💎 BONUS 💎 with Raees Chowdhury, Investor at Revolt Ventures and recent Forbes 30 Under 30 honouree! From fashion, through health and to real estate, Raees’s passion for finance really underpins his whole career, and is evident in discussing the unique ‘PropCo’ structure Revolt are developing to drive value in portfolio companies. Raees's journey spans both entrepreneurship (twice!) and consulting so he's well placed to offer general guidance on breaking into VC, as well as specific advice for those wanting to be Revolt's next hire!
We're learning all about Antler's hands-on approach to very early stage investing - in conversation with Magnus, the founder and CEO, and Ollie, who joined Antler as a Partner having previously founded a challenger bank for young people.
Antler's unique, cohort-led approach to talent investing means the team spends a huge amount of time coaching founding teams they take on. In this episode Magnus and Ollie discuss the key things they look for in founders (Grit!) and how they leverage their own business-building experience.
This week we escape to warmer climes (virtually) as Francesca and Petra speak to Sacha Haider at Global Ventures in Dubai. With 5 years of experience across various emerging markets under her belt, Sacha takes us through her journey from media to private equity to venture capital. We talk about her geographic focus on the Middle East and Africa, what progression means in a venture capital fund, and how she turned an informal coffee into a job offer.
This week we're joined by Todd Grover, an investor at World Innovation Lab (WIL) to talk all about his unique role spanning the US and Japan. We discuss strategic LP bases, international expansion to Japan and the metrics that get WIL excited. Todd also gives a super helpful, detailed breakdown of the most common ways he's seen early stage businesses achieve impressive metrics - we'll give you a teaser: they include network effects, moats and innovation.
World Innovation Lab
Lois and Francesca are joined by Elena Mazhuha at Genesis Investments.
In this conversation we discuss:
Genesis Investments’ origins, fund structure and their investment thesis.
How Elena’s journey into VC started from attending lecture and then finding her next job through a FB post.
Her experience of what it was like being a first employee at a VC fund and how her role evolved.
Her experience of transitioning from a generalist to a specialist within her role and doubling down on your strengths.
The importance of an alumni network and how to network with someone purposefully? And much more!
Miao He is an Investment Associate at Luminous Ventures, having arrived at deep tech via a PhD in Molecular Biology and a stint as a Bioinformatics Scientist and an MBA. She talks to Petra and Lois about now investing in life sciences, healthcare and emerging technology as they discuss parallels between VC and academic work inspired by analysing data with computational methods.
On this week's episode, Francesca and Petra speak to Pauliina Martikainen, Investment Director at Maki. From her start in PR to launching her own pre-seed fund, to joining Maki VC, Pauliina takes us through her journey and what she's learned with her along the way to make her the investor she is now. Plus, we discuss Maki VC's incredible internship programme, Pauliina's go-to productivity tool, and what she would call her own fund if she were to re-launch one again one day!
What are the benefits of starting out at a generalist fund? What happens when you meet your colleagues for the first time in fancy dress? How does a MasterChef contestant becomes an investor? We find out when Petra and Lois sit down with Mark Shepherd at Beringea. We discuss all of these questions, plus how Mark got into VC, what his 2 top tips are for landing a job (for all the prospective investors listening!), and what he's currently looking out for (for all the founders out there!)
We are excited to introduce our second episode of Season 5 with the incredible duo: Mark Pearson and Oli Hammond from Fuel Ventures. In this episode we discuss:
- Mark and Oli's unique journey's into VC. You'll be surprised to hear their stories! Definitely don't want to miss this one!
- Their thoughts on their current Investment landscape during COVID19 and Oli not shaking hands with a founder in a long while!
- Why Mark started Fuel Ventures and the importance of enjoying the journey.
- Key traits Mark looks for people wanting to join the Fuel's Deal team and the importance of being unconventional.
- Fuel's unique LP Structure, ways of working as a small team and their investment thesis focused on product-founders.
- Their top tips on how to optimise time with first pitch meetings and how relationship building is changing with founders through Zoom.
And much more. We had a great time recording this episode. Enjoy!
Best way to reach the team is through Fuel Ventures' Website.
We're kicking off Season 5 with a bang! We're super excited to come back from our little hiatus to speak to the marvellous Beata Klein at Creandum! We talk all about her starting a company in Asia, why she chose to join Creandum, what her first year in venture was like and how she stays productive day-to-day.
As the first investors in Spotify, Creandum know a thing or two about spotting potential! Beata gives us the low-down on how the team look at product over team, and always think about what needs to be true for an early stage company to be huge!
We're ending the year- and what a year it has been!- with a bang and a bonus episode. Lois and Petra are joined by a wonderful trio this week; Finn, Annalise and Kamil from Frontline Ventures, Sapphire Ventures and Notion Capital respectively chat through everything from how to progress through the VC ranks to finding your superpower as an investor and beyond. This group doesn't hold back- you definitely don't want to miss this episode!
This week, Hector Mason at Episode 1 sits down with Francesca and Petra- we chat about E1's strong content strategy, what boxes he needs to tick before presenting the company to the partnership and how he goes about finding the best start-ups in the market. We also discuss "The Seed Stage", the inspiration behind starting this initiative and how its win-win structure benefits the founder but also investors.
We're joined by Esha Vatsa, an investor at Pi Labs - the early stage PropTech fund with a corresponding accelerator. Lois and Petra find out how Esha's early career in accountancy and transaction services inspired her moves into the VC industry, and from Delhi to London! We discuss the growing importance of ESG in investing, and how Esha sees its impact in the PropTech space (ESG = Environmental, Social and Governance factors to evaluate companies and countries on how far advanced they are with sustainability).
This week we hop across the pond and speak to Crystal and Jai at New Enterprise Associates- where both are Principals. We find out about how each approached applying for their current role and how they formulate their investment thesis now as investors at what once was the largest VC firm in the world. They tell us what impresses them in applicants and give very specific advice on candidates who are applying for investing roles- so don't miss out!
This week Petra and Lois sit down with Daisy Onubogu at Backed VC, where she leads Network and Communities. We unpack exactly what that role entails and how it sets Backed apart as a fund. Among her recounting her journey through studying law to working at Web Summit to ending up in venture, Daisy tells us about the importance of community building and relationship management for the benefit of founders and investors. We also get very candid on the ups and downs of the last few months, dealing with mental health problems and how almost always being online now has affected her.
Lois and Francesca are joined by Hannah Redgewell, Investment Manager at Channel 4 Ventures. They get straight into Channel 4's unique model of exchanging TV advertising for equity in companies, and discuss the incredible reach TV coverage still has. Hannah candidly shares the details of her journey into VC and explains how her time as a Strategy Consultant shaped her passion for media and consumer offerings.
Channel 4 Ventures
Channel 4's Portfolio
This week, our guest Rodrigo Mendoza-Smith joins us from Mexico City to chat about his unique journey as a mathematician in VC to founding his own company, Quine. He explains how he uses his unique skillset in the world of venture and how investors leverage using data to benefit the fund and their portfolio. Are you a data scientist looking to get into VC? Rodrigo talks about that as well!...So- tune in!
We're delighted to be joined by Jessica Li in this episode of Associated. For a change of pace, in this episode, Lois and Julia get into the details of how Jessica entered the VC scene at a pretty young age, then moved to an operational role at Zageno as a Growth Marketer. We discuss how to position yourself so that you are seen and heard by the VC community, and discuss Jessica's role as Head of Content at Elpha. Particularly if you're a student interested in entrepreneurship and venture capital, this is not an episode you want to miss!
We're so excited to kick off Season 4 with the inimitable Sam Cash, Principal at Project A Ventures. Francesca and Lois dive straight in to find out about Project A's unique differentiator of providing operational support to its portfolio companies, and to learn how Sam's setting up the organisation's presence in London. They discuss his route into VC via a thrilling tenure at betaworks, and how his experiences inform his approach to recruitment.
In this very special episode of Associated we do the unthinkable - we interview a Partner! Matt Penneycard is one of two Founding Partners at Ada Ventures, the fund investing in overlooked founders and markets. Matt's refreshing candour paves the way for a landmark episode of Associated in which we showcase the classic route into VC from the perspective of someone who went on to raise a fund based on the principle of investing in people and ideas from more unexpected places. To explore what career paths might look like for the more diverse cohort of junior VCs on the scene today, we discuss how Matt hired an Associate who went on to be the other Founding Partner of Ada Ventures, how they raised their fund, and tips for people looking to do the same.
Ready for a new take on the VC space? Join us this week, as we interview Shaun Hon, Director of Rainmaking Transport, Southeast Asia’s first corporate venture builder for the maritime industry. He delves into his background as an engineer and how that brought him to the VC industry and eventually the venture building space. In this episode, you’ll get a chance to learn about what venture building is, as well as corporate innovation, and how it could be an interesting alternative for those wanting to enter venture capital. Other discussion topics include the startup ecosystem in Asia and advice for anyone currently looking to enter venture capital or venture building.
This week we're joined by Shinaz Navas, Associate at Emerge Education. During our interview we learned more about Shinaz's experience founding his own EdTech startup and how he's implementing that experience and knowledge into investing in innovative new technologies in the education space. Education goes past K-12 and with COVID19, the need for new solutions becomes more urgent. He also delves into advice about how to position yourself based on transferable skills as a founder as well as how to differentiate yourself from other candidates when job searching or working in a new environment. This episode is truly a wealth of information for anyone interested in breaking into VC, learning more about EdTech, or in general how to set yourself apart from competition.
This week we’re delighted to be joined by Yvonne Bajela, Principal at Impact X Capital. We hear about how Yvonne put her own spin on a relatively ‘traditional’ career path through investment banking and strategy consulting to corporate venture capital. By putting her skills to use in Ghana and Japan, Yvonne acquired a unique wealth of experience on both side of the investment table. Now she invests in underrepresented founders with Impact X!
This week we have another double dose on Associated- this time, courtesy of Speedinvest! Francesca and Petra chat to Gunita and Magda who are both investors at the fund- exploring their different journeys into venture capital, the unique platform value-add Speedinvest provides to its founders- and of course, what they're currently excited about and how they contextualise the start-ups they screen in the bigger picture of fund dynamics.
This week we're excited to be joined by Jacob Claerhout, Associate at Partech and founder of Merit, the 'Codeacademy for VCs'! Like us, Jacob feels strongly about broadening access to venture capital which is why he started Merit; to give anyone the opportunity to earn their stripes assessing early stage companies. We discuss how building something gives you a renewed respect for all founders, and how it's taking Jacob back to his background in engineering! Finally, as someone who's thought a lot about recruitment in VC, he shares his top tips for interviewing.
Paul Lehair, Investment Manager at AlbionVC, joins us this week to share his brilliant story - not only did he have the pleasure of meeting Petra back when they both worked at Viagogo, but he was also one of the first business hires at Citymapper! We discuss how Paul went from studying Politics & Economics across three countries, to an M&A role at Citi, before he moved over to startups. Find out how his experience across these varied companies informs his approach to investing in B2B software companies for Albion.
We're joined by Kate and Jessica, Associates in the Investment Team at 500 Startups who took pretty different paths to get there! We talk about how each of them is motivated by getting hands-on to support companies' growth, and what makes the fund's platform model special.
What do politics and VC have in common? We find out this week as Francesca and Petra sit down with Magda Lukaszewicz at Balderton (fun fact: she was one of the youngest politicians in Sweden ever)! Magda takes us on her journey from politician to start-ups, investment banking to venture capital. She talks about what she's seen and learned along the way and explains why keeping an open mind is so important in an investing role.
In a first for Associated, we're joined by two guests this week! Kathy and Michael are both Principals at Downing Ventures where, although they tend to look at different types of companies, they work together closely. We talk about the benefits of friendship in working relationships - how real trust enables respectful challenge and leads to more comprehensive deal assessment. Kathy and Michael also discuss how they found the learning curve in VC, the journey from Associate to Principal, and they share tips on preparing for that VC interview!
We're absolutely thrilled to be joined by Will Bricker, Associate at Hustle Fund, to kick off our third season of Associated! Happily, the concept of "hustle" really permeates the episode; from the way we got Will onto the podcast (an opportune Twitter exchange about how Associates can enable more efficient investments) to the way Will worked himself into his role (a masterclass in negotiating a shot by offering relevant value). We also discuss Will's work on venture systemisation; the theories behind it, biggest challenges, and ways to make the venture processes more efficient and scalable.
To close out our second season we’re introducing a new member of the Associated team! Julia’s been working with us behind the scenes and is making her ‘on-mic’ debut with this special episode that sees us reflect on the last two seasons of Associated. This time, Julia’s asking the questions! We talk about why we started Associated, whether we're meeting our own expectations, what we’re proudest of and what we’re planning next.
Resources from our episodes
This week we're joined by Deepka Rana, Associate at Northzone, to discuss early stage investing across Europe and the United States. We chat about the joy of B2B products that delight the end user, ponder the immediate and longer term affects of coronavirus on VC, and reveal why it's always a good time to approach a fund you'd like to work at.
In this episode of Associated, Bastian Faulhaber chats to Petra and Francesca about his role as Venture Architect at BCG Digital Ventures- the corporate investment firm and incubator of the Boston Consulting Group. He explains what he had to learn as he transitioned from an investing role to BCG DV, how start-ups are put together and grown in-house- plus, the exciting projects he's worked on across a ton of different industries.
Sarah Guemouri, Senior Associate at Atomico, joins us this week to chat about what it's like to focus on research and insights for one of Europe's top funds. We discuss building a data strategy at a VC fund, how data-driven roles support the investment process, and how Sarah and her team pull together the annual State of European Tech report.
The State of European Tech Report 2019
In this episode Alise MacFayden joins Francesca and Lois to chat about her unique role as a financial analyst at Relay Ventures. They discuss how Alise went from Commerce degree to VC, then get nerdy and delve into how she uses her expertise to undertake due diligence, valuations and financial forecasting!
Francesca and Petra chat to Seb Wallace at Triple Point this week! Seb talks about how the fund has adapted to the coronavirus crisis and how he is dealing with working from home-plus, we chat about his legal background and how it's equipped him at his job.
We're joined by Adam Reeve, Senior Investor Manager at Seedrs, this week to discuss what it's like working for one of the most intriguing brands in venture capital. If you only know Seedrs as a crowdfunding website, you'll be amazed listening to Adam talk us through the multifaceted structure of the organisation! We also discuss how Adam found himself in VC, and what he thinks founders should focus on while raising at this tricky time.
For this episode Lois and Petra have the pleasure of chatting to Keji Mustapha, Head of Network and Operations at Connect Ventures. They discuss Keji's journey into VC, her role in connecting the fund's community, and the importance of sharing best practice to accelerate learning. Then Keji flips the script and asks what we wish we'd known before getting into VC.
This week we go international, speaking to Edel Coen from Draper Esprit in Ireland, with the Associated team split across the UK and Thailand. Edel talks about her experience on the operating side and investor side, and how getting board experience early in her career has impacted her. Plus, she lets us know what it’s like to work as a young investor in the Valley.
Once again we're recording remotely, and this time we're thrilled to be joined by Nick Sando of Octopus Ventures (and, briefly, his cat). Before he joined Octopus to invest in the Future of Money, Nick was a founder himself - we discuss the highs and lows of entrepreneurial life, and how those experiences inform his approach to investing and supporting portfolio companies.
Kicking off Season 2 we've got Bethany Greer, Associate at Bethnal Green Ventures. For the first time on Associated we're recording remotely because of the global situation with COVID-19, but it hasn't stopped us! We get into how social distancing measures might impact the future of work, which is an area Bethany's fund looks at as part of their remit investing in early stage tech for good. And we talk about Bethany's unconventional path to VC - including a cool little thing she did post-interview that she believes secured her the role at BGV!
Bethnal Green Ventures
Petra and Lois sit down with Abi Mohamed, one of the busiest ladies in the business. She wears so many hats - founder, scout, developer, programme manager - it's a miracle she found the time to chat! They discuss Abi's role at TechNation, her experience of angel investing and scouting for VC funds, and some of the reasons women are still less likely to pursue a career as a developer.
Abi's on Twitter @abii_mohamed
Community Growth Ventures
This week we’re joined by Sarah Nöckel, the founder of Femstreet and investor at Dawn Capital! We find out more about what goes on behind the scenes at one of Europe’s largest VC funds focusing on investments into B2B software and fintech, how to carve out a niche for yourself in the industry and discuss the classic question: what’s harder- being a VC or a founder? PS. Check out Femstreet here: https://www.femstreet.com/
What does it take to work at Seedcamp - one of the most influential early stage funds? Kyran Schmidt fills us in: on how he went from intern to associate, the foremost qualities Seedcamp looks for in founders, and current areas of interest for the fund.
It's Christmas Eve and we have a special episode for you today! The holidays are a great time to unplug and catch up on your reading, so we've recorded an episode talking about literary works that have inspired us as well as what we're reading at the moment. Happy Holidays, we'll see you in 2020!
Petra and Francesca spend some time with Dele Akinyemi on this episode; Dele is an Associate for MMC Ventures, a fund investing in early stage UK start-ups. From East London to Indonesia, Dele has quite literally crossed the globe in his career so far and lets us in on how all the different pieces – medicine, consulting, start-up operations - fit together.
On this episode, Petra and Francesca sit down with Freddie Evans, Associate at Augmentum Fintech. Freddie explains how Augmentum’s unique public structure sets them apart in the venture landscape and how it benefits entrepreneurs; he also delves into characteristics he thinks make a great investor, explains what the first day in VC is really like and what habits he had to unlearn while transitioning into venture from consulting.
Lois and Francesca chat with Eva Rez, Senior Investment Manager at Sky Ventures. They discuss how corporate venture differs from institutional VC (Eva has experience of both!) and delve into some of the partnerships she's facilitated at Sky. Eva also talks about her route into the investment industry, and how she studied venture capital in San Francisco.
Lois and Francesca chat to Emma Steele, Investment Manager at Fair by Design. They discuss Emma's career trajectory, the remit of the Fair by Design Fund, and how impact investing works.
Fair By Design
Francesca and Lois are joined by Andy Davis, Venture Partner at Backstage Capital. They discuss the companies he's founded, how he advises the next generation of entrepreneurs, his favourite movie star and the importance of product validation.
Francesca, Lois and Petra introduce their new podcast and discuss how they're aiming to broaden access to venture capital. Get involved in the community on Twitter (@associated_pod), Instagram (@associated_podcast) and via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Francesca: LinkedIn, Twitter
Lois: LinkedIn, Twitter
Petra: LinkedIn, Twitter