Topic:   Startups

How to prioritize people, relationships, and communication when venture building and investing :: with Linda Olson and Laura Yunger

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Linda Olson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-olson-cpc-cfa-55885858/), Laura Yunger (https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurayunger/), and I discuss the often-overlooked value of people and communication alignment when building and investing in businesses. This is an episode I wish I had 20+ years ago when starting out my entrepreneurial career. Based on their extensive experience coaching and investing in entrepreneurs, Laura and Linda also talk frankly about how to avoid burnout and stay maximally healthy with your team.

Unlearning racism in venture building & investing :: with Lindsey T. H. Jackson

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Lindsey T. H. Jackson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsey-t-h-jackson/) and I discuss the journey of anti-racism and anti-oppression work in ourselves, in venture capital, and in startup ecosystems. We discuss the nuances of dismal representation numbers in venture; how to approach Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) conversations in the workplace and beyond; how to develop a regular practice to self-reflect, define your community, and “fail fast” on your own anti-racism journey; and how to encourage others to consider embarking on the journey themselves.

Startup Finance & Accounting 101: A crash course for founders :: with Veronica Sagastume

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Veronica Sagastume (https://www.linkedin.com/in/veronicalsagastume/) and I talk about all-things startup finance and accounting. From the perspective of what founders need to know, this episode ended up being a crash course in the various high-level aspects of bookkeeping, accounting, controller work, fractional CFO work, tax prep, legal considerations, and finance operating suggestions. Veronica’s firm (https://www.fortifiedaccounting.com/) works with funded, early stage startups and she makes a compelling pitch for why you should seriously consider hiring a firm rather than individuals in the early stages of your funded business.

The importance of diverse perspectives in media, and the Expert Bookings Online (EBO) story :: with Crystal Berger

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Crystal Berger (https://www.expertbookingsonline.com/) and I talk about how her new company Expert Bookings Online (EBO) is working to create a simple marketplace solution for content producers and a wide diversity of subject-matter experts. In addition to making it fast and efficient for content producers to book experts, EBO will also help surface and train experts from all over the world - who would otherwise be overlooked - to be ready to be guests on shows to share their opinions and perspectives.

Starting a DAO (Part 1): A step-by-step story of the initial few weeks

✍️ The purpose of this series is to detail my experience forming a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) from the ground-up with the best tooling, patterns, and practices available today.

Wealth creation and management for entrepreneurs in the 2020s :: with Aryeh Sheinbein

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Aryeh Sheinbein (https://www.instagram.com/aryehthebusinessman) and I discuss a unique approach to financial management for entrepreneurs in light of a rapidly changing tech landscape. While we talk often about venture building and investing on this show, we haven’t yet - until this episode - helped guide entrepreneurs about what to do personally once money is being made. There are a ton of wealth managers out there who bombard entrepreneurs with inbound requests to meet - especially once signs of success start happening - so we talk about how to prepare for that event and plan to navigate the attention. Overall, entrepreneurs today have many new avenues for generating income, and my conversation with Aryeh - who approaches wealth management differently as an entrepreneur/investor himself - is a refreshing perspective on how to approach the topic and mindset.

The past, present, and future of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) :: with Spencer Graham

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Spencer Graham (https://twitter.com/spengrah) and I discuss all-things DAOs. We talk about the history of DAOs, specific case studies and types, a compelling no-code platform (https://DAOHaus.club), when and why to use DAOs, and the promising future of these organizations in the overall technology and innovation space.

The SUPLMNT story: a vision for urban wellness :: with Jairus Morris

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Jairus Morris (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jairus-morris-41a85355/) and I discuss his entrepreneurial journey starting and growing SUPLMNT (https://suplmnt.com/, ← if you are looking for a beautifully designed water bottle, check these out). We discuss his background, early validation experiments, team recruitment strategy, fundraising tactics, vision for his company, and advice for fellow entrepreneurs.

B2B sales strategies and practical tips for startup business development :: with Ken Lundin

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Ken Lundin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kglundin/) and I discuss a wide variety of strategies and tactics for improving sales traction and business development processes in a growing startup. We talk about Ken's journey into sales, how founders should reach out to (and land) early customers, how tangible goods companies should think about retail sales strategies, and how to run experiments and make sales decisions with data.

The Bubble.io story, No-Code/Low-Code for founders, and changing the web app development paradigm :: with Josh Haas

In this episode of The Ventures Podcast, Josh Haas (co-CEO and founder of Bubble.io -- https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshhaas/) and I discuss the implications of no-code/low-code in general - and Bubble.io in particular - for founders building new web apps this decade and beyond. After raising a recent $100m round, Josh and the Bubble team have a vision to replace traditional custom web development with their no-code/low-code solution, essentially as a new “language” that promises (and has proven) to save orders of magnitude of time and money for founders building web apps.

Venture capital and angel investing insights for founders: How investors *should* evaluate your team, product, market, traction, and financial model

In this episode of Ventures, I took the liberty to record a short monologue that outlines how I (https://www.linkedin.com/in/wclittle/) and my partners at Prota Ventures (https://www.protaventures.com) evaluate early stage venture deals and teach new investors how to conduct basic diligence. I briefly discuss what aspects of your founder team, product experience, market dynamics, traction nuances, and believability of your financial model commonly stand out to investors - for better or worse - when making allocation decisions.

Tips for setting up and managing your marketing stack in a new startup :: with Kelly Jo Horton and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, we pull a clip from Episode 37 with Kelly Jo Horton (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyjohorton/) and Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sol-cates-649736/) to discuss marketing operations in a growing startup. Early founder teams often leave the design, implementation, and maintenance of marketing stacks as an afterthought, which ends up costing the new company a massive amount of time and money. In this episode, Kelly Jo and Sol help us understand why bringing in an expert - or at least someone dedicated to learning from experts and driving the integrated flow of marketing data - is essential to any B2C or B2B company’s growth.

How to validate a market for your startup without being naive :: with Bill Murphy and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, we pull a clip from Episode 33 with Bill Murphy (https://www.linkedin.com/in/williamwmurphy/) and Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sol-cates-649736/) to discuss how entrepreneurs should be aware of their rose-colored glasses when approaching a market. It’s not easy to face the brutal facts about what customers need and will pay money for, but the process of asking the right questions and making decisions with an appropriate amount of data is critical.

Love & Branding: Do you love your customers? Do they love you? Do you care? :: with Moshe Engelberg

In this episode of Ventures, I comment briefly on my evolving definition of “Brand” and pull in a clip from Episode 51 with Moshe Engelberg (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mosheengelberg/) on loving customers (and whether they love you back). The best product leaders I know not only understand a market deeply and the value-add a product is bringing, but also think about “uplifting and connecting” people (Moshe’s definition of Love) in and around a product to create delightful experiences for customers.

How to validate a new B2B SaaS startup idea :: with Patrick Lowndes and Brian Geihsler

In this episode of Ventures, we pull a popular clip from Episode 12 with Patrick Lowndes (https://www.linkedin.com/in/patricklowndes/) and Brian Geihsler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/briangeihsler/). The clip focuses on how they validated their Business-to-Business Software-as-a-Service (B2B SaaS) startup, VendorHawk, which sold to ServiceNow in 2018 (https://www.geekwire.com/2018/servicenow-snaps-vendorhawk-help-customers-manage-saas-spending/). We cover how to sell contracts with wireframes, how to reach decision-makers, how to test pricing, and how to set up an “alpha group” as a cohort of initial customers to help your new startup succeed.