Investor Connect Podcast

On this episode, Hall is joined by James Wang of Creative Ventures. Before early stage investing, James started out at the hedge fund Brightwater Associates. His background in both finance and technology led him to really being able to focus on risk investing. At Creative Ventures, they tend to look at the biggest problems facing the world at the moment and go after those with the same focus. James highlights two risks that you can face when investing in early stage startups. First, there's the execution risk in terms of picking the right team. Second, there are the market risks--if you're trying to go after a market as an early stage investor, you need to look for something that's going to be around for an extended period. As James advises, it is important to have both a problem and a space as a starting point to really have the returns that you're looking for.


Hall and James also discuss his unique perspective on investing in the deep technology space, as well as some of the advice he’d give to others wanting to branch out into this space. Creative Ventures makes it a point to research and understand problems and challenges well, and then talk to like-minded startups that tackle those problems. In the deep technology space, James advises that it is important to know whether the technology you're investing in has a real-world market, rather than something that is in a research and development stage that may not pay off for many years. James talks about the current state of investing in deep tech, and how that space is evolving. In addition, James provides some examples of specific technologies, and some of the startups pursuing them, that Creative has invested in. Finally, James discusses how a lack of focus is something to look out for when investing in deep tech.



Direct download: 207-James.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:04pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Rodolfo Bellesi of Ikove Capital, a venture development company founded to pursue early-stage investments with an emphasis on technology commercialization in the Midwest. An engineer, Rodolfo actually started his career with real estate development out of Boston. He later returned to his alma mater, Ohio State, where he began investing in university technology.

Rodolfo shares his advice to people just starting to invest in startups. He stresses the importance of the team, and of ensuring each component of the team is focusing on their specialty. You’ll also learn Ikove’s venture development studio and how it works.

Rodolfo also talks about the venture capital industry, and how it has moved to a later stage in the process. In addition, he discusses the challenges of building an ‘ecosystem’ of companies within the venture studio model, and provides some examples of companies that fit particularly well with this model.

Direct download: 206_--_Rodolfo_Bellesi_of_Ikove_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Flavio Lobato of Ikove Capital, a venture development company founded to pursue early-stage investments with an emphasis on technology commercialization in the Midwest. Hailing from Brazil, Flavio started his career in investment banking after graduating business school. He then went to work with Goldman Sachs in the 90’s and then began to focus on alternative investments.

Flavio shares his advice to people just starting to invest in startups. He stresses how crucial due diligence is for the success of having a positive return profile. You’ll also learn his unique perspective on how the industry is evolving. In particular, Flavio points out the disproportionate amount of investing being focused on a few companies., and what this means in terms of early-stage strategy.

Flavio also talks about their venture development methodology, and why they’ve focused on the Midwest region. Finally, Flavio discusses some of the challenges in venture development, as well as a few of the opportunities or sectors he feels are worth exploring.

Direct download: 205_--_Flavio_Labato_of_Ikove_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:47pm CDT

On this episode Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Mendy Ouzillou of MMOmentum Consulting. In this episode, Mendy illuminates the concept of 'points of friction'.  As Mendy explains, points of friction are any number of things that get in the way of achieving your goals. Mendy focuses on how this concept applies to pre-money startups and pre-revenue businesses, and what they can do to minimize points of friction.

Mendy begins by taking a look at the audience's (in this case, the customer's) state of mind. In general, an audience has expectations, and if those are not met, then the audience has trouble moving on from those expectations. Points of friction prevent an audience from following a presenter - these points of friction often take the form of 'unanswered questions'. Mendy elaborates on the types of unanswered questions, and how they cause friction between the presenter and the audience.

Mendy shows how presenters cause points of friction through incorrect assumptions about the audience, lack of preparation, or by confusing or boring their audience. Finally, Mendy details some of the specific things you can do in a pitch to avoid points of friction.

Direct download: 204_--_Mendy_Ouzillou_of_MMomentum.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:17pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Rita Sudheer of Asa Ventures. As the episode begins, you’ll learn about Rita's background prior to Asa Ventures- Arif Saiyad & Associados (ASA) Ventures, established in 2003 in Portugal and headquartered in Dubai, works on hybrid models of Venture Capital. Rita talks about the state of venture investing in the UAE and the Middle East, and how is the industry evolving. She says there are a lot of new incubators and funds and accelerator programs that have been created and the investment in entrepreneurial ventures have increased notably in, in the Middle East. You’ll also learn Rita’s advice to those investing in the sector as well as challenges and risks she sees. She also says the UAE is a strategic location between the East and West, which makes it accessible to some of the major emerging economies. It's a strategic place and there's a lot of room to grow and experiment. 

Direct download: 203_-_Rita_Sudheer_of_ASA_Ventures.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:09pm CDT