21 episódios

Host Bill Griesinger brings an informed, unbiased and invaluable historical perspective to the venture capital and high-tech world. Drawing on over 20 years experience in venture finance, working with tech companies and venture capitalists, he offers an unvarnished and transparent view of the venture capital & high-tech sector.

Distilling Venture Capital Bill Griesinger

    • Investimentos

Host Bill Griesinger brings an informed, unbiased and invaluable historical perspective to the venture capital and high-tech world. Drawing on over 20 years experience in venture finance, working with tech companies and venture capitalists, he offers an unvarnished and transparent view of the venture capital & high-tech sector.

    Why A Startup Needs 16 Lawyers

    Why A Startup Needs 16 Lawyers

    For detailed show notes and links go to MarkWKing.com/6
    In this episode, I distill some positive and negative lessons about why a startup might need multiple attorneys. The short answer…lawyers are like doctors, they specialize. One size does not fit all situations. Equally important, entrepreneurs need to be careful about who an attorney has a duty of loyalty to. A lawyer that represents a company's best interest does not by default represent the founder.
    Also in this episode, I reintroduce the Venture Capital Coroner's Report. Previously, I did an entire podcast focused on lessons from failed, VC backed companies. The show failed (I know, ironic, right?). I just couldn't get enough interviews. However, there's more than enough material for an occasional segment of this show. The autopsy of VATLER provides an important lesson about disrupting entrenched players (and a resurrection story in the founding of SpotAngels).
    Lawyers or Insurance Salesmen?
    Naval Ravikant - Angel List
    In a very short post Naval lays out six important lessons he learned about hiring lawyers. He learned these the hard, expensive way.
    A Startup Lawyer is Not a Founder's Lawyer
    Jose Ancer -  Miller, Egan, Molter & Nelson
    Often lawyers are like that coach in the corner of a boxing ring. They're an experienced, voice of reason in a life or death struggle. Jose Ancer points out, however, that you need to be sure the lawyer in your corner owes his highest allegiance to you. It's not always obvious. Jose does a great job explaining how attorney loyalty works.
    Inside Story of VATLER's Shut Down
    Hamza Ouazzani Chahdi - Now at SpotAngels.com
    Founders ran head first into a wall called entrenched city government. Follow @HamzaOuazzaniC to track the story of SpotAngels, Hamza's new attempt to disrupt urban parking by helping you avoid parking tickets.
    Bonus Material – More About Naval Ravikant
    Naval says this about himself: "I am the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. I previously co-founded Epinions (which went public as part of Shopping.com) and Vast.com. I'm an active Angel investor, and have invested in dozens of companies, including Twitter, Uber, Docverse and Jambool (both sold to Google), and Mixer Labs and Fluther (both sold to Twitter)."
    Background article from PE Hub on why Naval feels so strongly about lawyers: His Brand Burnished, Naval Ravikant Plans New Fund with Babak Nivi
    Blog StartUp Boy Web Site Angel.co Twitter @Naval LinkedIn Naval Ravikant (little dated)  I'd love to connect at any of the following:
    Twitter: @TheMarkWKing
    LinkedIn: Mark W King
    Facebook: The Mark W King
    Old School Email: MarkWKing.com/social

    • 29 min
    Is A Startup Co-founder Essential?

    Is A Startup Co-founder Essential?

    When you read about startups or startup accelerators, you almost hear about teams of co-founders. That’s because there most often, having co-founders is the right way to go. But can a solo founder succeed? What’s a poor startup founder to do if s/he can’t find the right co-founders? Just hang-out and wait? In this episode of Distilling Venture Capital, I look at these questions. Below are some of the articles and resources that I mention.
    For the detailed show notes and bonus information about Nic Brisbourn go to MarkWKing.com/5
    Startups Are Hard. Don't Go It Alone - Satay Patel, Homebrew Ventures
    Building The Right Founding Team - Nic Brisbourne, Forward Partners
    How Solo Founders Beat The Odds and Got Into Top Accelerators - Lora Kolodny for the Wall Street Journal
    I'd love to connect at any of the following:
    Twitter: @TheMarkWKing
    LinkedIn: Mark W King
    Facebook: The Mark W King
    Old School Email: MarkWKing.com/social

    • 21 min
    How Do VCs Make Decisions?

    How Do VCs Make Decisions?

    VC decision making is one of the great mysteries of the business world. In this episode we look at the range of decision making models used by VC funds.  Elizabeth Yin of 500 Startups wrote a great blog post on the topic.  She was also generous enough to record some follow-up thoughts for this episode.
    The secret behind VC partnerships… The take home point is that venture capital funds fall on a spectrum with champion based decision making on one end and consensus models at the other.  The key is doing your homework.
    Bonus Info On Elizabeth Yin Here's how Elizabeth describes herself:  Partner at 500 Startups; Investor in seed stage companies and run the Mtn View accelerator. Formerly CEO / Co-founder of LaunchBit (acq '14) and marketer at Google. BSEE from Stanford, MBA from MIT Sloan.
    Twitter LinkedIn Blog 500 Startups I can't thank Elizabeth enough for calling and leaving some answers to follow-up questions.  She has a great blog and is very active on Twitter.

    • 16 min
    How To Pitch Startup Investors

    How To Pitch Startup Investors

    In this episode we look at advice from Hyde Park Angels and Rob Go of NextView Ventures about how to best pitch your startup to VCs or angel investors. We also look at what you can learn from a story Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures tells about an entrepreneur who successfully convinced Fred to invest without a pitch deck at all.
    Building The Perfect Pitch Hyde Park Angels
    As part of their educational series Hyde Park's team created a great outline for the story your pitch should tell. The flow they suggest may be different than you would expect. But, it syncs with the way most venture capitalists and angel investors evaluate opportunities.
    A Simple Approach To Startup Pitch Decks Rob Go - NextView Ventures
    Rob Go and the NextView team have created two amazingly helpful templates for startup pitches: one for email and smaller meetings and a second for larger group settings (e.g. a demo day).  I focus on the individual or small group format. Their format has tremendous versatility and does for startup pitches what responsive design and HTML 5 did for web sites. You can use content once and then adapt literally in the middle of a pitch to tailor it to your unique audience.
    Here's the PowerPoint template It's hosted on DropBox.  If you don't want to sign in there to get it you can go to SlideShare.net (just to manage expectations, they released it on SlideShare as a single PDF, not in an editable format for PowerPoint or Keynote)
    As a little extra bonus here are some early pitches from companies you probably know. (yes...I know. Some are probably bootlegged and incomplete, but they're interesting none the less.)
    LinkedIn Buffer YouTube FourSquare Best Seed Pitch Ever Fred Wilson - Union Square Ventures
    Do you even need a pitch? Sounds like heresy. No self-respecting entrepreneur would pitch a startup without a deck. Fred says you can and has the story to prove it.
    Bonus Information about Rob Go Rob describes himself this way: "Here’s a quick background on who I am: 1. My name is Rob, I live in Lexington, MA 2. I’m married and have two young daughters. My wife and I met in college at Duke University - Go Blue Devils! 3. We really love our church in Arlington, MA. It’s called Highrock and it’s a wonderful and vibrant community. Email me if you want to visit! 4. I grew up in the Philippines (ages 0-9) and Hong Kong (ages 9-17). 5. I am a cofounder of NextView Ventures, a seed stage investment firm focused on internet enabled innovation. I try to spend as much time as possible working with entrepreneurs and investing in businesses that are trying to solve important problems for everyday people. 6. The best way to reach me is by email: rob at nextviewventures dot com"
    Blog NextView Ventures Twitter @RobGO LinkedIn  

    • 21 min
    What Does A Co-Founder Actually Do?

    What Does A Co-Founder Actually Do?

    Satya Patel of Homebrew, Steve Blank of lean startup fame and Aaron Harris of Y-Combinator wrote three amazing posts about founders, co-founders, founding teams and founding CEOs. In this episode, Mark W King explores their best thinking and explains what you need to know.
    Start-ups Are Hard. Don't Go It Alone by Satya Patel, Partner at seed fund Homebrew Ventures
    Satya does a great job explaining why founders need co-founders both for their own sake and the sake of their start-ups.
    Building Great Founding Teams by Steve Blank, author of The Start-up Owners Manual
    Lean start-up pioneer Steve Blank provides useful definitions for founder, co-founders and the founding CEO.
    Co-founder Management by Aaron K Harris, Partner at start-up accelerator Y-Combinator
    Small teams working in close quarters in high pressure situations always creates challenges. Aaron offers practical advice for how teams can be successful working together.
    Bonus Material - More About Satay Patel
    How he describes himself:  "Currently Partner at Homebrew and guilty of tweeting food porn. Previously, VP Product at Twitter leading product management and support. Co-led seed and early stage Internet and digital media investing as Partner at Battery Ventures. Joined Google in 2003, working on various product management and partnership initiatives for AdSense. Senior product manager at DoubleClick, VC with two NY-based venture capital firms and a strategy consultant. Penn educated. Vegas raised. Married with children. Optimizing for happiness." 
    Blog: Venture Generated Content
    Website: Homebrew Ventures

    • 26 min
    How Do Venture Capitalists Really Make Money?

    How Do Venture Capitalists Really Make Money?

    If you really want to understand a business figure out how it makes money. That's true for every kind of business.  It's especially true in venture capital.  Most people think about venture capital in terms of single deals.  A VC's job is to essentially buy low and sell high.  That takes a ton of work.
    In future episodes we'll take a look at how an individual VC deal makes money. Ultimately, however, venture capitalists make their money by managing a fund of venture investments for other people.  So that begs the question: How do venture capital funds make money?  VCs get paid with a management fee (1-3%) that should cover the costs of keeping the lights on.  It's a nice living, but not the reason someone becomes a venture capitalist.  Venture capital funds get "carry" which is a share of the upside, usually 20% of profits.  Carry is the brass ring. The lion's share of the money. The economic motive for VCs is to make a huge amount of money for other people and share in that success.
    In this episode we look at three articles by venture capitalists that explain how the math works for a VC fund to be successful.  The math is somewhat non-obvious.  Take a listen and find out how it works.
    Cem Sertoglu, Early Bird Venture Capital - VC Fund Economics Cem Sertoglu provides a brief Cliff Notes style guide to venture capital fund economics.  (HUGE apology to Cem for butchering the pronunciation of his name. My Turkish is non-existent and I couldn't find any pronunciations on the web.  Sorry!)
    Mark Suster, Upfront Ventures - How to Build a Startup & Understanding Venture Capital Mark Suster goes more in-depth than Sertoglu.  As part of his pitch at venture conference, Suster explained three things: the right mindset for founders, understanding how venture capital works and how to build a great team. His slides on how venture funds make money summarize beautifully. He's also very clear about why this matters to founders raising capital.
    Benedict Evans, A16Z - In Praise of Failure Evans lays out a PhD level class for understanding how venture capital funds really make money, and don't.  The data he presents from Horsely Bridge blew me away.  Not because of any surprise outcome, but because of the vast data set.  There's not a lot of arguing about the conclusion: "Go way way beyond big or go home."  I could not love this post more, unless we got to see the names of the 50%, (yes half!) of the funds in the data that failed to return 1X their investors capital. 
    Bonus Content - More About Mark Suster How he describes himself:  2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to @salesforce). Now @UpfrontVC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs.
    Blog Company Website LinkedIn Twitter

    • 18 min

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