Investor Connect Podcast

In this episode, Hall interviews John Fein of Firebrand Ventures, a Midwest-oriented venture fund focused on seed-stage software startups. John is an experienced entrepreneur and founder, who got into startup investing with Techstars in Kansas City.

Direct download: 182_--_John_Fein_of_Firebrand_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Nathan Scripps of Common Sense Growth, a for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit Common Sense Media, which is the largest and leading nonprofit for school-age kids and their families in the country. Nathan honed his investing knowledge through his early experiences with automotive startups. He relates how he came to Common Sense Growth, and how the idea of working in a nonprofit governed environment, focused on improving the lives of kids, appealed to him.

Direct download: 181_--_Nathan_Scripps_of_Commonsense_Growth.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:18pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Andrii Zamovsky of Ambisafe, a blockchain software company specializing in software for financial markets. Ambisafe builds complex infrastructure on the blockchain, and provides end-to-end token sale infrastructure. As Andrii puts it, their "mission is to democratize financial markets, to ensure the maximum financial inclusion and make sure that everyone can use the same services like changes, investment services, fundraising and so on".

Direct download: 180--_Andrii_Zamovsky_of_Ambisafe.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:39pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Eric Rosenblum of Tsingyuan Ventures, a technology-focused venture fund based in Los Altos, California.

Tsingyuan invests in seed to A-round startups in the United States, and is a successor fund to the TEEC Angel Fund. Eric talks about his start investing in China and how they formed their investment thesis. Specifically, they consider investments that are comparatively valuable in China, that can assemble a team that can function well in China, and that focus on cross-disciplinary technology.


Direct download: 179_--_Eric_Rosenblum_of_of_Tsingyuan_Ventures.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:08pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews William Chu of SparkLabs FinTech, a global accelerator program focused on helping promising early-stage fintech companies develop and scale in various markets across the globe.

After some success in private equity in Hong Kong, William wanted to get more involved in early stage investing. When Korea-based SparkLabs was looking to expand into China and other areas, William put together a partnership with China's Ping An, a world-leading personal financial services provider. Willam elaborates on SparkLabs FinTech, their particular interests in FinTech, Healthcare, and Smart Cities, and how those interest overlap.


Direct download: 178_--_William_Chu_of_Sparklabs_Fintech.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:45pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Terry Koehler, a golf industry entrepreneur. Terry talks about some of the characteristics of the golf space, and what led him to become an entrepreneur. Terry discusses the stability of the multi-billion dollar golf industry, and how it an industry that works well for the right investor that is knowledgeable and passionate about the sport.

Terry explains how the golf industry is like other consumer product areas, but that, as luxury durable goods, golf products require perhaps a greater deal of awareness of your customers.As Terry puts it, this involves "learning about the people that are buying your product and learning how you can leverage them through the funnel of awareness to transaction to advocacy". One of the challenges that Terry has encountered is that many investors will defer to their local golf professional - someone who, while they may have local knowledge, is usually not an industry expert.

Direct download: 177_--_Terry_Koehler_a_Golf_Entrepreneur.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:37pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Mike Krilivsky of RageOn!, an online store specializing in revolutionary, one-of-a-kind custom printing. RageOn! has developed a patent-pending, all-over-print technology that allows creators, brands, and artists to customize their own merchandise, from T-Shirts to socks to swim trunks. Their app allows users to upload images directly onto their merchandise using their handy app. And with the first-ever patent protection technology of its kind, brands and artists never have to worry about intellectual property theft, and can expect money on their account every time their IP is used.

Direct download: 176_--_Mike_Krilivsky_of_Rageon.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:33pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Kim Folsom of Founders First Capital. Kim is a serial tech entrepreneur for over 20 years, who has founded, grew, and funded six tech companies, exited three, and raised over 30 million in venture.

Kim talks about her start investing in the under-served service business space. Kim also discusses the attractiveness of the market from a impact investment standpoint, particularly for those looking to diversify their investment. Kim explains that the current number for impact investment is about 280 billion, and that number is growing at a very fast pace. At the same time, investors are recognizing that there's an investment gap in the growing sector of businesses started by under-served, underrepresented founders (women, minority, military veterans, etc.).

Direct download: 175_--_Kim_Folsom_of_Founders_First.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:26pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Jorge Azpe and Samuel Gutierrez of Schok LLC, manufacturer of retail electronics, including tablets and cell phones.

Samuel and Jorge talk about how they got into the mobile device space, and the opportunities they saw there, particularly in the mid-tier of phones. They talk about some of the challenges in the manufacturing space - and what sets them apart in terms of quality of manufacturing and design. They've analyzed their competition and focused on several quality differentiators that will help set their products apart. Samuel and Jorge emphasize the importance of developing the right strategic partners on the manufacturing side. They also discuss some of the marketing, design, and price point choices they made, and why.

Direct download: 174_--_Jorge_and_Samuel_of_Schok_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:23pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Michael Zavet of Canada-based Hyperion Exchange, a platform for trading tokenized financial instruments using blockchain technology.

Michael and Hall discuss the current state of the crypto market in general, and the cryptocurrency market for real estate applications. Michael talks about some of the current blockchain application investments going on in the real estate space. Michael and Hall go over some of the regulatory hurdles that companies are now facing, and Hyperion's strategies for unlocking secondary markets.

Direct download: 173_--_Michael_Zavel_of_Hyperion_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:13pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Travis Farese of Real AI. Before founding Real AI, Travis had a previous career in oil and gas services with an engineering and business degree. Travis and partners then founded a services company, which they successfully sold right before the downturn in 2015. That, in turn, led him into commercial real estate.


Direct download: 172_--_Travis_Fares_of_Real_AI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10am CDT

Hall is joined by Ben Bennett, COO of Omnitude. Ben’s background has always been in the commercial side of businesses - anything from telesales, field sales, product sales, all the way through to more strategic and development roles in business. He eventually launched his own company, a consultancy, which focused on startups, enabling businesses to understand their value proposition and then then take it to market. It was on that journey that he met Chris Painter, future CEO of Omnitude.

Direct download: 171_--_Ben_Bennett_of_Omnitude.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58am CDT