A Venture Roast: Making Venture Capital Great Again
By Nathaniel J Krasnoff
Lovingly poking holes in startups, Vc, and Silicon Valley.
Venture Capital and Silicon Valley is broken. There are amazing people coming up trying to upend that model, and we're out here putting pen to paper on their visions for the future in long-form 1:1 interviews.
If your preferred listening channel is outside of Anchor, and you'd like the reference links covered in the summaries of the podcasts, please go toanchor.fm/ventureroast
Natalie Sportelli is the Director of Brand and Content at Lerer Hippeau. She comes from Forbes, where she served as Associate Editor for the Under 30 vertical. She sits on the Junior Advisory Board of tech nonprofit RaisedBy.Us and runs @bywomenvcs, a Twitter handle that amplifies content by women in venture capital. She graduated from Colgate University, where she studied English and History.
Lerer's Article on the role of Platform
Natalie's Twitter: @N_Sportelli
Medium post on VC brand
Jeremy focuses on investments across Scale’s technology portfolio with a primary focus on companies adding machine intelligence to business and vertical software, especially in industries untouched by the first decade of SaaS. Jeremy is also excited about frontier technologies including drones, robotics, and novel applications of AI across the IOT stack. His efforts have contributed to investments in KeepTruckin, Solvvy, TechSee, and OM1.
Prior to joining Scale, Jeremy worked on the Sales Strategy and Business Operations team at Salesforce, where he drove initiatives in sales operations, partnerships, and growth, serving as the embedded strategy lead for the SMB business and the sales development organization. Additionally, he worked as a data scientist at Analysis Group, focused on health economics, healthcare outcomes research, and drug pricing. Jeremy started his career as a policy researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he concentrated on consumer credit, college loan accumulation, and education in the age of automation.
Jeremy holds a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Articles and Books Covered:
The New Geography of Jobs
Winners Take All
Stanford - Impact of Venture Capital
Alex Fayette is a Principal at ACME Capital, where he focuses primarily on leading investments in early frontier technology companies and early consumer businesses. Alex currently serves as a board observer for Akash Systems, Astra, Ever/Body, IonQ, quip, and Replika, along with two yet-to-be-announced frontier tech investments by ACME. He previously served as a board observer for PillPack, which was acquired in July 2018 by Amazon. Prior to ACME, Alex started his career on the Investment Banking team at J.P. Morgan, working across their Financial Institutions Group in New York City and the Technology, Media & Telecom team in San Francisco. Alex received his B.A. from Yale University and is a former Yale Whiffenpoof. Alex lives in San Francisco.
Article Highlighted in the Episode
Links from Podcast:
Emily Kramer Report
Good Technology Company NYT Article
An investor by background, Britt has worked with companies across asset classes to scale. Before joining Alpha Edison, she was an investor at Bain Capital Credit focusing on middle market and distressed companies. More recently, she led deal processing and management for #Angels, the seed-stage principal investing group founded by early employees of Twitter. With a passion for financial inclusion, she also worked in corporate development at the fintech startup Funding Circle.
Britt is a graduate with honors from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and with concentrations in Finance and Management. While at Penn, she was a Captain of the Women's Volleyball Team. She also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School where she launched the women's entrepreneurship initiative called Series W and cares deeply about diversity across tech.
Open access to pitch Unshackled
How to Start a Company on a Visa Program
Nitin is a founding partner of Unshackled Ventures, an early-stage fund he conceived to help immigrant founders in the U.S. succeed faster. His experiences working as a strategy consultant, leading strategy and finance at a startup, and as a founder on a visa culminated in designing an innovative venture model at Unshackled. He has invested in about 50 startups at Unshackled across a variety of industries, which has been a perfect avenue to apply his passion and skills including business strategy, business development, solving problems that are considered unsolvable, and doing good while doing well.
Being an immigrant himself and having founded startups while on a visa in the U.S., Nitin understands the venture resources immigrant founders need, besides capital. He is focused on making sure that immigrant founders are not slowed down by immigration in their pursuit of building companies and creating jobs in America.
Unshackled is actively Investing
Nitin's Twitter: @immigreating
Unshackled's Twitter: @UnshackledVC
First LP Episode!
Winter Mead - Winter invested ~$1 billion into >90 funds and companies as an employee of Sapphire Venture Partners and Hall Capital Partners. He was a committee member of the ILPA and NVCA; and is currently an assistant lecturer for Stanford GSB’s VC course. He holds an MS from Oxford, BA from Harvard, and CAIA designation. Winter also runs a maple syrup business.
Winter's Maple Syrup Company: Mead&Mead Maple Syrup
Earnest Sweat is an Associate Partner at GreatPoint Ventures who focuses on verticals whose emerging technologies will have the most significant impact on global GDP, specializing in retail, supply chain, real estate, and manufacturing. Prior to joining GPV, Earnest was a founding team member at Prologis Ventures, the venture arm of the world’s largest industrial real estate owner. Earnest is also a founding Board Member of BLCK VC, a community built for and by black investors, and, shortly after college, founded an online marketplace to provide college advisory and professional development services, which was acquired four years later. Earnest is an alum of Columbia University and earned his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Prashant is a former teacher, entrepreneur, and Partner at Tuesday Capital. Since joining in 2013, he has led or been involved with over 60 investments in consumer, enterprise, and frontier technology including Cruise Automation, Opendoor, Iron Ox, and nTopology. Prashant’s hobbies include music, motorsports, and aviation.
Alyson DeNardo is a Partner at MaC Venture Capital and M Ventures. In addition, she is the Founder/CEO of Alden - a consulting firm focused on organizational and individual efficiency. Previously, she served as Employee #1 at Atrium, building out internal operations and hiring the first 100 employees within the first year. Prior to Atrium, she served as Justin Kan’s Chief of Staff and Head of Social Media.
Aly's Airtable Template:
Book Recommendation: The Courage to be Disliked
Shawn is a great emerging mind in venture that I am lucky to call a friend. On the podcast he talks about the things trends he and the Floodgate team are excited about, some stories from the industry that are pretty shocking, as well as what we can do to give back and make venture and tech a better place people that are not named Michael (if you don't get it look up the JPM story).
On this episode we cover Farooq's 10 year journey to founding Preface as a POC in Venture as well as the topics of Capability Capital, funding the right people, and ways to make venture a more equitable ecosystem.
Need some suggestions on how you can contribute during this time?
Farooq's Medium Article on actions you can take to increase diversity:
How you can be an ally in your day to day lives:
Where to Donate: