100 episodes

Listen to conversations between Madrona investors and entrepreneurs, founders, and startup personalities who talk about some of the key moments in building a company. Designed to give would-be founders and others interested in working with or for startups a view into the struggle and the lessons learned, these conversations are informal and informative.

With more than 25 years of investing in early-stage technology companies, Madrona has worked with founders from day one to help build their company for the long run. We invest in seed and Series A companies in the Pacific Northwest building across the information technology spectrum and in Acceleration (B and beyond) stage companies building with AI, regardless of geography.

Founded & Funded Madrona Ventures

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 10 Ratings

Listen to conversations between Madrona investors and entrepreneurs, founders, and startup personalities who talk about some of the key moments in building a company. Designed to give would-be founders and others interested in working with or for startups a view into the struggle and the lessons learned, these conversations are informal and informative.

With more than 25 years of investing in early-stage technology companies, Madrona has worked with founders from day one to help build their company for the long run. We invest in seed and Series A companies in the Pacific Northwest building across the information technology spectrum and in Acceleration (B and beyond) stage companies building with AI, regardless of geography.

    Transforming Corporate Travel: A Conversation With Steve Singh and Christal Bemont

    Transforming Corporate Travel: A Conversation With Steve Singh and Christal Bemont

    In this episode of Founded & Funded, Madrona Managing Director Steve Singh and Christal Bemont, CEO of Direct Travel, Madrona's newest portfolio company, delve into the acquisition of Direct Travel and its pivotal role in revolutionizing the $1.4T corporate travel ecosystem, along with  @Spotnana , Troop, and Center.
     
    Full Transcript: https://bit.ly/3wxBFuT
     
    (00:00) Intro
    (01:19) Direct Travel: Transforming Corporate Travel Management
    (03:56) The Challenges of Modern Business Travel
    (07:43) The Perfect Trip: A Vision for Seamless Travel
    (10:06) Spotnana: Building the Next-Generation Travel Platform
    (16:27) Integrating Solutions: Center and Troop's Role in the Travel Ecosystem
    (20:58) Direct Travel's Strategic Vision and Integration
    (25:15) Realizing the Perfect Trip: Timeline and Expectations

    • 26 min
    Building a Modern Database: Nikita Shamgunov on Postgres and Beyond

    Building a Modern Database: Nikita Shamgunov on Postgres and Beyond

    In this episode of Founded & Funded, Madrona Investor Paul Goel and Neon Co-founder & CEO Nikita Shamgunov dive into the database market and the importance of creating a killer developer experience while balancing that experience with performance and reliability. Nikita also shares just how bullish he is on AI, his excitement for AI agents like Devin, and advises founders to not wait on an idea they’re passionate about.
     
    Full transcript here:


    (00:00) Introduction
    (00:46) Nikita's Background and the Genesis of Neon
    (02:50) The Right Time to Build Neon and Database Market Insights
    (05:17) Neon's Differentiation in the Database Market
    (08:10) The Importance of Developer Experience
    (11:56) Building a Culture of Reliability and Performance
    (16:24) Strategic Growth and the Future of Neon
    (20:26) AI's Impact on the Future and Neon's Role
    (29:08) Intelligent Applications Nikita's Eyeing
    (30:53) Challenges and Advice for Founders
     

    • 31 min
    How Bobsled is Revolutionizing Cross-Cloud Data Sharing

    How Bobsled is Revolutionizing Cross-Cloud Data Sharing

    Investor Sabrina Wu hosts Bobsled Co-founder and CEO Jake Graham for the latest episode of Founded & Funded. Jake is revolutionizing data sharing across platforms, enabling customers to get to analysis faster directly in the platforms where they work. Madrona co-led Bobsled's $17 million series A last year, which put the company at an $87 million valuation.
    In this episode, Jake — who had stints at Neo4j, Intel, and Microsoft — provides his perspective on why enabling cross-cloud data sharing is often cumbersome yet so important in the age of AI. He also shares why you can't PLG the enterprise, how to convince customers to adopt new technologies in a post-zero interest rate environment, and what it takes to land and partner with the hyperscalers.
    Transcript here: https://www.madrona.com/bobsled-cross-cloud-data-sharing/


    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:36) Why found a startup?
    (03:00) The Genesis of Bobsled: From Inspiration to Reality
    (05:26) Understanding Bobsled’s Functionality: Cross-Cloud Data Sharing
    (09:48) The Role of Cross-Cloud Data Sharing in the Age of AI
    (13:05) Redefining the Modern Data Stack and Its Future
    (18:04) Navigating Enterprise Sales and Partnerships in Tech
    (23:22) Strategic Partnerships and Navigating the Hyperscaler Landscape
    (29:40) Leadership Lessons and Vision for Bobsled

    • 33 min
    How Writer CEO May Habib Is Making GenAI Work For the Enterprise

    How Writer CEO May Habib Is Making GenAI Work For the Enterprise

    Madrona Partner Vivek Ramaswami hosts May Habib, co-founder and CEO of Writer, a 2023 IA40 winner. Writer is a full-stack generative AI platform for the enterprise. In this episode, May shares her perspective on founding a GenAI company before the ChatGPT craze, building an enterprise-grade product and go-to-market motion with 200% NRR, whether RAG and vector DBs even have a role in the enterprise, the essential attributes she looks for when hiring, and some valuable lessons she learned from past experiences. It's a must listen for anyone building in AI.
     
    Transcript: https://www.madrona.com/writer-ceo-may-habib-generative-ai-platform
     
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:00) The founding story of Writer
    (01:19) Understanding Writer's product and value proposition
    (02:58) The importance of building your own AI models
    (07:10) The role of vector databases and RAG in enterprise 
    (12:41) Navigating the challenges of enterprise sales in AI
    (16:43) The essential attributes May looks for when hiring 
    (19:13) The journey of building a high-growth AI company
    (29:27) Final thoughts and hiring at Writer

    • 27 min
    Investor Spotlight: A Conversation with Madrona’s Soma Somasegar

    Investor Spotlight: A Conversation with Madrona’s Soma Somasegar

    Hear from Madrona Managing Director Soma Somasegar as he discusses his path to venture capital by way of 27 years at Microsoft. He shares invaluable insights about what he looks for in a founder, the importance of passion in founders, the state of cloud technology, and the future of AI and Startups. Tim also shares Madrona's core principles, his favorite books for entrepreneurs, and his personal interests outside of work, including his passion for outdoor sports and the nonprofit Global Partnerships. This chat is a must-watch for aspiring entrepreneurs looking for insights into the venture capital world or strategies to capture an investor's eye.
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:18) Soma's Journey from Microsoft to Madrona
    (02:08) Choosing the Venture Capital Path
    (03:31) Why Seattle and Madrona?
    (05:33) Soma's Investment Focus: AI and Cloud Infrastructure
    (08:00) Evaluating Founders and Teams
    (11:17) Recommended Books for Founders
    (12:20) Soma's Passion for Cricket

    • 13 min
    Dust Founders Bet Foundation Models Will Change How Companies Work

    Dust Founders Bet Foundation Models Will Change How Companies Work

    Madrona Partner Jon Turow hosts Gabriel Hubert and Stan Polu, the co-founders of a 2023 IA40 winner, Dust, which enables information workers to create LLM-based agents that help them do their own work more efficiently. They discuss the broader AI/LLM ecosystem, the merits and potential of horizontal vs vertical solutions, limitations of AI assistants, and the influence of Stripe on their business. The founders dive into the future use cases and adoption of AI in businesses and also touch on keeping humans in the loop of AI and software development.
    Transcript: https://www.madrona.com/dust-bets-foundation-models-change-how-companies-work/
     
    (00:00) Introduction and Overview
    (01:31) The Trade-off Between Vertical and Horizontal
    (02:48) The Power of Horizontal Approach
    (08:26) The Influence of Stripe on Dust’s Strategy
    (10:45) The Future of AI and LLM Deployment
    (18:23) The Role of Dust in Organizations
    (21:37) The Potential of Dust as a Company OS
    (28:32) The Future of Work with Dust
    (33:30) The Success and Challenges of Dust
    (36:08) The Potential of Dust and AI
     

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Erikaseattle ,

Insights on building a company

Like the Seattle flavor of these conversations with people who have built companies. Great insights!

MrsWaterclown ,

Please speak closer to the mic.

I'd give it a 5 but either the host isn't close enough to the mic or the guest isn't close enough to the mic.

Dylan M Seattle ,

So quiet

Great podcast and insight but can the people who run this podcast please speak closer to the microphone or turn up the volume on their side? My headphones are full blast and can barely hear anything. Would be 5 stars if I could hear it all.

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