay would suggest to business and startup founders thinking about whether to start blogging?
  • What is the best platform to market your content or startup? Is Twitter really an effective marketing tool? How can individuals and businesses increase engagement on Twitter? What not to do on Twitter?

We then finish today’s episode with a lightning round where we hear Jay’s thoughts on the best and worst aspects as VP of Platform, his best resource for content marketing, his favourite book and why.

 

20 VC 034: 250 Investments, AngelList Syndicates and Microsoft with Jon Staenberg

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Jon Staenberg is one of the most experienced venture capitalists in the Pacific Northwest, having made over 250 startup investments and having raised two funds totaling over $100 million. Jon’s investments include the likes of AngelList, StubHub, SAPHO, KitchenBowl (through AngelList syndicates) and many more. If that wasn’t enough Jon sits on the boards of Class.com, Micropath and even owns his own vineyard! Previously, Jon worked in the marketing area at Microsoft for six years and is a Stanford alum!

Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jon started off in the tech industry and then made his move into venture?

2.) Having established 5 companies, what was the hardest element of the process and how did Jon overcome it?

3.) Having invested in over 250 startups what is Jon’s investment strategy? What is Jon looking for in startups?

4.) Once invested in a startup, what is Jon’s role and what services can VCs bring to a startup?

5.) Whether Jon feels AngelList syndicates are going to change the funding environment? Does it present a challenge to the more traditional VC model?

We then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Jon describe the highlight of his glittering career, the biggest tip Jon would give to an aspiring entrepreneur and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

 

 

20 VC 033: The Pros and Cons of Venture Capital, Atomico and What VCs Really Mean When They Say Interesting with Chris Dark, President @ C2FO

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Quote of the Day: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” John F. Kennedy

Chris Dark is President International at C2FO, the Union Square Ventures backed company is the priceline for working capital where companies ‘name their own price’. Prior to C2FO, Chris was VP at Atomico, the London based venture fund founded by Nicklas Zennstorm. At Atomico, Chris was on the boards of Chemist Direct, Fab, Hailo, Quipper, Wrapp, Knewton, Bebestore, and Gengo. If that wasn’t enough Chris has also held roles at AOL, Bain & Co and started his own company GameReplays.org, an early esports community, which Chris built to 1 million uniques per month!

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In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

  • Where it all began for Chris and how he made his move into venture?
  • What skills Chris learnt from founding his company and how he applied them to the venture industry?
  • What were the hardest aspects of building Chris’ company and how did he overcome them?
  • What are the best reasons to want to join the venture industry?
  • What made Chris leave his VP role at Atomico to rejoin the entrepreneurial game with C2FO?
  • Having both invested in startups and raised funds as a startup, what tips would Chris give to founders potentially entering a round of funding?
  • How does Chris feel the tech eco system in London is developing and what Chris believes can be done to further improve it?

We finish today’s show with a lightning round where we hear Chris’ thoughts on whether university is necessary or not, the next 5 years for him and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

20 VC 032: Inside Y Combinator with Nicolas Michaelsen, Founder @ AirHelp

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In today’s show I am joined by the immensely talented Nicolas Michaelsen, Founder & CMO at AirHelp, the go to place if you have grievances during air travel. Nicolas pulls back the curtain on the exclusive world of Y Combinator, this includes the admissions process, the infamous interview, the tutoring available to YC startups, the effects of YC on the valuation of startups and the key takeaways from his time at YC.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In today’s show you will learn:

  • How Nicolas got AirHelp started?
  • At what point did Nicolas realise that Y Combinator was the place to go?
  • Had Nicolas considered other more local incubators?
  • What was the admissions process like? Is there any specific documentation required to apply?
  • How is the YC interview structured? What type of questions do the partners ask?
  • What percentage of the partners need to say yes for a startup to be accepted?
  • How does the tutoring system work at YC? Who did Nicolas receive as tutors for AirHelp?
  • What is a typical day in the life of a YC startup?

We then finish today’s episode by hearing Nicolas’ thoughts on his most valuable takeaway from YC, the impact of YC on the valuation of a startup, what the future holds for AirHelp?

If you would like to follow The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter, click here!

If you would like to stay up to date with Nicolas and AirHelp, click here!

 

20 VC 031: Investing in Gaming, Luxury Goods and Disruption with Maha Ibrahim, General Partner @ Canaan Partners

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Maha Ibrahim is General Partner at Canaan Partners. Maha is renowned in the venture industry for her ability to to spot technology trends extremely early, proven through Maha being one of the 1st investors to recognise the huge potential of social gaming. As a result, Maha led Canaan’s early investment in social games pioneer PicksPal (acquired by Liberty Media) and was a seed investor in Kabam, the world’s largest developer of massively multiplayer social games. Due to Maha’s incredible success in venture, she was included in Silicon Valley the ’40 Under 40′ award by The Silicon Valley Business Journal and is a regular on Bloomberg TV.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In today’s episode you will learn:

  • How Maha made her transition into the world of Venture Capital?
  • As one of the 1st investors in social gaming, what did Maha see that other people did not?
  • With the gaming industry being as fast moving and fickle as it is, shown through the likes of Zynga’s troubles, is Maha concerned for her gaming portfolio companies, in their ability to maintain their dominant presence in the sector?
  • Maha is an investor in The Real Real, a company which had revenues of over $100m last year. What does Maha believe is the reason for this incredible success and where does she see the future for The Real Real?
  • Increasing amounts of capital means increasing competition for VCs, what does Maha believe VCs can bring to the table to beat off the competition?
  • What is Maha most impressed by, in terms of entrepreneurs pitching to her?
  • Where does Maha believe the next big forms of disruption are coming from?

We finish today’s episode with a quick fire round where we hear Maha’s thoughts on the hardest part about being a VC, how Maha measures her success as a VC and her most recent investment and why she said yes?

You can follow Maha on Twitter here!

 

20 VC 030: VC Funds, Angels and IPOs with John Taylor, Head of Research @ NVCA

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In today’s show I am joined by John Taylor, a nationally recognised authority in the venture capital and entrepreneurial finance sector. Currently, John is Head of Research at the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). In 2003, he co-founded the NVCA CFO Task Force which focuses on regulation and emerging issues dealing with a diverse range of CFOs within Venture Capital firms.

Some of the many gems of this conversation include: where venture funds actually obtain their funds from, what is the main difference between an angel and a VC, what investors expect from their VCs, how has the IPO market changed since 2000, what do VCs look for in potential investments, how do VCs manage their time, what is the typical workload of a VC, can University students go straight into the VC industry?

 

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Dave McClure | Lean VC | 500 Startups

Andreeson Horowitz 

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