16 episodes

Investing in Florida Technology explores the exciting landscape of Florida's tech startup market. Hosted by the Managing Director of Florida Funders; Tom Wallace, each episode features a leader in technology, their start up journey and best investment practices.
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Investing In Florida Technology Florida Funders

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Investing in Florida Technology explores the exciting landscape of Florida's tech startup market. Hosted by the Managing Director of Florida Funders; Tom Wallace, each episode features a leader in technology, their start up journey and best investment practices.
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    Ashley Jarocki & Stephanie Markese - The Future of Hiring

    Ashley Jarocki & Stephanie Markese - The Future of Hiring

    What started as a friendship between two women cheerleading for the Buccaneers ended up in Next Path: a growing company providing hiring solutions for companies that see people as their competitive advantage. 
    In today's episode, Ashley Jarocki and Stephanie Markese share with us how they went from cheering on the same line together to making a leap of faith and starting their own company in the staffing world. 
    Stephanie Markese always wanted to be a dentist until she realized that she wanted something more than work for a salary for the rest or her life, where she could evolve and make her earnings grow. After a taste of staffing and sales, there was no coming back into dentistry. 
    Ashley Jarocki was looking for a change after five years in the corporate world. One day, she received a call from Stephanie proposing a leap of faith: bring your knowledge of the corporate world and let's start a company together. 
    Listen to the full episode, learn about the best way of dealing with the hiring process, how our guests think the staffing world will look like in the coming years, and how AI will deal with culture fit when filtering candidates for hire. 
    Listen on Spotify
    Listen on Apple Podcasts
    Listen on Google Podcasts
    Questions I ask:
    Did you guys go into staffing together? (4:11)Your industry changed a lot in the last year. How did COVID affect your business? (7:30 )Any advice for entrepreneurs buildings their team? Should they do it themselves or hire a staffing firm? (10:13)Is it possible to evaluate a candidate in a one-hour interview? (14:28)How do you see things like 5G, AI, augmented reality, and other new technologies affecting your industry? (17:51) 
    In this episode, you will learn:
    How Next Path was born (4:18)Recruiting and staffing evolving with technology (7:30)The reason why companies should look for culture fit when hiring (11:06)AI or a person, who is better for culture fit? (20:56)Are resumes still relevant in the LinkedIn era? (22:29)
    Connect with Ashley Jarocki:
    Linkedin
    Instagram
    Facebook
    Connect with Stephanie Markese:
    Linkedin
    Instagram
    Facebook
    Next Path Resources:
    Website 
    Linkedin
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Instagram

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    • 27 min
    Paul Holland - The Precursors of Success

    Paul Holland - The Precursors of Success

    When you hear about a new idea, how can you be sure it’s good or bad?
     
    As an investor, you have to be a calculated risk-taker. Of course, there’s the due diligence that can help you decide whether the business that’s presented to you is worth funding, but you still need a dose of courage to financially support an idea 
     
    Netflix is one of those successful businesses that weren’t short of ups and downs – and in this episode, you will hear the story of Netflix seen through the lens of one of the early investors: Paul Holland. Why did he choose to invest? What’s the background between Paul and Reed Hastings? And how did Netflix become one of the clear winners of the streaming wars? Tom and Paul also discuss the important role Paul’s new firm, Mach49 plays in helping global businesses drive meaningful growth to beat the startups at their own game.
     
    Paul Holland is Managing Director and VC-in-Residence at Mach49, where he leads the company’s Corporate Venture Investing Practice. Paul works with global businesses to design, launch, and manage corporate venture funds that leverage the experience, deal flow, global network, and success of his top-tier Silicon Valley VCs.
     
    Prior to joining Mach49, he was a General Partner for 18 years at leading venture capital fund Foundation Capital, helping take startup companies from zero to $100M, to IPO, or acquisition. His amazing background also includes partnering with Reed Hastings at Pure Software and joining Mark Gainey at Kana Communications.
     
    Paul enjoys being on the front lines, working side by side with entrepreneurs developing fast-growing, dynamic new ventures. His investing stories are diverse and interesting, so tune in and find out how he met Reed Hastings and invested in Netflix, how he supported Chegg, as well as what Mach49 is all about.
    Listen on Spotify
    Listen on Apple Podcasts
    Listen on Google Podcasts
     
    Some questions asked:
    How did the investing in Netflix come about? (02:47)When did you realize Netflix is really something special? (14:17)What do you look for in founders? (18:03) 
    In this episode, you will learn:
    Paul’s journey to where he is today. (00:54)The landscape of venture capital in the late ‘90s. (06:02)The challenges faced by Netflix in its early beginnings. (08:36)How Chegg became a decacorn. (20:23)Linda Yates’ journey to founding Mach49. (24:41)The five preconditions for success. (27:04)The reason more and more people are migrating away from Silicon Valley. (30:33) 
    Connect with Paul:
    LinkedInMach49 Website 
    Resources:
    Something Ventured – the movie
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    • 38 min
    Adam Struck - New Lands of Opportunity

    Adam Struck - New Lands of Opportunity

    Just like Florida is known for strawberries and tourism, LA is currently most famous for Hollywood – but things are gradually changing. The technology landscape is constantly growing and although LA has become a huge market, it still feels young. This means there are, yet, a lot of opportunities for angel investors to practice the art of venture capital in the right way, and grab their share of the market.
     
    Adam Struck is a Floridian but he is currently living in LA with his family. Through his company, Struck Capital, he supports young founders providing core technology innovation to tackle the world’s largest problems. Adam and his team of investors focus on seed investments into companies led by visionary technologists.
     
    Adam is a very successful young man who was named the Forbes 30 Under 30 Most Influential People – and in today’s episode, he is going to share his journey from being a lawyer to dedicating himself to transform LA into a place known for technology. We dive deep into his mindset and Struck Capital’s mission, as well as some successful deals he’s had over the years.
     
    Tune in, to learn more about the changing landscape of LA and the investment opportunities you can find there.
     
    Some Questions I Ask:
    After you left the law firm, did you go right on to start your own firm? (03:57)Tell us more about the journey at Struck Capital. What was your vision from the beginning? (07:31)How did you get to move to LA? (08:42)What is the main way you’re able to help founders grow their business? (15:08)How did you find out about the Postmates deal? Are you still in it today? (17:35)Have there been any investments that you passed on that you look back on and they really took off? (19:43)What stage are you typically investing in? (21:46)What do you see as the innovation and the opportunities in your area that you tend to look at? (25:00)           
    In This Episode, You Will Learn:
    Adam’s journey from lawyer to being a venture capitalist. (01:20)The entrepreneurial history of Adam’s family. (02:54)The advantages of doing SPVs – Special Purpose Vehicle. (10:12)The landscape in LA, in terms of tech companies. (11:07)The reason Struck Capital was able to capture a lot of market share in a short time. (12:39)The typical Struck Capital cheque size for investments. (22:28)The partnership between Adam’s company and Leonardo DiCaprio’s platform. (23:33)Adam’s advice for investors. (27:00)
    Connect with Adam Struck:
    Struck Capital WebsiteLinkedIn
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    • 29 min
    Jason Calacanis - Be Venture Worthy

    Jason Calacanis - Be Venture Worthy

    Jason Calacanis is an entrepreneur, author, podcaster, and angel investor. He’s invested in more than 150 companies, including four multi-billion dollars “unicorns.” His story of investing in Uber is the stuff of investor legend. He’s also built and sold multiple companies for tens of millions of dollars and hosts the popular podcast “This Week in Startups” where he and a rotating group of guest experts bring you the weekly take on the best, worst, and interesting stories from the world of entrepreneurship. 
     
    As an entrepreneur turned successful angel investor himself, Jason knows how to spot a product that was crafted for growth. He’s had a front row seat to the way that both startup investing and working for startups is evolving in light of Covid. 
     exactly what he needs from his founders - and keeping him in the loop with regard to the health of your business is crucial. In today’s episode, he discusses why he’s eyeing a potential move outside of Silicon Valley, what it takes to make a truly remarkable product, why angel investors should ask for a board seat – contrary to what many people believe – and what types of companies to avoid if you’re just starting your investing journey.
     
    Jason knows his game, so check out this episode to learn more about his thoughts on what’s happening with the current investment landscape, how to keep your investments close, and finding startups that are worth your investment. 
     
    Some questions I ask:
    How did you get started in angel investing, and what were you doing prior? (06:05)What’s the one thing you look for in founders? (12:26)At which stage do you like to invest? (14:04)How many boards do you sit on? (23:23)What do you think the future of crowdfunding is? (30:03)If you look at the game-changing technology that’s coming on board these days, are there certain ones that you are most excited about? (41:45) 
    In this episode, you will learn:         
    The changes the pandemic has brought in terms of doing business and closing deals. (02:27)The story of Uber – what it was originally and how Jason ended up investing in it. (08:13)How Airbnb was a unicorn that most people thought it was a bad idea. (10:46)The types of companies you should avoid investing in if you’re a new angel investor. (14:36)Jason’s four-bet strategy when he’s investing in a company. (16:18)The importance of monthly monitoring your portfolio of investments. (18:30)The two things Jason requires founders in their term sheets: to receive monthly updates and to have the option of a board seat. (21:34)How regular board meetings can help founders when they’re discussing with investors. (22:10)The global trend around risk and the importance of investing no more than 20% of your income average in startups. (31:50)The advantage of collaborating with an Angel Group. (40:13)Jason’s advice for people who want to venture into the podcasting world. (45:06) 
    Connect with Jason
    LinkedInEmail: jason@calacanis.comAngel UniversityThis Week in Startups PodcastBook: Jason Calacanis – Angel: How to Invest In Technology Startups – Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000
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    • 51 min
    Jeff Vinik - Integrity and Persistence: The Two Traits Every Founder Should Have

    Jeff Vinik - Integrity and Persistence: The Two Traits Every Founder Should Have

    All successful founders, entrepreneurs, or business people have two things in common: integrity and persistence in always getting better at what they’re doing - and these are two traits that most angel investors look at when they’re considering to financially support a startup.
    That’s exactly what our guest today focuses on – finding people that he knows he could trust and that are willing to go the extra mile for their business. Jeff Vinik is a man wearing many hats and throughout his professional career, he’s managed to switch from being a successful Wall Street investor to then being a hedge fund guy, to joining the real estate industry, to owning a sports team – the Tampa Bay Lightning – and on top of that, to being an early-stage tech investor.
    Being in Jeff’s shoes is not an easy ride, and it takes a certain discipline in doing your due diligence and learning as much as you can about the industry you’re in or you’re thinking of joining. Today, we discuss his professional journey, why he wanted to switch gears and be part of multiple areas, as well as the types of people that he aims at surrounding himself with.
    If you’re curious to learn more about Jeff and his early-stage investing, then tune in, and enjoy the show!
    Some questions I ask:
    How did you go from hedge fund to real estate? (02:19)How has COVID affected your business? (07:42)How did you get into early-stage technology investing? (12:20)Do you have any stories there about a deal that you invested in that you’d never do again? (16:34)What do you look for in founders? (17:44)What do you do in your spare time? (29:38)
    In this episode, you will learn:
    The role Bill Gates plays in Jeff’s real estate ventures. (06:35) Jeff’s thoughts on how the Tampa Bay area is going to evolve post-COVID. (04:40)The four Ds of angel investing. (15:29)Jeff’s experience with investing in eSports. (21:11)The story of Embarc Collective. (24:37)
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    • 35 min
    Ryan Nece - Bucking the Trend

    Ryan Nece - Bucking the Trend

    Ryan Nece’s journey to becoming a venture capitalist is unlike any we’ve ever seen. As a former NFL linebacker, Ryan defied the odds to become successful after retiring from the professional sports world. Now, he is the Managing Partner at Next Play Capital, founder of the Ryan Nece Foundation, and co-founder at StraightCast Media. 
    Throughout this episode, Ryan shares how he bucked the trend, refusing to undergo extreme financial stress like many other retired athletes. Instead, he treats business like a team sport, acknowledging that he’s only as good as those he surrounds himself with. Ryan breaks down what motivates him to pursue venture capital, how he evaluates the founders whom he invests in, and how he believes more founders from minority communities can get the funding they need to scale. 
    Some Questions I Ask: 
    How did you buck the trend of becoming financially stable after retiring from the NFL? (6:45)What did your role look like with StraightCast Media? (14:40)What do you look for in founders? (24:02)
    In This Episode, You Will Learn: 
    How Ryan’s career led him to venture capital. (2:11)What inspired Ryan to co-found his business StraightCast Media. (10:08)Why Ryan decided to directly invest in Peloton early on. (21:05)How Ryan evaluates the founders he wants to work with. (27:20)How education and exposure will help founders from minority communities get the funding they need. (31:52)
    Connect with Ryan Nece: 
    LinkedIn

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    • 40 min

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Great content! Excited to see who they interview next.

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