I launched my first business in 2005 at the age of 24. This was before Venture Deals was written, accelerators were commonplace and shows like Shark Tank existed. How would my experience as a first-time entrepreneur have been different if I would have started my business with a support system as robust as our startup community is today? I often think about that question.
Now, as an entrepreneur, turned angel investor, turned venture fund manager, I see a striking parallel to my experience as a first-time entrepreneur in 2005. Today, when entrepreneurs have a question, the answer is typically just one google search away. This is not the case for new venture fund managers. With more and more people making the jump to venture, I would like to change that. That is why I'm launching Fund81. 1981, the year I was born and the birth of the millennial generation, Fund81 is a podcast for the rising stars of venture capital. I am going to take all of the questions I have had as an emerging venture fund manager and try to answer them in a way that will benefit others in similar situations.
Fund81 will tackle very specific, easily searchable questions commonly asked by venture fund managers.
I will be rolling out a lot of new content over the next few weeks. Let me know if there are any questions you would like Fund81 to answer or if you would like to be featured as a venture expert on the show.
Onward and Upward.
Kim Smith, executive director of the League of Innovative Schools, shares her thought-provoking insights to help drive racial equality in our venture capital industry, and makes a powerful call for white co-conspirators who are ready, willing, and able to fight.
I am grateful for the clarity and inspiration this emotional time has afforded me. I am more driven to do work that matters than ever before. Because we still have a long road ahead, I'm going to take an emotional breather.
I find that I have to expend three times more energy to feel productive during the holidays. This pattern tends to persist not only during the week of July 4th, but for the entire month of July.
We sourced five startups from our Fund81 VC forum members to present for our June forum. Check out this episode to hear pitches from these incredibly tenacious entrepreneurs.
I have fielded several requests for introductions this week. I like to be helpful, but I also like to be respectful of my network’s time. I'd like to share a few tips for making double opt-in intros easy.
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who has a modern marriage. Three months into this COVID-19 situation, however, I'm starting to feel like I'm stuck in a 1950s sitcom.
In a conversation on my partners Sue and Leah’s Marco Polo Channel this week, I shared that my fear of how my participation may be received given my white privilege has historically kept me on the sidelines of the racial equality conversation. Guest coach Kimberly Smith gave me some great advice.
As a VC, I have the opportunity to build relationships with people who have tremendous resources. I often hesitate to ask my network to support philanthropic causes, because I want to respect our business relationship. After seeing the impact of COVID-19, however, I decided it was time to ask.
I post my most interesting weekly thoughts, coupled with the best of my listening and reading list, and occasional MergeLane portfolio news each Tuesday. Here’s the best of what I’ve read and listened to this week:
I invited Dick Rothkopf, co-founder of Learning Curve International, the manufacturer of the Thomas the Tank Engine toys, to share his thoughts on how to spot big thinkers and big ideas with the propensity to scale, and how to help entrepreneurs think bigger.