Kauffman Fellows Podcast

By Kauffman Fellows

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Welcome to the Kauffman Fellows podcast, produced in partnership with Mighty Capital. This season, we feature select Kauffman Fellows as hosts of mini-series, interviewing some of the world’s top leaders in capital formation, all from a place of authenticity and vulnerability. What makes the Kauffman Fellows Podcast unique? We challenge our guests to hang up the superhero cape and get real about the sacrifices, failures, and inflection points that each individual goes through to become the best version of themselves, in order to best serve the entrepreneurs they invest in.

Episode Date
Venture Capital Legacy: Harry Gruner, JMI Equity Founder and Managing GP on Advice for Building a Long-Term Firm
00:39:31

Continuing his series on building an enduring investment firm, Mistral Venture Partners Founding Partner, Code Cubitt, sat down with JMI Equity Founder and Managing GP, Harry Gruner, to discuss his advice for building a firm for the long-term. Harry Gruner is the Managing Partner at JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. He has been working with software companies for more than 30 years, having had the privilege of participating in the growth of the software industry from its infancy to where it is today.

Jun 15, 2022
Venture Capital Legacy: Chuck Newhall, Greenspring Associates Venture Capitalist on Building a 100-Year Firm
00:22:43

Continuing his series on building an enduring investment firm, Mistral Venture Partners Founding Partner, Code Cubitt, sat down with Greenspring Associates Venture Capitalist, Chuck Newhall, to discuss the lessons learned building a 100-year firm. Chuck Newhall is a Chairman Emeritus at Greenspring Associates, a leading global venture capital investment firm that offers institutional and individual investors a comprehensive platform dedicated to the asset class.

Jun 15, 2022
Venture Capital Legacy: Phil Wickham, Sozo Ventures Managing Director on Building an Enduring VC Culture
00:33:28

Continuing his series on building an enduring investment firm, Mistral Venture Partners Founding Partner, Code Cubitt, sat down with Sozo Ventures Managing Director, Phil Wickham, to discuss what makes a winning VC culture. Phil Wickham is the Managing Director at Sozo Ventures, which invests in category leaders in advanced data technologies, eCommerce, enterprise cloud, fintech, IoT, and healthcare IT, among other emerging sectors. In addition to Sozo, Mr. Wickham serves as the Executive Chairman of the Kauffman Fellows.

Jun 08, 2022
Venture Capital Legacy: Susan Mason, Aligned Partners Co-Founder & Managing Partner on the Evolution of Venture Capital
00:37:05

Continuing his series on building an enduring investment firm, Mistral Venture Partners Founding Partner, Code Cubitt, sat down with Aligned Partners Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Susan Mason, to discuss how venture capital has evolved during her career. Susan Mason is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Aligned Partners, which invests in highly capital efficient start-ups in the IT area. Before co-founding Aligned Partners, she spent 15 years with ONSET Ventures, a venture capital firm with $1 billion under management focused on early-stage investing.

Jun 08, 2022
Venture Capital Legacy: Brent Belzberg, TorQuest Partners Sr. Managing Partner on Building a Long-Term Investing Team
00:28:22

Continuing his series on building an enduring investment firm, Mistral Venture Partners Founding Partner, Code Cubitt, sat down with TorQuest Partners Sr. Managing Partner, Brent Belzberg, to discuss how he’s developed and grown his investment team. Brent Belzberg is the Senior Managing Partner at TorQuest Partners, a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds with a proven track record in identifying and building value in a diversified portfolio of companies. With over $2 billion of equity capital under management, TorQuest Partners  pursues investments in middle-market–later-stage companies with the goal of building value through opportune acquisitions, strategic leadership, and the timely use of financial expertise.

Jun 01, 2022
Venture Capital Legacy: Mike Maples, Floodgate Co-Founder and Partner on Investing in Lean Startups
00:34:22

To kick off his series on building an enduring investment firm, Mistral Venture Partners Founding Partner, Code Cubitt, sat down with Floodgate Co-Founder and Partner, Mike Maples, to discuss his transition from entrepreneur to investor and how he got his start investing in lean startups. Mike Maples is the Co-Founder and Partner at Floodgate, which invests in the extraordinary top "point 1 percent" companies earlier than anyone else and provides as much help as possible in realizing extraordinary outcomes.

Jun 01, 2022
Venture in the Middle: John Tough, Energize Ventures Managing Partner On Investing in Industrials in the Midwest
00:32:29

This series of interviews by Maggie Kenefake, Venture Partner with Royal Street Ventures, focuses on investing in the Midwest. In this episode, Maggie talks with John Tough, Managing Partner at Energize Ventures in Chicago, on his company’s focus on digital transformation of energy and industrial markets and focus on emerging tech and capital-intensive industries.

May 18, 2022
Venture in the Middle: Ginger Rothrock, Senior Director at HG Ventures on achieving greater impact through VC
00:32:42

This series of interviews by Maggie Kenefake, Venture Partner with Royal Street Ventures, focuses on investing in the Midwest. In this episode, Maggie talks with Ginger Rothrock, Senior Director at HG Ventures, a VC firm based in Indianapolis with the resources of 100 year-old multi-billion dollar industrial, Heritage Group Companies, behind it. Ginger invests in companies involved in software but also and most often in hardtech and physical innovation, including heavy construction materials, specialty chemicals, and environmental services. More specifically, the company invests in entrepreneurs working in those core industrial business areas, helping to connect the resources Heritage Group can give entrepreneurs to generate better outcomes and better returns.

May 18, 2022
Venture in the Middle: Mary Grove, Bread and Butter Investors On Their Three Areas of Investing Focus
00:31:30

In this series, Maggie Kenefake, Venture Partner with Royal Street Ventures, talked with investors about the untapped potential for venture capital in the Midwest. This episode features Google alum Mary Grove revealing why her newish startup, Bread and Butter Investors, focuses on three specific industries of food tech, health tech, and enterprise software.

May 11, 2022
Venture in the Middle: Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta on the future of work
00:41:15

This episode finds Maggie Kenefake, Venture Partner with Royal Street Ventures, continuing her series of talks with Roy Bahat, a Partner at Bloomberg Beta. The company, Roy said, is a small firm that invests only for financial return, not as a strategic investor. They’re exclusively focused on the future of work and everything relating to modern business.

May 11, 2022
Venture in the Middle: Victor Gutwein, M25 Founder on Midwest-Focused Investing
00:33:56

In this episode, Maggie Kenefake, Venture Partner with Royal Street Ventures, talked with Victor Gutwein, M25 Founder and Managing Director on Venture in the Middle. Victor and M25 focus on very early-stage deals in the Midwest, starting with his first fund of $1 million in 2016 and moving through Fund 3 of $31 million in 2019. They’ve made more than 108 investments in 24 different cities and have found abundant opportunities with a geographic focus.

May 04, 2022
Venture in the Middle: Karen Kerr, Exposition Ventures Founder and Managing Director On Digital Transformation of the Industrial Value Chain
00:39:13

In this series, Maggie Kenefake, Venture Partner with Royal Street Ventures, talked with investors about the untapped potential for venture capital in the Midwest. In this episode, Founder and Managing Director of Exposition Ventures, Karen Kerr, talks with Maggie about her career in industrial tech, her firm’s focus on the digital transformation of the industrial value chain and why she started her firm in Chicago.

May 04, 2022
Secrets of Emerging Technology Ecosystem: Bejul Somaia, Lightspeed Ventures, India, Managing Partner On Transitioning from Operator to Investor
00:36:20

In this series, Pinn Lawjindakul, venture investor at Lightspeed Ventures Partners, explores the challenges and best practices of venture building in emerging markets through conversations with leading investors and founders across India, China, Southeast Asia. In this episode, listen as Pinn talks with Bejul Somaia, Managing Partner at Lightspeed Ventures, India. Bejul got his first exposure to the VC world as an operator just before the dotcom boom and bust, started another company, and then leapt into the venture capital game with gusto.

Apr 20, 2022
Secrets of Emerging Technology Ecosystem: James Mi, Founding Partner of Lightspeed China On Learning from Mistakes
00:33:44

In this series, Pinn Lawjindakul, venture investor at Lightspeed Ventures Partners, explores the challenges and best practices of venture building in emerging markets through conversations with leading investors and founders across India, China, Southeast Asia. In this episode, listen as Pinn talks with James Mi, founding partner of lightspeed China, a leading China focused venture investment firm with over $2 billion under management. James ranks 21st on the 2024 global top 100 VC Midas list.

Apr 20, 2022
Secrets of Emerging Technology Ecosystem: Vaibhav Gupta, Udaan Co-founder On Building Unicorns for India
00:26:43

In this series, Pinn Lawjindakul, venture investor at Lightspeed Ventures Partners, explores the challenges and best practices of venture building in emerging markets through conversations with leading investors and founders across India, China, Southeast Asia. In this episode, listen as Pinn talks with Vaibhav Gupta (VG), Co-founder of Udaan, India’s largest B2B ecommerce platform. VG, Pinn noted, has been “annoyingly successful,” having established two unicorns in the last decade, in Udaan and Flipkart, which is the largest Indian B2C ecommerce platform.

Apr 13, 2022
Secrets of Emerging Technology Ecosystem: Ritesh Agarwal, OYO Hotels & Homes Founder On Building A Top Platform In An Emerging Market
00:25:48

In this series, Pinn Lawjindakul, venture investor at Lightspeed Ventures Partners, explores the challenges and best practices of venture building in emerging markets through conversations with leading investors and founders across India, China, Southeast Asia. This episode finds Pinn talking with Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO Hotels and Homes. The company is one of the leading technology and revenue growth platforms for over 100,000 small hotels and home owners globally.

Apr 13, 2022
Secrets of Emerging Technology Ecosystem: Jenny Lee, GGV Managing Partner On How She Selects Emerging Market Companies
00:30:27

In this series, Pinn Lawjindakul, venture investor at Lightspeed Ventures Partners, explores the challenges and best practices of venture building in emerging markets through conversations with leading investors and founders across India, China, Southeast Asia. This episode finds Pinn talking with Jenny Lee, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, which has funded many emerging-market success stories.

Apr 06, 2022
Secrets of Emerging Technology Ecosystem: Nick Nash, Asia Partners Managing Partner and Co-Founder On Building Successful Business in Southeast Asia
00:35:23

In this series, Pinn Lawjindakul, venture investor at Lightspeed Ventures Partners, explores the challenges and best practices of venture building in emerging markets through conversations with leading investors and founders across India, China, Southeast Asia. In this episode Pinn talks with Nick Nash, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Asia Partners. After starting his career with McKinsey, Nick moved to General Atlantic and was Group President of Sea, Greater Southeast Asia’s leading internet company, where he led the internet company on a journey from a private company to the largest US IPO from Southeast Asia. Nick is a member of the global Kauffman Society for leadership in venture capital.

Apr 06, 2022
Women in Deep Tech: Maryanna Saenko, Future Ventures Co-Founder and Partner on Why Deep Tech is the Space To Be In
00:35:25

Continuing her series on women leading deep tech investments, VP at Boost VC, Maddie Callander, sat down with Future Ventures Co-Founder and Partner, Maryanna Saenko, to discuss everything that makes deep tech so fascinating. Maryanna Saenko is the Co-Founder and Partner at Future Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on frontier technology investments. She has an academic background that mixes material science, biomedical engineering, and robotics, having worked on everything from lunar rovers to long-range, low-frequency communication, and all sorts of interesting robots.

Mar 16, 2022
Women in Deep Tech: Christy Cardenas, Grit Ventures Managing Partner on the Role of Universities in Deep Tech
00:21:40

Continuing her series on women leading deep tech investments, VP at Boost VC, Maddie Callander, sat down with Grit Ventures Managing Partner, Christy Cardenas, to discuss how universities have been so valuable for sourcing deep tech investments. Christy Cardenas is the Managing Partner at Grit Ventures, which funds pre-seed and seed-stage deep tech investments in robotics, AI, and energy startups disrupting major industries like construction, agriculture, transportation, and logistics. She has ten years and $12 billion in investment banking, private equity, and venture capital transaction experience, including M&A, debt, equity, fundraising, and fund management.

Mar 16, 2022
Women in Deep Tech: Tess Hatch, BVP Partner on What’s Unique About Investing in Deep Tech
00:26:08

Continuing her series on women leading deep tech investments, VP at Boost VC, Maddie Callander, sat down with BVP Partner, Tess Hatch, to discuss the similarities and differences in deep tech and other investments. Tess Hatch is a Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, helping founders lay enduring foundations to create companies that matter, starting with seed and Series A investments and sticking with companies at every stage of their growth. Hatch imagines a future where we travel to space with the frequency we currently travel in an aircraft and wants to partner with deep tech founders who believe in that future as well!

Mar 09, 2022
Women in Deep Tech: Abigail Hunter-Syed, LDV Capital Partner on Deep Tech for Visual Data
00:29:05

Continuing her series on women leading deep tech investments, VP at Boost VC, Maddie Callander, sat down with LDV Capital Partner, Abby Hunter-Syed, to discuss deep tech for visual data. Abby Hunter-Syed is a Partner at LDV Capital, investing in people building businesses powered by visual tech. LDV Capital thrives on collaborating with deep technical teams that leverage computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze visual data.

Mar 09, 2022
Women in Deep Tech: Deena Shakir, Lux Capital Partner on turning Science Fiction into Fact
00:34:57

Continuing her series on women leading deep tech investments, VP at Boost VC, Maddie Callander, sat down with Lux Capital Partner, Deena Shakir, to discuss her journey to venture and how she approaches solving some of the world’s biggest problems. Deena Shakir is a Partner at Lux Capital, where she invests in transformative technologies streamlining analog industries and improving lives and livelihoods. She is particularly interested in intersectional and polymath entrepreneurs building breakthrough companies and accelerating advances and equity in human and population health.

Mar 02, 2022
Women in Deep Tech: Suzanne Fletcher, Prime Movers Lab General Partner on the Exciting Opportunities in Deep Tech
00:21:49

To kick off her series on women leading deep tech investments, VP at Boost VC, Maddie Callander, sat down with Prime Movers Lab General Partner, Suzanne Fletcher, to discuss her passion for deep tech and the opportunities that it presents. Suzanne Fletcher is a General Partner at Prime Movers Lab, which invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by the world's prime movers – the inventors who transform billions of lives across energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human augmentation, and agriculture. Fletcher started her career at Morgan Stanley as an analyst in the tech and BioTech spaces and spent a decade on the LP side before moving to the direct investing side, where she remains to this day.

Mar 02, 2022
The Age of Product: Winning Against FAANG: Melody Koh, NextView Ventures Partner on Product Meets Investing
00:35:09

This week, Mighty Capital Founding Partner and host of the series on The Age of Product, SC Moatti, sat down with NextView Partner, Melody Koh to discuss where product meets investing. Melody Koh is a Partner at NextView Ventures, which is a C-stage focused firm. She has experience both in Consumer B2B and marketplace investments. Before joining NextView Ventures, Koh was Head of Product at Blue Apron. She joined Blue Apron as their first product hire and helped scale the business, built out their product management function, and more.

Feb 16, 2022
The Age of Product: Winning Against FAANG: Joe Robinson, Designers + Geek Founder, Circle fmr CPO, now Hummingbird Founding CEO on the Power of Networks
00:29:21

This week, Mighty Capital Founding Partner and host of the series on The Age of Product, SC Moatti, sat down with Hummingbird Founding CEO, Joe Robinson to discuss the power of networks. Joe Robinson is the Founding CEO of Hummingbird, a platform fighting financial crime. Before Hummingbird, he spent time at various financial institutions, including Square, where he served as a product manager. Robinson was also the VP of Product at Circle, an early cryptocurrency exchange. He also founded Designers + Geeks, one of the largest communities of technologists.

Feb 16, 2022
The Age of Product: Winning Against FAANG: Sami Inkinen, Virta Health Founder & CEO on Investor Relationships That Build Winning Products
00:35:58

This week, Mighty Capital Founding Partner and host of the series on The Age of Product, SC Moatti, sat down with Virta Health Founding CEO, Sami Inkinen to discuss the investor relationships that build winning products. Sami Inkinen is Founding CEO of Virta Health, a healthcare technology company. He is also a Co-Founder of Trulia, a real estate marketplace. Inkinen likes creating positive disruptive change in business and personal performance through new technologies and hard work.

Feb 09, 2022
The Age of Product: Winning Against FAANG: Renee Niemi, Logitech fmr CPO, now Products That Count CPO on the Evolution of Product and Investing
00:26:05

This week, Mighty Capital Founding Partner and host of the series on The Age of Product, SC Moatti, sat down with one of the first CPOs (Chief Product Officers) in the world, Logitech fmr CPO, now Products That Count CPO, Renee Niemi to discuss the evolution of product and investing. Renee Niemi is a lifelong connoisseur of great products that make a difference in people’s lives. She has spent the last 30 years as the top product and business leader for leading companies like Logitech, Plantronics, and Google. Niemi has led teams primarily at the intersection of computing and mobility and was one of the first Chief Product officers. She is also a Partner at Mighty Capital.

Feb 09, 2022
The Age of Product: Winning Against FAANG: Spenser Skates, Amplitude Founding CEO on Competing Against FAANGs
00:40:57

This week, Mighty Capital Founding Partner and host of the series on The Age of Product, SC Moatti, sat down with Amplitude Founding CEO, Spenser Skates to discuss how companies can compete against FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google). Spenser Skates is the Founding CEO of Amplitude, a digital acceleration platform that recently filed to go public ーI’m proud that he’s also in the Mighty Capital portfolio. Before Amplitude, he worked at DRW Trading Group as an algorithmic trader. Skates studied Bioengineering at MIT where he twice won Battlecode, MIT’s largest programming competition.

Feb 02, 2022
The Age of Product: Winning Against FAANG: Satya Patel, Homebrew Partner on Disruption and Investing
00:27:28

This week, Mighty Capital Founding Partner and host of the series on The Age of Product, SC Moatti, sat down with Homebrew Partner, Satya Patel to discuss disruption and investing. Patel is a Co-founding Partner at Homebrew, a seed-stage venture capital firm. Before starting Homebrew, he was VP of Product at Twitter. Patel has hopped between investing and product roles during his career, including a stint in product management at Google.

Feb 02, 2022
Net-Zero: Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures Managing Partner on the Importance of Investing in Climate
00:35:50

Finishing his series on the journey to net-zero, Contrarian Ventures Founder & Managing Partner, Rokas Peciulaitis, sat down with Union Square Ventures Managing Partner, Albert Wenger, to discuss why it’s so important to invest in climate.

Jan 19, 2022
Net-Zero: Katie Rae, The Engine CEO & Managing Partner on Investing in Impact Companies at the University & Lab Level
00:34:20

Continuing his series on the journey to net-zero, Contrarian Ventures Founder & Managing Partner, Rokas Peciulaitis, sat down with The Engine CEO & Managing Partner, Katie Rae, to discuss investing in impactful founders and companies at the university and lab levels.

Jan 19, 2022
Net-Zero: Christian Jølck, 2150 Founding Partner on Building a Better World Through Investing
00:29:27

Continuing his series on the journey to net-zero, Contrarian Ventures Founder & Managing Partner, Rokas Peciulaitis, sat down with 2150 Founding Partner, Christian Jølck, to discuss a way to invest that builds a better world.

Jan 12, 2022
Net-Zero: Andrew Beebe, Obvious Ventures Managing Director on Sustainable Systems & Long-term Thinking in Net-Zero investing
00:32:02

Continuing his series on the journey to net-zero, Contrarian Ventures Founder & Managing Partner, Rokas Peciulaitis, sat down with Obvious Ventures Managing Director, Andrew Beebe, to discuss sustainable systems and net-zero investing.

Jan 12, 2022
Net-Zero: Clay Dumas, Lowercarbon Capital Partner on Bringing Government Policy Understanding into Climate Investing
00:30:21

Continuing his series on the journey to net-zero, Contrarian Ventures Founder & Managing Partner, Rokas Peciulaitis, sat down with Lowercarbon Capital Partner, Clay Dumas, to discuss how he is bringing his government policy understanding into climate investing and helping to solve the climate crisis at large.

Jan 05, 2022
Net-Zero: Carmichael Roberts, Material Impact Founder & Member at Breakthrough Energy Ventures on a Passion for Resilient Technology
00:33:00

To kick off this series on the journey to net-zero, Contrarian Ventures Founder & Managing Partner, Rokas Peciulaitis, sat down with Material Impact Founder and member at Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), Carmichael Roberts, to discuss resilient technology and how he’s pursued his passions through venture capital.

Jan 05, 2022
The Human Side of Venture: Ken Elefant, Sorenson Ventures Co-Founder & Partner on the Networking Superpower in Venture Capital
00:31:15

Closing out his series on the human side of investing and company building, Outliers Venture Capital Founder & Managing Partner, Mohammed Almeshekah, sat down with Sorenson Ventures Co-Founder & Partner, Ken Elefant, to discuss the importance of networking in venture capital and how to hone it as a superpower.

Dec 15, 2021
The Human Side of Venture: Jason Green, Emergence Capital Founder & GP on Early-Stage Investing
00:33:08

Continuing his series on the human side of investing and company building, Outliers Venture Capital Founder & Managing Partner, Mohammed Almeshekah, sat down with Emergence Capital Founder & General Partner, Jason Green, to discuss early-stage investing and what founders and investors should look for in one another.

Dec 15, 2021
The Human Side of Venture: Elizabeth Yin, Hustle Fund GP on the Mindset of Investors and Founders
00:29:29

Continuing his series on the human side of investing and company building, Outliers Venture Capital Founder & Managing Partner, Mohammed Almeshekah, sat down with Hustle Fund General Partner, Elizabeth Yin, to discuss the mindset of successful investors and founders.

Dec 08, 2021
The Human Side of Venture: Leo Polovets, Susa Ventures GP on Learning To Be A Great Investor
00:34:30

Continuing his series on the human side of investing and company building, Outliers Venture Capital Founder & Managing Partner, Mohammed Almeshekah, sat down with Susa Ventures GP, Leo Polovets, to discuss the process for learning and being a great investor.

Dec 08, 2021
The Human Side of Venture: M.G. Siegler, GV GP on Being a Supportive Investor
00:38:15

Continuing his series on the human side of investing and company building, Outliers Venture Capital Founder & Managing Partner, Mohammed Almeshekah, sat down with GV GP, M.G. Siegler, to discuss how VCs can best support investors.

Dec 01, 2021
The Human Side of Venture: Duncan Davidson, Bullpen Capital General Partner on Managing People and Personalities When Investing
00:43:28

To kick off his series on the human side of investing and company building, Outliers Venture Capital Founder & Managing Partner, Mohammed Almeshekah, sat down with Bullpen Capital General Partner, Duncan Davidson, to discuss how to navigate people and personalities in venture capital.

Dec 01, 2021
From Vet to VC: Larsen Jensen, Harpoon Ventures Co-Founder and General Partner On Connecting VC with US Government Opportunities
00:40:35

In this series called Vet to Venture, Wayne Moore, Managing Partner at Alumni Ventures Basecamp Fund, talks with veterans about their unique path in the military to a career in venture and technology. In this episode, Wayne talks with Larsen Jensen, Co-founder and General Partner at Harpoon Ventures about how his “unplanned” path from a military career into VC has worked out so well.

Nov 17, 2021
From Vet to VC: Brad Harrison, Scout Ventures General Partner On VC Success After the Military
00:31:16

In this series called Vet to Venture, Wayne Moore, Managing Partner at Alumni Ventures Basecamp Fund, talks with veterans about their unique path in the military to a career in venture and technology. In this episode, Wayne talks with Bradley Harrison, General Partner with Scout Ventures, about how veterans are well positioned to transition from the military into entrepreneurial life.

Nov 17, 2021
From Vet to VC: Zachary Ellis, HTX Fund Managing Partner On University Tech Transfer and VC Success
00:30:50

In this series called Vet to Venture, Wayne Moore, Managing Partner at Alumni Ventures Basecamp Fund, talks with veterans about their unique path in the military to a career in venture and technology. In this episode, Wayne talks with Zachary Ellis, Managing Partner with HTX Fund, on thriving in VC after his military career and how he got into the VC universe.

Nov 10, 2021
From Vet to VC: Sherman Williams, Academy Investor Network Managing Partner On “growing up” in the Navy
00:42:27

In this series called Vet to Venture, Wayne Moore, Managing Partner at Alumni Ventures Basecamp Fund, talks with veterans about their unique path in the military to a career in venture and technology. In this episode, Wayne and Sherman Williams, Managing Partner of the Academy Investor Network, a virtual platform created for U.S. Service Academy Graduates to invest in venture-backed startups in two areas of investment focus: dual-use technology startups and the veteran-led startups.

Nov 10, 2021
From Vet to VC: Todd Connor, Bunker Labs Founder, On How He’s Helping Veterans Embrace Entrepreneurship and VC
00:38:29

In this series called Vet to Venture Capital, Wayne Moore, Managing Partner at AVG Basecamp Fund, talks with veterans about their unique path in the military to a career in venture and technology. In this episode, Wayne and Todd Connor, Navy veteran and founder of Bunker Labs and author of Third Shift Entrepreneur, talk about how vets transition out of the strong direction of the military and into the self direction of the entrepreneur life.

Nov 03, 2021
From Vet to VC: Tyson Clark, GV Partner, On An Incremental Path to VC
00:33:25

In this series called Vet to Venture Capital, Wayne Moore, Managing Partner at Alumni Ventures Basecamp Fund, talks with veterans about their unique path in the military to a career in venture and technology. In this episode, Wayne and Tyson Clark, General Partner at GV, formerly Google Ventures, talk about his history at Stanford, ROTC, serving on a nuclear fast-attack submarine officer, business school, and entering the business world.

Nov 03, 2021
Path to Conviction: Adam Goulburn, LUX Capital Partner on Conviction in VC
00:28:15

Grove Ventures General Partner Renana Ashkenazi digs into the topic of winning the deal, the before and the after. She’s finishing the series with Adam Goulburn, Partner at Lux Capital, who invests with the idea of “no idea too early and no idea too crazy.” Adam’s areas of focus include biotech, and he always considers the question, “Is this a science project? Or is this science and technology ready for primetime?”

Oct 20, 2021
Path to Conviction: Ann Miura Ko, Floodgate Co-founding Partner on Getting to Conviction Through Gut Feeling
00:29:16

Grove Ventures General Partner Renana Ashkenazi digs into the topic of winning the deal, the before and the after. In this episode Renana talks with with Ann Miura-Ko on the idea of conviction through gut feeling. Venture investing is a “head and heart” approach, and some investors feel that due diligence is a process where you try to convince your head of what your gut said in the very first meeting. All the data in the world isn't enough to do that, as what you really want is to feel that conviction.

Oct 20, 2021
Path to Conviction: Wen Hsieh, Kleiner Perkins Partner on His Framework for Achieving Conviction
00:31:26

Grove Ventures General Partner Renana Ashkenazi digs into the topic of winning the deal, the before and the after. In this episode Renana digs deep into the idea of conviction. Venture investing is a “head and heart” approach, and some investors feel that due diligence is a process where you try to convince your head of what your gut said in the very first meeting. This episode finds Renana with Wen Hsieh, Partner at Kleiner Perkins, and get into his five requirements for conviction.

Oct 13, 2021
Path to Conviction: Lior Susan, Eclipse Ventures Founding Partner on Using Conviction for Unanimous Votes
00:28:27

Grove Ventures General Partner Renana Ashkenazi digs into the topic of winning the deal, the before and the after. In this episode Renana digs deep into the idea of conviction. Venture investing is a “head and heart” approach, and some investors feel that due diligence is a process where you try to convince your head of what your gut said in the very first meeting. 


In this episode Renana talks with Lior Susan, Founding Partner at Eclipse Ventures, which invests in tech firms that Lior believes will outperform the established companies in legacy industries.

Oct 13, 2021
Path to Conviction: Julie Yoo, Andreessen Horowitz Partner On Cultivating A Prepared Mind
00:29:45

Grove Ventures General Partner Renana Ashkenazi digs into the topic of winning the deal, the before and the after. In this episode Renana digs deep into the idea of conviction. Venture investing is a “head and heart” approach, and some investors feel that due diligence is a process where you try to convince your head of what your gut said in the very first meeting. All the data in the world isn't enough to do that, as what you really want is to feel that conviction.

As a founder with a product background and now in healthcare VC, Julie has excelled in several different arenas in business, and a different approach to decision making may be appropriate for each arena.

Oct 06, 2021
Path to Conviction: Adam Fisher, Bessemer Venture Partner, On Achieving Conviction with Early-Stage Startups
00:30:15

Grove Ventures General Partner Renana Ashkenazi digs into the topic of winning the deal, the before and the after. In this episode Renana digs deep into the idea of conviction. Venture investing is a “head and heart” approach, and some investors feel that due diligence is a process where you try to convince your head of what your gut said in the very first meeting. All the data in the world isn't enough to do that, as what you really want is to feel that conviction.

Renana talks with Adam Fisher, a Partner with Bessemer Venture Capital and focuses on investments in Israel and Europe across multiple technology sectors, from early stage to growth and from long-tail to enterprise.


Oct 06, 2021
The Value of Relationships - Rachel Springate Udell, Muse Capital Founding Partner, on Synergies between the Tech and Entertainment Space
00:38:46

Kauffman Fellows CEO, Jeff Harbach, sat down with Muse Capital Founding Partner, Rachel Springate Udell, to discuss how important building relationships in venture capital is. Rachel Springate Udell is the founding partner at Muse Capital, which is a seed-stage strategic Venture Fund. She is a leading business development expert in a niche focused on creating opportunities between startup ventures and the entertainment space.

Sep 29, 2021
Investing with a Global Perspective - Hian Goh, Openspace Ventures Partner, on Southeast Asia's Goldilocks Moment
00:38:34

Kauffman Fellows CEO, Jeff Harbach, sat down with Openspace Ventures Partner, Hian Goh, to discuss the global perspective on VC and investing. Hian Goh is a partner at Openspace Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on Technology, Media, and Internet companies in South East Asia. He is also the founder of Asian Food Channel (AFC), a 24 Hour food and lifestyle Pay TV network. Additionally, Goh is a founding member of the Salomon Smith Barney Technology investment banking practice in Asia, which is now a part of Citigroup.

Sep 29, 2021
Radical Self-Belief: Chang Xu, Basis Set Partner, On Investing with Conviction (Not Consensus)
00:34:45

The best investors invest because of conviction, not because of consensus. The top investors have radical self-belief and a willingness to bet on themselves, especially when the odds seem stacked against them. Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach sat down with Basis Set Partner, Chang Xu, to discuss how she developed radical self-belief and discovered her zone of genius as an investor.

Sep 22, 2021
Personal Brand: Chris Lyons, a16z General Partner, on Being Entrepreneur-First
00:44:42

You will typically have over 1,000 interactions in any given year. Three of those interactions will change your life, but you have no idea which three. So, how will you show up to each interaction you have? Kauffman Fellows CEO, Jeff Harbach, chats with Chris Lyons (Andreessen Horowitz General Partner) who leads the firm’s Cultural Leadership Fund (CLF). Chris discusses his impact at a16z, which is rooted in creating win-win opportunities across the cultural influencer and startup ecosystem, while also bringing more Black talent, executives, and professionals into technology. On being entrepreneur-first, Chris shares: “VC is the ultimate service industry. Remove all the financial situations, or what's in it for me, and take the opportunity that you're in as an opportunity to serve.” 

Sep 22, 2021
Unique Investment Thesis: Lisa Feria, General Partner & CEO, Stray Dog Capital, On Bringing a Competitive Thesis to Market
00:43:14

An investment thesis is more than defining a sector or market based on experience or interest. Top investors tailor their passion and convictions to a thesis that guides every investment they make. Stray Dog Capital General Partner & CEO, Lisa Feria, sat down with Kauffman Fellows CEO, Jeff Harbach, to share how her investment thesis evolved into what it is today. Her firm invests in early-stage food and biotech companies that deliver financial rewards and positively impact people, animals, and the planet.

Sep 15, 2021
Talent Environments: Sujay Jaswa, WndrCo Founder & Managing Partner, On Navigating the VC Ecosystem
00:50:01

As an incredibly relationship-centric business, venture capital requires building and maintaining deep relationships built on trust. Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach sat down with WndrCo Founder & Managing Partner, Sujay Jaswa, to discuss how he built a firm that focuses on building those crucial relationships with the entrepreneurs behind their portfolio companies. “We're there for the entrepreneurs, whenever, wherever they need us."

Sep 15, 2021
Season Premiere: SC Moatti, Managing Partner Mighty Capital, On What to Expect this Season
00:26:09

“As a Kauffman Fellow, I'm honored to co-produce season two of the podcast," says Mighty Capital Managing Partner SC Moatti. In addition to founding Mighty, she's the Founding CEO of Products that Count, the largest and most influential network of product managers (300k and growing) in the world.  To kick off the season, Kauffman Fellows CEO, Jeff Harbach, sat down with SC to discuss what to expect this season. “Mighty Capital invests in the best products, and I believe this show is one of them,” says SC.

Sep 15, 2021
Go For It - Allen Taylor, Endeavor Catalyst
00:41:08

Allen Taylor is Managing Director of Endeavor Catalyst and leads Endeavor’s efforts to connect its portfolio of 1,000+ high-growth companies with US-based mentors and investors. Launched in 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised more than $120M+ across two funds and made 70+ investments to date in 20 different countries across Latin America, EMEA and Southeast Asia. Tune in as we learn about Allen's non-traditional path into venture and his sage wisdom for those building companies or pursuing VC. This is a story you won't want to miss. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j

Nov 15, 2019
Keep Iterating - Christine Kenna, IGNIA
00:40:10

Christine Kenna is a parter at IGNIA focused on investments in Mexico. Listen as she walks us through the pivotal moments of her life that have led her to where she is now. Christine has previously worked at EF Education first, Google, Parthenon Group, and the Guggenheim Foundation. This is a story you won't want to miss. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j



Oct 11, 2019
Commitment is Leadership - Ray Hatoyama, Sozo Ventures
00:31:07

Ray is one of the most interesting person you'll meet. He's a venture partner at Sozo Ventures and is an advisor to Pokemon and Sony Music. Previously, he led the expansion of Hello Kitty taking it from a market cap of $500M to over $3.5B. He's friends with Pharrell Williams, he's a wicked DJ, and is a Kauffman Fellow from Class 22. This is a story you won't want to miss. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j

Sep 27, 2019
Leadership Means Action - Andy McLoughlin, Uncork Capital
00:45:30

Andy is a Partner with Uncork Capital, one of the most active seed-stage investors in Silicon Valley. He invests in early-stage software startups that help businesses operate like the best companies in the world either by building better, selling more, or operating more effectively. Prior to joining Uncork Capital in 2015, Andy was co-founder of London-based Huddle, a leading enterprise content collaboration company. Under Andy’s leadership, Huddle became one of Europe’s most awarded and well-known technology startups, raising over $80M of venture funding. Andy is a Kauffman Fellow from Class 22. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j

Sep 17, 2019
Just Keep Moving - Jonathan Lehr, General Partner at Work-Bench
00:44:43

Jonathan Lehr is the co-founder and General Partner at Work-Bench. Join us this week as Jon describes how a degree in biomedical engineering kick started his finance career, ultimately leading him to investing in enterprise software, and excelling at it. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j

Aug 15, 2019
Act Courageously - Jeremy Yap, Prolific Angel Investor
00:46:51

Jeremy Yap is #InTheArena this week on the KF Podcast. Listen as he takes us on his journey from serving as a lieutenant in the Singapore Armed Forces to becoming a prolific angel investor with 77 investments across 18 cities. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j 

Aug 09, 2019
Values First - Elliott Robinson, Bessemer Venture Partners
00:41:23

Elliott Robinson is a growth equity partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Join us this week as Elliott shares his perspective on overcoming interpersonal challenges and how those experiences have shaped both his personal and professional values. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j 

Jul 25, 2019
Do it now - Ted Maidenberg, Tribe Capital
00:39:46

Ted Maidenberg is a co-founder and partner at Tribe Capital. Join us this week as Ted shares with us of how he utilized his ‘North Dakota Work Ethic’ and implemented his father’s values of initiative and action throughout his life. This is an episode you'll surely want to check out - as Ted’s father would say: “Do it now!” 

Jul 18, 2019
Defy Expectation - Miriam Rivera, Ulu Ventures
00:31:13

Miriam Rivera is the co-founder and managing director of Ulu Ventures, a seed stage venture firm investing primarily in enterprise IT. Join us this week as Miriam takes us through her journey of hard-work and perseverance. From leaving home at 14, to becoming a Vice President at Google, to co-founding Ulu Ventures, Miriam's incredible story is one you won’t want to miss.

Jul 12, 2019
Take the Leap - Claire Tomkins, CEO of Future Family
00:32:23

Claire is Founder and CEO of Future Family, a startup helping women and couples start and expand their families using IVF and egg freezing. Listen to her story as Claire cascades through Silicon Valley from Solar City to founding Future Family. Claire is a true inspiration to anyone looking to take the leap. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j 

Jun 20, 2019
Seek Impact - Ernestine Fu, Alsop Louie Partners
00:26:51

Ernestine Fu is a Venture Partner at Alsop Louie Partners where she focuses on disruptive technologies. She is also the author of Civic Work, Civic Lessons. What hasn't she done? Beats us. Tune in to hear Ernestine's story growing up in LA, to starting a career in VC at 19, and her endless mission to pursue impact. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j 

Jun 07, 2019
Against All Odds - Saed Nashef, Sadara Ventures
00:36:05

Saed Nashef is founding partner of Sadara Ventures, the first venture capital firm focused on investing in Palestine. How does one invest in Palestine? More importantly, what kind of guts must it take to do so? Saed's life journey has taken him through the US, to working at Microsoft, and ultimately back to his home where his life's mission began. Tune in to hear this truly one of a kind story. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j 

May 31, 2019
Break Down Walls - Heather Hartnett, Human Ventures
00:35:06

This week, we had the chance to chat with Heather Hartnett, CEO and Founding Partner of Human Ventures, a New York City-based venture capital fund. Heather is gritty, passionate, and is building the next evolution of venture capital through the studio model. Hear her story, what brought her here, and what she's excited about. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j podcoin

May 24, 2019
If You Dream It, You Become It - Marlon Nichols, Cross Culture Ventures
00:43:22

Marlon Nichols is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Cross Culture Ventures. In this episode, we talk about difficult conversations with partners, the promise of diversity in venture, and more. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j

May 17, 2019
Take Big Risks - Trae Vassallo, Defy Partners
00:35:17

Trae Vassallo is awesome. She is the founder of Defy Partners and was formerly at KPCB working with famed venture capitalist, John Doer. But that's not where her story begins. Not even at Stanford. It starts in her home state of Minnesota. Tune in to hear her story. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j

May 02, 2019
Be Unimpeachable - Anarghya Vardhana, Maveron
00:36:24

We had the chance to chat with Anarghya Vardhana, a recently minted partner at Maveron Ventures, a consumer facing VC. In this episode, Anarghya talks about her upbringing, her values, challenges she's faced, what it's like working with Dan Levitan, and her excitement for the future of consumer tech. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of the latest release and to receive the latest insights in VC and startups http://eepurl.com/dzVE5j

May 02, 2019
The Zoom Story & Irrational Obsession - Santi Subotovsky, Emergence Capital
00:36:23

Santi is an early investor and board member in recently minted IPO, Zoom (NYSE: ZM). Listen in as we have the first inside scoop on how Santi met Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, and tune in as we explore Santi's amazing career tracing its roots from Argentina to Silicon Valley. Signup for our newsletter to get notified of latest release and other insights on VC and startups at eepurl.com/dzVE5j

May 02, 2019
Introducing The Arena Podcast by Kauffman Fellows
00:03:55

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of our new podcast series, The Arena. Owing its name and vision to Teddy Roosevelt's storied 1910 speech, “Man in the Arena,” this new podcast provides a glimpse into the lives and narratives of the Kauffman Fellows who are “actually in the arena,” transforming the startup and venture capital universe. This podcast is hosted by Jeff Harbach, CEO of Kauffman Fellows, and produced by Nihar Neelakanti. This podcast airs a new episode once a week and can be notified of the latest release on our Kauffman Fellows Journal Newsletter which you can signup for here

The starting lineup includes guests from fabled firms like Emergence Capital, Maveron, Defy VC and more. In addition, The Arena aims to bring a wide collection of voices and experiences to the forefront of venture capital, from first-time fund managers, to series A founders, to managers from the far corners of the world including Singapore and Palestine.

For more on Kauffman Fellows and The Arena, visit www.kauffmanfellows.org

Apr 18, 2019