The Full Ratchet: Venture Capital Demystified

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

  • Check Warner
  • Ty Findley
  • Lo Toney
  • Byron Deeter

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

Direct download: IS177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Ed Sim of boldstart ventures joins Nick to discuss: Velocity as a Superpower, Why Contrarians Win, The Role of a Board Member, and Why Some Challenge When they Should Chill

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC
  • What’s the thesis at boldstart ventures?
  • What was it like starting Boldstart in NYC in 2010?
  • Tell us a bit about the thesis at investment and how things evolved over the years until the ultimate exit?
  • What's your preference...  Niche and narrow problems or big and expansive opportunities?
  • What is your mental model for investing in enterprise founders with ideas?
  • category creation
  • Why only technical founders?
  • Will this enterprise bull market sustain?
  • You've talked about being involved and sitting on boards from "whiteboard to scale" ?...  how do you manage ever-increasing board responsibilities with other demands of the job?
  • Where are VCs most lacking when it comes to the value that early-stage founders require?
  • Do you think there's too much money in venture?
  • How do you win in a seed with so many seed funds?
Direct download: Ed_Sim_Ready.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

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

  • Steve Blank
  • Niki Pezeshki
  • Lolita Taub
  • Jesse Middleton

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: IS176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Brian Hirsch of Tribeca Venture Partners joins Nick to discuss Maintaining a Disciplined Fund Size and Strategy, The Rise of NYC Tech, and Changes in the Exit Environment. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC
  • What’s the thesis at Tribeca Venture Partners (TVP)?
  • We've seen notable firms in the valley launch platform and service offerings to founders... have you considered this at Tribeca - why or why not?
  • Biggest differences between NYC tech vs Bay Area Tech
  • COVID is causing many people to move away from the city. Any concerns about losing tech talent?
  • How much does the exit environment for tech companies effects what you invest in?
  • what's most undervalued in the public market or exit market at large that will be more appropriately valued in 3-5 years from now
  • What's your take SPACs?
    • 10/9 Brain's Tweet: "New 🦄 every 3 days this year vs. how many SPACs?  Unicorns and SPACs are like pizza. If the ratio of cheese to sauce is off the 🍕 tastes bad and goes down poorly."
  • What's your take on rolling funds?
Direct download: Hirsch_Readyl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

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

  • Janet Bannister
  • Shawn Carolan
  • Reid Christian
  • Villi Iltchev


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

Direct download: IS175_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Simeon Iheagwam of Noemis Ventures joins Nick to discuss Starting a Fund w/ Life Savings, Why it Takes More than Just Performance to Find Success, and Sticking to Your Framework. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC
  • What’s the thesis at NOEMIS Ventures?
  • What is your process for investing?
  • Are there any must-haves?
  • Like Brad Feld... you are syndication agnostic... don't care about who else is in the round and you're willing to be the first yes.  How do you get to conviction -- especially not having worked for a large VC fund?
  • Where do you help your portfolio companies the most?
  • In your words... why is it difficult to launch a fund as a diverse manager?
  • What were some of the most unexpected and challenging aspects of launching a fund?
  • Strangest question you've received from an LP?
  • What's your approach to investing in diverse founders?
  • You were recently highlighted by Grasshopper Bank and Left Tackle Capital as an extraordinary funder.  And I believe you joined their inaugural cohort called the Future Funders Institute?  We've seen a few different accelerator-like programs spin up, targeted at emerging GPs.  Tell us a bit about the program.
  • 3 data points...
    • Let's say you are approached to invest in a Fintech SaaS business with $5k MRR, and 20% MoM growth for the last 3 months. The catch is you can only ask for 3 data points to make your decision.
    • What 3 questions do you ask for?
Direct download: Iheagwham_READY.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

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

  • Stephen McIntyre
  • Gigi Levy Weiss
  • Richard Kerby
  • Kane Hsieh

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

Direct download: IS174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Charles Adler of Kickstarter joins Nick to discuss The Founding Story of Kickstarter — Community, Competition, and Customer-Obsession. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to tech.
  • Growing up what inspired you most?
  • How did the idea for Kickstarter begin?
  • Was there an MVP - was there an initial target vertical?
  • When did you know that it was working?
  • What was the biggest mistake you made during the journey?
  • When competition arose... did it scare you?
  • Is Kickstarter today still delivering on the initial vision you and your co-founders had?
  • What was the hardest part of growing a venture-backed company?
  • What advice would you have for founders before selecting VC partners?
  • Organic growth and categories?
  • We often talk on the show about the importance of customer obsession, really knowing what they care about and spending time to understand that -- what has been your philosophy and approach w/ customers?
  • Many founders and investors talk about the importance of diversity.  We talk about the importance of climate change and the environment.  We campaign for socio-economic equality.  How do you think founders (and investors) can be more intentional about building their beliefs into their business and their culture?
  • What are you focused on now... tell us about Lost Arts?
  • Why do it alone?
  • Community has been a common thread/focus across many of your efforts.  Is community core to everything you do... if so why?
Direct download: 261_261._The_Founding_Story_of_Kicks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

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