32 episodes

Florida Funders Managing Partner and "Skin in the Game VC" podcast host Tom Wallace believes that entrepreneurs are game changers and that the companies they envision, create and build make the world a better place. Florida Funders is a venture capital firm and angel network that invests in early stage technology companies. Traditionally, angel investors have not had equal access to the amount of proprietary, vetted deal flow and investment opportunities like a professional venture investor. This podcast was envisioned to educate, connect and activate accredited investors to get skin in the game and invest like a VC.


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Skin in the Game VC Podcast Florida Funders

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Florida Funders Managing Partner and "Skin in the Game VC" podcast host Tom Wallace believes that entrepreneurs are game changers and that the companies they envision, create and build make the world a better place. Florida Funders is a venture capital firm and angel network that invests in early stage technology companies. Traditionally, angel investors have not had equal access to the amount of proprietary, vetted deal flow and investment opportunities like a professional venture investor. This podcast was envisioned to educate, connect and activate accredited investors to get skin in the game and invest like a VC.


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    Building a Tech Community with Lakshmi Shenoy of Embarc Collective

    Building a Tech Community with Lakshmi Shenoy of Embarc Collective

    Lakshmi Shenoy is the CEO of Embarc Collective in Tampa, Florida. Tom Wallace discusses her story and how she ended up helping to build and lead the fastest-growing startup hub in Florida.
    If you like what you hear, please rate us 5 stars and check out other episodes here: https://www.floridafunders.com/category/podcast/

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    • 49 min
    Lessons Learned in Early Stage Tech Investing During Market Downturns

    Lessons Learned in Early Stage Tech Investing During Market Downturns

    Florida Funders partners Tom Wallace and Marc Blumenthal discuss the ups and downs of markets and the lessons learned from the past. Learn more about early-stage tech investing during these times.
    If you like what you hear, please rate us 5 stars and check out our site: https://www.floridafunders.com/category/podcast/

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    • 39 min
    Tony DiBenedetto: Thinking Big

    Tony DiBenedetto: Thinking Big

    Hello, my name's Tom Wallace, and I'm the Managing Partner of Florida Funders. Welcome to Florida Funders podcast. Our podcast is all about how to make all of us better angel investors, or better founders or entrepreneurs. We really address two audiences here. One thing that I love about angel investing and entrepreneurship is, it's so dynamic, so fluid, and there's always something new to learn, and somebody new to learn from. Our guest this week is Tony Dibenedetto.
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    • 42 min
    Elias Torres: Elevating Minority Founders

    Elias Torres: Elevating Minority Founders

    When you paint a picture in your head of the American Dream, what do you see? For many of us, it involves the vision of being ‘self-made’ and designing our own destiny, no matter where we came from. 
    For Elias Torres, the choice his mother made when she immigrated from Nicaragua to Tampa would prove to be a fortuitous one in helping him realize that dream. After his early start at IBM, Torres became committed to the vision of entrepreneurship. With Drift, his current company, he has proven time and again that Latino founders deserve a place amongst the world’s biggest capital projects. 
    Torres is the founder and CTO of Drift, the world's leading conversational marketing and sales platform. Drift helps businesses connect with customers who are ready to buy. After just three years in the market, Drift has become one of the fastest growing SaaS companies of all-time and was named to the Forbes Cloud 100, LinkedIn Top 50 Startups, Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures, Boston Business Journal's Best Places to Work, and SaaS Company of the Year by the NEVCA.  
    Listen to today’s episode of Investing in Florida Technology and hear how Elias made the incredible leap from struggling to take orders in English at his fast food job as a teen to becoming Chief Technology Officer of his own company. He also discusses dealing with imposter syndrome, starting with a new company just weeks before the 2008 crash, and the major expansion plans he has for Drift.
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    Some Questions Asked: 
    You came here at a young age from another country, can you tell us about that? (01:37)What was your first entrepreneurial venture? (12:32)Can you tell us about Drift, your current company? (17:30)Can you explain to the listeners the difference between venture capital and private equity? (31:29)Would you ever consider moving Drift’s headquarters to Florida? (39:59)
    In this episode, you will learn:
    How and when Torres became interested in tech (03:48)Torres’s early start with IBM (06:42)What the original vision was for Drift (21:43)Why venture capitalists love first generation immigrants (25:49)
    Connect with Elias:
    LinkedInWebsiteDrift
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    • 47 min
    David Blumberg: From the Bay to the Magic City

    David Blumberg: From the Bay to the Magic City

    It's been more than 18 months since the COVID-19 pandemic started and we experienced weeks of lockdowns, quarantines, and a total reconfiguration of the way we work.
    For venture capitalist David Blumberg, the pandemic took him from his ancestral home of California across the country to Florida. Realizing that he was no longer chained to his fixed, physical office in San Francisco, he took the plunge and moved over 3,000 miles in order to take advantage of the up-and-coming vibe of Miami, as well as the state’s business-friendly regulations and taxes. David learned how to take advantage of the pandemic and was able to recognize it as -- as he puts it -- a catalyst of virtualization, innovation, and decentralization.
    Blumberg is the founder and managing partner of Blumberg Capital, a  private Venture Capital firm investing in early-stage IT, digital media, social media, mobility, Internet, e-commerce, payments, SaaS, and tech-enabled services. He also serves as a board member of Credorax, Trulioo, IntSights, and Slync.io. David holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  
    Listen to today’s episode of Investing in Florida Technology and find out how David made the leap from studying government to becoming a venture capitalist, how he embraces virtualization, and why he believes that the 21st century will be one of massive innovation and productivity for office and service work. 
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    Some Questions Asked: 
    Can you tell our audience a bit about your background and where you grew up? (01:54)You have this tie with Israel, when did that start? (14:10)What do you see in Florida and Miami? (22:41)What are you looking for in a founder? (29:38)
    In this episode, you will learn:
    Why Miami made the top of David’s list when he and his family decided to relocate (03:16)About taking ‘acorns’ and turning them into unicorns (09:41)How patience has paid off for Blumberg Capital (12:57)A little about the Israeli company that David and Tom are both investors in (20:01)Venture capitalists either follow the NASCAR model or the marionette model (33:59)
    Connect with David:
    LinkedInBlumberg CapitalTwitter
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    • 36 min
    Brian Murphy: the Importance of Reinvention

    Brian Murphy: the Importance of Reinvention

    What happens when a brand new tech startup finds itself in the middle of one of the worst financial crises the country has ever seen? With a little luck, some intuitiveness, and a lot of hard work, a pivot in the right direction can not only save a company, it can create major success, too. 
    Brian Murphy founded ReliaQuest in 2007, just as the US was plunging into the Great Recession. While he didn’t know it yet, a DoD contract would come to be instrumental in the company’s pivot from IT to cybersecurity. In the years following, Murphy was able again to lead the company with flexibility to a market that better suited them. 
    Murphy is the CEO and founder of ReliaQuest, a cybersecurity company serving enterprises globally. ReliaQuest, the leader in Open XDR-as-a-Service, is known for being the force multiplier for security operations teams. He also serves on the board of Embarc Collective, a Tampa Bay-area startup incubator, and is an official member of the Forbes Technology Council. 
    On today’s episode of Investing in Florida Technology, Murphy speaks about the evolution of ReliaQuest, his advice to founders that are just starting out, and how he still finds time to serve as a chairman on the board of Embarc Collective. He also discusses the big pivot that brought ReliaQuest to where it is today and what he sees happening in the industry looking ahead. 
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    Some Questions Asked: 
    Can you tell us a little about your background? (01:50)How did you make the switch to recurring revenue? (06:20)Have you had any trouble attracting talent in Florida? (08:47)How did COVID affect ReliaQuest? (12:02)Where is most of your hiring taking place? (14:06)Are you being acquisitive? Or are you still just growing organically? (15:58)
    In this episode, you will learn:
    What inspired Murphy to start ReliaQuest (2:41)A little about the software team at ReliaQuest (07:50)About the growing cybersecurity industry in Tampa (10:57)Brian's experience with bootstrapping (14:53)Where Brian sees ReliaQuest going in the next 5-10 years (23:04)
    Connect with Brian:
    LinkedInReliaquest
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    • 25 min

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