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.
In this Fund81 podcast episode, we talk about something that has made our team at MergeLane better investors - the Enneagram Personality Typing System. To talk about how the Enneagram can help other VCs, I invited Kaley Klemp to join the podcast.
As a venture capitalist, I am frequently surrounded by exceptionally high-performing and inspiring people. Until recently, I had never stopped to think about the impact of that.
We are big proponents of using the 15 Commitments in the work we do in Conscious Leadership. However, as an Enneagram Type 1 who is most happy at maximum productivity, I’ve always had a hard time buying into Commitment #9, the commitment to play and rest. Until yesterday….
I am extremely disciplined and focused. However, this can also be a detriment. Anything I perceive as a distraction from my to-do list feels stressful, and I have to constantly tell myself that off-the-to-do-list opportunities are often the best opportunities. I was recently reminded of that.
For the final episode of Fund81's first season, I interviewed Jaclyn Freeman Hester from Foundry Group. As someone relatively new to the industry, she has a fresh perspective on what's compelling to institutional investors and an incredible pulse on the landscape for emerging VC managers. Enjoy!
I’m trying to focus my time on opportunities to operate in my zone of genius and a few select priority areas in line with my passions and in which I feel I can make the most impact, aka my true north. To help all of us stay the course, I thought it might be helpful to share those priorities.
I gave first without question for almost five years. It came back to me in spades. I don’t regret it, and I think it was exactly the right thing for me to do at the time. But then….it just got to be too much.
Dave Balter, the CEO of one of our MergeLane portfolio companies, Flipside Crypto, shares his perspective on investing in the cryptocurrency space. Dave is obsessed with and extremely knowledgeable about cryptocurrency, and has an interesting perspective from both sides of the table.
Most venture capital funds target a minimum ownership percentage when making investments. In this Fund81 episode, Amish Jani, a founder and Managing Director of FirstMark Capital, shares his take on why ownership matters and how funds of different sizes and strategies determine ownership targets.
Venture capital funds are typically structured to have a 10-year lifespan, but venture-backed companies often take more than 10 years to achieve an exit and return capital to their investors. In this Fund81 podcast episode, we discuss solutions to this problem with our our guest, Roland Reynolds.