115 episodes

Join your host, Matt Cohen, Founder & Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures for weekly conversations with leaders in the startup ecosystem discussing the truth about investing, building and running startups.

tanktalks.substack.com

Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures Ripple Ventures

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 28 Ratings

Join your host, Matt Cohen, Founder & Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures for weekly conversations with leaders in the startup ecosystem discussing the truth about investing, building and running startups.

tanktalks.substack.com

    How VC LPs are thinking about the Markets with Jeffrey Rinvelt of Renaissance Venture Capital

    How VC LPs are thinking about the Markets with Jeffrey Rinvelt of Renaissance Venture Capital

    It’s tempting to think of Venture Capitalists as the top of the food chain, but in reality, we are closer to founders. VCs build an investment thesis and then go test that thesis, both in the fundraising marketplace and in doing their investments. Just like with founders, sometimes the marketplace demands VCs to pivot and change their thesis, sometimes dramatically. And always—always—VCs are held accountable by their investors, known as Limited Partners, or LPs. Our guest today is Jeffrey Rinvelt, his work at Renaissance Venture Capital finds him investing as an LP across many funds. He’s got some great insights into what LPs are thinking, and what the market may hold in the coming months.

    About Jeffrey Rinvelt:
    Jeffrey Rinvelt is a Partner with the Rennaisance Venture Capital. He was previously part of Ardesta, where he was a Director engaged in sourcing, evaluating, and conducting due diligence on investment opportunities, as well as monitoring and providing assistance to the companies in Ardesta’s portfolio. Prior to joining Ardesta, Jeff was a co-founder of GrapeVINE Technologies, providing Product Management and Marketing for their knowledge management product, eventually resulting in an acquisition by Sun Microsystems. Jeff was also part of the start-up team for MAXfunds.com, an Internet company providing complete coverage of the mutual fund industry, including hundreds of funds not available on any other site. In addition, Jeff spent five years with Ernst & Young’s Information Technology group as a senior consultant.

    Jeff is a proud trustee of Western Michigan University and also lends his expertise to a number of local non-profits.

    A word from our sponsor:

    At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves. 

    The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.

    Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us cash back on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook, or AWS every month. New users can earn up to 3% cashback for their first 90 days.

    The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in  24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.

    Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a‍ $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.

    Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.

    In this episode we discuss:

    02:38 Jeff’s journey into Venture Capital and why he started in Michigan
    05:11 How he got through the 2008 financial crisis
    06:11 The original investing thesis for Renaissance Venture Capital
    08:59 Inspiration and innovations around Renaissance
    10:33 What makes a good fund manager
    12:20 Red flags for emerging managers
    14:52 What’s more important for a manager, track record or technical chops?
    17:10 How Jeff works to give value as an LP
    19:33 Building a platform as an LP
    20:29 What the current market is like as an LP
    22:50 Internal conversations

    • 47 min
    The Power of A/B Testing as a Startup with Chetan Sharma of Eppo

    The Power of A/B Testing as a Startup with Chetan Sharma of Eppo

    The term A/B testing gets thrown around a lot in startups, many use it to great effect, and some know they should use it, but never quite do. Our guest today is Chetan Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Eppo, a platform that helps companies run useful, reliable experiments by automating the analysis, diagnostics, and investigations, all on top of your data warehouse. We get into the power of A/B testing, how Eppo can unlock that power for startups of all sizes, and best practices for implementing them.

    About Chetan Sharma:
    Chetan Sharma is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eppo. Previously, he was Data Scientist at Webflow and Airbnb. Chetan worked in empirical healthcare policy, helping to craft metrics and incentive systems as part of the Affordable Care Act's pay-for-performance programs. He has BS and MS degrees from Stanford.

    A word from our sponsor:

    At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves. 

    The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.

    Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us cashback on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook, or AWS every month. New users can earn up to 3% cashback for their first 90 days.

    The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in  24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.

    Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a‍ $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.

    Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.

    In this episode we discuss:

    02:25 Chetan’s journey into startups and data science
    03:46 His experience working at AirBnB
    06:56 How one of his projects at AirBnB became open source
    11:22 Chetan’s decision to take a year to travel before his next career move
    14:42 Why A/B testing is so popular at startups
    17:34 Some misconceptions around A/B testing
    21:31 Why companies struggle with A/B testing
    24:08 What happens when A/B gives inaccurate results
    26:38 Picking the right northstar metrics for your company to track
    29:32 How capital-constrained companies can use A/B testing to solve problems faster
    30:59 What Eppo does to make A/B testing better
    32:15 How Eppo works
    34:12 Why focusing your company to work on core products and not tools is important at early startups
    35:42 What early-stage startups can do to get more data
    38:04 The ROI of Eppo even in a recession
    39:39 The value-add of Eppo
    40:32 Customer case studies of Eppo
    42:43 Eppo’s new Cupid product
    46:13 Plans for the recent $16M Series A round backed by some of world’s leading data and  product investors like Menlo Ventures and Amplify Partners

    Fast Favorites

    🎙- Favorite Podcast: NFL Podcasts, Hardcore History, Ezra Klein, Tyler Cowen

    📰 - Favorite Newsletter /Blog: Lenny Rachitsky

    📲 - Favorite Tech Gadget: Apple Watch

    📈 -  Favorite New Trend: Angel Investing

    📚 - Favorite Book: How Asia Works

    🤔 - Favorite Life Le

    • 58 min
    How to Incorporate Performance Coaching into your Startup Culture with Sandy Scholes

    How to Incorporate Performance Coaching into your Startup Culture with Sandy Scholes

    The human component of building a startup has always been, and probably will always be one of the most challenging aspects of any organization. Our guest today is an expert in building culture and getting the best out of people, Sandy Scholes, Chief People Officer, most recently at Flipp, has a wealth of experience in team building and coaching managers to get high performance from their teams.

    About Sandy Scholes:
    Sandy Scholes is a leader with 15+ years of global HR experience ranging from large multinational organizations to mid-size companies both public and private. Most recently she was the CPO of Flipp. Previously Sandy was Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources at Entertainment One, and Senior Vice President, People at Softchoice.

    A word from our sponsor:

    At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves. 

    The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.

    Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us cashback on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook, or AWS every month. New users can earn up to 3% cashback for their first 90 days.

    The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in  24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.

    Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a‍ $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.

    Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.

    In this episode we discuss:

    02:44 Sandy’s journey into tech
    04:43 How Sandy was able to navigate between large organizations and smaller startups
    07:07 Dealing with office politics at large companies
    09:19 What is performance management and how it differs from traditional HR
    11:42 Why open ended questions and frameworks are important
    12:59 Problems with traditional performance reviews
    16:25 Types of frameworks that work best for managers
    19:40How much influence should managers have in setting OKRs
    21:39The cadence that performance and work plans should be updated
    23:35Why isn’t performance management more widely adopted
    24:19How often should managers check-in?
    29:06Advice to managers to avoid random or confusing feedback
    33:01Communicating expectations to employees
    34:20How do you establish a culture of high performance without dealing with burnout or high turnover
    37:01Dealing with burnout
    38:02What to do with high performance/low culture fit hires
    39:23Favorite tools to help with performance coaching
    40:09Does Sandy coach performance to those in her private life
    41:15About her father

    Fast Favorites

    🎙- Favorite Podcast:  Ted Talks

    📰 - Favorite Newsletter /Blog: HBR / Center for Creative Leadership

    📲 - Favorite Tech Gadget: Theragun

    📈 -  Favorite New Trend: Pickle Ball

    📚 - Favorite Book:   Work Book: Good to Great 

    🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson:  I always loved this quote: Whether You Think you can or Think you can’t - You’re right. Get

    • 45 min
    Building the Best Sales Compensation Structure for Startups with Nabeil Alazzam of Forma.ai

    Building the Best Sales Compensation Structure for Startups with Nabeil Alazzam of Forma.ai

    When we are working with our portfolio companies, we find that a big part of success is building a strong sales team. But what’s the best way to do that, and how should sales teams be rewarded and structured. Our guest today is Nabeil Alazzam, Founder and CEO of Forma.ai, a sales compensation platform that removes the guesswork of motivating sales teams and unlocks agility through a delivery-focused, AI-driven platform.

    About Nabeil Alazzam:
    Nabeil Alazzam is the Founder and CEO of Forma.ai. He began his entrepreneurial journey while studying Mechanical Engineering at Queen's University and continued through graduation as a consultant for ZS.

    During that time, Nabeil advised Fortune 100 companies on sales force effectiveness and strategy and saw first-hand the pain of poor enterprise sales compensation management. He saw a gap in the market and moved quickly to gather a team and found Forma.ai in 2016.

    A word from our sponsor:

    At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves. 

    The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.

    Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us cashback on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook, or AWS every month. New users can earn up to 3% cashback for their first 90 days.

    The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in  24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.

    Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a‍ $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.

    Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.

    In this episode we discuss:

    02:32 Nabeil’s journey to starting Forma.ai
    04:16 Lessons Nabeil learned as a management consultant
    05:44 How working with Pharmacuetical Reps shaped his view on the importance of data in the sales process
    08:18 Pain points as VP of sales that lead him to starting Forma
    11:35 How Nabeil views a proper compensation structure
    14:14 What founders need to consider prior to rolling out a sales comp plan
    17:22 How companies can implement strategies when limited data is available
    20:35 What you should do to implement a new sales compensation plan
    23:00 Creating feedback loops between sales and leadership
    24:54 How early-stage startups can use Forma
    27:37 Dealing with fallout from changing compensation plans
    30:25 Communication strategies to sales staff
    32:25 How quota and targets can lead to attrition
    35:11 Organizations that hurt themselves with a poor comp plan
    38:29 How Forma actually works
    41:21 Methods which Forma collects data
    44:22 How their recent series B came together led by ACME Capital, along with our good friends at Crosslink Capital, Golden Ventures, and Uncork Capital 

    Fast Favorites:

    🎙- Favorite Podcast: Lex Fridman, All In

    📰- Favorite Newsletter/Blog: Morning Brew

    📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: Lelit Bianca

    📈-  Favorite New Trend: Getting outside

    📚- Favorite

    • 49 min
    How Erik Huberman pushed Hawke Media into Venture Capital

    How Erik Huberman pushed Hawke Media into Venture Capital

    The trend for companies to become their own media outlet is not going away, and the link between Venture Capital and that trend is growing stronger. Our guest today is Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO of Hawke Media, and the recently launched Hawke Ventures. We talk about Erik’s career, why he launched a VC Fund, and where all of this is going.

    About Erik Huberman:
    Erik is the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, the highly successful marketing agency known as Your Outsourced CMO® that’s helped grow over 3,000 brands worldwide, and is valued at more than $150 million. He is the author of The Hawke Method, which demonstrates that marketing is more than a numbers game: calculations for business growth and sustainability go far beyond systemic analysis.

    A word from our sponsor:

    At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves. 

    The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.

    Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us cashback on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook, or AWS every month. New users can earn up to 3% cashback for their first 90 days.

    The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in  24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.

    Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a‍ $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.

    Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.

    In this episode we discuss:

    02:32 Erik’s career journey to starting Hawke Media
    09:29 Lessons Erik learned from his first startup
    15:58 How to spend capital wisely and the dangers of changing for the sake of change
    18:29 Early customers for Hawke Media and how they got traction
    22:20 Some of Erik’s favorite campaigns
    24:49 Examples of ROI from their campaigns
    27:14 The reason why Hawke Ventures was launched
    33:28 How Hawke Ventures differentiates itself from other funds
    36:20 Things he wished he knew prior to launching the fund
    40:08 Fundraising in 2022
    41:10 Hawke Venture’s investing thesis
    43:01 The strategic partnership with Bank of California

    Fast Favorites:

    🎙- Favorite Podcast: This Week in Startups, Hawke Talk

    📰- Favorite Newsletter/Blog: Friday Forward

    📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: iPhone

    📈-  Favorite New Trend: The Rise of TikTok

    📚- Favorite Book: Appetite for Self Destruction

    🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: Crazy s**t always happens and you need to be resilient

    Follow Matt Cohen and Tank Talks here!

    Podcast production support provided by Agentbee.Agency

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit tanktalks.substack.com

    • 47 min
    Fighting Zoom Fatigue with Tom Medema of UseBubbles.com

    Fighting Zoom Fatigue with Tom Medema of UseBubbles.com

    In 2022, Zoom fatigue is a thing. Collaborating, co-working, and networking over a screen presents a new set of issues that we are only now starting to address. Our guest today is Tom Medema, Founder and CEO of usebubbles.com, a platform designed to improve asynchronous collaboration and reduce zoom fatigue.

    About Tom Medema:
    Tom Medema is the founder and CEO of bubbles, a workplace productivity platform leading the async revolution. 

    Before bubbles, Tom co-founded Bloomon, a successful DTC flower delivery service, and experienced the thrill and pain of building a global engineering workforce. His experience as Bloomon's CTO drove him to move to Bay Area and build a platform that will allow teams to collaborate better in a remote environment. 

    As bubbles' CEO, Tom raised $8.5M in Seed funding from partners including Khosla Ventures, Craft Ventures, Streamlined Ventures, 468 Capital, and Bain Capital, and strategic angels including Naval Ravikant, Jeff Morris Jr, Brianne Kimmel, Rahul Vohra & Todd Goldberg, and Ryan Hoover. Today bubbles has over 20,000 monthly active users, supporting teams from around the world in overcoming 2 of the biggest challenges: getting their point across, and making smarter decisions. 

    A word from our sponsor:

    At Ripple, we manage all of our fund expenses and employee credit cards using Jeeves. 

    The team at Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at anytime. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or to pay any setup or monthly SaaS fees.

    Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us cashback on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook, or AWS every month. New users can earn up to 3% cashback for their first 90 days.

    The best part is Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days in any currency you want, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves also recently launched its Jeeves Growth and Working Capital initiative for startups and fast-growing companies to enable more financial freedom for companies. The best thing of all is that Jeeves is live in  24 countries including Canada, US and many other countries around the world.

    Jeeves truly offers the best all-in-one expense management corporate card program for all startups especially the ones at Ripple and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to officially partner with them. Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of our Tank Talks special with a‍ $250 statement credit after the first $2,500 in spend or a $500 statement credit after the first $5000 in spend. Lastly, all Jeeves cardholders receive access to their Lounge Pass program and access to over 1300 airports globally.

    Visit tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.

    In this episode we discuss:

    02:22 Tom’s journey into startups
    03:18 Early experiments with coding and tech
    04:09 Selling a company when he was 16
    05:17 Lessons from being the CTO of Bloomon
    07:58 How Tom managed a remote workforce prior to bubbles and why he decided their had to be a better way
    10:33 Common issues around remote collaboration
    11:44 The thing that finally pushed him to start bubbles
    13:02 The exact problem Tom was trying to solve with bubbles
    15:44 Why software is the answer to this screentime dilemma
    18:37 How bubbles actually works
    21:41 Ways to deepen communication over video
    23:33 How the short video chat feature of bubbles is additive to asynchronous communication
    24:23 Use cases that makes bubbles different from Notion and Loom
    28:53 ROI customers are seeing from bubbles
    31:24 How bubbles compares to Slack’s video huddles
    33:44 Why Tom describes bubbles as a movement not a product
    36:11 How the recent fundraising round for bubbles came together
    37:30 The importance of Twitter and Social

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Leonarther ,

Absolutely great content

Must listen. Many great conversations and valuable content.

DSpataro ,

Great listen

Big fan of this pod. Great guests and good conversational flow by the host.

ianl24 ,

Insightful podcast

Lots of useful insight from great guests. Always a fun listen.

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