Investor Connect Podcast

In this episode, Hall is joined by Lance Dietz of Chicago-based KB Partners, an early-stage Venture Capital firm. Daniel touches on his background in Chicago, before he came to the KB and the venture world. He discusses how KB came to the sports and technology space, and his advice for investors looking to get into that area. Lance also talks about the sports-betting space and how it is evolving with technology-driven companies on the enterprise side.

In addition, Lance lists some of the criteria he looks for in a startup and details some of the companies they've worked with and why. Finally, Lance talks about the challenges of keeping focus in a fast-growing industry with a constant crop of new startups.

Direct download: 217_--_Lance_Dietz_of_KBPartners.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:34pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Marc Michel of Runway Venture Partners, a New York-based early-stage investing firm focused on post-seed growth companies. Marc talks about his extensive investing background before founding Runway VP. While Runway is focused on SaaS businesses, it also focuses on filling a funding gap between seed funds and typical series-A funds.
Marc details some of the companies he's invested in and why, as well as highlights some of the challenges in the SaaS space today. Finally, Marc discusses the technologies he's particularly excited about, such as machine learning, data science and AI capabilities.

Direct download: 224_--_Marc_Michel_of_Runway_Venture_Partners.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:12pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Tomas Martunas of Iron Wolf Capital, an international Venture Capital firm based in Vilnius, Lithuania and London. After 12 years in the banking industry, Tomas began engaging with and investing in early-stage startups, B2B, ecommerce, crypto-related projects, and more. With this breadth of experience, Tomas provides a wealth of advice for would-be investors in many sectors.
Tomas delves into some of the changes he sees coming to the early stage investing space and highlights some of the startups he's worked with. He also highlights some of the challenges with early-stage investing, focusing on product flexibility and ease of transition. Finally, Tomas touches on some sectors and applications he feels are particularly promising.

Direct download: 223_--_Tomas_Martunas_of_IronWolfe_Capital.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:09pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Daniel Ibri of Mindset Ventures, an international Venture Capital firm. Daniel highlights his background in strategic consulting, as well as his work as a mentor and teacher in Brazil, before he came to the venture world. He explains his focus on the B2B sector and how Mindset helps startups penetrate markets in Latin America. Daniel provides key advice for investors looking to break into the B2B sector, focusing both on team as well as product.
Daniel also discusses how the B2B space is evolving, and how, despite being often overlooked, is ripe with opportunity for investment. In addition, Daniel talks about the Brazilian market, and some of the advantages to be found there. Finally, Daniel explains a few of the challenges in the B2B space and how to meet them.

Direct download: 222_--_Daniel_Ibri_of_Mindset_Ventures.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:08pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Mike Jones of Science, Inc., a Los Angeles-based startup studio and venture capital firm. Mike highlights his background as an internet entrepreneur, CEO, and Angel Investor. Mike provides some invaluable advice for would-be early-stage investors, emphasizing diversification. Mike also provides insight into the internet sector and where it is heading as legacy businesses struggle to adapt or decline.

Mike discusses the importance of actively expanding your knowledge within your chosen sector and using that knowledge to build your investment thesis. In addition, he lists some of his startup success stories as well as what he sees as the top challenges for startups. Finally, Mike takes a detailed look at the regulatory risks in the internet space.

Direct download: 209_--_Mike_Jones_of_Science.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:46pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Felipe Luna, CEO of Omniscient. Omniscient is a fintech data analytics and software development firm and developer of the fast-growing Omniscient CRM platform.  Felipe talks about his start in retail financial services and financial advising, and how he moved into the wealth tech space through the development of Omniscient CRM. He explains the focus of wealth tech, the direction the sector is evolving, and how it fits within the broader fintech space.

In addition, Felipe reviews some of the major players in the sector, and where he thinks the best opportunities and returns will be. He also focuses on some of the challenges, from legacy software and databases to cybersecurity. Finally, Felipe and Hall discuss the future of the wealth tech space and some of the transformation we can expect to take place there.

You can find Omniscient at

You can find Felipe on LinkedIn at

Direct download: 220_--_Felipe_Luna_of_Omniscient.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Edward Corona of New York-based FinTech Merchant Accounts, a specialty firm providing the leading payment processing platform for the equity financing and crowdfunding industries. Edward touches on his extensive background in financial services and fintech, before explaining how FinTech Merchant Accounts came into being.

In addition, Edward talks about the current state of crowdfunding, and how crowd direct and blockchain will shape the future of that space. Edward and Hall also discuss some of the regulatory challenges on the horizon, how Reg A has widened the investor pool, and difficulties in managing payment processes. Finally, Edward speaks about some of the sectors he feels are especially promising.

Direct download: 219_--_Edward_Corona_of_FinTech_Group.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:12pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Dan Conner of St. Louis-based Ascend Venture Capital. Before coming into investing, Dan worked as an engineer, primarily in the oil, biofuel, and wind energy industries. After getting his MBA, Dan ended up in the VC world, in the enterprise sector. According to Dan, he owes his success to 'putting in the legwork', researching thousands of companies to find the select few he likes.

Dan talks about how the enterprise industry is evolving, how traction metrics are being looked at in earlier stages, and how corporate and strategic buyers are becoming more and more selective. Dan also explains his investment thesis, focusing on companies that are unique or approaching their space in a unique way, and provides some examples of the companies he's worked with. In addition, he discusses some of the challenges in the enterprise space, and some of the applications and sectors he thinks are particularly ripe with opportunity.

Direct download: 218_--_Dan_Connor_of_Ascend_Venture_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Karen Rands, author of Inside Secrets to Angel Investing. Karen discusses her background prior to early-stage investing, working at IBM as a business manager. She covers topics ranging from the world of angel investing, her advice to investors, and some of the many ways you can get started as an investor today.

Karen also talks about how investing in a startup can be more of a commitment than many new investors realize, and emphasizes the importance of research, due diligence, and compatibility between the startup and the investor. In addition, Hall and Karen discuss the roles of incubator and accelerator programs, and how they've changed the face of investing. You'll also learn about Karen's thoughts on crowdfunding, promising sectors, and what she calls "compassionate capitalism".

Direct download: 217_--_Karen_Rands_wrote_Inside_Secrets_of_Angel_Investing.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:05pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Bob Bridge of the Southwest Angel Network. Before becoming an angel investor he began his career earning a PHD in computer engineering, which led him to work with high-tech startups, semiconductors and hardware systems. Along the way, he decided that he wanted something different and more meaningful,so he decided to go into angel investing.

The Southwest Angel Network focuses on investing in early-stage social good, social impact companies.

In this episode, Bob shares his advice for impact investing. According to him, you don't look for the unicorns, but rather focus on two factors, the ability to provide a financial return, but more importantly, having the companies convince you that they positively affect societal or environmental problems.

Direct download: 216_--_Bob_Bridge_of_Southwest_Angel_Network.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:30pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Hélène Thibieroz, founder and senior managing partner of We Grow Green Tech.

We Grow Green Tech focuses on accelerating growth for green technology innovation and impact by partnering with early to late-stage companies.

Hélène has an extensive background in technology. She received her PHD in Electrical Engineering from Toulouse, France. For over 20 years, Hélène worked successively as a research engineer for advanced technologies at Motorola, in Austin. She then switched to large electronic design automation corporations where she evolved into marketing, sales, business strategy and management.

In this episode you’ll learn why Hélène shifted her carrier three years ago to enter the green technology space- she has a passion for the environment and a love of technology. She strongly believes technology can be successfully applied to create impactful practical business solutions while making an impact for our future.

Direct download: 215_--__Helene_Thibieroz__of_WeGrowGreentech_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27am CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by John Cooper of Minimelife. John has practiced healthcare for most of his life and for the last 14 years as an attending vascular surgeon at Virtual Health System in New Jersey. Over his career, John has witnessed better outcomes when patients are directly involved with their healthcare. He found that if he can illustrate the medical information to patients the better they seem to understand their health. So he decided to create Minimelife, an application that not only teaches, but also puts the control into the patients' hands for their medical records. 

In this episode John shares his advice for investors in healthcare  from his perspective as a provider. He says many patients are realizing that some of the biggest problems today are involvement in their healthcare decisions. So anything that helps patients' involvement, management and even communication, would be highly successful in the healthcare market. 

Direct download: 214-_John_Cooper_of_Minimelife.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:31pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Patrick Juthberg of Carable, an automotive marketplace that connects
buyers to sellers directly, completely removing the middleman. Patrick, who hails from Sweden,
considers himself a “serial” entrepreneur and has been solving problems for companies for most of his

Direct download: 213-_Patrick_Juthberg_of_Carable.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:16pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Paul Van Kleef of Nannocare. Before Nannocare, Paul started his career attending business school in Los Angeles which led him to work with various consulting companies. Along the way, he decided that his true passion was startups and embarked on starting his own company. Paul began working with product distribution on a massive scale and decided he’d like to get into the healthcare space. More specifically, he focused on the fem tech space helping women.

In this episode, Paul shares his thoughts on the quickly growing feminine technology space and what he thinks investors should be on the lookout for. There are many startups and a huge amount of energy going into feminine technologies. Though the space has not changed much over the years, it is important to really look for those innovative products.  Currently, it is a $20-$25 billion industry dominated by legacy brands, but there are a surge of startups disrupting the industry.

Direct download: 212-_Paul_Van_Kleef_of_Nannocare.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:14am CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Damon Torgerson of Alludo. As the episode begins you’ll learn more about Damon's background prior to Alludo and what led him on the path to education. He began his career in enterprise IT consulting work, with a technical background and worked for Microsoft consulting both educational and Fortune 50 companies. While working with these companies, he and his partner decided to focus exclusively on K12 due to what some called an underserved market. 

Damon shares his thoughts and advice he’d give to investors wanting to jump into education. According to Damon, there's a tremendous amount of opportunity within the ed-tech space, but to be aware that sales cycles are a little bit longer, a little bit slower, so you don't see a fast takeoff. Although slow to start, you also see an opportunity for longer lifetime value, larger lifetime values, so it takes longer to get into education, but you typically can last within education and a lot longer as well.  


Hall and Damon also discuss challenges, including regulatory, market, and technology. Damon speaks about his company Alludo and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. 


Direct download: 211-_Damon_Torgerson_of_Alpenspruce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Eric Smith of AppBrilliance. AppBrilliance, Inc. is a privately held company based in Austin, TX. 


As the episode kicks off you’ll learn about Eric’s background prior to AppBrilliance. Before this, Eric ran Unwired Banking, which was a venture-backed mobile banking startup based in Austin. You’ll also learn what led him to the fin-tech sector as well as pointers for first-time investors that want to invest in the fin-tech space. According to Eric, it's a challenging space to invest in because there is a pretty broad

disconnect between the traction that you need to have and the ability to scale.  


Eric and Hall speak about where he sees the fin-tech industry evolving as well as what technologies are really driving the growth rate in the sector. 

Direct download: 210--_Eric_Smith_of_AppBrilliance.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:04pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Shawn Flynn of Silicon Valley-based TechCode. Before Shawn began investing in early-stage companies, he spent over 4 years living and conducting business in Beijing, China. While there, he founded three companies, one of which succeeded. Returning to the U.S., he ended up in Silicon Valley working at a startup in sales. After making contacts and meeting angel investors, he started volunteering, working his way up to the investment director of the Angel Group. Eventually, he was recruited by TechCode to work in business development and screen potential companies.

Shawn shares his advice on investing in startups, especially for those who are just now beginning their career. Shawn advises investors to have a long-term mindset and ask a lot of questions before they write their first check. He also talks about trends in the venture market, such as overseas companies being further along before they try to enter the Silicon Valley market.

Shawn speaks about TechCode's investment thesis, and some of the companies they've brought on. He also discusses some of the challenges, such as uncertainty with regulatory issues as it relates to overseas investing. Shawn goes over some of the sectors he feels are especially promising for the future. Finally, he emphasizes the importance of long-term strategy, patience when it comes to raising funding, and building relationships.

Direct download: 209_--_Shawn_Flynn_of_TechCode.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:38pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Josh Cohen of City Light Capital. Before investing, Josh began his career as an investment banking analyst at Alex Brown in the 1990’s. This led him to heading a corporate development group for a banking client company called Mobility Electronics. From there Josh joined a private debt firm; after selling part of that firm to a family office he wound up starting City Light Capital in 2004. City Light Capital is in the impact investing space. Josh relates how he came to impact investing after visiting Ground Zero and thinking about what he'd be remembered for if he had been in the Twin Towers. 
Josh discusses impact investing and the future of that space. While he doesn't see it replacing nonprofits, he thinks that nonprofits and for-profit companies be partners in solving some of the most audacious problems that exist. He gives some examples of for-profit companies working on products that could help solve some of society's pressing issues.
In addition to criteria like team and market fit, he talks about how, with impact investing, you must look at investments that can have measurable social impact through the implementation of their core product or core technology. It is also critical that the business model be consistent with the implementation of that product or technology. 
Josh goes on to talk about some of the challenges specific to impact investing. For him, it is important for the company's goals to align with City Light's definition of impact, otherwise they're probably not the right partner for that entrepreneurial team. In addition, Josh talks about some of the sectors that align particularly well with the impact investing philosophy.
Direct download: 208--_Josh_Cohen_of_City_Light_Capital.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:04am CDT