82 episodes

Origins is a podcast about Limited Partners, the firms and institutions that invest in venture capital funds. Through a series of interviews, we explore what has historically been an opaque corner of the startup ecosystem and learn how the people behind the capital make decisions. This podcast was created by Nick Chirls of Notation and co-hosted with Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners.

Origins - A podcast about the LP and VC ecosystem‪.‬ Notation

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 58 Ratings

Origins is a podcast about Limited Partners, the firms and institutions that invest in venture capital funds. Through a series of interviews, we explore what has historically been an opaque corner of the startup ecosystem and learn how the people behind the capital make decisions. This podcast was created by Nick Chirls of Notation and co-hosted with Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners.

    Endowment Investing with University of Chicago’s Joanna Rupp

    Endowment Investing with University of Chicago’s Joanna Rupp

    Joanna Rupp, Managing Director of Private Equity at the University of Chicago, sits down with Nick & Beezer to shine a light on the often opaque world of endowments, including what separates an endowment from a foundation, how they consider small funds v. big funds and the fallout from an avalanche of capital being thrown at VCs. Then (announcement!) Joanna and Beezer evaluate Nick’s new venture fund - the key pieces of diligence, what he needs to prove in the next few years for another investment, how to build a relationship with his LPs, and more.



    Learn more about Sapphire Partners: https://sapphireventures.com/sapphire-partners/

    Learn more about Notation Capital: https://notation.vc/

    Visit the University of Chicago’s Endowment’s website: https://investments.uchicago.edu/

    Read Ted Seides’s blog post: https://www.capitalallocators.com/the-investment-office-playbook-what-managers-dont-see/dinvestors.com/blog/the-three-body-problem-finding-the-new-stable-points-in-venture-capital

    Visit OpenLP as your go-to resource for LP thought leadership: https://openlp.sapphireventures.com/https://www.linkedin.com/company/openlp/

    https://x.com/open_lp

    • 38 min
    The Three Body Problem of Venture Capital w/ Frank Rotman (CIO, QED Investors)

    The Three Body Problem of Venture Capital w/ Frank Rotman (CIO, QED Investors)

    Nick and Beezer sit down with Frank Rotman, a founding partner and CIO at QED Investors to talk about his early days as the chief credit officer of Capital One, the fundamental flaw in the way founders and investors have been funding startups, the purpose associates serve and how those associates can better their skills, and how VCs can avoid being left in the exhaust of larger firms.

    Learn more about Sapphire Partners: https://sapphireventures.com/sapphire-partners/

    Learn more about Notation Capital: https://notation.vc/

    Visit QED Investors’ website: https://www.qedinvestors.com/

    Read Frank Rotman’s post on the Three Body Problem: https://www.qedinvestors.com/blog/the-three-body-problem-finding-the-new-stable-points-in-venture-capital

    • 43 min
    Building a venture firm w/ Scott Kupor (a16z)

    Building a venture firm w/ Scott Kupor (a16z)

    In the first Origins episode of the year, ⁠Nick Chirls⁠ (Notation Capital) and ⁠Beezer Clarkson⁠ (Sapphire Partners) host Scott Kupor, a Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

    In his role as managing partner, Scott invests in growth-stage companies building in the bio and healthcare industries, manages the firm’s investor relations team, and is responsible for the firm’s growth initiatives. 

    Scott was the first employee at Andreessen Horowitz and managed the firm’s growth from $300 million in AUM to more than $30 billion. Prior to joining the firm, Scott worked as vice president and general manager of software-as-a-service at Hewlett Packard. Before that, he held numerous executive management positions at Opsware, including senior vice president of global field operations, vice president of financial planning and vice president of corporate development.

    Scott is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, and serves on the boards of Cedar, Headway, Foursquare, Labster, Ultima, and SnapLogic. He also served as chairman of the board for the National Venture Capital Association.

    In this episode we discuss:

     - The evolution of Andreessen Horowitz as the firm approaches its 15th anniversary

    - Reflections on how Scott’s role has changed since becoming the first hire at a16z

    - The state of venture today with AI as an inflection point + valuation corrections

    - Managing LP/GP expectations in the current environment (e.g. markdowns)

    - a16z’s decentralized business model and keeping important cultural values

    - How to think about (and debate) fund size and what is the TAM today

    …and much more

    Follow us:

    ⁠⁠https://twitter.com/nchirls⁠⁠

    ⁠⁠https://twitter.com/beezer232⁠⁠

    https://twitter.com/skupor

    • 52 min
    Power Law VC Performance with David Clark (VenCap)

    Power Law VC Performance with David Clark (VenCap)

    In the last Origins episode of the year, Nick Chirls (Notation Capital) and Beezer Clarkson (Sapphire Partners) host David Clark, Investment Director at VenCap International plc.

    With nearly four decades of experience in investing, David has backed some of the most established VC funds across the US, Europe, China and India and shares historical figures on where to find performance in venture. David recently uncovered 30 years of data from 400+ funds with 15,000+ underlying portfolio companies and found that 50% of VC investments don’t actually return capital. So how does an LP unlock performance and find the enduring managers?

    Three individuals with three unique strategies - Nick (emerging manager), David (LP investing in established), and Beezer (LP investing in emerging & established) – find out how their models differ, where perspectives intersect and what David’s return data shows.

    Follow us:

    ⁠https://twitter.com/nchirls⁠

    ⁠https://twitter.com/beezer232⁠

    https://twitter.com/daveclark85

    Links:

    David on TVPI vs DPI: https://twitter.com/daveclark85/status/1729188482919383202?s=20

    David on power laws: https://twitter.com/daveclark85/status/1693976973079462366?s=20

    • 56 min
    Q4 Market Predictions w/ Ed Sim (Boldstart) & Seyonne Kang (StepStone)

    Q4 Market Predictions w/ Ed Sim (Boldstart) & Seyonne Kang (StepStone)

    In this episode of Origins, Nicholas Chirls (Notation) and Beezer Clarkson (Sapphire Partners) host Ed Sim, founder of Boldstart and Seyonne Kang, Partner at StepStone.

    Ed is the founder of boldstart ventures, a day-one partner and true believer for developer first, enterprise infra, & SaaS founders. He is currently a board member/observer of Snyk, Blockdaemon, Kustomer (sold to Meta), BigID, Protect AI, Env0, among many others.

    Seyonne is a member of the private equity team, focusing on venture capital and growth equity investments. Prior to StepStone, she was a partner with Greenspring Associates, a venture capital and growth equity investment firm that merged with StepStone in 2021.

    We cover a wide range of topics, including our predictions for Q4 fundraising, when the market will bottom (if it hasn't already), what happens to multi-stage firms, AI (and other) hype cycles, and how VCs can and should think about liquidity in a market like this. Enjoy!



    Links to articles discussed:

    Best startup locations in the US

    Raise Less, Build More

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Navigating difficult markets w/ Adam Valkin, General Catalyst

    Navigating difficult markets w/ Adam Valkin, General Catalyst

    Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners and Nick Chirls of Notation host Adam Valkin, Managing Director of General Catalyst at their NYC office.

    Adam Valkin is a Managing Director at General Catalyst. Adam leads the firm's global early-stage practice and co-led its international expansion. He has been at GC for over ten years after joining the firm from Accel London. He has a uniquely global perspective on venture and entrepreneurship and has experience as both an operator and investor. 

    In this episode, we cover a variety of topics, including how founders and VCs can navigate difficult moments faced in 2023, how he approaches investing, firm building, and partnering with founders, and why perhaps the current market is not as bad as many have feared. There was a wealth of wisdom in this episode, and many thanks to Adam for agreeing to do his first pod with us.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

SeattleRobert ,

Extremely well done and in depth conversations

I learn something new about this business every time I listen. Thanks to the Notation folks for doing these and sharing them with the rest of us.

sfvc08 ,

Great show but one request for the interviewer

Great interviews, well done. Guests are awesome. One request for the interviewer. Please stay silent when the guest is speaking - no “yep”s, no “got it”s, no “right”s. Just listen. Also, don’t interrupt the speaker. Let them finish their thoughts.

Katie Joy B. ,

Business Money Magic

Alex, Nick, and their incredibly knowledgeable guests make funding fun! You’ll find actionable advice and tangible tips that are relative to any stage of your business, as well as the inspiration and insight that's missing from a lot of funding/business shows. Thanks so much for putting out such a spectacular show guys - keep up the great work!

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