Thu, 17 June 2021
In this episode, Hall welcomes Patricia (Trish) Costello, CEO & Founder of Portfolia.
Trish is internationally recognized for her pioneering work in preparing venture capital investment partners through the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program, which she launched in 1994 with the Kauffman Foundation, and continues as CEO Emeritus. At Kauffman Fellows, she created the first training program for venture capital partners and launched the careers of many VC leaders, including numerous women VCs. She realized there was a culture around the VC industry that did not reflect how women like to operate. Traditional VCs were not funding the types of founders, products, and solutions that women wanted in the world, and adding 1-2 women to an existing venture firm was not shifting the equation.
Trish saw an opportunity to create a best-in-class community and culture that united and empowered women to invest in innovative companies that have outsized potential for returns and impact -- and Portfolia was born.
At Portfolia, their global network of top VCs source best-in-class companies and high-value deals and bring deep experience to each fund. They have 10 funds in market and invest in 8-12 companies per fund. The performance of their first two funds placed them in the top quartile of venture funds launched in 2016 and 2017.
Trish was Founding President of CVE Capital Corp, the holding company of a $1.7 billion Fund of Funds founded to endow the Kauffman program. Trish was on the startup team of the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurship center, where she played a leading role nationally in increasing equity investments in women’s businesses and in funding initiatives supporting high-growth women entrepreneurs, as well as equity programs for all high-potential entrepreneurs. Trish led the National Science Foundation SBIR Sub-Committee on Commercialization and was the Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center of Entrepreneurship at Babson College. She led and exited venture-backed companies in the pediatric market earlier in her career.
Trish is on the Board of Directors of the Motley Fool Foundation. Entrepreneur Magazine named her to its 2020 inaugural 100 Most Innovative Women Entrepreneurs in the World, and Portfolia won the 2019 Golden Stevie Award for the Year’s Most Innovative Company Run by Women. Fast Company awarded Portfolia as one of the 10 Most Innovative Finance Companies in the World in 2020, along with unicorns Brex and Carta.
Trish discusses her investment thesis, advises startups and investors, and shares some of the challenges they face.
Music courtesy of Bensound.