Investor Connect Podcast

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

Corporate VCs follow the startup cycle with many launching their programs at the peak of the cycle.

Most Corporate VCs last about 4 to 6 years, at which point the economic cycle creates a challenging environment for the company.

To be successful at running a corporate VC, you’ll need to do the following:

Set goals that are aligned with the corporation.

Are you doing research, learning from the market trends, or driving acquisitions? A
re you pursuing a financial return or a strategic one? If pursuing a strategic one, determine the KPIs you'll use to measure success.

Decide what stage company you want to pursue as there's a big difference between early and late-stage companies with respect to sourcing the deals and controlling the outcome.

Startup investing is typically a long-term investment with a 7 to 10-year horizon.

You'll need to make sure the management team and company can commit to that timeframe.

Understand the cultural differences between a multi-decade old company and a six-month-old startup.

Sourcing deals can be a challenge if you don't have connections in the startup world.

Managing a startup is different from managing a business unit in the company. The needs of a startup are entrepreneurial and don't necessarily fit into the company's current support set. Make sure you incentivize the management team properly for the fund as they can find more lucrative jobs in the VC space.

Finally, set up a dedicated fund for the process so you can support the portfolio with follow on rounds. 
Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Let’s go startup something today.

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Music courtesy of Bensound

Direct download: How_to_Setup_a_Corporate_VC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Caroline Lewis, Partner at Rogue Venture Partners and Managing Partner of Rogue’s Women’s Fund.

Rogue Venture Partners is a venture capital firm specializing in investments in startups. It seeks to invest in new and growing businesses in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. The company invests in entrepreneurs that reject the status quo, and who are driven by market traction. Rogue values ingenuity, insight and intelligence, and accelerates entrepreneurial success with resources, values and vision. Rogue is committed to increasing Oregon's entrepreneurial footprint through committed, sustainable investment in new businesses and growing enterprises.

Rogue optimizes its fund to ensure alignment between investors and founders generating outsized venture returns on market-based exits and are actively investing out of Fund IV and the Rogue Women’s Fund. Rogue focuses on Consumer Health/Tech and B2B SaaS and enterprise in E-Commerce, and Aging/Care tech.

Caroline identifies new investment opportunities for Rogue and leverages her previous experience to assist portfolio companies with growth. She is a Kauffman Fellow and is a board observer for Stix, Source, All Voices, Edify, Caregiven, and EnviralTech. Prior to Rogue, Caroline was Senior Director in Strategy and Operations for Global Design, Product, and Merchandising at Nike where she managed a portfolio of strategic programs focused on consumer experience, digitization, and big data. Prior to being recruited to work for Nike, Caroline was a technology consultant for Propeller and Hitachi Consulting, working with Fortune 100 companies on enterprise technology implementations and organizational restructuring. Her love for start-ups comes from her early career experience as a founder for an e-commerce business and as a leader at a consumer health product company.

Caroline graduated as a Division 1 Field Hockey player with an MS in Psychology from Davidson College. She then received an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship from Portland State University.

Caroline discusses her investment thesis and some of the startups that fit the thesis. She advises entrepreneurs and investors and shares some of the challenges she sees startups facing these days.

You can visit Rogue Venture Partners at, and via LinkedIn at You can visit Rogue’s Women’s Fund at

Caroline can be contacted via email at, and via LinkedIn at  

Music courtesy of Bensound

Direct download: Caroline_Lewis_of_Rogue_Venture_Partners.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT