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 TV Advertising: iSpot’s Sean Muller on the Role of AI and the Future of Streaming

    Transforming TV Advertising: iSpot’s Sean Muller on the Role of AI and the Future of Streaming

    In this episode of Founded & Funded, Madrona Venture Partner Len Jordan sits down with Sean Muller, Founder and CEO of iSpot, to talk about the company's evolution in measuring TV advertising for both conventional and streaming platforms. Sean delves into strategic partnerships, acquisitions, and the rise of ad-supported streaming. They discuss the impact of sports on advertising, challenges for marketers in balancing investments across various channels, and the innovative strides iSpot is making with AI-driven planning and real-time data. Tune in to explore the future of TV advertising and iSpot's role in shaping it.
    Transcript: https://www.madrona.com/transforming-tv-advertising-ispot-sean-muller-the-role-of-ai-future-of-streaming
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:35) The Rise of Ad-Supported Streaming
    (02:42) Streaming vs. Traditional TV Advertising
    (04:43) The Impact of Sports on Advertising 
    (05:51) Challenges for Modern Marketers 
    (06:37) Audience Differences and Interactivity 
    (10:40) iSpot's Evolution and Strategic Moves 
    (12:04) Real-Time Data and Optimization 
    (12:36) Planning and Programmatic Buying 
    (17:13) Navigating the Competitive Landscape 
    (22:57) Acquisitions and Integration Success 
    (27:23) Innovation and Future Trends

    • 34 min
    Investor Spotlight: Sabrina Wu on Founder Grit, Authenticity, and Building Intelligent Applications

    Investor Spotlight: Sabrina Wu on Founder Grit, Authenticity, and Building Intelligent Applications

    In this episode of Founded & Funded, host Coral Garnick Ducken interviews Madrona Investor Sabrina Wu for the latest Investor Spotlight. These two discuss Sabrina's transition from private equity to venture capital and the learnings that translate to building successful VC-backed startups, Sabrina’s focus on intelligent applications, and the characteristics she looks for in founders — grit, authenticity, and intellectual honesty. Sabrina also shares her approach to engaging with early-stage founders and her interests outside the office. This is a great episode for entrepreneurs interested in working with VCs.
     
    (00:00) Introduction
    (00:44) Sabrina Wu's Experience at Vector Capital
    (02:50) Transition to Venture Capital
    (04:26) Focus on Intelligent Applications
    (05:32) Aspiring for Intelligence Newsletter
    (06:56) Traits of Successful Founders
    (09:00) Responding to Cold Emails
    (09:53) Recommended Books and Podcasts
    (10:47) Interests Outside of Work

    • 11 min
    Building Predibase: AI, Open-Source, and Commercialization with Dev Rishi and Travis Addair

    Building Predibase: AI, Open-Source, and Commercialization with Dev Rishi and Travis Addair

    Madrona Partner Vivek Ramaswami hosts Dev Rishi and Travis Addair, co-founders of 2023 IA40 Rising Star, Predibase. Predibase is a platform for developers to easily fine-tune and serve any open-source model. They recently released LoRA Land, a collection of 25 highly-performant open-source fine-tuned models, and launched open-source LoRA eXchange, or LoRAX, which allows users to pack hundreds of task-specific models into a single GPU.
    In this episode, Dev and Travis share their perspective on what it takes to commercialize open-source projects, how to build a product your customers actually want, and how to differentiate in a very noisy AI infrastructure market. This is a must-listen for anyone building an AI.

    Full Transcript: https://www.madrona.com/predibase-ai-open-source-commercialization
    Chapters
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:29) The Founding Story of Predibase
    (04:03) Vision and Evolution of Predibase
    (06:23) Predibase's Response to the ChatGPT Hype
    (11:26) Commercializing Open-Source Projects
    (17:37) Bigger Isn't Always Better - LLMs
    (24:10) Challenges and Solutions in AI Infrastructure
    (30:47) Predibase's Unique Approach and Future Outlook
    (34:11) Over-Hyped vs. Under-Hyped in AI
    (38:37) Advice for First-Time Founders

    • 41 min
    Read AI's David Shim on Making Meetings More Efficient With Intelligent Agents

    Read AI's David Shim on Making Meetings More Efficient With Intelligent Agents

    In this episode, Madrona Managing Director Matt McIlwain hosts David Shim, founder and CEO of Read AI. These two have known each other for over two decades, having worked together at Farecast and then Placed, which David founded in 2011. They came together again in 2021, when David started Read AI, which delivers AI solutions that make meetings, emails, and messages more valuable to teams with AI-generated summaries, transcripts, and highlights.
    In this episode, David and Matt examine how leveraging emerging technologies, getting engagement from multiple members of your ecosystem in the early days, and learning your way into a business model have been three themes across David's startup journeys. They explore the challenges and success of implementing AI in various categories, the benefits of using AI model cocktails for more accurate and intelligent applications, and where they see the opportunity for founders well beyond productivity AI. It's a great discussion you won't want to miss.
    Transcript:  https://www.madrona.com/read-ai-david-shim-efficient-meetings-intelligent-agents
    Chapters:     
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:51) The Genesis of Read AI: From Concept to Reality
    (04:26) Leveraging Emerging Technologies: The Journey of Placed and Read AI
    (09:10) The Evolution of Business Models: Learning from the Market
    (12:13) Engagement and Distribution: Partnering with Platforms
    (14:07) Innovating Meeting Summaries: Read AI’s Shift to Intelligent Recaps
    (16:06) The Power of Model Cocktails: Enhancing AI Applications
    (18:03) From Zero to Growth: The Momentum of Read AI
    (21:06) Read AI: The Future of AI Productivity & Intelligent Agents
    (26:12) Exploring Product-Led Growth and Market Expansion
    (29:56) Horizontal v. Vertical
    (31:46) Gen-native v. Gen-enhanced
    (35:45) Importance of Model Cocktails
    (35:55) Opportunities for Founders

    • 37 min
    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

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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