Investor Connect Podcast

In this episode, Hall interviews Yoon Choi of Forest Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investments in innovative technologies in the areas of mobility, AI, and data analytics.

Yoon provides some broad advice for early-stage investors, and highlights some of the developments and trends in the mobility industry, including electric vehicles, autonomy, and data processing and analytics. Yoon talks about the state of investing in the space, and her main investment thesis for mobility solutions - practicality and scalability. Hall and Yoon discuss some aspects in urban transit, and how it is representative of the larger themes of mobility and integration.

Finally, Yoon and Hall discuss some of the challenges in investing in mobility technologies, and some of the immediate investment opportunities out there.

Direct download: 187_--_Yoon_Choi_of_Forest_Ventures_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:23pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Michel Wendell of Nexit Ventures, the oldest and most experienced VC fund in Finland, focusing on digital disruption. Michel Wendell has 20 years of broad experience in launching and managing international Infocom companies, with expertise in the changing dynamics of globalizing markets and rapidly developing technologies.

Michel provides some broad advice for investors in early-stage companies. He goes on to discuss some of the trends in the European startup industry, and some of the advantages of investing in European companies. Michel talks about some of the challenges European startups face in moving to the US, and the advantages and challenges of doing a so called 'Delaware flip'.

Finally, Michel and Hall discuss some of the specific sectors that may be most ripe for investment in Europe.

Direct download: 186_--_Michel_Wendell_of_Nexit_Ventures.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:09pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Mary Ann Azevedo, business writer for Crunchbase News. Crunchbase is the leading destination for millions of users to discover industry trends, investments, and news about global companies–from startups to the Fortune 1000.

Mary Ann and Hall focus their discussion on the construction tech sector. Historically, the construction industry is one that has been slow to innovate. However, Mary Ann highlights some of the reasons why it has a lot of potential and is ripe for disruption. Mary Ann provides some advice for potential investors in the construction space. A founding team that has first-hand experience in the field is a big advantage.

Mary Ann talks about how rising costs have played a big role in fueling innovation as companies seek to build new efficiencies in the space. While the number of startups in construction is not as many as in other spaces, there is still a large opportunity for funding. Mary Ann explains that, since construction is such a big area, there are opportunities in a variety of component industries - from HR, to project management, to manufacturing.


Direct download: 185_--_Mary_Ann_Azevedo_of_Crunchbase.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:57pm CDT

In this episode, Hall talks with Bill Leake, CEO of Apogee Results, an Austin-based digital marketing agency. Bill and Hall discuss how companies can move their marketing functions from a startup stage to a growth stage company.

Bill briefly talks about his extensive and varied professional background. Bill and Hall then discuss some of the differences between marketing at startup companies and marketing at growth companies, and what their goals are. Bill details why the tech stacks for startups and growth companies shouldn't mirror those of more mature companies. He recommends that startups remain "light and flexible" in their marketing approach. Once they've reached the growth stage, he advises, additional support systems are needed. Bill goes on to provide detailed discussion of the challenges involved in implementing tech stacks.

Bill talks about how seed-stage companies can go about choosing which marketing channel to focus on. In addition, Bill and Hall discuss how to handle the marketing transition from a seed-stage to growth stage company. Finally, Bill provides some advice on marketing budgets for different levels.

Direct download: 184_--_Bill_Leake_on_Marketing_Stack_for_Series_A.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:58am CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Brooke Waupsh, co-founder of Swoovy, a new and unique online dating app. Brooke has 15 years of experience in the consumer sector and has developed expertise in research and consumer insight.

Brooke talks about some of the factors that define the online dating industry, including an overview of several of the major players. Brooke goes on to discuss the market trends of consolidation, but also how the vast demand means that new smaller players can still be extremely lucrative. She discusses some of the unique advantages in the sector, as well as the specific pitfalls that happen when you must balance a need for rapid customer growth while still bringing in revenue.

Finally, Brooke explains how Swoovy has approached the online dating space, with a focus on in-person connections. She also touches on Swoovy's distinctive integration with social and community impact-driven non-profit and volunteer work.

Direct download: 183_--_Brooke_Waupsh_of_Swoovy.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:41am CDT