Funding Environment Experiences (Notes from Week of Oct 29 - Nov 4)

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to really dive deep or go back and listen yet to some of the segments I happened to catch in the car. However, I included what they were for those that would love to check the companies out! On the ones I was able to sit through a majority of the segment / podcast, I did include more notes - and that was the theme for the week.Different start-ups and founders had opinions from what they took from their experiences and how they pushed forward in building. Whether this included VC capital or what it took to get to that point varied.

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On to the notes:

  • CEO of NURX, Hans Gangeskar (Wharton XM, Bay Area Ventures)
  • Birth control and PrEP delivery to your doorstep - telemedicine platform offering birth control
  • CEO of Brex, Henrique Dubugras (Wharton XM, Bay Area Ventures)
  • Talking about not worrying about dilution - x% of $0 is nothing How helpful YC was and why they thought it was worth it
  • Networking to full effect with his Brazilian heritage (reaching out and connecting for ~1 month initially, before making move)
  • Netflix article - Radical Transparency and Blunt Firings WSJ by Shalini Ramachandran (Wharton XM)
  • Reed Hastings and how he handled employees - very public firings with no counter to the claims
  • An executive or someone leaves, a letter gets sent out describing the transgressions Can be detrimental to that Netflix career/network thereafter
  • How to improve upon everything
  • At Netflix, everyone is rated quarterly/monthly? To determine if they're capable of staying longer with the company
  • Always wanting the best people
  • High turnover for Netflix but longer average time, due to growth rates
  • Do Investors in California Outperform the Rest - Eric ver Ploeg @everploeg (20min VC 070)
  • Founder of Adknowledge - EE PhD at Stanford with MBA, started Angorra and had hired his replacement as CEO Had a board member that reached out to him for venture - his initial thought was that it was ~40 hours a week, even less without golf hours Post dot-com crash, hadn't maybe understood how bad things would get
  • Guys at VantagePoint (investors for Angorra) brought him in to the business Without strategy, he compared a plethora of businesses available as having an AK-47 and being told to "shoot something" With dot-com crash, he was able to hone in on what he should strategize with
  • 2 start-ups - 1 good, 1 bad (years of time that eventually went to 0)
  • Recognized that company CEOs working 60+ hours a week in a sector are the ones that have the expertise He needed to recognize why only 20% of his suggestions would truly work compared to the other 80%
  • Role of board member would be to provide rationality and reason - be human if mistakes, potentially
  • Founders looking to raise - $ depends on business model, what you need to get to revenue traction or risk-reducing milestones
  • Don't be outside the norm of valuation stages (cash flow positive, 18 months burn)
  • Later stage can take more money to scale faster, or grow slower but maybe cash flow positive
  • Talked about (deca-)unicorns - they would've long been IPOs and now they're still private
  • Pension, hedge funds and institutional investors can't get into small equity high growth in public markets
  • Have had to transition to private space
  • 37% of angels based in CA went to series A compared to rest of the world as 21% He can see venture guys if he just goes to coffee shop in the bay area - advantage being there in general
  • Overhyped and underhyped sectors: he doesn't understand food-delivery systems, blockchain and distributed authorization Reduce transaction costs and remove friction for websites or other things (say, $.50 or $1 to process)
  • Mentioned Tomasz Tunguz's blog that he reviews (excellent data and insights - less fluff)
  • Uberland author Alex Rosenblat, Researcher at Data Society (Wharton XM)
  • Interestingly enough - contractors / drivers are not capable of requesting the price They can request a lower wage but not higher - so they wouldn't do it
  • CEO and Co-founder of Benetech, Jim Fruchterman (Wharton XM)
  • Talking about how social good corporations will often be 20+ years behind the times There is a need to change this - and can be done easily
  • Author of Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, Mark Goalston (Wharton XM)
  • Procrastination arouses such a weird dynamic for people People realize they procrastinate but then will compare how 'awful' (re: awesome) they are - weird brags
  • Lea Dunn, Uwash professor (Wharton XM marketing)
  • Impact of Fear on Emotional Brand attachment
  • There is an association with items that you may see during fear-inspired events
  • Mentions Doritos strategy of 10+ years ago where they created a spooky game to play and had Doritos as a corner item, just the brand Turned out there was a strong brand affiliation for the connection made in the game, despite not having it present in storyline
  • Did a study with volunteers seeing clips of movies (comedy, scary, action?) and then had some form of brand that was in the room with them In the scary ones, the brand was more recognizable - food, candy, drink items, for instance
  • Straight Talk for Startups book, Jantoon Reigersman / Randy Komisar (Wharton XM)