Whitney Sales (Acceleprise): We want people who have indicators of perseverance and who are passionate about the space and the market
Whitney Sales is a managing partner at Acceleprise and an angel investor at Mapped. She is the founder and creator of a consultancy The Sales Method, which helps businesses find their target markets, get products to those markets, and build really efficient sales teams. She has over 10 years of experience in the startup sales area and successfully led four of the companies she worked with to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It was kind of by chance actually. I was running a b2b SaaS consultancy (I’ve worked in early-stage venture most of my career, specifically working with founders on go-to-market) and I’ve met my business partner Mike about 3 years prior to when I’d started the business and he’d started Acceleprise. And over those years we’ve spent a lot of time getting […]
Seth Levine (Foundry Group): We occasionally start businesses ourselves, when we have an idea we like and can find a management team for realisation.
Seth Levine is Managing Director at Foundry Group. His career spans venture capital investing as well as operational, transactional and advisory roles at both public and private companies. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, Seth began his venture capital career at Mobius Venture Capital. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? For me, it was a long time ago. I had lived in New York City for a little while and had been an investment banker. When I was still around 23, I decided that I want to have a life change. And I moved to Colorado and worked for a couple of companies here, including .COMs. After .COM burst, I end up in a company I was running pretty large portion of the business. That company was moving into some different direction, and I wasn’t excited to stay. It was part in being manager […]
Bill Trainor (Mutual Capital Partners): Even with the best technology, you have to have a world-class management team and a board of directors around them
Bill Trainor is a co-founder of Mutual Capital Partners who leads b2b practice there. He is also a co-founder of Access Ventures Fund and has been an angel investor for over 20 years. Before starting his two funds, Bill held a position of Senior Vice President-Head of E-Commerce Investment Banking at McDonald Investments, where his area of expertise included retail, healthcare, consumer, and service companies. He also serves on several non-profit boards, including Flashes of Hope and the Pennsylvania Venture Capital Association Board of Directors. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Back in the 1990s, I was an investment banker at a small regional firm called McDonald Investments that later became KeyBanc Capital Markets group, their investment banking group. Before that, though, in 1997 I made my first angel investment, and I didn’t put a lot of money in, but to […]
Gerard Casale (TYLT Ventures): We’re really interested in anything that’s got great momentum, big enough market and best people.
Gerard Casale is Managing Member/Co-Founder at TYLT Ventures. He is an Angel investor and securities lawyer that has led over $1 billion in capital formation over the past 28 years. Formerly Founder and CEO of X-Laboratories, VC-backed tech spin-off at Hughes Research Labs that partnered with Boeing, GM, and Raytheon; Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Law at Pepperdine University School of Law and Founding Member of Crown Preparatory Academy [now www.stem-prep.org]. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I practiced law as a corporate M&A attorney in Los Angeles and really enjoyed that. I’ve practiced in different areas while I was doing that having started as a litigator and then moving fully into corporate/transactional and M&A work– I’ve been in a bigger firm, smaller firms, and I had my own firm for a while. In the midst of it all, I co-founded a […]
SC Moatti (Mighty Capital): Don’t try to be different because what is going to make you stand out is the quality of your team, the size of the problem you’re solving, the defensibility of your solution and your revenue traction
SC Moatti is the founding partner of Mighty Capital and of one of the biggest networks of product managers in the world, Products That Count. She is also the author of the bestseller “Mobilized: an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology”. SC is a technology visionary and entrepreneur. She has a rich experience of building great products for Facebook, Electronic Arts, and Nokia. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve spent a dozen years building products and companies as an entrepreneur and an executive. I’ve built products for Facebook, Nokia, and Electronic Arts. And then, after I sold my last company and spent a few years at Facebook, I left Facebook because I was invited to write a book on what makes a great product, it’s called “Mobilized: An Insider’s Guide to the Business and Future of […]
Csaba Konkoly (Tiller Partners): Mostly we want to see domain expertise. I’m looking for cognitive diversity, for people that play nice together.
Csaba Konkoly is General Partner at TillerPartners. He was Partner and Co-CIO at the global macro hedge fund Commonwealth Opportunity Capital where he focused on asset allocation and risk management. Before that, he was co-founder of GATKO Partners, a global, top-down equity hedge fund with offices in London and Singapore. He is also President of Capital (captec.io)). How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? My background is in traditional finance. I was a hedge fund manager for tMy background is in traditional finance. I was a hedge fund manager for the first 15-16 years of my career. By 2010-2012 it was obvious to me that the hedge fund industry has changed and the return aspects of public markets are significantly worse than the private markets. I was very constructive on world economy, probably, back in early 2010. I was looking for the highest leverage, […]
Bernard Moon (SparkLabs Group): We’re a global firm. We have 10 accelerators: in South Korea, Taiwan, China, Australia, Singapore, US.
Bernard Moon is a Co-founder & Managing Partner at SparkLabs Group since 2013. He was a Director at iRG, a leading boutique investment bank in Asia, VP of Business Development & Marketing at HeyAnita Korea, Co-founder & CEO of Vidquik, Managing Director at the Lunsford Group, Co-founder & VP of Business Development of GoingOn Networks. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? It started when my co-founder Hanjoo Lee approached me to start an accelerator back in 2012. It was SparkLabs Korea. I thought it was a good idea to start an accelerator and then a year later we started our first venture capital fund. That’s where I went completely full-time in a year later, at the end of 2013. It wasn’t that much of a stretch because I was an entrepreneur, already co-founding four startups. Our first one was such a difficult experience, […]
Ash Fontana (Zetta Venture Partners): We enter at the seed stage. We like to be the the first and most important partner of the company.
Ash Fontana is Managing Director at Zetta Venture Partners. Ash launched syndicates at AngelList – the biggest startup investing platform in the world that now manages over $2B. He previously co-founded Topguest, a Founders Fund-backed company that built customer analytics technology for companies like United, Virgin, and InterContinental. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I was always very interested in investing and in computers, so I just combined these interests. When I started a company I worked in finance, in law, because I’ve studied law. This idea was a sort of coming about in lots of different ways. I’ve built the relevant skills and experience as an entrepreneur. I came my way to Angellist, that, obviously, is a pretty interesting place to be in the ecosystem. And I started investing. What was the most unusual startup you ever supported? Or, maybe, your favorite? […]
Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (Social Venture Circle): Our criteria are very strong on impact, but we also expect the financial return, this is not a philanthropic giving
Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, of Cherokee ancestry, is the Executive Director of Social Venture Circle, a network of impact investors, entrepreneurs, and capacity-builders that solves big problems. Valerie is the owner and a founder of Red-Horse Financial Group, Inc. and has a reach in-depth experience in finance and investment banking, but also in the tribal government sector. She holds seven FINRA registrations. In more than 30 years Valerie has raised more than $3 billion in capital for tribal nations. She teaches Entrepreneurialism for Racial Equity and Social Impact at Stanford and is the founder of several non-profit organizations. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started in finance many years ago. I am Cherokee Indian, so that means I’m part of the tribe, and there are over 500 nations indigenous to America. And I started years ago, when I was young, working […]
Anurag Chandra (Fort Ross): We’re not conservative, we’re not aggressive, we’re Fort Ross, we’re no different today than we were before COVID started
Anurag Chandra is a Venture Partner at Fort Ross Venture, who has been a member of the Silicon Valley tech community for about 20 years. His experience includes investing (NXT Capital Venture Finance, Lighthouse Capital Partners, Galleon Crossover Fund) and operating (senior executive roles at venture-backed companies). Anurag Chandra serves on the Board of Directors at Upaya and is a mentor at accelerator Imagine H20. He is also a Trustee and Investment Committee member for the San Jose Federated Employees Pension Fund. Anurag Chandra has also been a coach to Astia (women’s technology cluster) companies. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It’s one of these things that’s more organic. I had been doing some stuff in my mid-twenties. I tried to raise money for various types of form direct investment projects in India. And I was struggling to get any of […]