Winamp Logo
Origins - A podcast about Limited Partners, created by Notation Capital Cover
Origins - A podcast about Limited Partners, created by Notation Capital Profile

Origins - A podcast about Limited Partners, created by Notation Capital

English, Finance, 1 season, 80 episodes, 2 days, 21 hours, 42 minutes
About
Origins is a podcast about Limited Partners, the firms and institutions that invest in venture capital funds. Through a series of interviews, we explore what has historically been an opaque corner of the startup ecosystem and learn how the people behind the capital make decisions. This podcast was created by Alex Lines and Nick Chirls, partners at Notation.
Episode Artwork

Building a venture firm w/ Scott Kupor (a16z)

In the first Origins episode of the year, ⁠Nick Chirls⁠ (Notation Capital) and ⁠Beezer Clarkson⁠ (Sapphire Partners) host Scott Kupor, a Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. In his role as managing partner, Scott invests in growth-stage companies building in the bio and healthcare industries, manages the firm’s investor relations team, and is responsible for the firm’s growth initiatives.  Scott was the first employee at Andreessen Horowitz and managed the firm’s growth from $300 million in AUM to more than $30 billion. Prior to joining the firm, Scott worked as vice president and general manager of software-as-a-service at Hewlett Packard. Before that, he held numerous executive management positions at Opsware, including senior vice president of global field operations, vice president of financial planning and vice president of corporate development. Scott is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, and serves on the boards of Cedar, Headway, Foursquare, Labster, Ultima, and SnapLogic. He also served as chairman of the board for the National Venture Capital Association. In this episode we discuss:  - The evolution of Andreessen Horowitz as the firm approaches its 15th anniversary - Reflections on how Scott’s role has changed since becoming the first hire at a16z - The state of venture today with AI as an inflection point + valuation corrections - Managing LP/GP expectations in the current environment (e.g. markdowns) - a16z’s decentralized business model and keeping important cultural values - How to think about (and debate) fund size and what is the TAM today …and much more Follow us: ⁠⁠https://twitter.com/nchirls⁠⁠ ⁠⁠https://twitter.com/beezer232⁠⁠ https://twitter.com/skupor
3/19/202452 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Power Law VC Performance with David Clark (VenCap)

In the last Origins episode of the year, Nick Chirls (Notation Capital) and Beezer Clarkson (Sapphire Partners) host David Clark, Investment Director at VenCap International plc. With nearly four decades of experience in investing, David has backed some of the most established VC funds across the US, Europe, China and India and shares historical figures on where to find performance in venture. David recently uncovered 30 years of data from 400+ funds with 15,000+ underlying portfolio companies and found that 50% of VC investments don’t actually return capital. So how does an LP unlock performance and find the enduring managers? Three individuals with three unique strategies - Nick (emerging manager), David (LP investing in established), and Beezer (LP investing in emerging & established) – find out how their models differ, where perspectives intersect and what David’s return data shows. Follow us: ⁠https://twitter.com/nchirls⁠ ⁠https://twitter.com/beezer232⁠ https://twitter.com/daveclark85 Links: David on TVPI vs DPI: https://twitter.com/daveclark85/status/1729188482919383202?s=20 David on power laws: https://twitter.com/daveclark85/status/1693976973079462366?s=20
12/13/202356 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Q4 Market Predictions w/ Ed Sim (Boldstart) & Seyonne Kang (StepStone)

In this episode of Origins, Nicholas Chirls (Notation) and Beezer Clarkson (Sapphire Partners) host Ed Sim, founder of Boldstart and Seyonne Kang, Partner at StepStone. Ed is the founder of boldstart ventures, a day-one partner and true believer for developer first, enterprise infra, & SaaS founders. He is currently a board member/observer of Snyk, Blockdaemon, Kustomer (sold to Meta), BigID, Protect AI, Env0, among many others. Seyonne is a member of the private equity team, focusing on venture capital and growth equity investments. Prior to StepStone, she was a partner with Greenspring Associates, a venture capital and growth equity investment firm that merged with StepStone in 2021. We cover a wide range of topics, including our predictions for Q4 fundraising, when the market will bottom (if it hasn't already), what happens to multi-stage firms, AI (and other) hype cycles, and how VCs can and should think about liquidity in a market like this. Enjoy! Links to articles discussed: Best startup locations in the US Raise Less, Build More
10/3/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Navigating difficult markets w/ Adam Valkin, General Catalyst

Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners and Nick Chirls of Notation host Adam Valkin, Managing Director of General Catalyst at their NYC office. Adam Valkin is a Managing Director at General Catalyst. Adam leads the firm's global early-stage practice and co-led its international expansion. He has been at GC for over ten years after joining the firm from Accel London. He has a uniquely global perspective on venture and entrepreneurship and has experience as both an operator and investor.  In this episode, we cover a variety of topics, including how founders and VCs can navigate difficult moments faced in 2023, how he approaches investing, firm building, and partnering with founders, and why perhaps the current market is not as bad as many have feared. There was a wealth of wisdom in this episode, and many thanks to Adam for agreeing to do his first pod with us.
8/23/202345 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

The family office episode - Nick & Beezer co-host Melissa Lucas, Your OCIO

Melissa Lucas currently serves as the CIO for the investment vehicles of two extended families. She has decades of experience handling the unique investment needs of extended families, and investing across asset classes from venture capital to credit to equities. Prior to her work for families, she spent nearly a decade working at several subsidiaries of The Capital Group – first, as an investment analyst of, and later, as an investor in, the healthcare and chemical industries. In this episode we dive into topics such as where venture fits into her portfolios, the current state of the market across asset classes, how she finds new managers, and how to think about and consider family offices as LPs.
7/19/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Deep Dive on Series A - Nick & Beezer co-host Beth Ferreira, Firstmark

Origins is a podcast about the VC and LP ecosystem, co-hosted by Nick Chirls of Notation and Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners. We're joined by our guest Beth Ferreira, a Partner at FirstMark focused on seed and Series A investing in a broad range of consumer companies, including next-generation commerce, consumer tech, and mobile startups. Prior to FirstMark, Beth was the Managing Partner of WME Ventures, was Chief Operating Officer at Fab and ran operations in the early days of Etsy. In this episode, we do a deep dive on the current state of the series A market, including what founders need to prove between seed and A for Firstmark to gain conviction, valuation compression, how to think about the tradeoffs between growth and efficiency, and why Firstmark is as excited as ever to continue leading seed and Series A rounds, even in a difficult environment. Follow us: https://twitter.com/nchirls https://twitter.com/beezer232 https://twitter.com/bethferreira Links: https://carta.com/blog/state-of-private-markets-q1-2023/
6/6/202354 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

LP Market Perspective - Nick & Beezer co-host Atul Rustgi, Accolade Partners

Origins is a podcast about the VC and LP ecosystem, co-hosted by Nick Chirls of Notation and Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners. In this episode, we are joined by Atul Rustgi, managing partner of Accolade Partners, a top-performing venture capital, growth equity, and blockchain fund of funds. Prior to joining Accolade in 2007, Atul worked at McKinsey & Co., a leading strategy consulting firm, where he advised senior management on issues of strategy, organization, technology and operations. Before McKinsey, Atul worked at the Robin Hood Foundation, a venture philanthropy that funds and supports innovative poverty-fighting organizations in New York City. Atul holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan. Follow us: https://twitter.com/nchirls https://twitter.com/beezer232 https://twitter.com/AccoladePrtnrs
4/28/20231 hour, 1 minute, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Investing in AI - Nick & Beezer co-host Dr. Lan Xuezhao

Origins is a podcast about the VC and LP ecosystem, co-hosted by Nick Chirls of Notation and Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners. In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Lan Xuezhao, founder and managing partner of Basis Set Ventures, an AI-focused seed firm based in SF. Lan is among the earliest investors in companies such as Scale AI, Quince, Path Robotics, Workstream, and Ergeon. She built and led the Corporate Development Strategy team at Dropbox during its most acquisitive time. She studied the human brain for her Ph.D and received an M.A. in Statistics, both from the University of Michigan. Follow us: https://twitter.com/nchirls https://twitter.com/beezer232 https://twitter.com/xuezhao Links referenced: The Warm Intro Myth
3/22/202355 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Nick & Beezer co-host David Tisch, Box Group

Origins is a podcast about the VC and LP ecosystem, co-hosted by Nick Chirls of Notation and Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners. On this episode, we dig into the history of Box Group and seed investing in NYC with David Tisch. Topics covered include Box Group's unique perspective and strategy on seed investing, staying true to one's strategy and mission, the decision behind Box Group raising outside capital, and the current state of the venture market. Follow us: https://twitter.com/nchirls https://twitter.com/beezer232 https://twitter.com/davidtisch
2/14/20231 hour, 1 minute, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Nick (Notation) & Beezer (Sapphire) co-host Kanyi Maqubela (Kindred)

Origins is a podcast about the VC and LP ecosystem, co-hosted by Nick Chirls of Notation and Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners. On this episode, we dig into current market dynamics with our guest Kanyi Maqubela of Kindred Ventures. Topics covered include the current state of the venture market, how LPs and VCs are modifying their investment strategy, the future state of seed funds, and how to manage psychology through downturns. Follow us: https://twitter.com/nchirls https://twitter.com/beezer232 https://twitter.com/km Links referenced in the show: https://www.newcomer.co/p/new-angellist-data-shows-startup https://hunterwalk.com/2023/01/17/death-of-the-generalist-seed-vc/ https://techcrunch.com/2023/01/13/sequoia-capitals-alfred-lin-in-his-first-public-interview-since-the-implosion-of-ftx-video/
2/1/202351 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Venture market deep dive with Beezer Clarkson

On this episode of Origins, we sit down with Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners to discuss the current state of the VC and LP markets, given recent dislocations. We cover what Beezer is seeing on the ground, where we might be in the current cycle / downturn, how VCs can respond both strategically and tactically, as well as her outlook for what's to come. Beezer leads Sapphire Partners‘ investments in venture funds domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Sapphire in 2012, Beezer managed the day-to-day operations of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Global Network, which then had $7 billion under management across 16 venture funds worldwide. In 2016, Beezer led the launch of OpenLP, an effort to help foster greater understanding in the entrepreneur-to-LP tech ecosystem.
9/20/202253 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Austin Clements, Slauson & Co.

Austin Clements is a co-founder and managing partner at Slauson & Co., an early-stage venture capital firm whose mission is to democratize access to entrepreneurship by bridging the gap between untapped founders and the right capital and resources required to create sustainable equity & economic inclusion. Austin is a former Principal at TenOneTen Ventures where he played a role in investing in 50+ companies across two funds, and also the founding Chairman for PledgeLA, a city-wide initiative that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in Tech. In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including Austin's early experience as a founder, joining TenOneTen and learning and growing as a junior VC, and finally teaming up with his partner Ajay and launching and building Slauson from the ground up. We dive deep into the LA ecosystem, what it means to be a truly inclusive firm in 2022, and the impact that they hope to have on LA and beyond in the years to come.
6/15/202243 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sapphire Partners hosts Jaclyn Hester, Foundry Group

In this special episode of our #OpenLP podcast miniseries, Sapphire Partners’ Laura Thompson chats with Jaclyn Hester, Partner at Foundry Group, about how LPs pick funds, what good performance looks like and how everything is changing with the shift in today’s markets. Laura Thompson invests in technology-focused venture funds domestically and internationally. She is passionate about partnering with established and emerging firms to advance the thinking in the limited partner space. Before joining Sapphire Partners in 2018, Laura worked as part of the investment team at Horsley Bridge Partners, where she helped the team make hundreds of millions of fund commitments. Jaclyn Hester joined Foundry in 2016 and is active across their portfolio of startup companies and venture funds. She helped launch Foundry's partner fund strategy and works closely with partner fund managers, while also spending time on direct investments. Prior to joining Foundry, Jaclyn practiced corporate law at Perkins Coie LLP and earned a JD/MBA from University of Colorado, Boulder.
6/9/202251 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Accolade Partners hosts Santiago Santos

On this episode of Origins, Aram Verdiyan, partner at Accolade Partners, hosts Santiago Santos, one of the most well-respected crypto and NFT investors in the world. The discussion is far-ranging, from Santiago's discovery of Bitcoin and Ethereum many years ago, to his decision to go full-time into crypto, to current market conditions today, and themes that he's most excited about. This was a rare look into how the best crypto native investors approach investing in this unique asset class. Aram Verdiyan is a Partner at Accolade focused on venture capital and crypto. Previously, he worked on the investment team at Andreessen Horowitz. He holds an M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and a B.S. from the George Washington University. Santiago Santos, aka punk #9159, is one of the top crypto and NFT angel investors in the world, and is a core member of PleasrDAO. Previously, he was a partner at Parafi Capital, a leading crypto-native investment and technology firm founded in 2018, focused on token, venture, and quantitative strategies.
5/10/202259 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dustin Rosen, Wonder Ventures

Dustin Rosen is the founder and managing partner of Wonder Ventures, a top-tier pre-seed firm based in LA. He's been an early investor in companies like Whatnot, Clutter, Arcadia and Honey. He previously founded a venture-backed startup in LA and started his career at the William Morris Agency, where he helped launch their first venture fund. This was a special episode because Dustin has been one of our closest collaborators at Notation, and our journeys have very much mirrored each other's as we've built our respective firms. We discuss Dustin's decision to launch Wonder Ventures back in 2014, as well as his experience as a solo GP, the evolution of the LA tech ecosystem, SPVs, secondary and much more.
4/26/202244 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Accolade Partners hosts Chris Ebeling, Zed Run

On this special episode of Origins, Marcos Veremis, partner at Accolade Partners, hosts Chris Ebeling, the Creative Director, Futurist & Co-Founder @ Virtually Human, which created Zed Run, a provably fair digital horse racing game built on blockchain technology. Marcos Veremis is a partner at Accolade Partners, a top-tier fund of funds, and one of the first firms in the market to launch a dedicated crypto fund of funds practice. Marcos was previously an MD at Cambridge Associates for more than a decade, where he focused on alternative investments, including crypto. Chris Ebeling has spent his career crafting unique visual experiences for Film, TV, Games and emerging technologies. Chris is a world-class Animator, Creative Director, Writer and Digital Artist having worked on Hollywood blockbusters such as The Lego Movie’s, The Great Gatsby, and Gods of Egypt. He has since moved on to co-found his own digital creative studio, Virtually Human, creators of Zed Run, a provably fair digital horse racing game built on blockchain technology, and a massive hit in the rapidly growing "play-to-earn" blockchain gaming category.
4/5/202250 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jeff Morris Jr., Chapter One

Jeff Morris Jr. is the founder and Managing Partner of Chapter One. He was previously the VP of Product, Revenue at Tinder. In the role, Tinder became the #1 top-grossing app in the App Store and one of the top-grossing products in mobile history. In this episode, we discuss Jeff's early career as a PM and growth specialist, his transition into angel investing, and ultimately the decision to launch Chapter One, which is now squarely focused on web3 investing.
3/8/202243 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sapphire Partners hosts Saul Klein of LocalGlobe and Latitude

Sapphire Partners continues their #OpenLP miniseries takeover by hosting Saul Klein of LocalGlobe and Latitude. With decades of experience in the region, Saul has been, and continues to be, an early champion of the European tech ecosystem. During the conversation, Sapphire’s Thomas Moon chats with Saul on topics including the evolution of venture in Europe over the past 20 years, the road ahead for European venture, and the journey from operator to angel to institutional seed investor.
11/3/202158 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sapphire Partners hosts Kim Lew, CEO of Columbia University's endowment

Sapphire Partners continues their #OpenLP miniseries takeover by hosting Kim Lew, CEO and President of Columbia University’s endowment. During the conversation, Sapphire’s Nate Leung chats with Kim on topics including: How institutional managers consider and approach risk, particularly in the context of venture investing; Differences between foundations and endowments in terms of liquidity, portfolio construction, and risk allocation; What Kim looks for in new managers for the venture portfolio component of Columbia’s endowment; What quality mentorship and leadership looks like and how she cultivates investment talent; and her views on key investment trends across climate, artificial intelligence, crypto and more...
9/30/202148 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sapphire Partners Hosts - Notation III and Beyond

On this brand new season of Origins, we're passing the torch to our friends at Sapphire Partners to host an exciting new miniseries. Beezer Clarkson, Nate Leung and the team at Sapphire Partners are some of the most knowledgeable and experienced LPs in the industry, and we're extremely excited to listen as they interview a slew of amazing new guests. In this first episode, Beezer and Nate are hosting...well...us :-) They interview us about the history of Origins, Notation, our new fund Notation III, and what we see in store for the future of our firm and the industry broadly. We asked Sapphire Partners to host this season because they're true experts in the venture ecosystem - they partner with many of the most elite venture firms and have a deep LP network to bring exciting new voices to the show. Sapphire is hosting these next episodes in support of their #OpenLP initiative. OpenLP is a community-sourced effort that amplifies and aggregates LP and GP voices across the venture ecosystem.
8/24/202159 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Chris Paik & Jordan Cooper, Pace Capital

Chris Paik and Jordan Cooper are co-founders of Pace Capital, a new $150M fund focused on Series A investments. Chris was previously a co-founder of Thrive Capital, now one of the top multi-stage institutional firms in the U.S., and Jordan was previously a co-founder of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, the largest institutional seed fund in NYC. In this episode, we go deep into Chris and Jordan's decision to leave their respective firms and start Pace Capital together. We discuss the questions that they asked themselves and each other before deciding to partner up, how they think about building another top firm together, and their unique and highly concentrated strategy in working with founders through the entire lifecycle of a startup. Chris and Jordan are two of the most talented and thoughtful young VCs in the industry, and it shows in one of the first times they've gone on record since launching their new firm.
1/20/202155 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Renata Quintini & Roseanne Wincek, Renegade Partners

Renata Quintini and Roseanne Wincek are general partners and co-founders of Renegade Partners, a new venture capital firm investing at the "supercritical" stage. Supercritical stage companies have raised institutional financing, have a product in market, and the budding signs of customer love, but are early, young organizations who are still writing their stories. Before Renegade, Renata was a partner at Lux Capital and Felicis Ventures, and before that an LP at the Stanford University endowment investing in private markets and venture capital. Roseanne was trained as a biochemist before joining Caanan and then IVP, investing in companies primarily at the growth stage. This was a fantastic deep dive into their decision to start Renegade Partners together, how they got the firm off the ground and raised their first fund, the unique opportunity they now see in the market at the supercritical stage, and how they plan to build a lasting firm.
12/15/202051 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Matt Auxier, The University of Chicago

Matt Auxier is a portfolio manager for The University of Chicago's private equity investments, focusing primarily on venture capital. He examines investments across asset classes and researches new investment opportunities. Since joining the Office of Investments in 2012, he has also served as an operations analyst and senior portfolio analyst. In this episode, (among other topics) we discuss how Matt's investment philosophy has evolved within venture over time, including both small emerging managers as well as established larger managers, and how the University of Chicago is responding to the Covid-19 crisis and diversity challenges within venture and startups broadly.
11/17/202045 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sahil Lavingia and Steve Schlafman on new VC structures

In this special episode of Origins, we discuss new VC fund structures with Sahil Lavingia, the founder of Gumroad and manager of one of the top rolling funds on AngelList, and Steve Schlafman, who combines professional coaching through his firm High Output with active angel investing using a traditional fund on AngelList. Both operators and investors, Sahil and Steve provide a fascinating look into how the venture industry is evolving, and how they combine their experiences operating and investing in new, more flexible structures. We discuss their professional backgrounds, why they started investing, time spent at more traditional VC firms, and why AngelList and other alternative fund structures are increasingly attractive to "solocapitalists." Finally, we dig into how they see these structures, as well as the industry at large changing in the years to come, and why these new structures are here to stay, for both VCs and LPs.
10/13/202058 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lisa Edgar, Top Tier Capital Partners

Lisa Edgar is a Managing Director and member of the Investment Committee at Top Tier Capital Partners. She focuses on manager selection, due diligence and investment monitoring of Top Tier’s primary investments. Leveraging her 25 years of experience, Lisa is particularly interested in helping up-and-coming micro funds structure themselves for success in the future, including strategic fundraising, thoughtful portfolio construction, effective capital deployment and management succession. Prior to Top Tier, Lisa was part of the asset management team at WR Hambrecht + Co focusing on new and emerging private equity funds. Before that, she spent ten years at Horsley Bridge Partners. Lisa began her career as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In this episode, we discuss Lisa's unusual path into technology and investing, her work helping to build Horsely Bridge in their early years, and how she thinks about fund investing at Top Tier today, as well as building out their micro VC and international investing practices.
9/23/202046 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Frederik Groce, Storm Ventures & BLCK VC

Frederik Groce is a Principal at Storm Ventures and a co-founder at BLCK VC. After finishing school, Frederik spent two years as CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE) with more than one hundred employees and total assets exceeding $18 million – including overseeing Stanford’s accelerator program. In this episode, we discuss Frederik's path to VC out of college, and how he's learned on the job and been promoted multiple times at Storm Ventures since. We also discuss his work as a co-founder at BLCK VC, which was formed to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors by providing a focused community built for and by Black venture investors. Finally, we touch on the role that BLCK VC plays within the context of the larger BLM movement, diversity & inclusion within tech, and what can be done to change the problems facing our industry and society at large.
9/9/202050 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, The Chainsmokers + Mantis VC

In this special episode of Origins, we interview Alex Pall and Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers, one of the most successful artists and producers in the world, and now active VCs through their firm Mantis. We discuss how they got into music, their break as DJs and rising up the early charts of Hype Machine and then Spotify, as well as more recently how they discovered angel investing and how they're building Mantis VC. Safe to say this was one of the most interesting episodes we've ever recorded and hope you'll give it a listen. As always, a huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. It's a core product that we use daily --> Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
8/11/202048 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital

Josh Kopelman is the co-founder of First Round Capital, a pioneering seed-stage venture capital firm. He's been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since it's commercialization. He co-founded Infonautics while still an undergrad in 1996, which went public in 1999. He then co-founded and ran Half.com, a fixed price marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of used books, movies and music products, which he sold to eBay in 2000. In this episode, we discuss Josh's early career as an entrepreneur and all of the lessons learned having started two companies, taking one of them public at a really young age, and then selling Half.com to eBay at the height of the dot com. We discuss his early angel investing practice, including investments in companies like Linkedin and Delicious, and the ultimate decision to start First Round Capital with his partners, raise institutional funds, and build out their unique "platform." As always, a huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. It's a core product that we use daily --> Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
7/7/202040 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hunter Somerville, Greenspring Associates

Hunter Somerville is a General Partner at Greenspring Associates and is responsible for the sourcing and due diligence efforts on fund, direct and secondary opportunities. He's also actively involved in the assessment of micro-vc managers for the Firm. Additionally, Hunter serves on the LP Advisory Boards for firms such as Bullpen Capital, Redpoint China, Fika Ventures, Foundry Group, among many others. In this episode, we discuss Hunter's path at Greenspring (and LP firms in general), leading to his promotion to General Partner, how he spends his time at the firm and evaluates opportunities and managers, how the firm is responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, and his outlook for the future.
6/24/202051 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Atul Rustgi, Accolade Partners

Atul Rustgi is a Partner at Accolade, working across both early-stage venture and late-stage growth equity strategies. Prior to joining Accolade in 2007, Atul worked at McKinsey & Co. and the Robin Hood Foundation. In this episode, we discuss Atul's unique experience evaluating VC managers over the past decade, and Accolade's strategy investing in both very small early-stage venture funds and much larger late-stage growth equity funds. We also discuss Atul's deep conviction around portfolio construction, fund size, and ownership. Finally, we discuss his views on the impact of Covid-19 on the venture ecosystem today and his outlook for 2020 and beyond. As always, a huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
6/2/202046 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Kanyi Maqubela, Kindred Ventures

Kanyi Maqubela is a Managing Partner at Kindred Ventures. He previously served as a Partner at Collaborative Fund, where he was an early advisor to Tala and Walker & Co., and a board member at Buffer, Camino Financial, Spruce, and True Link. Kanyi is also a co-founder at Heartbeat Health, and has served as a Lecturer and Adjunct at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. In this episode, we discuss everything from Kanyi's childhood to founding his first startup out of Stanford to joining Collaborative Fund to ultimately founding Kindred Ventures with his partner Steve. But in between his story, this was a fascinating conversation about the arc of venture capital, how to build an investment process and conviction, and navigating the current Covid-19 health and economic crisis. As always, a huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
5/13/202059 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ciaran O'Leary, BlueYard

Ciaran O'Leary is a co-founder and general partner at BlueYard, a thesis-driven early-stage venture capital firm based in Germany. In the past several years, BlueYard has backed companies like Protocol Labs (Filecoin) and Open Source Coin in the Blockchain space, Meatable and Bit Bio at the intersection of science and technology, Pitch and Vectary in open data, among other fascinating companies and theses. In this episode, we discuss the European tech and venture capital environment over the past decade, what led Ciaran to Earlybird and then BlueYard, raising two funds for BlueYard since, how their thesis and strategy has evolved in recent years, and what the future holds in store for BlueYard and European tech startups. We also touched on how Ciaran and team are navigating the current Covid-19 crisis. This was a fascinating discussion and hope you find it as interesting as we did.
4/14/202049 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mark Suster, Upfront Ventures

Mark Suster is the Managing Partner at Upfront. He previously was the founder & CEO of two successful enterprise software companies, the most recent of which was sold to Salesforce.com where Mark became VP, Products. He's also one of the OG VC bloggers at https://bothsidesofthetable.com. In this episode, we discuss Mark's journey as both an entrepreneur and VC going back to the dot com, how he joined GRP Partners in 2007 and transitioned the firm into what it is now Upfront, and how he plans to grow the firm's team and talent into the future. This was a master class in VC firm building. As always, a huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. It's a core product that we use daily --> Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
3/3/202055 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

"Portfolio Construction" w/ Beezer Clarkson, Alda Leu Dennis and Trae Vassallo

This is a special episode of Origins focused entirely on the concept of VC portfolio construction. We recorded this discussion as a panel with three guests that provide different perspectives on this important topic. Beezer Clarkson is an LP and managing director at Sapphire Partners, Alda Leu Dennis is a partner at Initialized, a seed-stage venture firm, and Trae Vassallo is a founder and partner at defy, an early-stage venture firm focused on Series A investments. In this episode we cover many of the most critical items related to portfolio construction and how different LPs and VCs might approach different strategies, including portfolio company concentration, reserves and follow-on strategy, recycling, time diversity, opportunity funds and SPVs, and much more. Of all the episodes we've recorded on Origins, this might be the single most important one we've done, for VCs and LPs, emerging and established. We welcome any and all feedback, as well as thoughts on topics or strategies not covered, so that we might do so in a future episode. Send us an email at [email protected] or tweet with #OpenLP to join the discussion. As always, a huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. It's a core product that we use daily --> Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
1/28/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Chad Byers, Susa Ventures

Chad Byers is a co-founder and partner at Susa Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund based in SF that has backed companies like Robinhood, Flexport, and Andela. Chad discusses growing up in Silicon Valley, his path to venture, the unusual founding story of Susa with his partners, and how they've strategically planned their funds over time. Chad is one of the smartest young seed investors in SF, and this episode was essentially a playbook on how to build a seed firm. A huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. It's a core product that we use daily --> Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
1/7/202052 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lo Toney, Plexo Capital

Lo Toney is the founding managing partner of Plexo Capital, a new $42.5 million fund incubated inside of GV focused on making investments in seed-stage VC firms led by women or people of color. In addition to investing as LPs, Plexo Capital makes direct investments in startups that are funded by firms where Plexo has an LP position. The fund’s investors include Alphabet, Intel Capital, Cisco Investments, the Royal Bank of Canada, Kapor Capital, the Hampton University Endowment and the Ford Foundation. Previous to Plexo Capital, Lo was a partner at GV and Comcast Ventures, as well as an operator in various capacities at Zynga, Nike, and eBay. In this episode, we discuss Lo's unique career journey, some of the early lessons he learned helping to build iconic web products in the dot com era, how he landed at GV and more recently decided to build his own venture platform in Plexo Capital. We're excited to announce Carta as the title sponsor for Origins this season, a product we use and love. Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.
12/11/201950 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Fabrice Grinda, FJ Labs

Fabrice Grinda is the founder of FJ Labs, a company co-creation and investment firm, focused on marketplace businesses. FJ Labs has invested in companies such as Flexport, Shippo, Lime, Brightroll, among many others. Fabrice is also a serial entrepreneur, previously founding three companies - Zingy, Aucland, and OLX - All of which scaled to significant size. He was born in France and is an avid traveler, writer, and speaker. In this episode, we cover what it was like to come to the U.S. for college, starting his first company in the dot com in France at the age of 24 and riding it to massive scale before experiencing the fallout in the early oughts, as well as starting again, successfully exiting companies, and becoming a true expert on marketplace business dynamics. We also discuss the transition to investor, the unique aspects of FJ Labs, both from an LP perspective and an investment perspective, as well as making a personal decision a few years ago to live "asset-light."
10/1/201959 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Paul Mace, Tufts University

Paul Mace is the Director of Investments for Private Equity and Real Estate in the Tufts University Investment Office. He is responsible for evaluating private market managers and their investment strategies to potentially include in the university’s portfolio. Before joining Tufts, Paul was an investment banker evaluating M&A and private equity transactions for a boutique advisory firm. In this episode, we dig into the many similarities and differences in evaluating private real-estate funds and venture funds, two areas that Paul is responsible for at the Tufts endowment. We also discuss how the Tufts endowment has evolved over the past 15 years, and their plans for the future, particularly their approach to venture capital and emerging managers.
9/10/201943 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Beezer Clarkson hosts Anne Martin, CIO of Wesleyan University

In this special episode of Origins, Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners hosts Anne Martin, the Chief Investment Officer of Wesleyan University. Anne was previously a Director of Investments at Yale University, where she oversaw the private and natural resource portfolio. At Wesleyan University, she oversees all aspects of the endowment and reports to the university's board and investment committee. Over the course of the conversation, Beezer and Anne cover exactly what it means to run and invest a university endowment, Anne's goals for the program, how she thinks about investing across asset classes, and particularly how she approaches venture capital and picking managers. Their discussion is a unique look into what is a typically opaque part of the Limited Partner ecosystem, and a must-listen for anyone considering raising capital from endowments.
8/6/201949 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bryce Roberts, Indie VC

Bryce Roberts is the founder of Indie VC, a 12-month program and venture fund designed to fund and support founders on a path to profitability. Before that, Bryce was a co-founder of OATV in 2005, one of the earliest seed focused VC firms, where they invested in companies like Fastly, Foursquare, Planet, Hipcamp, and others. On this episode, we discuss the earliest days of seed investing and raising OATV while Bryce lived in Utah, as well as the difficult decision to morph OATV into what is now Indie VC. Bryce has a decidedly different and refreshing perspective on venture capital than anyone we've had on Origins - He believes that raising capital should not turn a business into a binary outcome and that more founders should think about the road to profitability - What Bryce describes as "permissionless entrepreneurship."
7/16/201956 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

David Fauchier, Cambrial Capital

David Fauchier is the co-founder of Cambrial Capital, an investment firm based in London deploying a thesis-driven fund of funds strategy focused on the digital assets space. David has previous experience as a product leader and angel investor in Europe, and has one of the most thoughtful approaches to investing in the blockchain space that we've seen. We cover a wide range of topics in this episode, including the varied types of strategies that blockchain VC firms and crypto funds are pursuing today, why a fund of funds in this space makes sense, and how David sees the digital assets space evolving in the years to come. Whether you're a crypto noob, or a blockchain expert interested in the sector, whether you're a small personal investor in the space or a large asset allocator considering it, David does not disappoint :-)
2/26/201955 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lindsay Larsen, UVIMCO

Lindsay Larsen is a managing director at UVIMCO, which represents the University of Virginia's $9B+ endowment. At UVIMCO, Lindsay co-heads the endowment's venture capital investing, as well as hedge fund investing and the growth equity portfolio. She previously held roles at Sequoia Heritage and Bluestem Asset Management, and she started her career at Goldman Sachs after attending UVA as an undergrad. In this unique look into how a large university endowment is managed, we dig into how UVA sets its return targets and goals, and how that impacts Lindsay's time spent across VC, hedge funds, and growth equity. We discuss the increasingly global nature of startups and the asset class broadly, and how that's led Lindsay and UVA to consider markets outside the US, particularly China, as well as her bottoms-up approach to picking VC managers and investment strategies. Lindsay has had a particularly interesting vantage point into the VC business over the past decade, and for any VC considering approaching or pitching a large endowment as an LP, this is an important episode to give a listen.
2/5/201952 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Manu Kumar, K9 Ventures

Manu Kumar is the founder of K9 Ventures, a technology-focused Pre-Seed fund based in Palo Alto, California. K9 Ventures was the first "pre-seed" venture firm in the industry, and Manu was the earliest investor in companies like Twilio, Lyft, Carta, Crowdflower, and many more. Manu has a truly unique outlook on the VC business, and has a highly disciplined investment model that he's stuck with since the beginning in 2009. In this episode, we discuss Manu's time at Carnegie Melon and Stanford, where he received his PhD, his success as an entrepreneur, how he started K9 as a solo GP, his unique investment approach and portfolio construction strategy, and how he is planning to build K9 Ventures in the decades to come.
1/15/201954 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Conrad Shang, UTIMCO

Conrad Shang is a Director at UTIMCO, The University of Texas and Texas A&M Endowment, where he leads the VC portfolio for one of the largest university endowments in the country. He’s been on both sides of the table, having also previously been a VC at Norwest Venture Partners and Bain Capital Ventures. This was a particularly fascinating conversation because Conrad now oversees what is probably the largest VC portfolio of anyone we've had on the Origins podcast to date. In this episode, we discuss Conrad's background and what led him to this new role at UTIMCO, the strategies that are possible and make sense for an endowment of that size, and how they're approaching the venture asset class overall, now and into the future. We also discuss topics that are particularly relevant today as we head into 2019, including LPs increasingly looking to make direct investments, how UTIMCO is thinking about blockchain investing, and how the endowment thinks about allocating through both bull and potentially bear cycles.
12/18/201855 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Zach Aarons, Metaprop

Zach Aarons is a co-founder and partner at Metaprop, an early-stage venture firm and accelerator focused on real-estate related technology. Zach has been working at the intersection of real estate and venture capital for the past decade, and he's the most active early-stage PropTech investor in the United States, having funded over 60 startups in the space as an individual as well as 40 startups (and counting) through MetaProp NYC's venture capital funds. In addition to early-stage investing, Zach is a project manager at Millennium Partners, and has worked on large-scale mixed-use development projects with experience in real estate development, commercial asset management, property marketing, and commercial leasing. In this episode, we discuss how Zach started in the NYC tech community, his time as an angel investor before Metaprop, and what it took to get Metaprop off the ground with his two partners. We also dive into Proptech investing, building a sector-specific firm, and their unique model that brings together startups, real-estate executives, and large real-estate companies across the U.S. and Europe.
11/27/201858 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Sarah Anderson and Emily Geiger, Cintrifuse

On this episode of Origins, we interview Sarah Anderson and Emily Geiger, who are responsible for two critical components of Cintrifuse, a unique organization and public-private partnership established to drive the next phase of growth in the Cincinnati region. Sarah is the Managing Director of the Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund, a fund of funds that invests in VC managers across the U.S. Emily is the VP of BigCo Innovation at Cintrifuse, where she focuses on bridging partnerships, as well as exploring new potential areas for innovation and collaboration between large companies in the Cincinnati region and the broader U.S. startup community. Cintrifuse is a special organization - Unlike any other we've had on the Origins pod - made up of a diverse group of people, funds, startups, big companies, and ideas all dedicated to establishing a stronger tech presence in Cincinatti in order to improve the economy in the region. But it's also had a big impact on startups and VC across the U.S., and so we're thrilled that Sarah and Emily could spend some time giving us a look inside the Cintrifuse universe.
10/30/201849 minutes
Episode Artwork

David Tisch, Box Group

David Tisch is a founder and managing partner of Box Group, the most prolific angel and seed investing firm in NYC, where they're investors in companies such as Pillpack, Flatiron Health, GroupMe, Plaid, Roman, among many others. He previously co-founded Techstars New York, a fixture of the NYC tech community for many years, and is the head of Cornell Tech's Startup Studio. In this episode, we discuss how Box Group has stuck to its knitting over the years by continuing to focus on the earliest stages of startup investing, how investors do (and don't) add value to the companies they work with, how the NYC tech community has evolved over the past decade, and how Box Group may evolve in the future. David is one of the most colorful and genuine guests we've had on Origins, and so it's no surprise that this interview was one of the most fun we've done to date.
10/9/201851 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rob Mazzoni, TrueBridge Capital Partners

Rob Mazzoni is a principal and one of the earliest members of the TrueBridge investment team, an alternative asset management firm founded in 2007 and focused on the venture capital industry. Rob first worked with TrueBridge co-founder and general partner Mel Williams at UNC Management Company, Inc. (UNCMC) as an investment and performance analyst. In this episode, we discuss Rob's professional path as an LP since college, as well as the founding and evolution of Truebridge Capital Partners since 2007. We cover Truebridge's decision to partner early with now top-tier firms like a16z and Founder's Fund, as well as their decision to commit to seed as a category several years ago via firms like Lowercase Capital. Finally, we discuss their contributions to the larger venture community, including their work constructing the storied Midas List with Forbes.
9/18/201857 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Shan-Lyn Ma, Zola

Shan-Lyn Ma is the co-founder and CEO of Zola, the fastest growing wedding registry and planning site in the U.S. Before Zola, Shan-Lyn was the chief product officer of chloe + isabel, and an executive at Gilt Groupe. In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including Shan-Lyn's experience growing up in Australia, discovering the Internet at a young age, and eventually moving to the U.S. to go to Stanford and pursue her dreams as a technology entrepreneur. We also discuss the many lessons Shan-Lyn learned in product and strategy at Yahoo and Gilt Groupe, her recent activity as an angel investor and LP, and how she brings all of these experiences to bear in her day-to-day running Zola.
8/21/201850 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mike Maples, Floodgate

Mike Maples is the founding partner at Floodgate and has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (IPO TIVS, acquired by IBM) and Motive (IPO MOTV, acquired by Alcatel-Lucent.) Some of Mike’s investments include Twitter, Twitch.tv, ngmoco, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaarvoice, Spiceworks, Okta, and Demandforce. In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including Mike's decision to become a VC and how he raised Floodgate's first fund, how Floodgate's fund strategy and portfolio construction has evolved since, and how he and his partners think about building the firm in the years and decades to come.
7/24/201850 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ryan Nece, Next Play Capital

Ryan Nece is a Managing Partner at Next Play Capital, a mission-driven co-investment and fund of funds focused on venture capital. He started his career playing football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played for eight years, winning a super bowl championship as a rookie. After retiring from football, Ryan co-founded Straightcast Media, which he successfully exited to FOX Sports in 2015. Ryan is also the founder of the Ryan Nece Foundation, and a fellow at the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program. Needless to say, this was one of the most fascinating interviews we've had on the Origins podcast to date, covering Ryan's time in the NFL, what it takes to build a career after football, and why he believes it's never been a more exciting time to invest in startups and venture.
6/26/201851 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jeff Fagnan, Accomplice

Jeff Fagnan is a founder of Accomplice and more recently Spearhead, in partnership with AngelList. Jeff is well known as a founding investor, working with most of his portfolio since inception, sometimes as a co-founder including Veracode (Sold to CA Technologies for $614M in 2017). Jeff sits on the board of many scaling startup‍‍‍s including AngelList, Carbon Black, InsightSquared, PillPack, and others. He's also the founder of Spearhead, a program that provides funding and mentorship for new angel investors; Maiden Lane, the first investment vehicle built on top of AngelList; Boston Syndicates (BOSS),a federated movement to create stronger angel substrate in New England; and TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good), a nonprofit foundation harnessing the power of the tech ecosystem to catalyze social innovation in New England. In this episode, we discuss Jeff's fourteen years as a partner at Atlas Ventures in Boston, the spinout and transition to Accomplice, and the many experiments with the venture model that's run with Maiden Lane, Angellist, and now Spearhead.
5/15/201848 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Leah Busque, Fuel Capital

Leah Busque is a General Partner at Fuel Capital, an early-stage venture firm based in SF. Before Fuel, she was the co-founder and CEO of TaskRabbit for eight years, and before that an engineer at IBM. In this episode, we discuss Leah's path to founding TaskRabbit, moving to SF, and partnering with Chris Howard as Fuel's second GP just over a year ago. We also dig into how she discovered and has navigated the LP community, how she plans to support the founders she works with as a former founder and engineer herself, and finally how Leah and Chris plan to grow Fuel as a firm in the years to come.
4/18/201850 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ro Gupta, Carmera

Ro Gupta is the co-founder and CEO of Carmera, a street-level intelligence platform. The company's flagship product is CARMERA Autonomous Map, which delivers real-time, 3D maps and navigation-critical data for autonomous vehicles. Ro previously spent six years with Disqus, the web's largest community discussion network. He's also the first Notation portfolio company founder we've had on Origins! In this episode, we discuss Ro's path to co-founding Carmera, the explosion of interest in autonomous vehicle technology, angel investing, and of course the limited partner ecosystem.
4/3/201851 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

Christian Motzfeldt, Danish Growth Fund

As CEO of the Danish Growth Fund since 2001, Christian Motzfeldt has been instrumental in building the new Danish ecosystem of entrepreneurship. Through the Danish Growth Fund, he has built one of the largest portfolios of venture and small-cap funds in the Nordics, and now has 2 Billion USD under management. This is the first sovereign wealth fund that we've had on the show, so we dive deep into exactly what that means, as well as the strategic and financial goals for a public fund like the DGF.
3/13/201832 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Nick Chirls and Alex Lines, Notation

In this episode of Origins, Beezer Clarkson turns the tables and interviews Nick Chirls and Alex Lines of Notation. Having just closed Notation II, we figured this would be a good time to explain who we are, what we do, and why we do it. We cover our time working together in the early days at betaworks, our decision to ultimately leave and start Notation, the process of raising our first and now second funds, and how we think about the future of the firm. * One small footnote - We recorded this episode almost a year ago, when we first closed Notation II, so some of the language is a bit out of date - For example we prefer using "first-check" instead of "pre-seed." Check out our new website and Notation II launch announcement to see what we mean :-)
2/20/201854 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Semil Shah, Haystack

On this episode of Origins, we sit down with Semil Shah of Haystack, an early-stage venture firm based in SF. Semil has a non-traditional background for VC and has been vocal about the unique way he's building the firm, recently making the transition into an institutionally backed fund. He's an active blogger, and an investor in startups like Instacart, Giphy, Carta, and many others. In the interview, we focus on how Semil has approached each of the Haystack funds, the stories behind some of his best investments, and lessons learned along the way as he's grown the firm.
1/23/201845 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Roland Reynolds, Industry Ventures

On this episode of Origins, we sit down with Roland Reynolds, a managing partner at Industry Ventures. Industry Ventures is a fascinating “full stack venture capital firm.” Their funds invest into companies and venture capital partnerships through both primary and secondary transactions, which is an important part of the venture ecosystem that we have yet to cover on the Origins podcast. We cover a lot in this episode — including Roland’s experience working earlier in his career at JP Morgan and Columbia Capital, as well as founding one of the first dedicated micro-VC fund of funds more than ten years ago. Roland’s firm, Little Hawk Capital, was an LP in Industry Ventures, and ultimately merged into it to begin their primary fund of funds business. What we found most interesting about this conversation was the breadth of the Industry Ventures business — their flexibility to approach the venture landscape in many different ways — as buyers of other LP’s positions in VC funds, as well as secondary buyers of individuals and employees shares in VC funds and companies, as primary investors in VC funds, and finally as direct investors in startups. Industry has the ability, and in fact mandate, to do it all. We learned a lot in this episode and think you will too.
1/9/20181 hour, 3 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bruce Ou, Grove Street Advisors

On this episode of Origins, we sit down with Bruce Ou, a Managing Partner at Grove Street Advisors. GSA is a unique type of investment firm in that they build customized private equity fund portfolios to address each of their LP clients’ individual investment needs. Their sole business is to manage discretionary separate accounts, investing in lower middle-market buyout, growth equity and venture capital.  Bruce is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee, and leads investments across all segments of private equity and venture funds. Bruce also co-leads GSA’s strategy and portfolio development in China and is actively involved in the firm’s secondary fund investing activities.  In this episode, we dig into all areas of the GSA business as well as Bruce’s background as an LP, and particularly his work across the globe and in China. His insight into the Chinese technology industry is a fascinating look into the second largest venture market in the world behind the U.S., and a good reminder that innovation today is found everywhere.
12/19/201745 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Andy Weissman, Union Square Ventures

In this episode, we sit down with Andy Weissman, a managing partner at Union Square Ventures. Previous to USV, Andy was a co-founder of betaworks, and earlier in his career an executive at AOL. Andy’s one of the most thoughtful and admired VCs in the industry, and this was plain and simple one of the best episodes we’ve ever recorded.
10/31/201751 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Michael Larsen, Cambridge Associates

Michael Larsen is a managing director at the global investment firm Cambridge Associates, based in Boston. Mike works with endowments, foundations and other large institutional investors on their private investment programs, particularly focused on venture capital exposure. He spends his time meeting with managers, sourcing new ideas, and implementing VC programs for his clients’ portfolios.
10/10/201750 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

David Frankel, Founder Collective

David Frankel is a managing partner and co-founder of Founder Collective, which launched in 2011 with a simple mission: To be the most aligned fund for founders at the seed stage. In the years since, they've become one of the most respected and highest performing venture firms in the industry. Before starting Founder Collective, David spent most of his life as an entrepreneur, co-founding Internet Solutions, the first ISP in Africa, at the ripe old age of 23. When Internet Solutions was acquired by Dimension Data, he served as a key executive and on the board through its successful listing on the London Stock Exchange and up until it was ultimately acquired by NTT Japan for $3.2B.
7/18/201755 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Aaron Gershenberg, SVB Capital

Aaron Gershenberg is a founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s fund of funds and direct investment group, SVB Capital. Aaron joined SVB in 1999 and has been part of the venture capital industry since 1996. Under his leadership, the group has over $3.3 billion under management across fund of funds, direct funds and separate accounts. In this episode, we sit down with Aaron and discuss SVB Capital's beginnings, surviving through the dot com, and how they differentiate their fund of funds practice by being part of the broader SVB bank and ecosystem. Because of SVB's vital role in the technology industry and as a public company itself, Aaron has a particularly unique perspective in evaluating and working with VC managers, and as a pioneer and thought leader in the LP ecosystem for almost the past two decades.
6/6/201742 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bradley Tusk, Tusk Ventures

Bradley Tusk started Tusk Ventures to help startups work with governments at scale. To date, this unique venture capital firm has worked with companies like Uber, Fanduel, Handy, Eaze, and others to help them navigate regulatory challenges. Tusk Ventures grew out of Tusk Strategies, which Bradley started in 2010 to help major institutions run multi-jurisdictional campaigns to shape their public reputation, overcome regulatory hurdles, and proactively engage governments to solve problems and seize opportunities. Previously, Bradley served as the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s successful re-election bid in 2009, and before that he served as the Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois from 2003-2006.
4/25/201753 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Winter Mead, Sapphire Ventures

Winter Mead is a Vice President at Sapphire Ventures, where he focuses on Sapphire's fund investments in the United States and internationally. Before joining Sapphire Ventures in 2014, he worked at Hall Capital Partners. Prior to Hall, Winter founded Mead and Mead, an international food distribution and logistics business, and also spent a number of years working for several early-stage technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
3/28/201742 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Eva Ho, Fika Ventures

Eva Ho is a General Partner and co-founder of Fika Ventures, a new $40M seed fund based in LA. She's also an EIR of the City of Los Angeles and a board member of the California Community Foundation. She was previously a co-founder of Susa Ventures, and before that an operator and early employee at Factual and Applied Semantics, and a co-founder of Navigating Cancer.
3/14/201744 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

Graham Pingree, Cendana Capital

Graham Pingree is a limited partner at Cendana Capital, where he works with Michael Kim and invests in micro-VC funds. We discuss Graham's background working both at startups as well as firms such as Horsley Bridge and Cambridge Associates, and backing and working with funds such as Forerunner, Founder Collective, and IA Ventures.
2/21/201747 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hunter Walk, Homebrew

We talk with investor Hunter Walk, founding partner at Homebrew, about his experiences building product as one of the first hires at Second Life and then at YouTube after the Google acquisition. We also dig into what it took to get Homebrew off the ground in 2013 with his partner Satya Patel.
1/31/20171 hour, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Lindel Eakman, Foundry Group Next

For over a decade, Lindel Eakman managed the private investment program for the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), one of the largest endowments in the world. After 13 years at UTIMCO, Lindel left and joined Foundry Group to lead investments in other early-stage VC funds through FG's new fund, Foundry Group Next . We talk about his work at UTIMCO, where he backed iconic firms like USV, Foundry Group, Spark Capital, and True Ventures, and his decision to move to Boulder to work with Foundry Group.
1/18/201752 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jonathan Abrams, Nuzzel

Jonathan Abrams, founder and CEO of Nuzzel, is a busy man. Jonathan previously founded Friendster and Hotlinks, is an active angel in companies like AngelList and Docker, co-founded Founders Den in San Francisco, and is an LP in some great VC funds. We discuss Jonathan’s move to Silicon Valley in the late nineties to work for Netscape as an engineer, starting his first companies, and discovering the layer of capital and people behind the venture community.
1/4/201742 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Thomas Lenehan, Rockefeller University

Thomas Lenehan is Deputy CIO at Rockefeller University, helping to manage their $2B endowment. We discuss how managing an endowment compares to his previous LP roles and committing long-term to the private markets and venture, through good and bad cycles.
12/6/201644 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Brad Feld, Foundry Group

We’re very excited to have Brad Feld to help us kick off season two. In addition to co-founding Foundry Group, and Techstars, Brad also co-founded Mobius Venture Capital in 1996. So he’s as qualified as anyone in the world to discuss starting venture firms, and that’s exactly what we did in this episode. Brad has already spoken at length about starting companies and angel investing, so we dug into getting a first fund off the ground, building a firm that’s consistent with one’s belief system, and investing as a personal LP into dozens of funds including Lowercase, SoftTech, Techstars, USV, and now institutionalizing that endeavor with Foundry Next.
11/21/20161 hour, 12 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Evan Jaysane-Darr, Invesco Private Capital

Evan Jaysane-Darr is a Partner at Invesco Private Capital, a public asset management company where he focuses primarily on investing in venture. We discuss what's different about investing in venture as a public company, his experience investing in private equity vs venture funds, and why emerging managers are still important even though Invesco is in great funds like USV, Foundry, Greycroft, and LHV.
10/18/201645 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Judith Elsea, Weathergage Capital

Judith Elsea is a co-founder and Managing Director at Weathergage Capital. Judith and her Weathergage partners are investors in some of the most respected venture firms in the world. We discuss building out a venture practice at the Kauffman Foundation, where she was previously Chief Investment Officer, starting Weathergage Capital, what they look for in venture partnerships today, and Weathergage’s unique approach to backing managers, which is partially informed by an internal product they’ve built called “Weathervane.”
9/14/201652 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Michael Kim, Cendana Capital

Michael Kim is the founder of Cendana Capital, one of the first fund of funds focused entirely on backing micro-VC firms. Since 2010, Cendana has been a very early institutional backer of firms like Lerer Ventures, Forerunner, Founder Collective, IA Ventures, SoftTech VC, K9 Ventures, among others. In this episode, we discuss Michael's path to starting Cendana and how he thinks about and decides to back venture capital firms.
7/26/201652 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Joelle Kayden, Accolade Partners

Joelle Kayden, Managing Director and Founder of Accolade Partners, joins us to discuss her deep experience as an investor in venture funds.
7/12/20161 hour, 4 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Josh Abramson, TeePublic, Connected Ventures

Josh Abramson, co-founder of Connected Ventures (CollegeHumor, BustedTees, Vimeo) and TeePublic, joins us to discuss founding and operating companies as well as investing as an Angel and as a Limited Partner.
6/28/20161 hour, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Chris Douvos, VIA

Chris Douvos, Managing Director and member of the General Partner at VIA (Venture Investment Associates), joins us to discuss growing up in Brooklyn, investing courageously, & being the first institutional backer of First Round Capital.
6/10/201655 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Naval Ravikant, AngelList

Naval Ravikant, CEO and founder of AngelList, joins us to discuss sources of capital from the founder's perspective.
5/31/201651 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Elizabeth Beezer Clarkson, Sapphire Ventures

Elizabeth "Beezer" Clarkson, Managing Director at Sapphire Ventures, joins us to discuss her path to becoming an LP, what she looks at when considering investments, and why we're starting to see the LP world become more open and transparent.
5/5/201647 minutes, 59 seconds