Investor Connect Podcast

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

Companies setting up a corporate VC arm often make the following mistakes:

Treating the corporate VC arm as purely an acquisition pipeline.

There are several other ways to gain value from a corporate VC structure than just recruiting target acquisitions.

Not taking enough risk in selecting startups to pursue.

The startup world has a higher level of risk involved than what most large companies find normal.

Not accepting the fact that there will be failures and planning for it.

Most companies want to succeed at everything. In the startup world, there is a high failure rate and there must be a program to manage those failures.

Not giving the startups enough time to develop and mature.

Startups can take several years to develop a meaningful product.

Most VC funds are set up for a ten-year cycle. 

Make sure your company is committed to at least that time frame for running a corporate VC program.

Treating the corporate VC arm as a business development unit.

The VC arm should be working on next-generation technologies and not just the current generation.

Requiring a majority stake which can be difficult to negotiate and support. Minority stakes are a better fit as it brings other investors into the process.

Low balling the budget.  

True innovation is not cheap or easy.


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

In this episode, Hall welcomes Patricia (Trish) Costello, CEO & Founder of Portfolia.

Trish is internationally recognized for her pioneering work in preparing venture capital investment partners through the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program, which she launched in 1994 with the Kauffman Foundation, and continues as CEO Emeritus. At Kauffman Fellows, she created the first training program for venture capital partners and launched the careers of many VC leaders, including numerous women VCs. She realized there was a culture around the VC industry that did not reflect how women like to operate. Traditional VCs were not funding the types of founders, products, and solutions that women wanted in the world, and adding 1-2 women to an existing venture firm was not shifting the equation.

Trish saw an opportunity to create a best-in-class community and culture that united and empowered women to invest in innovative companies that have outsized potential for returns and impact -- and Portfolia was born.

At Portfolia, their global network of top VCs source best-in-class companies and high-value deals and bring deep experience to each fund. They have 10 funds in market and invest in 8-12 companies per fund. The performance of their first two funds placed them in the top quartile of venture funds launched in 2016 and 2017.

Trish was Founding President of CVE Capital Corp, the holding company of a $1.7 billion Fund of Funds founded to endow the Kauffman program. Trish was on the startup team of the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurship center, where she played a leading role nationally in increasing equity investments in women’s businesses and in funding initiatives supporting high-growth women entrepreneurs, as well as equity programs for all high-potential entrepreneurs. Trish led the National Science Foundation SBIR Sub-Committee on Commercialization and was the Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center of Entrepreneurship at Babson College. She led and exited venture-backed companies in the pediatric market earlier in her career.

Trish is on the Board of Directors of the Motley Fool Foundation. Entrepreneur Magazine named her to its 2020 inaugural 100 Most Innovative Women Entrepreneurs in the World, and Portfolia won the 2019 Golden Stevie Award for the Year’s Most Innovative Company Run by Women. Fast Company awarded Portfolia as one of the 10 Most Innovative Finance Companies in the World in 2020, along with unicorns Brex and Carta.

Trish discusses her investment thesis, advises startups and investors, and shares some of the challenges they face. 

You can visit Portfolia at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at 

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

Music courtesy of Bensound

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