20 VC 010: Niko Bonatsos on Startup Valuations

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It is a great pleasure to have Niko Bonatsos on today’s episode of The Twenty Minute VC. Niko is Principal at General Catalyst Partners where he specialises in mobile, consumer and healthcare technology. At General Catalyst Partner, Niko has been involved in the investments in the likes of Snapchat, TuneIn and SpoonRocket, just to name a few. Niko is also reknowned for being the 1st Angel Investor in Yik Yak, recently valued between $300-400 million.

In today’s episode you will learn:

  • How Niko made the jump into the world of Venture Capital?
  • What were the fundamental lessons Niko learned when his startup failed?
  • Why Niko prefers to invest in founding teams instead of individual founders?
  • How Niko determines whether a startup will be successful or not? What Niko looks for in startups?
  • Does Niko ever experience FOMO (fear of missing out) on an investment?
  • How do you value a company, in particular a startup with no revenue?
  • Does Niko think Silicon Valley will continue to be the dominant hub for innovation and investment?
  • What parts of the world have seen large growth in both funding and innovation?
  • What Niko would advise graduates looking to make the entry into the Venture Capital industry?
  • What is the best piece of business advice Niko has ever received?

We then move onto a quick fire round where Niko tells us his thoughts on the future of education technology and the primary reason Niko says no to startups.

For all the resources mentioned in today’s show, check out www.thetwentyminutevc.com

We would love to hear from you. If you have any questions you would like to ask the VCs, drop us an email at harry@thetwentyminutevc.com

20 VC 009: Red Flags, Becoming a VC and Saas with Joe Floyd

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On today’s episode of The Twenty Minute VC, I am hugely excited to welcome Joe Floyd to the hotseat. Joe is Principal at Emergence Capital Partners. His expertise in building cloud startups has evolved over 10 years of advising and investing in startups. Prior to Emergence, Joe worked in American Capital’s technology group where he focused on fast growing internet companies. At American Capital Joe was involved in their investments with the likes of PeopleMedia and HomeAway.

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show

What you will learn in today’s show:

  • How Joe made his transition from the world of tech investment banking into the Venture Capital industry?
  • What Joe would advise an individual looking to get into the industry?
  • What Joe believes to be the most important aspect that a startup must have in order to attain VC funding?
  • Whether Joe prefers a founder or a founding team?
  • Joe describes what the main red flags are when startups pitch?
  • When Joe thinks of success, who is the first person that comes to mind?
  • What business books have been the most transformative to Joe?

We then delve into a quick fire round where Joe gives his immediate thoughts on the future of Amazon and Tesla and whether we really are in a tech bubble or not?

As always thank you so much for listening to today’s show, for furthr details and resources, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com. Likewise we would love to hear who you would like to have on the show, if you have any suggestions please do email harry@thetwentyminutevc.com with your suggestions.

20 VC 008: Startup 101 with Mark Peter Davis

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Mark Peter Davis is the founder of Interplay Ventures with investments in the likes of Venwise and Warby Parker, just to name a few. Mark is also author of ‘The Fundraising Rules’, which clearly outlines the funding process of startups. If that wasn’t enough Mark is Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Singularity University. Business Insider has listed Mark as one of the most influential Digital NYers and is included in a list of the 30 most interesting members of the Columbia University Startup Community by CVC30.

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Mark got into the VC industry?
  • How startup founders can increase their network and gain influential mentors?
  • When looking at startups what makes Mark want to get involved?
  • What are the biggest mistakes made by startup founders?
  • What are the key characteristics for a founder to have, in order to be successful?
  • How does an individual or startup get a meeting with a VC?
  • What Mark would advise graduates wanting to get into the Venture Capital Industry?

We end todays show with The Ultimate Quick Fire Round. Here Marks explains his views on startup valuations and how much equity the traditional VC looks for when investing.

Thank you so much for listening, if you are loving the show please do subscribe on iTunes and I would be so grateful if you would leave a review. If you do, you will be entered into the competition to win a meeting with one of the VCs and all the books mentioned in the first 10 episodes. Likewise, if there is a VC we have not interview who you would like us to send an email to harry@thetwentyminutevc.com and we will arrange it!

20 VC 007: The Evolution of Content and the Venture Capital Industry with Peter Csathy

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Peter has had an astonishing career in the media industry with an unbroken track record of success in startups and emerging growth companies. Peter is currently CEO of Manatt Digital Media, which not only offers Venture Capital but is unique in also providing legal services and business consulting. Prior to Manatt, Peter was CEO of Sorensen Media, which serves 70 of the Fortune 100 and CEO of SightSpeed, Inc in which Peter oversaw their acquisition by Logitech.

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why Peter decided to enter into the Venture Capital Industry?
  • What are the unique service that Manatt offer that other VCs do not provide?
  • Why are these service necessary for startups to have access to?
  • What is the most important thing for a startup to have in order for you to invest?
  • Does an entrepreneur’s track record of failure reduce the chance of you investing?
  • Where do you see the disruption of content in 2015?
  • What book would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur looking to attain funding?

In the final few minutes, we delve into a quick fire round where we hear Peter’s thoughts on: The importance of location for a startup, future of online video and the company Peter is most excited about.

20 VC 006: Google Glass & Founding Teams with Ifty Ahmed

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Ifty Ahmed, General Partner at Oak Investment Partners. Ifty started his career with Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Ventures before joining Oak Investment Partners in 2003. He currently focuses on investing across the technology sector with an active interest in Consumer Internet companies.

*This episode was recorded before Google’s anouncement to stop producing Google Glass prototypes, making Ifty’s prediction even more impressive.

Items mentioned in today’s show:

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Ifty got into the Venture Capital industry?
  • What does Ifty believe are the must haves for startups, in order for them to gain funding?
  • Why Ifty prefers to invest in a founding team rather than a single founder?
  • What Ifty would recommed to to an individual founder starting a company?
  • What are the uncomfortable questions companies should ask VCs before they accept VC funding?
  • What Ifty believes a startup should do before a pitch, in order to increase the chances of success?
  • What book would Ifty give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
  • What advice Ifty would give a graduate wanting to get into the VC industry?
  • What tips Ifty would give to about where to network with VCs?

We finish the episode with a quick fire round where we hear Ifty’s views on the future of Google Glass, the valuation of Snapchat and the potential for Bitcoin.

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