Investor Connect Podcast

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

Founders looking to raise funding from corporate VCs should avoid the following mistakes:

  1. Not matching the corporate VC to the needs of the startup - corporate VCs bring not only money but strategic value.
  2. Not understanding the corporate VC investment strategy - some corporate VCs invest for a financial return while others invest for a strategic partnership.
  3. Not building a strong relationship with the corporate VC team - it’s best to forge a good working relationship upfront as it will bring value later.
  4. Not doing diligence on the corporate VC -  the founder should be doing as much diligence on the corporate VC as the VC is doing on the startup.
  5. Not knowing what you want from the corporate VC - it’s best to identify the needs of the company first and then choose a VC based on that.
  6. Not preparing for the product and technical diligence a corporate VC will put on your startup - a corporate VC comes from the large company world with higher standards for product and technical work.
  7. Not getting the corporate VC to waive audit rights - audits are a major cost in time and dollars.
  8. Not preparing for regulatory issues especially in the financial space - not preparing for corporate team transitions. 

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: mistakes_founders_make_with_corporate_vcs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Ben Rifkin, CEO at Ten Eighty Capital.

Ten Eighty is a single-family office and diversified private investment firm with three primary focus areas. Ten Eighty Trading develops proprietary technical trading strategies for the public markets. Ten Eighty Capital invests time, capital, and expertise into operating companies ranging from concepts incubated in-house to late-stage growth rounds and even full buyouts, alternative funds, and other investment vehicles. Ten Eighty Land invests in discrete residential and commercial properties as well as broader development projects.

Ben is the co-founder and board director of AcceleratUM, a privately funded collaborative that advances consensus solutions for the unmanned mobility industry. He devotes significant time to public education and youth development organizations as board chair of the Park City Education Foundation and board director of Live Like Sam Foundation.

Prior to Ten Eighty, Ben served as President of Royal Street Investment & Innovation Center, leading strategic investment and business decisions and advising on Royal Street’s sale of Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Resort to Alterra Mountain Company. He was also a founding Venture Partner of Royal Street Ventures. In these roles, Ben worked closely with private and public companies in the hospitality, virtual reality, consumer products, consumer internet, and enterprise software industries. Ben also managed the Park City Angels as Executive Director leading membership, deal sourcing, and diligence efforts. He helped open Park City’s first co-working space and incubator, PandoLabs, and also served as co-chair and emcee of Thin Air, a business leadership and innovation conference underwritten by the Park City Chamber of Commerce.

Ben began his professional career in media, working his way up at Time Warner and Bonnier Corporation from intern to eventually become the youngest-ever Publisher of the SKI and Skiing brands while also serving as associate publisher of Saveur and Garden Design. He left media to pursue a career in finance via sports and entertainment, first as SVP Marketing and Operations at Consumer Capital Partners and world-class cycling stage race the US Pro Challenge, and later as President and General Manager of the Denver Cutthroats, the AA-affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

Ben grew up in Maine, graduated from Hebron Academy, and went on to the alpine ski race at Dartmouth College, where he majored in creative writing and was involved in various academic and social organizations.

Ben discusses his investment thesis, some of the startups he has invested in, and some of their challenges.

You can visit Ten Eighty Capital at, and via LinkedIn at  

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

Music courtesy of Bensound.

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