The Full Ratchet: Venture Capital Demystified (general)

Bobby Franklin of NVCA joins Nick to discuss Immigration, Privacy, and Foreign Investment -- The Biggest Threat to Venture is in Washington D.C.. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory/path to Capitol Hill.
  • You served as the Executive Vice President of CTIA --tell us a bit about that experience and how it led to NVCA.
  • At NVCA - what's the mandate?
  • What specific actions does the organization take in order to deliver on this mandate?
  • You just wrapped up NVCA’s annual VC’s to DC conference this month-- What were the three most critical issues that Venture Capital is facing?
  • I came across your article on TechCrunch about FIRRMA (the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act) and CFIUS (the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.). Can you talk a bit about the issue the industry is facing and the key players?
  • What suggestions do you have for VCs and high growth companies -- with exposure to FIRRMA and the expanded power of CFIUS?
  • At the VCs to DC conference there was a panel on the rise of populism…Trends from trade to immigration, tax policy and cross-border financial flows, that are rapidly impacting global commerce - Can you talk a bit about these issues and their impact on the ecosystem?
  • Currently large tech companies are under increased scrutiny in DC and policymakers are cracking down on data privacy regulation, antitrust enforcement, etc. Do you think this “techlash” is appropriate or not?
  • What guidance or insight would you give entrepreneurs to ensure that their companies are operating within regulatory boundaries?
  • Any other suggestions for the audience -- a mix of VCs, LPs, Angels and Founders -- on specific things we all can do to support this asset class in D.C.?

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.


On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Roy Bahat
  • Ash Rust
  • Wayne Kimmel

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or trends that may have significant impact in the future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_116__Whats_Next_Bahat_Rust_Kimmel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Scott Dorsey of High Alpha joins Nick to discuss The Venture Studio. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory/ path to tech.
  • The story behind ExactTarget leading up to selling the company for $2.7B to Salesforce.
  • Why'd you launch HighAlpha?
  • Briefly touch on the thesis at High Alpha. 
  • I want to deep dive into the venture studio model as it's a bit misunderstood... Can you start us off with an overview of the venture studio model?
  • What are the key differences between a studio model and a traditional venture fund?
  • Why are you doing both at High Alpha?
  • Different studios have different specialities and focus areas - what is your studio speciality at High Alpha?
  • What types of founders and/or businesses are a strong fit for partnership with a venture studio?
  • What do you say to critics of the studio model that say that studios take too much equity?
  • Do you think that a studio-based approach can drive higher alpha ; ) than the traditional fund model?
  • In what ways do your portfolio companies get more value out of a partnership with you than non-studio-based partners?
  • I was browsing the High Alpha website and came across a passage about one of the core components of your process called “Sprint Week” which states "During Sprint Week, we focus on building the Minimally Viable Business (MVB) including branding, prototyping, and go-to-market strategy” Can you dive into the details of Sprint Week and how it helps your portfolio companies?
  • How do you define product-market-fit?
  • In regards to your partnership program at the firm, I see that not only do you partner with top tech corporations but also leading universities and academic programs. Talk about the benefits of these partnerships for your founders in terms of talent, networks, and technology?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: 189._The_Venture_Studio_Scott_Dorsey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Aydin Senkut
  • John Fein
  • Cheryl Cheng

Each investor discusses a portfolio company that did not survive and why it was that they failed.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_115__Post_Mortems_Senkut_Fein_Cheng.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Steve Glickman of Develop Advisors joins Nick to discuss Opportunity Zones --- A Fit for VC?. In this episode, we cover:

  • Quick overview of your background prior to Develop Advisors?
  • Walk us through the origin story of EIG?
  • You are also the founder & CEO of Develop Advisors - tell us more about the work you do with fund managers.
  • Let's talk about OZ's -- and we'll start with the basics -- Give us an overview of the $6T OZ program.
  • Incentives aside from tax benefits?
  • Which asset classes are best suited to invest in OZs?
  • How is an Opportunity Zone defined? What credentials make a community an OZ?
  • As governors change -- are these OZs going to change with different administrations?
  • Is the expectation that entrepreneurs will actually relocate to these areas for the HQ of their business? It seems like that is a bit of a stretch.
  • Are there statistics on the number and amount of private capital funds that have been raised with a mandate to invest in OZs?
  • In your estimation, what are some risks factors and/or potential unintended consequences that we should be mindful of?
  • Part of my hesitation around this topic and why I've waited to cover it until I could get you specifically on the program, is because with any new gov't incentive program or over-hyped area in general (like we saw with crypto last year), it attracts a lot of "opportunists" or even "charlatans" looking to capitalize on something that's new and not well understood. How do we avoid and discourage "bad actors" from taking advantage of either LPs or Entrepreneurs?
  • One of the services that Develop Advisor's provides is the OZI or Opportunity Zone Index. What is this attempting to measure?
  • What do you say to the pundits that claim the majority of the benefits will accrue to the financial services investors and not to the distressed communities?

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: 188._Opportunity_Zones_---_A_Fit_for_VC__Steve_Glickman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Adeyemi Ajao
  • Cyan Banister
  • Jeff Clavier

Each investor describes the most unusual situation or pitch that they've encountered as an investor.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_114__Strange__Unusual_Ajao_Banister_Clavier.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Jim Kim of Builders VC joins Nick to discuss Transformative Tech for Old World Industry. In this episode, we cover:

  • Quick Backstory/ Path to founding tech?
  • Big news a few years ago that Formation 8 decided not to raise a fund 3. What happened with Formation 8 - why the decision not to raise fund 3?
  • Tell us about the thesis at Builders.
  • Why do you think these old world industries haven't been re-invented?
  • I've worked in some old world industries myself... that move quite slowly. I'm curious if you think the timeline is a bit longer for tech companies to scale in these industries, if, for nothing else than the decision makers are much more methodical? 
  • What are some of the key technology characteristics you're looking for in the companies you back?
  • Aside from technology, what are the other key ingredients your hunting for?
  • Vertical integration... building your own brand and own the customer relationship vs. serving many others as a component provider?
  • What percentage of your new investments are serial founders vs. first-time and how does your approach differ with each?
  • You've stated that "Synthetic biology will be the most important enabling technology of our lifetimes." Why?
  • Talk about some exciting innovations in the science and data space and what industries will they be most beneficial to?
  • How do you measure success with the companies in your portfolio and how do you help them get to that place?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: 187._Transformative_Tech_for_Old_World_Industry_Jim_Kim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Jim Tananbaum
  • Brian Ascher
  • Tae Hea Nahm

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson learned about startup investing and how it's changed their approach.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

 

Direct download: Investor_Stories_113__Lessons_Learned_Tananbaum_Ascher_Nahm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Jenny Rooke of Genoa Ventures joins Nick to discuss Seed Investing at the Intersection of Biology & Technology. In this episode, we cover:

  • Her background in genetics, physics, computer science... and how that lead to venture.
  • How was it to work with Melinda and Bill Gates?
  • You also successfully built the largest life-sciences syndicate on Angellist that is also one of the highest performing syndicates of any sector... I just took a peek at the rankings this morning and both New Stack and Genoa are in the top 5. Of course those rankings are done based on follow-on rate... so, it's nice to see we are in good company, up there w/ you Jenny... but talk a bit about why you started with a syndicate and how you've been able to drive such high performance.
  • You launched the Genoa fund last year... Syndicate and fund now?
  • "Genoa ventures invests in early-stage companies innovating at the intersection of biology and technology"... Jenny, what does that mean to you and what types of companies are you looking for?
  • Adverse effects from Theranos?
  • How and where do you source dealflow?
  • Talk a bit about your evaluation process and some of the unique things that you do when vetting prospective portfolio companies?
  • What's your take on VCs that pick a focus area and stay distinctly in their lane vs. those VCs that may have a focus but tend to dabble in variety of other areas?
  • A position I've heard from many tech VCs is... "There are additional layers of risk in life sciences... the science itself, clinical trials, regulatory approvals, etc. that don't apply w/ traditional tech startups... making it a very difficult category to successfully invest in"... Jenny, agree or disagree?
  • What's the biggest hindrance to either more or faster advancements in the life sciences space?
  • With regard to life sciences... What's required, in terms of progress, to raise a seed round... what about a series A?
  • How do you help your founders navigate the fundraising process where many VCs don't understand the science?
  • Have you invested in startups where the chief scientist is CEO? If so, how to you assess for and/or help coach the commercial skills and leadership skills required to build and scale a venture-backed startup?
  • How do you think the usage of automation and data will play a role in healthcare, therapeutics or other sectors?
  • If early performance is an indication of long-term results, Genoa is well positioned as an emerging brand in venture... but I'm curious to hear what winning looks like for you? How are you keeping score on yourself and portfolio you're building?
  • Talk about some exciting new innovations or trends that you’re seeing. Where do you think they will have a big impact and when?

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.


On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following individuals are featured:

  • Nick Moran
  • Rick Stokes
  • Joe Dwyer

This will be a unique segment where, Nick Moran of New Stack Ventures and Joe Dwyer of Founder Equity will discuss why they invested in Winston Privacy.

Founder of Winston, Rich Stokes, will join Nick and Joe to discuss his startup story and how he chose New Stack to lead the investment and Founder Equity to participate in the funding round.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

 


On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Craig Wortmann
  • SC Moatti
  • Bradley Tusk

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or trends that may have significant impact in the future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_111_-Whats_Next_Wortmann_Moatti_Tusk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Ash Rust of Sterling Road joins Nick to discuss "Blessed" Teams, Pseudo Deal Leads, and Caps at Pre vs Post. In this episode, we cover:

  • His beginnings in tech and how that led to starting the fund
  • What's the investment thesis at Sterling Road?
  • What's unique about your approach that other firms aren't doing?
  • Something that I think is frustrating for many founders is seeing these idealistic stories of founders that are raising $5M on a $20M cap with zero traction. And, it's also misleading in that I have a number of founders that think they need to be raising a lot more than they are... very early on before indications of product fit or even a focused commercial plan. Can you talk about the profile of these teams that are able to raise seemingly irrational seed rounds and then later let's jump into consequences.
  • The seed round has now divided into a series of phases... we have pre-seed, seed, mango seed, seed+, seed exensions, etc. We've spoken to Semil Shah about this and how it's no longer a stage it's a series of phases and gates. Can you talk about these phases and how founders should think about milestones and raise amounts prior to raising an A?
  • At New Stack we've encountered some strange and troubling circumstances regarding who the lead investor is on a deal and who is not. What are you seeing in terms of who takes the lead and how has that evolved over the past few years?
  • Pro Rata has always been a hot button issue, for a variety of reasons and we're seeing some new challenges emerge as our portcos are raising up-rounds. What are the key issues you're observing with pro rata and what's your opinion on how it should be handled?
  • A number of my founders are either raising more in their seed round or trying to pull-in and raise their A rounds before their ready b/c everyone is sounding the alarms about an impending recession... raise the money now, before it dries up. This seems curious and a bit misleading from my standpoint... What are your thoughts on founders raising more money or raising sooner because of a potential recession?
  • I've been getting a number of pitch decks from so-called "CFOs" at startups... yet, upon review of a LinkedIN profile, it's pretty clear that these folks are bankers. Are you seeing the same and what are your thoughts?
  • I think it was about eight months ago that YC changed its SAFE to a post-money cap, instead of a pre-money cap. They claimed to have the right intentions when they made the switch but we were immediately suspect for a few obvious reasons, some less so. Talk about about SAFEs as an investment instrument and your thoughts on the switch to post money caps.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.


On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Cyan Banister
  • David Cohen
  • John Fein

Each investor highlights a situation where they decided not to invest, why they passed, and how it played out.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_110_-_Why_I_Passed_Banister_Cohen_Fein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures joins Nick to discuss Iconic Companies, Frontier Markets & a Truly Founder Centric Approach. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory / Path to tech in SF?
  • Prior to founding Felicis Ventures, you were a Product Manager at Google, launching their first 10 international sites, its first online search licensing products, and its first Safe Search…talk about what lead to your transition to investing.
  • What’s the story behind founding Felicis Ventures?
  • Talk about the investment focus and approach of your firm.
  • It states on the firms website that you back founders looking to open up frontier markets, such as longevity and engineered foods, and reinvent critical markets such as mental health and insurance….what are some of the success factors you've observed in startups trying to create or reinvent markets.
  • You’ve invested in many iconic companies that have revolutionized their industry such as Shopify, Fitbit and CreditKarma, when investing at early stages, how do you differentiate between the ideas or trends that are going to have this long term affect from the ones that may not be so successful?
  • Felicis states on the site that "The difference between a good product and a great product is one incalculably better than the current alternative. Successful founders have laser sharp focus on true product differentiation, intelligent time and capital allocation" Help us understand what seperates good product from great product.
  • Differences in investing in domestic vs. international startups?
  • You do this survey every year of your portfolio companies... can you talk about the key insights you've learned from doing that?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.


On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Rebecca Kaden
  • Roy Bahat
  • Elizabeth Galbut

Each investor discusses a portfolio company that did not survive and why it was that they failed.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_109_-_Post_Mortems_Kaden_Bahat_Galbut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Adeyemi Ajao of Base 10 Partners joins Nick to discuss Automation vs. AI. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory - Growing up in Spain and Nigeria and his path to entrepreneurship.
  • Previous to Base10 Partners, you had quite a successful career as an entrepreneur, founding highly influential companies such as Tuenti, Identified and Cabify in Latin America - talk a bit about your experience founding and scaling multiple tech companies, ultimately to exit?
  • How did you, TJ and Reggie come together and decide to create Base10?
  • On the website it says that you "started Base10 to take a profoundly different approach to Automation." Tell us more about your thesis on automation and how it's different.
  • Talk about Automation vs. AI and the potentially misleading guidance that we're hearing from many firms in the valley with regard to AI.
  • Of course, with any big changes that are made to the way people traditionally do things, there is a reaction. While some will embrace automation tools, others will have an adverse reaction. Are there certain sectors, categories or even functions that you think will more readily adopt automation solutions?
  • You mentioned a number of industries... Real Estate, Construction, SaaS, Agriculture, Logistics, Consumer... you have these Partners listed on the website, like Fifth Wall, Bessemer, Owl, Shasta, Bain Capital... can you explain the details of your partnership program?
  • When researching sectors that you’re interested in and assessing the opportunity to implement automation tools, what key factors are you looking for?
  • "We know automation. We have seen it succeed and fail. We know what playbook to apply from team structure to go-to-market, automated customer service or data collection systems." Talk to us about the playbook elements that have application across the automation-focused startups you work with?
  • You've discussed the pride you take in being: Hispanic, American, European, African, black and white. It's quite notable that you raised the first black-led VC fund of over $100M. How were able to break through such a significant glass ceiling where others haven't?

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: 183._Automation_vs._AI_Adeyemi_Ajao.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Evangelos Simoudis
  • Cheryl Cheng
  • Wayne Kimmel

Each investor describes the most unusual situation or pitch that they've encountered as an investor.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_108_-_Strange__Unusual_Simoudis_Cheng_Kimmel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jeff Clavier of Uncork Capital joins Nick to discuss Market Cycles, Escalating Costs to Start Up, and the Micro VC Surge. In this episode, we cover:

 

  • In 2004 you started making angel investments in emerging Web 2.0 companies and at that time, only a handful of individuals backed entrepreneurs in the internet space…What was your first investment and how did you get involved in the space? 
  • What's the story of the founding of SoftTech--now known as Uncork Capital. 
  • What led to the rebrand from SoftTech to Uncork? 
  • The investment focus/thesis of Uncork. 
  • You mentioned...FitBit, EventBrite, and Sendgrid...it's striking how different each of these businesses are...How you are able to get conviction and understand key success factors across different sectors with different models and overall profiles? 
  • How have the market cycles affected VC, your fund strategy, raising capital and the impact on portfolio companies? 
  • What are the most common mistakes you see early investors making? 
  • With the 600+ micro-VC funds now...is the stage over capitalized? 
  • Is it more expensive to build a startup today than 10 years ago? 
  • Being that you are from France...in your estimation, what have been the primary differences in funding European based startups vs. those in the States? 
  • Said to be one of the most helpful investors in the valley... what are some of the specific ways you get involved? 
  • On the firms website it talks about your “No Playbook” and “No Bullshit” approach that you’re not delivering “prescriptive formulas on how to build or scale” but instead developing custom plans, one on one. Tell us about these custom plans and the key elements. 
  • How Jeff balances time and energy with so many portfolio companies.

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • SC Moatti
  • Brendan Wallace
  • Vic Pascucci

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson learned about startup investing and how it's changed their approach.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_107_-_Lessons_Learned_Moatti_Wallace_Pascucci.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Welcome back to TFR for another Cram Session. In these special releases, we have aggregated the takeaways and tips from previous episodes. In this installment, we will be recapping the following episodes:

 

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ 
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: 181._Cram_Session_Episodes_130-136_Nick_Moran.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Jim Tananbaum
  • John Fein
  • Sarah Anderson

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or trends that may have significant impact in the future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.


Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_106_-_Whats_Next_Tananbaum_Fein_Anderson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Cyan Banister of Founders Fund joins Nick to discuss the Self-Made Engineer, Angel, and Venture Capitalist. In this episode, we cover:

 

  • So, Cyan you have a really interesting story and background that led you to where you are today. Feel free to start wherever makes most sense but can you talk about your life experience and how it led you to where you're at now?
  • You spoke publicly about your early life at the 2018 TechCrunch Disrupt conference, from living on the streets to becoming a venture capitalist, tell us about this incredible journey, what you accredit your success to and how it lead to venture?
  • Where along the way did you meet Scott? Did you guys every consider raising your own fund?
  • How early are you able to go at Founder's Fund?
  • How do you work with founders post-investment?
  • Judicious with your magic bullets?
  • Have you funded founders with non-traditional backgrounds or missions dedicated to folks living in poverty or providing access to upward mobility?
  • How has your approach changed from your time as an angel to now your experience as a VC ?
  • Do you have any good stories or learnings from Naval?
  • Prior to FF you were an early stage investor in successful companies like Uber, Postmates, PayPal at others... I know you invest alongside Scott... who started angel investing?
  • What was your early approach to angel investing and how were you able to source and select such iconic tech companies at very early stages?
  • Can you tell us a bit about Founder's Fund and your focus? Stage, Sectors, Geographies?
  • "The most promising companies tend to share a few characteristics: They are not popular. They are difficult to assess. They have technology risk, but not insurmountable technology risk. If they succeed, their technology will be extraordinarily valuable. We have no idea what these companies might look like, only that they probably will share these characteristics. Entrepreneurs often know better than we do what might be enormously valuable in the future." -- It's a very humble approach and one that resonates with me and many others. Can you elaborate on the thesis and characteristics of founders that are the best fit for Founders Fund?
  • What's your take on the prevalent number of VCs that remove CEOs of their portfolio companies, on average, within three years of investment?
  • What's your take on contrarian vs. conformist investing... first, how do you even determine what is contrarian and then what's your take on how each ties to performance?
Direct download: 180._The_Self-Made_Engineer_Angel_and_Venture_Capitalist_Cyan_Banister.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

Bradley Tusk
Roy Bahat
Brian Ascher

Each investor highlights a situation where they decided not to invest, why they passed, and how it played out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_105_-_Why_I_Passed_Tusk_Bahat_Ascher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Craig Wortmann of Sales Engine joins Nick to discuss Sales Mastery & Storytelling at Scaling Startups. In this episode, we cover:

-Craig's background and how he became involved in the early stage tech community.

-You've spent a lot of time looking at how companies make this difficult transition from the scrappy, do-it-all world of "Entrepreneurial Selling" to a "Professional Selling" organization. Talk to us about what you've observed and how companies struggle in this transition.

-When is the right time to transition from 'guerilla selling' to a more organized, professional process?

-When we had Tae Hee Nahm on the program he talked about three different types of sales leaders at different stages of a startup. At the beginning it was a Davey Crocket- like individual, an independent explorer who will find their own path through the wilderness... then at the growth stage, Braveheart individual- someone with that warrior spirit and finally at the scale stage he looks for the Dwight Eisenhower-- someone with political savvy to align all the sales folks and move in the right direction... do you agree or disagree and how does your philosophy differ?

-What do you do when a top performing salesperson won't use the tools, align with the culture or conform to processes.

-How do you handle it when the product is broken... it's clear that the offering is lacking and the issue is not with sales.

-How about situations where one is selling something that doesn't exist?

-Storytelling... I see founders fail at this often and even I often failed in telling my story when raising Fund I. Where do most people go wrong?

-What's the story canvas and how should it best be used?

-You talk about how folks should think about 'capturing, distilling, and telling' the right story at the right time for the right reasons. What's your advice here?

-One of the more popular things you teach at Kellogg is called the 'The Perfect Sales Meeting'. Can you talk to us about how one should think, plan and increase their sales meeting effectiveness?

-Between sales meetings or when a prospect is slow to make a decision... how does one create urgency and positive momentum toward a decision?

Direct download: 179._Sales_Mastery__Storytelling_at_Scaling_Startups_Craig_Wortmann.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:25pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

Ash Fontana
Wayne Kimmel
Chris Farmer
 
Each investor illustrates a critical lesson learned about startup investing and how it's changed their approach.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_104_-_Lessons_Learned_Fontana_Kimmel_Farmer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:


Tae Hea Nahm
David Cohen
Yoav Leitersdorf

Each investor discusses a portfolio company that did not survive and why it was that they failed.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_103_-_Post_Mortems__Nahm_Cohen_Leitersdorf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Cheryl Cheng of Blue Run Ventures joins Nick to discuss The Gen-Z Consumer, Real-Time Health Data, and Persistent Top Fund Returns. In this episode, we cover:

  • Cheryl's background in retail marketing and innovation while you were with Clorox and The Sharper Image.
  • How did that lead to your career in venture?
  • On your website it says, "WE HELP ENTREPRENEURS BUILD MAGICAL COMPANIES,"... how specifically do you help?
  • Talk to me about about the Gen-Z folks... this is part of your focus at BRV... what are the high-level characteristics of this coveted consumer segment?
  • Are founders adjusting their approach to tech to better serve this group?
  • How the evolution of mobile apps and real time data has influenced the health and consumer industries?
  • You recently spoke on a panel about acquisitions... can you talk a bit about what it takes to build a company that's well-positioned for an exit?
  • Talk to me about Equity Summit coming up in January... what is it, what was the genesis and what are you hoping to accomplish?
  • This year Prequin reported that BRV is one of the most consistently high performing firms in venture... I know that you've been at this for ten years now at Blue Run... what are some of the key factors that have led to your sustained success?
  • I came across your recent article on succession planning and it had me a bit worried... are you planning leaving the industry anytime soon?

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

Chris Olsen
James Hardiman
Elizabeth Galbut
 
Each investor describes the most unusual situation or pitch that they've encountered as an investor.

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_102_-_Strange__Unusual_Olsen_Hardiman_Galbut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

Welcome back to TFR for another Cram Session. In these special releases, we have aggregated the takeaways and tips from previous episodes. In this installment, we will be recapping the following episodes:

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ 
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: 177._Cram_Session_Episodes_121-128_Nick_Moran.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

Rebecca Kaden
Chris Duovos
Carter Cast
 
Each investor illustrates a critical lesson learned about startup investing and how it's changed their approach.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_101_-_Lessons_Learned_Kaden_Duovos_Cast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

SC Moatti of Mighty Capital joins Nick to discuss Creating Powerful Networks, 3 Rules for Great Products, and the Future of Mobile Tech. In this episode, we cover:

 

  • Backstory/ Path to becoming involved in venture?
  • What led you to start Mighty Capital?
  • Talk more about Products that Count, what was the origin and why?
  • You successfully built a network of over 25,000 PM's and continue to lead the network... How have you built such a large network?
  • We all have ever-expanding networks... do you have any guidelines or essential rules to maintaining, staying connected, and strengthening your existing network?
  • In your book, you share 3 rules to create successful products. Can you give us an overview of these rules?
  • You've developed products that billions of people use at Facebook, Nokia and Electronic Arts. Can you give us an example of a key product decision or change that you led?
  • Portfolio companies have said that Mighty Capital brings the “best value for the dollar invested.” How, specifically, are you creating value for your portcos?
  • How do you determine if a startup has reached product-market fit?
  • Let's say, for example, you come across a product that, based on the metrics, has clear product-market fit, growth is accelerating and the team appears quite strong... but you have serious reservations about the product itself... maybe you question the design principles, the UX requires significant improvement, maybe it feels like it was designed by an engineer for an engineer instead of a customer... how do you approach a investment opportunity like this?
  • Part of your investment criteria is 'Bay Area-based leadership' Why do you only invest in companies based in the Bay Area?
  • Tell us more about your book... why'd you write it and what would you like readers to gain from reading it?
  • So, to go a bit deeper on mobile and mobile products? What are some new innovations or opportunities that you think will emerge in the coming years?
  • What current mobile trends do you think have a limited shelf life and will phase out?
  • What are the most concerning trends to you... whether they be related to mobile, entrepreneurship, product or investing?

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

Brendan Wallace
Bilal Zuberi
Joe Medved

Each investor highlights a situation where they decided not to invest, why they passed, and how it played out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_100_-_Why_I_Passed_Wallace_Zuberi_Medved.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

John Fein of Firebrand Ventures joins Nick to discuss From Operator to Accelerator MD to Fund Manager. In this episode, we cover:

 

  • So you participated in 5 startups, after which you scaled an organization from zero to 1,500 employees and $2B/year in revenue. Talk about your background and experience at United Health.
  • Tell us a bit about your decision to raise a fund.
  • When I started raising fund I, I had calls w/ 30+ GPs and my target was $5M but I told him, under no circumstances would I raise more than $10M, even if things went really well. He responded that the difference between a $5M and a $10M is significant and that the story and strategy would be very different for the two. So I know that you started with a $7M target and ended at $18M... how did your strategy change and did you get any pushback from early LPs as the fund got larger?
  • How did the process play out... in what ways was it different than what you expected?
  • How early do you go?
  • How did you create urgency w/ prospective LPs to make a decision. From personal experience, I found a number of large LPs that preferred to wait until final close
  • You've gone on the record stating that you'll avoid investing in arrogant founders, where many VCs specifically look for this character trait in entrepreneurs. Do you think it's the best economic decision to avoid working w/ arrogant founders?
  • Everyone says they're a founder-focused VC... but when I speak w/ founders I find that there are very few that are actually qualify. What does this mean from your standpoint and how are you serving founders in ways that others aren't?
  • What are some of the key strengths of your pipeline and dealflow.... how are you seeing more deals and higher quality deals than others?
  • The feedback cycle in venture is really long... you won't truly know how your fund stacks up against others from you vintage for many years. How do you track progress and assess if you're winning over the near term?
Direct download: 175._From_Operator_to_Accelerator_MD_to_Fund_Manager__John_Fein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

Paul Martino
Evangelos Simoudis
Ben Narasin
 
Each investor discusses a portfolio company that did not survive and why it was that they failed.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ 
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_99-_Post_Mortems_Martino_Simoudis_Narasin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta joins Nick to discuss VCs Ride the Bus, Comeback Cities & Unorthodox Investing. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory / Path to Bloomberg Beta
  • Bloomberg Beta has taken a self-described "unorthodox approach"-- Tell us about your approach and why it's unique.
  • I was exploring your page on Github and noticed that you've open sourced the entire operating manual-- why'd you do so and do you think other VCs should do the same?
  • What's worked and what hasn't?
  • You've talked about how you struggled figuring out what you wanted to do for a living. Have you figured it out?
  • So, last year a number of SF-based VCs got on a bus and traveled the Midwest in what they called the Comeback Cities tour. Tell us about the experience and why you and others came to the Midwest to look for opportunities?
  • How did the tour lead to a venture fund?
  • Why do you think it's important to work w/ angels in the Midwest?
  • What surprised you on the trip?
  • Can you talk a bit about machine intelligence and how it's impacting the future of work?
  • How do you see the VC asset class changing over the next few years?
Direct download: 174._VCs_Ride_the_Bus_Comeback_Cities__Unorthodox_Investing_Roy_Bahat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:


Sarah Anderson
Tim O'Reilly
Vic Pascucci
 
Each investor describes the most unusual situation or pitch that they've encountered as an investor.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/ for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_98_-_The_Strange__Unusual_Anderson_OReilly_Pascucci.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Bradley Tusk of Tusk Ventures joins Nick to discuss Corruption, Extortion and the Fight Against Entrenched Interests-- How a VC Saves Startups from Death by Politics. In this episode, we cover:

  • Why and how did you get into VC?
  • You have a nice model where you generate revenue through Tusk Strategies, which allows you to hire great talent and invest forward in startups. How has the model changed over time and how is the organization structured today?
  • How were you able to get allocations and generate dealflow when you were new to VC?
  • You spent some time in Illinois w/ an infamous Governor of our's... and you're very candid in the book about the issues and illegal acts that Rod Blagoyevich instructed you to do. Give us some of the highlights and lowlights from the experience.
  • You highlight the importance of narrative many times throughout the book. Can you touch on the key points w/ regard to picking and framing your narrative for tech startups?
  • You've said that when large industry incumbents are disrupted, "they punch back, and they punch hard"... have you seen situations where startups have died b/c of response of a large incumbent? Talk about some of your experiences.
  • Have you worked w/ any tech companies who's mission doesn't align w/ your political beliefs?
  • How can you possibly win a prolonged battle going jurisdiction by jurisdiction?
  • I enjoyed the section of the book you call "Pick your enemies = Win Your Battles (Strangle the baby in the crib). What's the best message founders can take away from this chapter?
  • We've all heard a lot about the political issues w/ independent contracts vs. employees. Uber has been the headliner in the media but you also cite Handy, in the book, the platform that connects independent handymen w/ home owners... what's been your involvement w/ this issue and where do we stand?
  • Talk a bit about your interactions w/ Elon and the work you did w/ Tesla against the dealership incumbents.
  • You close the book w/ an emphasis on voting and the importance of mobile voting. You've even said that mobile voting is "the biggest disruption fight of them all" and that "restoring our true democracy-- and actually confronting our nation's deepest problem."

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

David Cohen

Ben Einstein

Jordan Nof

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson learned about startup investing and how it's changed their approach.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter @TheFullRatchet for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_97__Lessons_Learned_Einstein_Cohen_Nof.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm EDT

Jim Tananbaum of Foresite Capital joins Nick to discuss Growth Investing in Biotech, Genomics and Pharma. In this episode, we cover:

-His 25 years in the industry working as both an entrepreneur and investor.. often at the same time
-Jim's investment focus at Foresight
-The major changes in biotech over the past two decades
-The key elements he looks for in a business
-The main drivers causing more opportunity in the sector
-The key challenges to investing in biotech, pharma and genomics
-The role of data science in their process
-How the experience of building and IPO'ing companies has helped Jim as an investor
-How they target specific areas to invest in
-Jim's take on predatory pharmaceutical pricing
-And finally how some of these solutions might become more affordable for more people that need them

Direct download: FR172_Tananbaum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Brian Ascher
  • Joe Medved
  • Ash Fontana

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or
trends that may have significant impact in the
future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

Direct download: IS96_Whats_Next_Ascher_Medved_Fontana.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

Wayne Kimmel of SeventySix Capital joins Nick to discuss Sports Tech and the Future of eSports. In this episode, we cover:

  • Talk about the investment focus and approach of your firm
    When did Ryan Howard start working w/ you and how did he become a part of the leadership team?
  • Talk a bit about sports tech has evolved over the past decade.
  • All these players or former players are getting involved on the investment-side... some pretty savvy, some more green... good thing or bad thing?
  • What lens or framework does your firm use to segment the sportstech landscape?
  • I've heard SportsTech categorized into Athlete performance tech, broadcast audience enjoyment tech, and In-person experience tech. Do you consider startups in these categories and where have you seen the most opportunities?
  • eSports (ie. video games as a sport)... has exploded in popularity. Talk a bit about what you're seeing in esports and how you're approaching it from an investment standpoint.
  • I know a number of sportstech investors that avoid the youth, amateur and collegiate markets, b/c they think all the money is in the professional markets. Missed opportunity or is there something to this position?
  • Lessons from owning the USFL champions, the Stars?
  • What are the specific ways you get involved with portfolio companies?
  • You've spoken a lot about the importance of networking, and even wrote a book about it. What key lessons do you have for listeners w/ regard to networking?
Direct download: FR171_Wayne_Kimmel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Rebecca Kaden
  • James Hardiman
  • Evangelos Simoudis

 
Each investor highlights a situation where

they decided not to invest, why they passed,

and how it played out.

Direct download: IS95-Why_I_Passed_Kaden_Hardiman_Simoudis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

Sarah Anderson
Ash Fontana
Chris Duovos

Each investor highlights a situation where they decided not to invest, why they passed, and how it played out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS91-_Why_I_Passed_Anderson__Fontana__Duovos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

Welcome back to TFR for another Cram Session. In these special releases, we have aggregated the takeaways and tips from previous episodes. In this installment, we will be recapping the following episodes:

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: CS167.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:


-Bryce Roberts
-Mike Collett
-Niki Scevak
 
Each investor describes their investment thesis and
how they evaluate startups for investment.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_86_My_Investing_Strategy_Roberts_Collett_Scevak.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet,

the following investors are featured:

  • Vic Pascucci

  • Ben Einstein

  • Ethan Kurzweil

  • David Verrill

Each investor highlights a situation where

they decided not to invest, why they passed,

and how it played out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS85_Passed_Pascucci_Einstein_Kurzweil_Verrill.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Sarah Anderson of Cintrifuse joins Nick to discuss LP Value Creation, Why DPI is King, and Secondaries as a Means of Exit. In this episode, we cover:

  • What is the investment focus/philosophy at Cintrifuse? Can you tell us a bit more about the Cintrifuse model?
  • What impact has the Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund had?
  • Can you explain how this benefits large corporates?
  • What about startups-- what's in it for them?
  • Are the corporate LPs hesitant to invest directly in funds-- Is that why they come to you?
  • Does your diversified portfolio preclude certain vertically-focused corporates from investing in a fund of funds model?
  • Does Cintrifuse work w/ other types of financial institutions, aside from insurance? If so, how have you seen them react to the explosion in crypto and disruptive fintech?
  • Tell us about your role as matchmaker-- how do you get involved and facilitate between VCs, startups and corporations?
  • What's the strategic value-add to a VC fund manager?
  • What industry disruptions have you observed and what are the impacts on large corporate companies?
  • Advice for entrepreneurs-- whether underserved spaces or where they should be focused that they're not? What message do you want to send to founders?
  • In Rob Go's recent study on fund metrics, he said "In the early days of a fund, VCs tend to optimize for TVPI. But in the long run, DPI is king. You can’t feed your family with TVPI, and you can’t spend IRR." Is he right and what do you suggest to Fund I and Fund II managers that have attractive paper gains but no distributions to paid-in (ie. a DPI of zero)?
  • Let's discuss reinvesting in startups, I want to talk about doubling down on firms and investing more in their new funds. When Chris Duovos was on we discussed the concerning stats related to persistence. And Antoinette Schoar, of MIT did a notable study on fund returns, which showed persistence of returns from private-equity funds has gone down in the last decade. She said: “If LPs are not vigilant, we'll start seeing persistence at the bottom. So many LPs want so much to get into PE that they are not sensitive enough to poor perf and keep reinvesting in partnerships that are not deserving” Sarah, what's your take on the study and her position here?"

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR162_Anderson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet,

the following investors are featured:

  • Bilal Zuberi

  • Madhavan Ramanujem

  • Tim O'Reilly

Each investor discusses a portfolio

company that did not survive and

why it failed.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS84_Post_Mortems_Zuberi_Ramanujem_OReilly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Ash Fontana of Zetta Venture Partners joins Nick to discuss Why SaaS is not a fit for VC and How AI Compounds Competitive Advantage. In this episode, we cover:

  • Categories of AI that Ash is most interested in
  • The difference between real AI and AI-enabled companies
  • Why SaaS will cease to be investable by VCs
  • The current AI stage of adoption
  • How he times the market
  • The four phases of AI
  • What phase of AI they invest in
  • How AI is and will be affected by limited data
  • How startups can compete for talent w/ GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple)
  • The moats being created by their AI-first portcos
  • How they think about metrics and milestones for AI-backed companies
  • If AI should be feared
  • and finally we wrap up w/ Ash's thoughts on Chris Dixon's position that we will see a movement from centralization back to decentralization in tech-- and the role that AI will play

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR161_Fontana.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet,

the following investors are featured:

  • Lindel Eakman

  • Chris Duovos

  • Semil Shah

Each investor describes the most

unusual situation or pitch that

they've encountered as an investor.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS83_Unusual_Eakman_Duovos_Shah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Welcome back to TFR for another Cram Session. In these special releases, we have aggregated the takeaways and tips from previous episodes. In this installment, we will be recapping the following episodes:

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR153_Cram_Galston_Larkins_Roberts_Kurzweil.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Sheel Mohnot
  • Guy Turner
  • Ben Narasin

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson
learned about startup investing and how
it's changed their approach.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS82_Lessons_Mohnot_Turner_Narasin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am EDT

Elizabeth Galbut of SoGal Ventures joins Nick to discuss Better Diversity, Better Outcomes. In this episode, we cover:

  • Her involvement in creating the first VC investment group at Johns Hopkins
  • What the focus is at SoGal and why that creates their edge
  • How she and her partner divide responsibilities
  • How the establishment has reacted to her and her firm
  • We talk about her experience as a design professor and how that impacts her approach
  • she gives an example of a design-centric investment
  • she discusses her thinking when evaluating an early stage business
  • we review their dealflow and sourcing strategy
  • and we wrap up w/ Elizabeth's advice for a younger version of herself if she had the opportunity to give it

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR160_Galbut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Vic Pascucci
  • Brendan Wallace
  • Rebecca Kaden 

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or
trends that may have significant impact in the
future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS81_whats_next_pascucci_wallace_kaden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

Paul Martino of Bullpen Capital joins Nick to discuss the emergence of the Post-Seed round. In this episode, we cover:

  • Why Paul passed on joining Mike Maples at Floodgate in order to start Bullpen
  • The product/market fit algorithm he developed for Mike
  • If the stages of funding are moving out or if there are just more of them
  • How Bullpen is differentiated
  • The metrics they require to engage with startups
  • How his quant background has helped make this subjective discipline more objective
  • The hardest aspect of developing new, young VCs
  • We discuss lack of innovation in the asset class
  • Why herd mentality is pervasive
  • Other contrarian principles he and Bullpen embrace
  • If it's harder to get A or B round funding for the non-traditional founders or industries that he invests in
  • How Private Equity is impacting exits
    the differences in sourcing at post-seed
    and we wrap up w/ Paul's thoughts on how branding and investment focus helps drive opportunity for Bullpen

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR159_Martino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Peter Boyce
  • Jordan Nof
  • Sergio Gurrieri 

Each investor describes their investment thesis and
how they evaluate startups for investment.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS80_Thesis_Boyce_Nof_Gurrieri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EDT

James Hardiman of Data Collective joins Nick to discuss The Deep Tech Debate: Why Invest in a Capital Intensive, Long Time-to-Exit Category?. In this episode, we cover:

  • James' definition of deep tech
  • The segments within the category
  • How this area differs from others
  • Types of founders and founder profiles that he looks for
  • Why he's willing to invest in a capital intensive, long-time horizon category
  • Why deep tech will drive the biggest outcomes
  • How founders are able to de-risk deep tech opportunities where many others don't
  • The waves that are coming in deep tech
  • and finally how some consumer, social companies became deep tech companies by accident.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR158_Hardiman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Chris Farmer
  • Chris Olsen
  • David Cowan

Each investor describes a situation where they did
decide to invest, what the key factors were that led
to “Yes” and how that investment has worked out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS79_Invested_Farmer_Olsen_Cowan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:12pm EDT

Rebecca Kaden of Union Square Ventures joins Nick to discuss USV's Newest GP on Leveraged Growth, Consumer Brand Building & Customer Obsession. In this episode, we cover:

  • I've heard you talk about Allbirds, Zullily, and others before, can you highlight a few notable investments from your time at Maveron?
  • Previous career as a journalist? Did you write about tech?
    How'd you end up joining Maveron?
  • Why the move to USV?
  • Fred Wilson said: "Each partner who has joined USV has done two things very well. First, they have figured how to operate inside of our shared investment thesis. And second, they have figured out how to stretch it."
  • You've said: "Next up: exploring the intersection between our core USV thesis around network effects, whether centralized or decentralized and the entrepreneurs building the standout consumer businesses that integrate into our hearts and minds." Talk about the types of Network effects that you look for and can create large, strong businesses on the consumer-side.
  • Investment Process/Structure at Maveron vs. USV?
    You often talk a lot about one of my favorite items... customer obsession. It's well documented on this podcast that I will not invest in founders that aren't customer obsessed. I'd love to hear your thoughts here and how you test for this characteristic with early-stage founders.
    What are your thoughts on the role of brand and importance of brand in consumer companies?
  • What are the key elements to building strong brand and can you give us specific examples that you've observed in portfolio companies?
  • Thoughts on vertically-integrated brands-- strengths and weaknesses, is that critical for a brand w/ a physical good for you to make an investment?
  • What's your role as investor, are you passive or active; are you coaching and teaching or more of a listener and support?
  • What's your style?
  • What do you like least about your job?
  • In what ways do woman VCs support and help each other out in this male-dominated industry.
  • Case Study-- very incomplete information, two companies, early stage, very similar sector and product category, both have exceptional founding teams... one has modest growth rates but exceptional NPS scores, the other has exceptional growth rate but modest NPS.  All other things being equal, which one are you more likely to invest in?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR157_Kaden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Chris Douvos, the Super LP, joins Nick to discuss Chaos Capital, the new Micro VC Movement and LPs Chasing Hype. In this episode, we cover:

  • How his mindset as an LP has evolved
  • Startups out of Standford vs Berkley and if the valley is over-fished
  • how the micro VC movement has changed
  • Chris' selection criteria and what he looks for in managers
  • Why he most often says no
  • The impact on LPs of companies staying private longer
  • Yhe impact of new LPs coming into venture on asset class
  • How the LP community interacts... adversarial, collaborative, competitive or othewise
  • The areas where Chris can grow most as an LP
  • and we wrap up w/ his thoughts on co-investment alongside GPs as well as follow-ons in later rounds

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR156_Douvos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

-Zach Coelius
-Nathan Benaich
-Jason Calacanis
 
Each investor highlights a situation where

they decided not to invest, why they passed,

and how it played out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS78-_Why_I_Passed_Coelius__Benaich__Calacanis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

The Trend Spotter joins us today on the program. Tim O'Reilly is one of the top minds in tech, who has predicted and/or driven many of the movements that now seem so obvious to us. In today's episode we discuss:

  • Tim's path to becoming an investor
  • How he linked up w/ Bryce Roberts and launched O'Reilly Alphatech
  • The shift in their model w/ Indie VC
  • We talk about Tim's focus on profitability and his counter to those that cite some of the biggest and best tech companies that are not profitable
  • We discuss Tim's new book WTF: What the future and why it's up to us
  • Tim outlines the way he thinks about business model maps
  • He explains his thought process of identifying technology shifts before they happen
  • We discuss fear and it's role in shaping consumer mindset
  • Tim references the historical lessons most overlooked by today's society
  • and we wrap up w/ a conversation on ICOs and cryptocurrencies and get Tim's opinion on their role in the future of tech

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR155_OReilly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Stuart Larkins & Ezra Galston
  • Ben Einstein
  • Bilal Zuberi 

Each investor describes the most unusual situation or pitch that they've encountered as an investor.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS77_Strange_Unusual_Larkins_Galstron_Einstein_Zuberi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

Ben Narasin of NEA joins Nick to discuss how NEA makes decisions, why he joined the firm and the key traits he looks for in founders. In this episode, we cover:

-Why he made the move to NEA
-His Investment focus
-the role of Venture Partner at NEA
-the investment process the firm... and if decisions are made by committee
-Ben's Evaluation Process
-the key factor that every successful founder possesses
-The common red flags that pop up and cause him to say no to strong startups
-Why he believes his job is to say no
-How he assess opportunities with 100 reasons to say yes and one reason to say no
-Ben's evolving approach toward weighing risk factors in startups
-how the tech and investing industry has changed over the past decade
-how AUM is driving a bifurcation in venture
-finally we get Ben's response to the recent Techcrunch article highlighting the crash in early-stage VC funding

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR154_Narasin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

-Guy Turner
-Jonathon Triest & Brett DeMarrais
-William Mougayar
-Madhavan Ramanujam

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or
trends that may have significant impact in the
future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS76-_Whats_Next_Turner__TriestandDemarrais__Mougayar_Madhavan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Eric Ries, author of the Lean Startup and The Startup Way, joins Nick to discuss his new book and his response to the naysayers. In this episode, we cover:

  • Eric's backstory and path to working in tech
    Steve Blank was on the program and mentioned Peter Thiel's famous comments where he decried the MVP and lean startup approach. Steve thought he was entirely wrong. But I'd love to hear your response to Peter.
  • Peter said in his book, "forget minimum viable products. Ever since Apple started in 1976, Jobs saw that you could change the world through careful planning, not by listening to focus group feedback or copying other's successes."
  • For those that read the lean startup some time ago or maybe those that are newer to tech, can you provide a refresher of the key concepts?
  • Why'd you write The Startup Way?
  • Who is the audience for The Startup Way?
  • Is this for transforming existing, large organizations or for companies establishing their culture and their process?
  • In part one of the book, you talk about the modern company... What, in your estimation, is the biggest problem with the today's corporation?
  • You've said that "the way to stay on top can be traced to two things: treating employees like customers, and treating business units like startups." This runs counter to the common capitalist mentality where there is a focus on margins, incremental product development and creating value for shareholders, not necessarily employees. Are you suggesting significant cultural and strategic change and, if so, how is that possible to achieve?
  • Can large organizations really apply the concepts from the lean startup in the way that a startup can?
  • Do you have a tech and non-tech example of organizations that have successfully applied this methodology?
  • Tell us about the 'Big Picture' elements and your unified theory of entrepreneurship.
  • Mark Suster was on the program and stated that it's nearly impossible to innovate behind the moat... meaning that large corporations should invest in venture and startups on the outside b/c it's too hard for them to disrupt from the inside.  How would you respond to Mark's comments?
  • What would you say to those that claim that the entrepreneurial-minded folks often leave large corporations and those that stay are not inclined to embrace these principles?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR153_Ries.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Welcome back to TFR for another Cram Session. In these special releases, we have aggregated the takeaways and tips from previous episodes. In this installment, we will be recapping the following episodes:

  • 96. Student-Focused VC Funds, Part 1 (Peter Boyce II)
  • 97. Student-Focused VC Funds, Part 2 (Peter Boyce II)
  • 98. Public Policy for Angel Investors, Part 1 (David Verrill)
  • 99. Public Policy for Angel Investors, Part 2 (David Verrill)
  • 102. The Limited Partner, Part 1 (Lindel Eakman)
  • 103. The Limited Partner, Part 2 (Lindel Eakman)

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR152_Cram_Boyce_Verrill_Eakman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • John Buttrick
  • Semil Shah
  • Eric Paley

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson
learned about startup investing and how
it's changed their approach.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS75_Lessons_Learned_Buttrick_Shah_Paley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Brendan Wallace of Fifth Wall Ventures joins Nick to discuss Kingmaking, De-Risking Every Investment & the Future of Real Estate Tech.  In this episode, we cover:

  • how building a fund is different from a startup
  • why fifth wall invests in real estate tech
  • why they take a different approach to workign with LPs and portcos
  • how large corporate LPs get comfortable with threatening tech that can destroy existing asset value
  • Brendan gives an overview of the real estate tech landscape and how it's segmented
  • why he thinks no other funds are focused on this sector
    the common demoniator he looks for in startups
  • the concept of the built world and how tech will bridge the gap between physical and digital
  • the most disruptive ideas he's come across in real estate
  • how the hot trends like AI, AV, robotics and VR/AR will effect the sector
  • and finally, what's surprised him most since raising fifth wall fund 1

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR151_Wallace.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

J.B. Pritzker of Pritzker Group Venture Capital joins Nick to discuss his impact on tech in Illinois, where he gets his motivation and why he's running for Governor. In this episode, we cover the following questions:

  • Take me back to your childhood...What was it like growing up in your family and what did you learn from your parents?
  • Your father and uncle famously built and managed Hyatt Hotels...Who was your biggest inspiration in the family?
  • You could have gone in many directions with your career... hotel industry, education, straight into politics. Why'd you choose the path you did?
  • Who were your primary inspirations in tech?
  • Looking through your accomplishments, you're clearly a builder, a creator, you've got internal drive. Where do you get your motivation?
  • What's the greatest lesson you've learned from your career in venture that informs your bid for governor?
  • If you could go back and talk to young J.B... a J.B. in his teens, what would you tell him?
  • What's the best lesson that you've learned from your kids that has changed the way you approach business and/or politics?
  • We've got Donald Trump in the office of the president and Bruce Rauner in the office of Illinois Governor...Do we really need another rich guy in office?
  • The talent vacuum is real and everyone experiences it. In Illinois, the best and brightest in rural areas, leave for the metro areas. In Chicago, many of the best in tech leave for the coasts. How do we approach talent suck more thoughtfully and address a real problem?
  • Can you highlight your plans for tech and innovation, if you are elected?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR150_Pritzker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:


-Christine Tsai
-John Greathouse
-Lindel Eakman
 
Each investor describes a situation where they did
decide to invest, what the key factors were that led
to “Yes” and how that investment has worked out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS74-_Why_I_Invested_Tsai__Greathouse__Eakman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30pm EDT

Bilal Zuberi of Lux Capital joins Nick to discuss Startup Moats. In this episode, we cover:

  • An overview of moats
  • Example companies with moats
  • How to build a monopoly from the outset and if Bilal requires in startups he invests in
  • Incremental vs. step-change innovation and the implications on the breadth and depth of the moat
  • The types of moats
  • Bilal's take on data and network effect-based moats
    using a business model as a moat
  • His thoughts on building brand as a sustainable competitive advantage
  • How NPS score plays a role
  • An example where Bilal thought there was a moat but it proved not to have the defensibility predicted
  • And finally I get Bilal's take on Lux's investment strategy, their portfolio and how they are building value in the water, on the ground, in the air and even up in space

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR149_Zuberi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Vic Pascucci of Lightbank joins Nick to discuss New Founders, New Stages, New Offerings-- The Only Constant in Venture is Change. In this episode, we cover:

  • Where'd you get your start in venture and how'd your path lead to Lightbank?
  • Can you walk us through the Lightbank backstory... before you joined?
  • What's the current thesis and investment focus for the firm?
  • How active a role do you play with portfolio companies?
  • What, if anything, do you think the team at Lightbank can do a better job of going forward?
  • Do you think your approach is different than Eric and Brad's?
  • Recently spoke w/ Semil Shah about the multiple stages, within seed... pre-seed, seed, inst seed, post seed, seed extension. WTF is going on with the seed round?
  • There's been an explosion of seed funds... do you think this is a problem? Is there a bubble at seed or, w/ the way barriers to startup have come down, is the influx of capital warranted?
  • I'm noticing entrepreneurs moving away from SAFEs and Convertibles... are you seeing the same? If so, why do you think that's the case?
  • How have you seen startup capital raises change over time and do you think it's moving in the right direction?
  • What should every founder be thinking about, during a fundraise, that most often they're not even considering?
  • Are you seeing a difference in the makeup of founding teams and their capabilities? From personal experience, I certainly notice a difference in the style and approach of a early-20's tech founder vs. a mid-30s founder w/ domain knowledge.
  • So, you're a blockchain guy... I see you on various blockchain boards and I know that you invested in Coinbase in 2015... and, on the record, you were very bullish on cryptocurrency's at the time, when many were not. But what's the deal w/ all these token offerings and ICOs? I'm a relative novice here... can you explain to me what's going on and where you see it going?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR148_Pascucci.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:55pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Adam Draper
  • Chris Farmer
  • Mark Suster

Each investor highlights a situation where

they decided not to invest, why they passed,

and how it played out.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS73_Passed_Draper_Farmer_Suster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

Madhavan Ramanujam of Simon-Kutcher & Partners joins Nick to discuss Monetization Strategy & Why Price Trumps Product. In this episode, we cover:

  • What's the backstory and how did you develope this monetization expertise?
  • What VC firms and/or investors have you worked with?
  • What's the most common missteps that innovators make?
  • What are the 4 types of innovation fails?
  • I want to talk about your three key rules for monetizing new products: Having the WTP conversation early, Investigating how to charge not just what to charge and not settling for one-size fits all... Let's start w/ the WTP conversation, walk us through this point and the three questions one should ask?
  • Essentially, are you suggesting that startups run a conjoint analysis to see what features customers want and how much they'll pay or is it more than that?
  • How do the results inform the pricing strategy?
    Is this the Van Westendorp methodology, if not, how's it different?
  • Talk more about the second rule... Investigating how to charge, not just what to charge.
  • The final rule is: Don't settle for one-size-fits-all... walk us through your point here. form factor, application, segment
  • This is controversial in the venture space where many investors are looking for one business model across all customers... what's your response to VCs here?
  • How do you apply your methodology in situations with a nascent market... where customers may not fully understand their needs, the problems they will experience or the solutions available?
  • Final thoughts and advice for startups that are creating a new product?
  • Any words of advice for investors that are assessing startups very early on?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR147_Ramanujam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:


David Verrill
Galen Mason
Jason Calacanis

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS72-_The_Strange__Unusual_Verrill__Mason__Calacanis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Zach Coelius of joins Nick to discuss Investing in Rocket Ships Before they Take Off, Part 1. We address questions including:

  • His Path to investing
  • The Biggest difference between entrepreneur Zach vs. the entrepreneur Zach invests in?
  • Best lesson from his startup, Triggit?
  • Right place, right time... how do you apply to investing?
  • Top 3 characteristics you look for in founders?
  • Great entrepreneur... bad idea/bad market... how do you proceed?
  • How about with founders that aren't quite ready yet for funding?
  • How did you get your start on AL?
  • Strengths of Syndication Process?
  • Krypto Labs in Abu Dhabi- major takeaways, thoughts on crypto & ICOs?
  • Early exits... do you take them when you get the option?  At what amount/multiple do you take money off the table
  • Lessons from poker that you apply to investing?

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR146_Coelius.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Andrew Parker
  • Niki Scevak
  • Bryce Roberts
  • Charles Hudson

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson
learned about startup investing and how
it's changed their approach.

Direct download: IS71_Lessons_Parker_Scevak_Roberts_Hudson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

Semil Shah of Haystack joins Nick to discuss First Institutional VC Fund Raised-- Key Learnings, Part 1. We address questions including:

  • Maybe we can start off with how your investment focus has evolved since the last time you joined us.
  • What are your thoughts on how seed has split into pre-seed, seed, seed extension, and post seed?
  • Are you investing once with a company or reserving for these various stages within seed?
  • You just closed fund 3... tell us about the first two funds that set the stage.
  • Would you do things differently if you could go back?
  • Which raise was the hardest?
  • How did the expectations of LPs change from the early funds to the institutional fund?
  • What surprised you most about the raise?
  • Did you connect w/ prospectives through referrals, cold calls, a combination?
  • Walk us through the metrics... how many targets, meetings, avg commitment amt, etc.
  • Did you ever think you might not complete the raise?
  • What's the best advice you got on the raise and who'd you get it from?
  • In our first interview, you talked about how you couldn't get a full-time job at a venture firm. I'm sure you've had plenty of offers as you've built a track record. Did you ever consider making the jump?
  • When I sent my fund deck to you, you said "Awesome and looks good. As I always say, the deck matters much less than having capital partners who believe in you" For anyone listening that aspires to raise... talk about what you meant by this comment.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR145_Semil.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

-Ben Einstein
-Ezra Galston & Stuart Larkins
-David Cowan

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or
trends that may have significant impact in the
future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS70_Whats_Next_Einstein_Galston_Larkins_Cowan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

Guy Turner of Hyde Park Venture Partners joins Nick to cover founder profiles and the characteristics that lead to the strongest startups. We address questions including:

  • You've observed over 50 startups, across your portfolio, and have written extensively about founder profiles. What are the two high-level categories of characteristics that you've observed?
  • Within the inspection characteristics category... what are the three dimensions that matter most?
  • The first two modes seem to differ primarily on the experience dimension... what are the two modes and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Mode 3 you call the exec turned founder.... and mode 4 seems to have the ingredients for big outcomes or big flameouts. Walk us through each of these and their defining characteristics.
  • We've discussed four modes, but based on your framework there should be eight. What about the other four modes?
  • Do you think modes 1 and 2 work better for all investors or just HPVP?
  • Dealflow filtering and evaluation... can you use the inspection characteristics?
  • So we've discussed the inspection characteristics... let's transition to the the second major category, the experience characteristics. Talk more about what they are and how you assess them.
  • What are the five actions that matter most in startup teams?
  • How do you handle a situation where the deal comes late and there's already a term sheet and you don't have time to observe these characteristics over time?
  • What are the five styles that matter most?
  • Self-reflection, do you and Ira and Tim look in the mirror w/ Hyde Park and consider these expectations
  • How about for building the team at HPVP... do you apply founder assessment criteria in your hiring?
  • Are there any soft skills or overlooked founder characteristics that you haven't written about but you look for?
  • What's your take on the issues w/ ethics, not only amongst founders but at the investor level?

 

Guest Links:

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: FR144_Guy_Turner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20pm EDT

 

Guy Turner of Hyde Park Venture Partners joins Nick to cover founder profiles and the characteristics that lead to the strongest startups. We address questions including:

  • You've observed over 50 startups, across your portfolio, and have written extensively about founder profiles. What are the two high-level categories of characteristics that you've observed?
  • Within the inspection characteristics category... what are the three dimensions that matter most?
  • The first two modes seem to differ primarily on the experience dimension... what are the two modes and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Mode 3 you call the exec turned founder.... and mode 4 seems to have the ingredients for big outcomes or big flameouts. Walk us through each of these and their defining characteristics.
  • We've discussed four modes, but based on your framework there should be eight. What about the other four modes?
  • Do you think modes 1 and 2 work better for all investors or just HPVP?
  • Dealflow filtering and evaluation... can you use the inspection characteristics?
  • So we've discussed the inspection characteristics... let's transition to the the second major category, the experience characteristics. Talk more about what they are and how you assess them.
  • What are the five actions that matter most in startup teams?
  • How do you handle a situation where the deal comes late and there's already a term sheet and you don't have time to observe these characteristics over time?
  • What are the five styles that matter most?
  • Self-reflection, do you and Ira and Tim look in the mirror w/ Hyde Park and consider these expectations
  • How about for building the team at HPVP... do you apply founder assessment criteria in your hiring?
  • Are there any soft skills or overlooked founder characteristics that you haven't written about but you look for?
  • What's your take on the issues w/ ethics, not only amongst founders but at the investor level?

 

Guest Links:

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

In today's special segment the following investors are featured:

  • Chris Olsen
  • Jay Acunzo
  • Mike Collett

Each investor describes an outstanding entrepreneur that
they've worked with and what key traits and behaviors
make for the best startup leaders.

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

Direct download: IS69_Founders_Olsen_Acunzo_Collett.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm EDT

Today we publish part two of the interview with Chris Farmer of Signal Fire Ventures. In this segment we address:

  • Why he's using Beacon to make VC investments when their are numerous other applications that may have more economic value
  • How he's created an engaged, active advisor network that are also LPs in the fund
  • What characteristics the best advisors share
  • Chris' thoughts on the surge in micros VCs and how that has impacted the asset class
  • Chris' advice for founders raising initial capital
  • Wrap-up of Key Takeaways & a Tip of the Week

Guest Links:

Key Takeaways:

1- Deconstructing Beacon
 
Beacon is a connected platform that starts w/ sourcing but also does monitoring, context, diligence, syndication and most importanty, per Chris, portfolio support.  It's a data platform that looks like a Bloomberg terminal for the startup industry.  They started building it seven years ago and they employ a full-blown engineering team of data scientists and tech engineers.  Beacon tracks a vast array of data on 6M different companies.  And Chris started with first principles, asking "what are the KPIs that the management teams of these companies are measuring?"... those are the same elements we should measure with Beacon.  It analyzes items including customer behavior, frequency, engagement, CLV, consumer transactions, financial flows, quality of those flows, news sentiment and also team construction and quality, just to name a few.
 
And signal fire's platform isn't just for the investors.  There is a UI for advisors and most importantly founders as well.  Founders can utilize heir robust SaaS recruiting platform to address the key need of early stage companies... recruiting top talent.  With Beacon, Signal Fire has set out to tech enable the entire value chain of a venture firm from end-to-end.  Early indications from folks in my network are that it's an impressive platform indeed.
 
 
2- The Prepared Mind
 
Signal Fire did not coin the concept of "the prepared mind" but Chris does follow it.  The approach that came out of Accel has an emphasis on heavy research on existing domains.  The creation of market maps that help visualize the landscape and reveal opportunities.  In a previous episode, David Cowan discussed his approach to the Space vertical that leverages this methodology.  And in Chris implementation, he is constantly refining the maps.  He meets with LP experts and founders to go much deeper and broader than they could do w/ data alone.  The result is that Signal Fire is often much less bullish on the en vogue sectors and vice-a-versa.  Their investment in pizza making robot company, Zume, certainly illustrates their fresh perspective on an oft-ignored industry.
 
3- The Common Thread of Success 
 
I asked Chris for a common thread that he's noticed across successful startups.  And I really enjoyed his response.  The common thread in winners are those companies that are doing things full-stack. They are creating an end-to-end solution that is vertically integrated.  Where a company can be it's own customer in order to provide a better solution for the end consumer.  I discussed this concept w/ Charles Hudson in a previous episode.  We talked about finding the place within the vertical supply stack that enforces discipline on the chain and drives the most value.  Chris point was compelling in that he looks for startups that own the chain, not just a part of it.
 
Tip of the Week:  Tail Wags Dog -- The Affinity Investor
 
 

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Direct download: FR143_Farmer_p2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am EDT

Chris Farmer of Signal Fire Ventures joins Nick to discuss his firm and their platform, Beacon, a robust data engine that reveals the best sector, market and startup investment areas. We address questions including:

  • Can you start off with the firm's thesis and your main focus at SignalFire?
  • You talk about the four big founder pain points that you've observed... what are they?.
  • Number one pain point is Hiring top engineers...  Tell us about his Data platform, Beacon, and how it addresses this pain point?
  • Sourcing and analysis tool that helps show you where to focus?
  • Can you give me an example of what you see when you look at a sector, sub-sector or even at the company level?
  • Does this data really exist with very early-stage startups or nascent sectors, before they've really emerged and have traction?
  • Sources?
  • I've worked for companies that had a difficult time getting one database to talk to another.  Can you really source unstructured data, from limitless sources and structure it in a way where it's streamlined, uniform, single record and can be used to drive insights?
  • Do you think about data that is empirical and fixed vs. data points that can be influenced... and if you find an strong startup profile that is missing a couple of key elements that can be influenced, will you engage and attempt to address those factors w/ the founder?
  • I've looked over the consumer and enterprise sector lists where you invest... and it's a pretty broad list.  Can you really have a data engine that works well for such a varied and broad landscape?
  • Essentially a sector by sector sensitivity and regression analyses?

 

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Direct download: FR142_Farmer_p1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36am EDT

Welcome back to TFR for another Cram Session. In these special releases, we have aggregated the takeaways and tips from previous episodes. In this installment, we will be recapping the following episodes:

 

To listen more, please visit http://fullratchet.net/podcast-episodes/
for all of our other episodes.

Also, follow us on twitter  for updates and more information.

 

Direct download: FR141_CRAM_Mohnot_Urban_McClure.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm EDT

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