Investor Connect Podcast

One this episode, Hall is joined again by Jake Ryan, founder and manager of Tradecraft Capital. Jake brings over 20 years of professional experience in software technology to the world of crypto-asset investing.

Following up on their earlier discussion, Jake talks about the state of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market. In addition, Jake explains how the blockchain space as a whole is still in the building phase. However, he feels that a tipping point may be coming where investors and startups should start to get leverage from the networks they've been building. Hall and Jake also discuss other related topics, ranging from decentralized finance, web 3.0, automation, AI, and more.

Direct download: Jake_Ryan_of_Tradecraft_Capital_fwup.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:50pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Leslie Goldman of the Artemis Fund. The Artemis Fund is the first female-founded, female-focused venture fund in Houston, Texas. The Artemis Fund will be investing $20M in 15-20 female-led US-based companies that disrupt the Consumer Tech, Life Tech, Fin-Tech, and Energy Infrastructure industries.

In this episode, you’ll learn Leslie's background before early-stage and angel investing. Leslie's experience as an angel investor in over 40 companies and as an LP in five other VC funds led her to establish her fund with her two partners. Together, they bring a cross-generational perspective, diverse backgrounds and a huge network for deal sourcing and vetting companies.

Direct download: _Leslie_Goldman_of_Artemis_Fund.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:44am CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Chris Hall of Escalate Capital. Escalate Capital is an Austin, TX-based Mezzanine Private Equity Firm, primarily focusing on high-growth late-stage technology companies, including SaaS, tech-enabled services, internet, and healthcare. Before investing in early-stage companies, Chris had his eye on mergers and acquisitions but at the time it was not feasible due to the state of the banking industry. He then began his career as a management consultant in many different fields including technology, healthcare, oil and gas, and energy. Interested in a more operational focus, Chris worked in private equity before transitioning full-time to investing.

In this episode, you'll hear Chris's take on the current state of the growth equity space, and where he sees it heading. Also, Chris discusses some of the successes and challenges he's experienced in the space, as well as some of the subsectors and applications he thinks, are particularly promising.

Direct download: Chris_Hall_of_Escalate_Capital.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:26pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Fran Maier of BabyQuip. BabyQuip is a sharing economy business that helps families pack light and travel happy to hundreds of destinations in the US and Canada. Powered by a trusted community of trained, insured and amazing independent Quality Providers, BabyQuip delivers and sets up clean, quality baby gear at a family’s hotel, vacation rental or private residence. Fran has been involved with internet startups since 1994, with BabyQuip being her fifth foray. You'll hear about how she got into the sharing economy space, what excites her about it, and where she sees the space evolving.

Direct download: Fran_Mair_of_BabyQuip.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Constantine Potamianos co-founder and CEO of Black Bull Advisors. Black Bull Advisors is a hedge fund that utilizes a proprietary, artificial intelligence technology, to direct and manage technical trading within the crypto space; they are a primarily crypto-focused fund.

Before Black Bull Advisors, Constantine began his career in engineering at Caltech and also has undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Government, and Economics. He then went on to get his MBA and a Law degree from Georgetown. His background has been tremendously helpful in bringing a multidisciplinary perspective to business problems, management and investing.

Direct download: Constantine_Potamianos_of_Black_Bull_Advisors_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:34am CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Karyn Scott of Care2Rock. Care2Rock is a company that is absolutely committed and passionate about helping transform lives through music. This philosophy is rooted in everything they do, especially the teachers they select through a triple-vetting process to teach on the platform. Karyn launched Care2Rock in May of last year. After a year and a half of technology development, they've arrived at the best audio/video conferencing solution for music lessons.

Karyn previously started the nonprofit Kids In A New Groove, connecting foster care youth with music teachers. Through this nonprofit work, she saw that there was a need for qualified teachers for paying customers as well as students. Karyn became interested in connecting people with quality music education through technology, and wanted to work with teachers to benefit youth in foster care. Care2Rock combines this social impact component with an affordable online platform, bringing together the best music teachers across the country.


Direct download: Karyn_Scott_of_Care2Rock.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:06pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Chris Bystrom of Ruca. Before investing in early-stage companies, Chris has a background running UX design firms in Chicago, Tokyo, and New York. He built large enterprise-grade software for clients and then ran his startup for two years. During that period, he had a chance to see what worked in that space and what did not. Jake wanted to create a different model and founded Ruca, a founder-support system for early-stage capital and advisory. 


Direct download: Chris_Bystrom_of_Ruca.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Jay Olshansky Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at of Lapetus Solutions. Lapetus Solutions, Inc. (LSI) is a science and technology growth company dedicated to creating products and services that will revolutionize the prediction of life events. By combining biodemography, dynamic questioning, and facial analytics, while harnessing the power of cloud computing, our scientific approach delivers faster, more accurate results in real-time.

Direct download: Jay_Olshansky_of_Lapetus_Solutions_Inc.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:30pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Luni Libes of Fledge, a global network of conscious company accelerators and impact investment funds. Luni is a serial entrepreneur. He started his first company in 1992. Luni then spent 20 years working with tech startups. Right around the 20-year mark, he decided to start a business accelerator and in that process, he started investing in startups.

In this episode, you’ll get Luni’s unique perspective and advice to those wanting to invest. Luni says the key is to see as many deals as you can before you jump in with two feet, but also to take a few steps back and look around and question everything. Luni sets himself apart from other investors by investing in a forum that's not typical. He invests in revenue-based equity. He invests in sectors and geographies that are not common.

Direct download: Luni_Libes_of_Fledge.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:09am CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Jimmy Frischling of Branded Strategic Hospitality. Before investing in early-stage companies, Jimmy has a career spanning just under 30 years in financial and capital markets. He started his career in investment banking with a firm called Kidder Peabody - which no longer exists - and was always on the sell-side working for firms such as Bear Stearns and Paine Webber. Jimmy then moved on to work with institutional and large banks with Florida Securities where he ran the US-structured credit team. There was a focus on debt and fixed income as well as illiquid, opaque and emerging asset classes.

In this episode, you’ll hear about Jimmy's path to investing in the hospitality technology sector as well as advice to new investors in the space. According to Jimmy, a key component is to be about people. Get to know the founder, the CEO and their leadership, the people they're surrounding themselves with, because that's going to be a big factor.

Direct download: Jimmy_Frischling_of_Branded_Strategic_Hospitality_1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:46pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Danish Rizvi COO of ASA Ventures - ASA Ventures is a hybrid venture capital firm established in 2003 in Portugal and is currently headquartered in Dubai. It is the combined strength of professional expertise and smart capital, adding value to the start-up ecosystem with a unique investment philosophy and in-house expertise.

Danish has a career spanning over 20 years. He started working in logistics, supply to manufacturing but very quickly moved into the banking industry. He worked in risk management looking at investor needs in corporations. He later moved and was heavily involved in investment banking on the corporate-finance side and did private equity transactions, MNAs and was involved with trust transaction fund structuring as well as strategic planning development.

Direct download: Danish_Rzivi_of_ASA_Ventures.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:47pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Tim Hoerr, CEO of Serra Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focusing primarily on technology companies in the Midwest and West Coast regions. With a background in tech entrepreneurship, he eventually founded a consulting firm which later became the venture firm Serra Ventures. Tim provides his advice for those entering into startup investing, and emphasizes diversification, the importance of the team, and embracing the long-term commitment.

In addition, Tim talks about how the startup investing world has changed and where he thinks it is heading in the future. He also discusses what he feels are the biggest impacts on returns, and the types of deals he looks for. He details a few of the firms they've had success with and why, and what to look out for in terms of risk. Finally, Tim touches on a few sectors he views as especially promising - AgTech and Healthcare Technology.

Direct download: 223_--_Tim_Hoerr_of_Serra_Ventures.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:44pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Janine Yorio of Compound Asset Management- Janine started her career in real estate right out of college working for a private equity firm called North Star Capital. While there she eventually worked her way up to portfolio manager and was able to work on all types of real estate deals from origination to exit, including some that were publicly traded. She then went on to be head of real estate development for Standard Hotels, in New York City, the development company that developed the Standard Hotel on the High Line and owned the Chateau Marmont in LA. She has always been at the intersection of real estate, financial engineering, and consumer brands. This gives her a unique perspective to bring real estate to the fin-tech landscape.

In this episode, you’ll hear Janine’s advice to those who’d like to enter the real estate fin-tech space. According to Janine, it's an enormous sector, it's the world's largest asset class and there are lots of opportunities to disrupt the category for people who are looking to bring a new perspective to what is otherwise a very entrenched and oftentimes, reluctant-to-change industry.

Direct download: Janine_Yorio_of_Compound_Asset_Management.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:34pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Ash Kaluarachchi of StartEd Accelerator. Prior to entering early stage investing in the education technology space, Ash was focusing on helping executives learn from each other. Ash worked with Executive Board in DC, introducing peer groups and best practice research into the corporate learning environment.
Ash explains his advice for those looking to invest in education technology, as well as some of the trends he sees in the space. He also discusses his investment thesis, and how the focus on education technology brings another layer--creating learning outcomes--on top of the typical criteria (team, market, product). Finally, you'll hear about some of the challenges specific to education technology, as well as a few of the immediate opportunities in the space.

Direct download: 210_--_Ash_Kaluarachchi_of_Started_Accelerator.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Bradley Rotter of Entanglement Institute. In this episode, Hall and Brad speak about his early interest in markets as well as what led him to the impact sector. As a trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, it became apparent to Brad that it was an archaic system so he decided to move to California to be closer to technology and made investments as the internet started to boom. After 9/11 Brad decided to dedicate his time, energy and capital to those companies impacting the security of the Homeland. From his perspective, the unit of time is different than it used to be due to the internet. There is a need for investment in security and blockchain so he’s trying to personally impact the security of the Homeland by finding young companies early on and providing them with capital and advice to make them a reality.

Direct download: _Bradley_Rotter_of_Entanglement_Institute.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:35pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Sajol Ghoshal of Advanced Telesensors. You'll learn about Sajol's beginning before Advanced Telesensors and what led him to where he is today.

Sajol developed his sensor career at Austrian Microsystems (AMS), a sensor company that acquired a startup he worked with called TAOS, Texas Advanced Optical Sensors. In that company, they developed multi-frequency optical sensing, initially just for the ambient light sensors market. However, later they migrated that technology into detecting of heart rate, SpO2, oxidation level in the body. In the process, Sajol learned a lot about wearable applications using optical sensors. This became his starting point in exploring sensor applications in the healthcare industry.

Sajol began his career with Level One Communications. Since then he has been working in startups.He focuses on driving value out of technology to intersect large markets, with $3 billion in total exits. Sajol has learned that you have to move fast while optimizing a design to target a critical market segment. You also have to be nimble enough to make changes so that you can address those market needs quickly.

Direct download: Sajol_Ghoshal_--_Advanced_Telesensors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Arthur Veytsman of Immerse. Before investing in early-stage companies, Arthur started his career UI consulting and after seven years of consulting work with various companies, decided to leave and invest in his businesses. According to Arthur, his thesis has always been how to apply technology to an operation to make it better and to make it more profitable. He wanted to start a business that's technology-oriented and work on some piece of technology that makes it better, amongst the competition. As an investor, he likes to invest in companies that he understands and can relate to.

Arthurs advice to new investors is to be careful about just great ideas because those are a dime a dozen. Many people can come up with good ideas, but the company that grabs his attention is one that has prior success and management team. Again, that success has to be proven in the same space. Even if an idea is mediocre, with the proper management team, it can happen.

Direct download: Arthur_Veytsmann_of_Immerss.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:49pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Anu Shukla of Before Anu started her career in Silicon Valley working for companies in the marketing, automation and E-commerce space. She then started a company called Rubric, it was one of the pioneers of defining enterprise marketing automation, there were no enterprise tools for marketing available before that, and the company had a successful exit. She then went on to found a company called Offerpal, which changed its name to Tapjoy. It was a mobile advertising network that reached hundreds of millions of users. Anu was also in the payment space with a company called RewardsPay, which she still runs, that does alternative currency payments and now involved with investing and working with a team to get off the ground.

In this episode, you'll hear Anu's unique views on the AI space and what advice she'd give to those investing. According to Anu, she's a firm believer in AI but one must define what that means. The time for AI and its permeation into all different types of computing has come. So whether you talk about self-driving cars, or robots in factories, or in the case of software you talk about artificial intelligence being applied to marketing and sales or customer surveys, where it's trying to initiate and manage conversations and natural language, she thinks it's permeating everywhere and is a big area of investment.

Direct download:
Category: -- posted at: 3:27pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Moshe Shadmon of AnyLog. Moshe shares his journey before Anylog. According to Moshe, his entire career has revolved around big data projects in companies he founded. Previously his company ScaleDB was a time-series database that optimized time-series data, which is the data generated from sensors and smart devices. This background eventually led Moshe to start Anylog. He saw the challenges that companies are facing when they had huge amounts of IoT data. So, it's not just about the huge amount of data, it's also about the velocity and the speed in which the data appears. It created an interesting challenge for Anylog to address. Also, he noticed the technology, which is based on the blockchain and all of that created the idea that there could be a different way to manage data, that toggle data needs a different platform and that's what he’s done in AnyLog.

Direct download: Moshe_Shadmon_on_His_Story.mp3.crdownload.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:42pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Amos Schwartzfarb, Managing Director of Techstars and author of the
book Sell More Faster. Amos discusses the background behind his new book, and how it got published.
He also details some of the specific sales challenges facing startups, and some of the biggest sales
mistakes he sees startups make. Amos talks about a few of the big misconceptions startups often have
about sales, and looks at some of the ways sales is evolving in today's technology markets. Finally, he provides his invaluable advice to startups on how to approach building a repeatable, scalable sales

Direct download: Amos_Schwartzfarb_of_Sell_More_Faster.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:41pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Gabriel Wyner of Fluent-Forever, an exciting new language learning app. Gabriel talks about his background as an opera singer and mechanical engineer, and his passion for language. He also discusses the language education space and where it is evolving, particularly for online tools and mobile users. Gabriel talks about what is driving growth in the space, and some of the challenges in a crowded market. He gives his advice to investors, and the need to focus on companies and products that will be able to retain customers, not just acquire them short-term. Finally, Gabriel highlights some of the things that make Fluent-Forever stand out from the competition.

Direct download: Gabriel_Wyner_of_Fluent-Forever.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:17pm CDT