20 VC 026: Chris Redlitz on The Importance of People, Pivoting and The Last Mile

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Chris Redlitz is Managing Partner at Transmedia Capital, an early stage venture fund specializing in digital media. Their portfolio includes the likes of Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, just to name a few. Chris also Co-Founded The Last Mile with his wife Beverly, a program that integrates the nation’s penal system with the technology business. Prior to Transmedia and The Last Mile, Chris launched the first online independent yellow page directory, automated coupon platform and content syndication system. As a result, he received Ad Age’s prestigious i20 award for his contributions to the development of interactive marketing and advertising.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

In today’s Episode you will learn:

1.) How Chris made his transition into the Venture Capital industry?

2.) How do VCs compete to be involved in the funding rounds of such attractive startups, such as, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook etc?

3.) How has Chris’ investment strategy changed over the years? What were his early deals? What did he learn from them? What does he do differently now?

4.) What is the premise of The Last Mile?

5.) How does Chris plan to scale the Last Mile to be nationally adopted in all prisons in the US?

6.) What has been the most challenging aspect of Chris’ journey with the Last Mile and how did he overcome it?

 

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Chris plans for the next five years for The Last Mile, the resource he would most recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

20 VC 025: Finding the Right VC and The Evolution of Summly with John Henderson of White Star Capital

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John Henderson is Principal at White Star Capital, a VC firm helping exceptional entrepreneurs build great technology companies, with a presence in Europe and North America. Prior to White Star, John was Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, playing a crucial role in the build up to their acquisition by Yahoo in May 2013. John has also spent time at Facebook working in strategy and business development and was a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.

 

Items (and incredible people!) Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Ben Horowitz: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (THE TWENTY MINUTE VC BOOK CLUB: WEEK ONE)

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

Shakil KhanChristian HernandezNick D’Aloisio, Frank Meehan

Bloglovin

Nuzzel

PandoDaily

TechCrunch

What you will learn in today’s episode:

  • How John got into the technology industry and later made his transition into the world of Venture Capital?
  • As Head of Business Development and Operations at Summly, what was it like for John working with Nick D’Aloisio? How did his role change in the buildup to the acquisition by Yahoo?
  • What does John think about Summary’s evolution into Yahoo News Digest?
  • What has been the biggest difference between John’s life as a entrepreneur compared to his life as a VC?
  • Does John believe it is crucial for startups to find a well-suited VC for their startup?
  • What does John advise startup founders to do or ask to ensure that a VC is the right match for them and their company?
  • Having made angel investments of his own, does John approach these personal investments in a different manner to his professional investments?
  • What advice John would give to anyone contemplating angel investing?

The episode then finishes with a quick fire round where we hear John’s thoughts on the future of bitcoin, John’s personal news reading preferences and his most recent investment and why he said yes?

 

20 VC 024: Financing Fintech with Marc Bernegger of Orange Growth Capital

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Marc Bernegger is Venture Partner at Orange Growth Capital, a Fintech investment firm with notable investments in the likes of Bux, Knip and Zopa. Prior to OGC, Marc was Partner at Next Generation Finance Invest (today Ayondo Holdings). However, Marc has experienced both sides of the table, as he was only 20 when he founded usgang.ch (trade sale to Axel Springer) and later went on to be founder of amiando (trade sale to Xing). As a result of these many successes Marc was awarded ‘Newcomer of the Year 2010’ by Swiss ICT.

Items mentioned in today’s show:

In today’s show you will learn:

1.) How and why Marc made his entry into the VC world in 2010?

2.) Marc specializes in the Fintech sector and has done since 2010, when it was really a very niche sector. How has Marc seen Fintech develop over the last 5 years? What did Marc see that everyone else did not?

3.) Which areas within the Fintech space Marc finds most interesting?

4.) What Marc sees the future of Fintech to look like? Does Marc see any trends arising in the space in 2015?

5.)In recent years Switzerland has trailed behind the likes of London and Scandinivia in Fintech, this seems to be changing with the recent Fintech hackathon held in Zurich, what does Marc think is bringing about this change?

6.)Where does Marc stand on the social integration of mobile payments?

7.) OGC is a investor in Bux, the social gamified trading platform, is this the way Marc believes stock market trading is moving? How does Marc respond to critics who suggest Bux allows the mass market who do not have the significant investing knowledge to gamble recklessly.

 

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Marc’s thoughts on the future of Bitcoin, what tips Marc would give to aspiring entrepreneurs and what the biggest difference between being an entrepreneur and an investor.

 

20 VC 023: The Recipe to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign with Tom Britton

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Tom Britton is Co-Founder and CTO of Syndicate Room, an equity crowdfunding platform that allows it’s members to co-invest alongside professional investors. To date Syndicate Room have raised an incredible £20m for 30 companies. Prior to Co-Founding Syndicate Room, Tom was a professional football player playing in a number of countries including the US and UK.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Nesta Report: Crowdfunding Page 52

Crowdcube

Ego Airplanes

Inn Style

Salty by Simon West

In today’s episode you will learn:

1.) How Tom got into the technology industry and then moved into the very early concept at the time of, equity crowdfunding?

2.)How does SynidcateRoom operate and does their process differs from the likes of Crowdcube?

3.) How much of the £19m was invested by people on the Syndicate Room network rather than the anchor angels?

4.) Does Tom believe with the rise of crowdfunding in recent years, the crowd are a competing finance model to the traditional VC model?

5.) Having witnessed numerous successful campaigns to date, what does Tom believe are the recipes for a successful crowdfunding campaign?

6.) For startups contemplating raising funds for their business, what are the largest benefits of raising seed capital through SyndicateRoom?

7.) CrowdCube is the No 1 equity crowdfunding site in the UK, how does SyndicateRoom treat this competitive threat?

 

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear Tom’s plans for the next 5 years, the hardest obstacles Tom has faced in building Syndicate Room and the 3 companies that Syndicate Room has funded that Tom is most excited about?

 

 

 

20 VC 022: Letting go of the life we planned and the Power of the Female Narrative with Matthew McCall

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Matthew McCall is a Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital and was previously a Partner with DFJ Portage. He has been involved with investments with Feedburner (acquired by Google), Playdom (acquired by Disney) and EverDream (acquired by Dell), just to name a few. Matt has been named in Chicago’s ’40 under 40′ and their Top Tech 25 list. He has been named as one of the Top 100 VCs in the US, a Media 100 and a Hollywood 100 Power Player.

Items Mentioned in Todays Show:

In todays show, you will learn:

  • How Matt got into the VC world?
  • What is Matt’s normal investment size?
  • When investing does Matt have a mental timeline of the startup with a clear strategy of when a desired exit will take place?
  • Matt has been named to the AlwaysOnTop 100 VCs list, leading me to ask how has Matt’s investment strategy changed over the years? What were his early deals? What did Matt learn from them? What does Matt do differently now?
  • Matt has written about the 15 year tech cycle and has quoted Steve Juvertson ‘if you can see it, it isn’t the revolution’, leading me to ask where does Matt stand on a ‘tech bubble’. Is it occurring and why does he say that?
  • Has Matt seen a rise in the emergence of the female entrepreneur?
  • Matt LOVES commencement speeches. Why is that and are there any Matt would recommend in particular?

The episode will then finish with a quick fire round where we hear the resource that Matt would most recommend to an aspiring Founder and Matt’s recent investment and why he said yes?

*Shortly after the interview Matt strongly recommended to me Never Eat Alone by Keith  Ferrazzi

 

 

20 VC 021: Gender Equality, Startup Valuations and ‘Friend Raising before Fund Raising with Sharon Wienbar

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Sharon Wienbar invests in Mobile and Internet companies at Scale Venture Partners, where she sits on the board of Actiance, Applause, BeachMint, Everyday Health, PlayPhone, Reply.com and uTest. Prior to working at Scale Venture Partners, Sharon was VP of Marketing for Amplitude Software and Critical Path.

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

What you will learn in Today’s Show:

  • How Sharon made her entry into the technology world and later the Venture Capital sector?
  • Why is there gender misrepresentation in both the tech and the VC industry and what can be done to improve this gender inequality.
  • What Sharon’s views are on investing outside of the valley?
  • What are the necessary aspects required for a startup located outside of the valley?
  • With such large amounts of capital creating extremely high valuations, is it possible to make money investing in startups?
  • With increasing competition between VC firms for startups, what else can VC’s bring to the table other than capital?
  • What sector is Sharon most excited about and why?

We then move on to a quick fire round where we hear Sharon’s thoughts on what Sharon likes and dislikes about being a VC? The most recent investment Sharon has made and why she said yes?

 

 

20 VC 020: Revolutionising Investing with Luke Lang, Co-Founder of Crowdcube

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Luke Lang is Co-Founder and CMO of Crowdcube, the world’s leading investment Crowdfunding platform. Crowdcube enables anyone the opportunity to invest alongside professional investors in start-up, early-stage and growth businesses. They have raised over £67m for an incredible 207 companies and have an amazing 150,000 registered investors

Items Mentioned in Today’s Show:

What you will learn in today’s episode:

  • How Luke got into the technology industry and really came to be Co-Founder to the world’s 1st quit Crowdfunding platform in the world?
  • Other than capital what else will Balderton bring to you to aid your growth and development?
  • Does Luke believe Crowdfunding is a competing finance model to the traditional VC model?
  • Having seen 207 companies experience successful Crowdfunding campaigns, Luke describes what he believes the formula to be for a successful campaign?
  • For businesses thinking about Crowdfunding, what are the biggest benefits to businesses of raising seed capital through the Crowd?
  • With the increasing number of Crowdfunding sites, how does Crowdcube treat the competitive threat?
  • Is there an opportunity to attract more institutional style money to Crowdcube through retail bonds, which might appeal to income funds.

As the interview comes to a close we engage in a quick fire round where we hear Luke’s views on the hardest obstacle Luke has faced in building Crowdcube? Where Luke sees Crowdcube in 5 years time? 3 companies funded by Crowdcube that Luke is most excited about?

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