53 min

#29 John Fein: Founder and Managing Partner of Firebrand Ventures | Building out the Midwest Tech & VC Scene The Climb - Cross Roads & Defining Moments

    • Entrepreneurship

Prior to founding Firebrand, John served as Managing Director for Techstars, a leading startup accelerator with over 40 programs around the world. While at Techstars he ran three accelerator programs in Kansas City and invested in 30 startups.

John was previously a part of five startups, including one he cofounded. Before Techstars he spent nine years at UnitedHealth Group, managing large scale projects including scaling a business from zero to $1.5 billion per year and 1,500 employees in four years.

With a passion for building startup ecosystems, John has been active in the Kansas City startup community since 2012, serving on several advisory boards of community organizations.

On this episode, we dive deep into John's background through his career in startups, healthcare and technology. We talk about the DotCom Bubble, his founding of Firebrand, the process of raising two separate funds and what Firebrand brings to the table for their portfolio companies. We end with talking about why it's critical to keep going, but to remember to cut yourself some slack. Enjoy The Climb!

Links:

Visit our Website: https://www.climb-podcast.com/our-podcast/

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelpmoore/

John on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnfein/

Firebrand Ventures: https://www.firebrandvc.com/


Topics:

(2:34) - John’s background and career

(13:11) - Life in the DotCom Bubble

(15:41) - The importance of family dinner & living in a time without supervision

(19:53) - John’s time working in the start up world, healthcare and technology

(28:32) - Founding FireBrand & the explosion of Tech in the Midwest and the South

(31:27) - John on raising his first two funds

(39:24) - How does working in VC shape your view of early stage companies?

(44:50) - Why do companies need your help?

(48:18) - Advice to listeners: Cut yourself some slack, but keep going.

(50:16) - What do you want listeners to know about you?

Prior to founding Firebrand, John served as Managing Director for Techstars, a leading startup accelerator with over 40 programs around the world. While at Techstars he ran three accelerator programs in Kansas City and invested in 30 startups.

John was previously a part of five startups, including one he cofounded. Before Techstars he spent nine years at UnitedHealth Group, managing large scale projects including scaling a business from zero to $1.5 billion per year and 1,500 employees in four years.

With a passion for building startup ecosystems, John has been active in the Kansas City startup community since 2012, serving on several advisory boards of community organizations.

On this episode, we dive deep into John's background through his career in startups, healthcare and technology. We talk about the DotCom Bubble, his founding of Firebrand, the process of raising two separate funds and what Firebrand brings to the table for their portfolio companies. We end with talking about why it's critical to keep going, but to remember to cut yourself some slack. Enjoy The Climb!

Links:

Visit our Website: https://www.climb-podcast.com/our-podcast/

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelpmoore/

John on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnfein/

Firebrand Ventures: https://www.firebrandvc.com/


Topics:

(2:34) - John’s background and career

(13:11) - Life in the DotCom Bubble

(15:41) - The importance of family dinner & living in a time without supervision

(19:53) - John’s time working in the start up world, healthcare and technology

(28:32) - Founding FireBrand & the explosion of Tech in the Midwest and the South

(31:27) - John on raising his first two funds

(39:24) - How does working in VC shape your view of early stage companies?

(44:50) - Why do companies need your help?

(48:18) - Advice to listeners: Cut yourself some slack, but keep going.

(50:16) - What do you want listeners to know about you?

53 min