Episodes

April 13, 2021

Jordan Nof (Tusk Venture Partners) on his investment in Ro, leaving Blackstone to start Tusk, and paving the way for regulatory change

Jordan Nof is the managing partner and co founder of Tusk Venture Partners. Tusk Venture Partners is a New York City-based venture capital firm that invests in early stage technology companies operating in highly regulated markets or creating new verticals where no regulatory framework currently exists. Our unique backgrounds allow us to understand regulatory risk better than any other fund and offer a platform that helps our portfolio companies execute against those risks like no other venture…

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March 23, 2021

Jason Calacanis (LAUNCH, This Week in Startups, The All-In Podcast) on media and podcasting, comparing angel investing to poker, and education

After lots of cold emailing, I'm thrilled to have JCal on this week's episode of the podcast. We spend a significant amount of time talking about media/podcasting which I think is incredibly applicable for the following reason: digital appearance is important in today's market. I've learned a ton so far about different ways to stand out in a seemingly crowded space even though I'm just getting started. Hearing Jason talk about this truly accelerated my understanding in just an hour recording se…

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March 9, 2021

Allie Esch (Dundee Venture Capital) on the Mighty Middle and the development of fintech in non-coastal markets

Allie Esch (Dundee VC) joins me on today's episode. We kick this one off by chatting about Allie's journey from intern to full time investor at the fund. Later we touch on a host of subtopics surrounding early stage investing within the middle of the country and why fintech is of high interest, specifically within this region. - More on Allie - More on Dundee - Mighty Middle report - TeleVet - Zoro Card --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conor-robbins/message

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March 2, 2021

Jason Shuman (Primary Ventures) on investing in Latch, maniacal focus, and NYC seed trends

This week, a massive welcome and congratulations to Primary Ventures' newest partner, J ason Shuman . Jason and I travel way back to kick things off, chatting about how driving for Uber and sourcing deals for NYC investors led to his first VC gig at Corigin Ventures (now Alpaca) . We also take a look at where the NYC seed market is at and why deal size/valuations are on the rise. In the later half of this episode, Jason and I take a look at his investment in Latch . Another episode with close t…

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Feb. 24, 2021

Andrew Lee (Initialized) on investing in Routefusion and cross border payments

Andrew Lee (partner at Initialized ) joins me today on the show to chat about his investment in Routefusion , an API working to solve the inefficiencies within cross border payments. For some context, Routefusion's API enables neo-banks, payroll providers, platforms, and marketplaces to begin offering cross-border payments to their customers in days. When you compare this to existing solutions, where the timeline ranges from 6-12 months, the difference is massive. In addition to breaking down w…

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Feb. 9, 2021

Lindel Eakman (Foundry Group) on investing in Ludlow Ventures and Foundry's mesh network

Welcome back to another episode of the pod. Today I'm sharing a conversation I had with Lindel Eakman, partner at Foundry Group. I reached out to Lindel after reading a piece on TechCrunch about how he joined the team to institutionalize their LP investments. Because of what he's built with Foundry Group Next, 80% of their early stage deals come from their partner funds. In this one, we'll spend some time chatting about Foundry's mesh network: how it works and why it's so effective. Towards the…

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Feb. 4, 2021

Jackson Bubala (Motivate VC) on his investment in a new SKU data API, leveraging structural opportunity in venture, and how asset fragmentation is making seed rounds more competitive

Long time coming with this one. Today I'm joined by Jackson Bubala . Jackson is an investor at Motivate VC , where he just joined after some time at Founder Equity (both in the Chicago ecosystem). Jackson also writes a fantastic newsletter, Stealing Signs , which baseball fans will especially appreciate. In this one we'll chat about Jackson's investment in a new SKU data API, leveraging structural opportunity in venture, and how asset fragmentation is making seed rounds more competitive. When w…

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Feb. 2, 2021

Mike Duda (Bullish) on his investment in Harry's, focussing on NPS over TAM, the value of storefronts, becoming obsessed with your customer, and what makes a great brand

Today's guest, Mike Duda , is taking on both traditional marketing agencies and venture funds with Bullish . Bullish has been labeled as 'America's most dangerous agency' by AdWeek and continues to push the limit in building some of the most disruptive consumer brands out there. Some of their investments include Casper, Harry's, Hu, Peloton, Warby Parker, Nom Nom, and Care/of. We talk about what Bullish does and how they're challenging existing models in the first part of this. Some of the othe…

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Jan. 28, 2021

Josh Ephraim (Gunderson Dettmer) on underrated legal terms for founders, identifying early talent, his experience at Dorm Room Fund, and why DRF uses SAFEs

Josh Ephraim on the show today and I couldn't be more excited to have him be TheArtof.VC 's first Thursday episode. Josh joined Dorm Room Fund during graduate school at Berkeley which gave him amazing exposure to a unique demographic of founders that hadn't completed college degrees. He's now an attorney at Gunderson Dettmer representing early stage startup companies. In this one we chat about things like underrated legal terms for founders, identifying early talent, Josh's experience at Dorm R…

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Jan. 26, 2021

Danielle Strachman (1517 Fund) on her investment in Luminar, misconceptions regarding education and college, and things to look for in founders without the traditional college narrative

Welcome back and a couple updates: 1) the intro is different, 2) I'm bumping the episode frequency up so new episodes each Tuesday and Thursday. Let me know what you think: send a message on Twitter @ConorRobbins3 . Today's conversation is with Danielle Strachman , founder and GP of 1517 Fund . Prior to 1517, Danielle helped build the Thiel Fellowship where she worked on operations and design. Before that, Danielle founded and directed Innovations Academy , a K-8 charter school focussing on stu…

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Jan. 20, 2021

Nina Stepanov (Contrary Capital) on the increasing importance of platform strength in VC, alternative strategies to building massive companies, and the changing world of value-add platforms

Nina Stepanov joins me today! Nina is currently running platform at Contrary Capital, which puts an interesting spin on community based venture platforms. Prior to Contrary, Nina spent some time investing at Acceleprise . Before that, in her pre-venture days, here were a few career highlights: - leading growth @ ViewPoint (acquired by OpenGov) - working on special projects under Dharmesh Shah @ HubSpot - improving internal operations @ Intuit For this conversation, we spend some time chatting a…

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Jan. 13, 2021

Lisa Cuesta (NextGen Venture Partners) on her investment in Maven Clinic, community based value add platforms, and the future of platform within the venture ecosystem

This week I'm thrilled to welcome Lisa Cuesta from NextGen Venture Partners ! Lisa started in tech back during her undergrad where she worked on a startup in the college textbooks space. After working at Google in the Bay Area and then completing her MBA at HBS, Lisa knew that NGVP was the next move fore her because of the differentiated approach to community based platforms. During this one we chat about her background, why NGVP is so ahead of the curve, where they're looking next, and Lisa's …

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Jan. 6, 2021

Shane Mac (Logos Labs) on becoming a GP after operating, what he hopes to accomplish with Logos, the future of remote work, the future of GP value add, and the new disconnect between GPs and LPs

Welcome back and Happy New Year! I'm super excited to welcome Shane Mac to the show today who is investing in the future of remote work at Logos Labs . Shane is easily one of the most real people I've ever spoken to and has phenomenal insights when it comes to building meaningful relationships and leveraging strong networks. Over the course of this one, Shane and I jump around to discuss topics like his goals for Logos Labs, the future of remote work, the future of GP value add platforms, and t…

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Dec. 29, 2020

Laura Thompson (Sapphire Ventures) on the changing LP landscape, LP value add platforms, qualities in great emerging GPs, and discoverability between new GPs and LPs

First off... happy holidays to everyone! I'm super excited to welcome Laura Thompson to the stage this week. Laura is a limited partner in the venture ecosystem at Sapphire Ventures . I'm extremely interested in the value add platform Sapphire has built into their investments as LPs as I truly believe this will be the way LPs trend in the VC asset class. In addition to investing in funds, Laura is a contributor to OpenLP which is aiming to help foster a greater understanding in the entrepreneur…

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Dec. 15, 2020

Jeff Clavier (Uncork Capital) on his investment in SendGrid, how he built the OG MicroVC, parallels between the MicroVC movement and the emergence of operator/rolling funds, and touching on Postmates

Alright… this week’s episode is with Jeff Clavier , founder at Uncork Capital . I think the timing on this one is perfect given the parallels between Jeff’s career as an original micro fund and the trend with operator/rolling funds. We’ll draw out some of these parallels, chat about Jeff’s background, and then move into discussion around his investment in SendGrid . For a bit more context on Jeff… he’s a pioneer in the world of MicroVC with others like Josh Kopelman and Mike Maples . Some of hi…

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Dec. 8, 2020

Jonathan Goodwin (Gunderson Dettmer) on the fundraising process, the life cycle of SPVs and syndications, how emerging GPs should look at building a portfolio of LPs, and the future of SV

For the last couple months, I've been extremely interested in syndications and SPVs - I find it so awesome that the VC asset class has become much more accessible for people to build a track record with these new forms of deployment vehicles. While I was interested in the impact that these SPVs and rolling funds were having on the venture ecosystem, I still found myself scratching my head as to how they actually worked. I reached out to Jonathan after digging in deeper and am super fortunate to…

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Dec. 2, 2020

Jeff Morris (Chapter One Ventures) on his investment in Roam Research, how his education added to his perspective in the tech community, and what makes a compelling product

When I first started this podcast (or rather rebranded to narrow in on venture) Jeff was one of the first people I was interested in having on. As someone still in college, I've been hyper focused on how to optimize my education to gain a diverse perspective as opposed to just being there for the degree. While Jeff didn't initially plan on being in tech, his education in film and English add to the way he looks at investment opportunities at Chapter One Ventures . In the first half of this epis…

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Nov. 28, 2020

Aaron Michel (1984.vc) on the investment in Fairmarkit, the destructive nature of monopolies, views on board seats and investment vehicles at pre seed/seed

Welcome back! Aaron has a super interesting background so we spend a while talking about his investment strategy and thoughts on investment dynamics at the pre seed/seed levels. He's a former operator ( PathSource ) so has a deep understanding of the mindset of founders and all of the qualitative KPIs that help investors make great decisions. Aaron is now a partner at 1984 Ventures based in San Francisco. Here are 3 things we spoke about that I found super interesting: 1. Why Aaron doesn't take…

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