Topic:   Venture Capital

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.

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.

From founder to VC to founder again: practical advice for startups and investors :: with Alex Giannikoulis

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Alex Giannikoulis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/giannikoulis/) and I discuss his journey from startup land, to angel investing, to venture capital, to founding a new company again. His current startup (https://goivee.com/) builds enhanced in-vehicle experiences. We dive into not only the story of IVEE, but how Alex’s experience as an angel investor and VC has informed his leadership style and practical advice for founders, especially regarding fundraising.

Growing as a technology leader, engaging value-add investors, and optimizing go-to-market strategies :: with Bill Murphy and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Bill Murphy (https://www.linkedin.com/in/williamwmurphy/), Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sol-cates-649736/), and I discuss the worlds of private equity and investment banking, how founders should think about engaging strategic investors, the different stages of technology leadership as a company grows, and the services that Cresting Wave (https://www.crestingwave.com/) offers to help tech companies mature operations and execute go-to-market strategies.

Entrepreneurship, fundraising, and practical advice for startup founders :: with Troy Henikoff

This week I’m excited to share an in-depth conversation with Troy Henikoff (https://www.linkedin.com/in/troyhenikoff/, https://www.mathventurepartners.com/ ) about his entrepreneurial story and path into startup investing. Troy is one of the most amazing and inspiring people I know. I first met him when I moved to Chicago in the mid-2010s, and his generosity, enthusiasm, and support for founders has been consistently admirable and contagious. After an extended introduction where he shares his story, we walk through practical validation, execution, and funding advice for early stage founders.

Raising your first outside round: How to navigate accelerators, angel investors, and venture capitalists

As 2020 approaches, the market for raising your first round outside of friends and family - traditionally called a “seed” round - has changed dramatically. There are now a wide variety of financial products to fit early stages of your company (i.e. there are no longer standard amounts for early rounds, and a maddeningly large number of accelerators and venture capitalists (VCs) are competing for your attention. In such an environment, the global noise of books, podcasts, videos, and blogs - i.e. marketing material - often steer founders in the wrong direction; i.e. away from local angel investors and micro-VCs who will most likely fill your round.

Introducing Prota Ventures

Along with our first set of portfolio projects, my partners and I are excited to unveil Prota Ventures, a venture-building and early-stage investment firm based out of Seattle, Chicago, and Jacksonville.