Investor Connect Podcast

Hall is joined by Michael Smerklo, co founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures. Hall and Michael kickoff this episode learning about Michaels background before investing in early stage companies. Michaels background includes being a CPA and investment banker before attending business school. Once he completed school, Michael move to SIlicon Valley where he first worked with Morgan Stanley followed by Loudcloud for two years. Michael then decided to buy a company. He worked as CEO for 13 years before retiring. At that point he decided that he really wanted to give back to the entrepreneurial community since he enjoyed working with early stage companies and became a VC as the next logical step in his career. Michael also shares his advice to new investors in the startup world as well as how he sees the industry evolving. In this episode, you’ll learn Michaels own personal investment thesis and he came to it. Hall and Michael touch on challenges, risks and opportunities to pursue in this sector.  


Direct download: 166_--_Mike_Smerklo_of_Next_Coast_Venture_Partners.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:06am CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Brent Martin, who manages Revenue Growth opportunities at In Focus Brands, a brand agency, business management consultancy, and capital funding firm focused on executing strategies that launch and accelerate client's needs and goals.

Direct download: 153_--_Brent_Martin_of_InFocus_Brands.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:31am CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Brenda Irwin of Relentless Pursuit Partners. Brenda talks about her start in healthcare venture funding in Canada in drug development, diagnostics, and biotech companies. Brenda now runs Relentless Pursuit Partners, which focuses on health, sport fitness, and nutrition. Relentless focuses on marrying the network of professional athletics with healthcare venture experience, with a consumer product focus.

Direct download: 128_--_Brenda_Irwin_of_Relentless_Pursuit_Partners.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:02am CDT

Hall is joined by Michael Noel of Blockchain Weekly. In this episode, you learn about Michael's background before entering the blockchain space. Michael also shares his views on the state of Investing in blockchain and how the industry is currently evolving. Michael also shares his thoughts on the direction the industry is taking and how the  landscape for investing has changed in the blockchain sector. Michael gives his personal investment thesis and what companies may match the profile. Michael and Hall also discuss the current challenges and risks in blockchain sector and what Micheal views as immediate opportunities to pursue.

Direct download: 151_--_Michael_Noel_of_Blockchain_Weekly_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:27am CDT

In this episode Hall is joined by Eric Desai of Greenhouse Capital Partners. We start out this episode learning how Eric got into early stage investing. Eric joined Greenhouse Capital Partners over four years ago when he found there was a gap in the type of investing they do, food, agriculture and environmental technologies. Hall and Eric speak about what Greenhouse Capital focuses on in detail. Greenhouse Capital Partners invests in small established, early growth business models that promote health, wellness, and sustainable living to create a positive impact on people, communities, and the environment. Eric speaks a little about about what startup funds fit the focus and what Greenhouse looks for. In this episode, you’ll also learn how the food agriculture and environmental technology industry is evolving and how the landscape of investing is changing and growing. Eric gives his own personal investment thesis for this particular sector and how he approaches it.  


Direct download: 150_--_Eric_Desai_of_Greenhouse_Capital_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:48pm CDT

In this episode Hall is joined by Duke Rohlen of Ajax Health. The interview starts off with Duke speaking about how he got into early stage investing for over the last fifteen years. He got into this space between his love for innovation, technology as well as healthcare. Hall and Duke speak about the current trends in the medical device space and where he sees it moving both strategically and with innovation. You’ll also get Duke’s advice on how and what new investors in the medical technology space should look for when investing. Hall and Duke also speak about how to fill the gap in medical technology development.

Direct download: 01_149_--_Duke_Rohlen_of_Ajax.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:11pm CDT

In this episode Hall is joined by Wayne Wu of VMG Partners. We kick off this episode learning about Waynes background before VMG Partners. Wayne offers his advice on entering the CPG space as an angel or VC who has not been previously. He speaks about investors being able to separate their personal viewpoints and being more of an objective investor. Hall and Wayne speak about VMG Partners and how the company invests and what they tend to focus on. VMG works intimately with founders and leaders of branded consumer product companies, providing the resources and guidance needed to propel them to their next level of growth and value. In this episode, you’ll learn more about the changing CPG space from direct to consumer purchase versus online. Wayne gives his own unique viewpoint on his investment thesis, challenges and risks as well as opportunities to pursue.  

About VMG Partners- VMG works intimately with founders and leaders of branded consumer product companies, providing the resources and guidance needed to propel them to their next level of growth and value.

Beyond capital, our value-added investment philosophy commits our deep experience, strategic guidance and passionate focus to help our partners accelerate growth, brand awareness and achieve their own definition of success.


VMG has worked closely and successfully with brands such as Ancient Nutrition, Babyganics, Bare Snacks, Daily Harvest, Drunk Elephant, Health Warrior, Humm, Justin's, KIND Healthy Snacks, Lantana Foods, Mighty Leaf Tea, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Nature's Bakery, Perfect Bar, Pirate's Booty, Pretzel Crisps, Quest, Smashmallow, Spindrift, Vega, Vermont Smoke & Cure, and Waggin' Train Pet Treats.


Direct download: 148_--_Wayne_Wu_of_VMG_Partners.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:22pm CDT

In this episode Hall is joined by Anish Sheth. Anish started his career as finance lawyer before jumping into the CPG space. He decided to follow his passion and started a healthy snack  food company called World Peas based out of Austin. He gives his views on what he would tell a prospective investor before investing in a CPG company. The CPG space is constantly evolving and Anish shares his views on both sales and marketing and its evolution. In this episode Hall and Anish all talk about what big companies do to lose their credibility with consumers. Anish talks about his investment thesis and what he looks for before investing in a potential company.

Direct download: 147_--_Anish_Sheth_on_CPG_.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:57am CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin is joined by both Michael Gord and Rasheed El-Hindi of MLG Blockchain. MLG Blockchain is a global consulting and development firm that builds solutions using blockchains and smart contract technology. We are headquartered in Toronto and New York City with a decentralized team that provides end-to-end solutions for startups, enterprise and government clients. MLG is a blockchain agnostic firm with expertise that covers all aspects of the ecosystem. Our years of industry experience and international network will accelerate your understanding and implementation of blockchain technology to stay competitive. In this episode, you’ll learn about Michaels and Rasheeds backgrounds before entering the crypto sector and what advice they have for those investing in Crypto startups. They discuss the state of investing in blockchain, how the industry is evolving. Michael and Rasheed also offer their insight on the landscape for investing and how  it has changed in the Blockchain sector.


More from this episode:


Both Rasheed and Michaels  investment thesis for this sector

How they came to that thesis?

Challenges and Risks

What are the challenges in the blockchain space

They talk  about the risks they see in this space

And the immediate opportunities to pursue

Direct download: 146_--_Michael_Gord_and_Rasheed_ElHindi_of_MLG.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am CDT