I’m diverging from our usual geopolitical and startup discussions to share a collection of recent tech and lifestyle discoveries. My aim is to offer valuable insights and recommendations gleaned from my personal explorations. These discoveries span across Apple's latest features, impactful books for professional and personal growth, notable software suggestions, and practical travel gadgets, catering to diverse tech and lifestyle interests. I hope these findings resonate with listeners and offer practical solutions or intriguing discoveries for their own tech and life experiences.
Crucial traits for successful founders: grit, consistent execution, humility, and integrity. Successful entrepreneurs show unwavering determination, learn from failures, execute plans effectively, and prioritize ethical decision-making. We discuss our belief that these traits surpass education, wealth, or intelligence in determining entrepreneurial success, underscoring their enduring significance in navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship.
In our market analysis, Chris emphasizes the Fed's greater influence over geopolitical unrest, detailing a softening job market with reduced job additions, higher unemployment rates, and slight increases in average hourly earnings. Our comprehensive analysis advocates for deeper engagement beyond the podcast, fostering collaboration within interplay.vc's diverse business opportunities.
Pricing is crucial for your business, as it affects various aspects. You can position yourself as the lowest or highest price player in the market, but it's important to align your pricing with your overall business strategy, either focusing on high price and high quality or low price and high volume, without mixing the two.
Amy Rubenstein, founder of Clear Investment Group LLC, discusses her journey into real estate, emphasizing her commitment to improving living conditions for tenants while ensuring profitability. She identifies key areas for innovation in real estate, like management and photo tracking, and remains optimistic about the industry's fundamentals in 2024, foreseeing potential loan renegotiations rather than a market "bloodbath." This conversation provides insights into real estate and its potential for innovation.
Effectively managing boards and investors is a tough task. This week, Phuong shares some best practices. We highlight the need to choose trusted and knowledgeable board members, set clear expectations, maintain regular communication, and manage negative behaviors. We also emphasize that a well-structured board can be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs if best practices are followed, including making board meetings more than just updates and ensuring alignment of KPIs with the company's stage.
Reacting to recent tech IPOs' performance and the changing dynamics of funding rounds, we emphasize the importance of having a best-in-class product to drive sustainable growth. Founders and investors need to be prepared for different market cycles and should focus on building businesses with strong fundamentals rather than inflated valuations. We also reflect on the impact of the zero-interest-rate environment on tech investments and anticipate future market shifts.
We’re celebrating the 100th episode of our podcast with a big “thank you” to our producer Will Richardson's contributions. The main discussion centers around the concept of pivoting in entrepreneurship. Phuong Ireland, Incubator Partner at Interplay, explains the benefits of pivoting in the early stages of a business and suggests constant evaluation and optimization of product, customers, business model, and positioning. Recognizing the right time to pivot is crucial. Honest feedback is essential, and waiting for clarity in the market's response is emphasized. Finding the right balance between pivoting and persistence is key.
I discusses the current state of the world markets with Chris Zhang, Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Interplay, focusing on the shift in interest rates signaled by the Federal Reserve. Chris explains the implications of this shift on various financial assets and the mixed reactions in the market. Overall, the conversation highlights opportunities and challenges in the evolving financial landscape, with a reminder that the podcast does not provide investment advice.
Zak Williams, son of Robin Williams, joins the podcast to discuss the future of mental well-being and hygiene. He shares how his journey influenced the creation of his company PYM, which creates natural supplements to boost neurotransmitter health. Learn about the link between metabolic health and mental well-being, and how PYM is using data to understand the impact of lifestyle factors on mental health.
After a brief summer hiatus, we’re into the podcast flow. This week’s episode covers current VC market dynamics (shedding light on data hinting at a potential upswing), the growth stage and IPO market with a spotlight on Instacart's imminent IPO and its potential implications for the private market, and the crucial role of crafting a clear and concise value proposition for startups.
Since this one will be the most recent ep for a while, we chose to focus on two important topics to help founders navigate the summer lull: summer fundraising tactics + useful parenting strategies for the entrepreneurs out there raising kids AND a company.
Adam Nathan, Cofounder & CEO of Almanac, joins me to discuss the secrets of managing distributed teams in a structured and efficient manner. We dive deep into the pros and cons of remote work and how to maintain a human connection when folks aren’t in one central office.
On this week's pod, Phuong imparts her classic valuable startup advice, focusing on the intricacies of team construction and the essential factors to consider when making initial hires. Following Phuong’s startup advice segment, Mike and I delve into the current state of AI and its hype cycle, acknowledging its undeniable permanence while highlighting the diminishing wave of initial hype.
KPIs are key to the success of startups, but sometimes companies choose too many to track and enter the realm of analysis paralysis. This episode is all about how to approach KPIs the most effective way.
What does the recent debt resolution mean for the economy? Chris and I discuss, plus we chat about the dichotomy between the stock market and bond market. Additionally, we talk about what’s happening in the world of crypto and all of the regulatory issues that haven come up over the past few weeks.
On this week’s pod ep I sit down for a chat with Seth Levine, Partner of Foundry. Seth has played a significant role in shaping the venture ecosystem over the past two decades and is known for his work in accelerating the democratization of innovation outside of Silicon Valley. Seth is amazing and shares valuable insights into the dynamics of the venture capital industry and the efforts to advance society through entrepreneurship.
This week's pod covers two important topics in the world of startups and venture capital. First, Phuong and I delve into the process of iterating Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) by defining objectives, using user personas, gathering feedback, and analyzing data. Second, Mike and I explore the importance of maintaining transparency, trust, and ethical practices in the portfolio/VC relationship, emphasizing the need for founders to be open about challenges and seek support from investors.
Discover the disruptive potential of venture debt in startup financing with Upper90's Co-Founder & CEO, Billy Libby, as he challenges the equity-focused model. Uncover innovative solutions, real-world examples, and how venture debt empowers entrepreneurs to retain ownership.
This week we discuss the ins and outs of bootstrapping a startup. We also talk about the recent recalibration of Series C valuations and what it means for startups.
This week’s episode is a special one. I have a chat with my partner and CIO of the Interplay Family Office, Chis Zhang, to discuss China's remarkable advancements over the past few decades and what its current status looks like.
During this episode Phuong shares the secretes to creating a minimum viable product + Chris and I brainstorm ways to stop bank runs.
On this episode we discuss how the future of search is being shaped by AI, strategies to validate your MVP, whether or not the dark cloud from the FTX scandal has move on for crypto, and an update on the inflation battle.
Managing and growing multi-generational wealth comes with its opportunities and challenges. As they say, it takes one generation to build it then three to lose it. But why is that? In this episode I chat with entrepreneur and investor Taylor Adams about solving that puzzle by empowering individuals to reach self-actualization while helping the world through an entrepreneurial lens.
Vivian Wang of Landed joins me on this week's episode to chat all about how Landed is making it easier for restaurants to hire talent, a much needed service due to the incredibly high turnover rates. In addition to the interview, there are two partner meeting segments; one with Phuong about building a sales team and one with Brett about the governance opportunities that come with crypto.
In addition to covering the ongoing fallout from SVB's collapse, in this week's episode we chat about some different strategies founders can keep in mind when it comes to storing their startup's cash funds.
It's been a wild week in the world of banks. During this episode we share some of our big takeaways.
It's tax season! Whether you like it or not, everyone has the same homework... taxes. On this episode we bring on a special guest to share some helpful strategies for startups to better navigate the tax madness.
This week's episode is just a guest interview where I chat with Peter Hebert of Lux Capital about building and developing a venture capital firm.
This week we breakdown the tech innovation cycle, chat about Tesla’s recall and spy balloon madness, discuss the importance of customer support, and Brett is back with a state of crypto and blockchain update.
On this week’s episode Phuong shares part two to her fantastic tip on how startups land partnerships, Mike discusses the uptick in VC pace and whether or not it’s a trend or just a January bump, and Chris dissects the messy corporate earnings results and the January jobs data aftermath.
On this week's episode, Phuong shares why and how partnerships can be so valuable fro startups, Chris dissects Q1 tech earnings and January jobs data, and I interview Tomer Biger of Noble about his company, journey and the world of embedded finance.
We're back at it with another episode featuring segments with Mike Rogers, Phuong Ireland and Chris Zhang.
Our team shares their thoughts on the most notable events of 2022 and their predictions for 2023, including strategic advice for startup founders for the near future.
During this week’s Partner Meeting episode, we chat about the following topics: Open AI’s ChatGPT and AI's renaissance, Co-Founder relationship management, China’s updated Covid policy and Russian oil price caps.
VC deal flow may have slowed recently, but there's still a lot of activity happening behind the scenes, including an increase in insider rounds. In blockchain, we chat about how Apple’s in-app fees will affect mobile blockchain adoption. In macro/global economics we cover the protests in China and new US jobs #s. And Phuong shares her insight on how founders/startups should approach building communities.
On this week’s pod ep we chat about the future of Twitter, how Proof-of-Reserves can help crypto avoid another FTX situation, the G20 summit and social media strategies for startups. After the Partner Meeting Segments, I interview Jehan Luth, Founder & CEO of Banyan about his company and the potential improved data collection could have on our lives.
On this week's Partner Meeting we cover the recent tech layoffs, CPI data, the FTX debacle and how to build marketplaces.
On this week’s pod ep we’re combining our traditional guest interview style with the new partner meeting format. We start with the partner meeting and then I chat with a guest. This week’s guest is Alon Talmor, Founder & CEO of Ask-AI. Ask-AI is an Israeli based startup using AI to create Google answers like search results for enterprises. During the Partner Meeting segments, we chat about the danger of overcapitalizing a startup, Reddit NFTs, pricing strategies and more.
Many people think that sustainability and profits don’t align, but on this week’s episode I chat with someone who’s showing that they can and is helping entrepreneurs bake that alignment into their businesses. Tensie Whelan, a Clinical Professor of Business and Society and the Director of NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, joins me to chat through how it’s possible to connect the financial sustainability of a company to the social and environmental sustainability of a business's core focus. It’s a fascinating and timely topic.
On this week’s Partner Meeting episode we discuss what founders can do when deals aren’t getting done in the venture market, Q3 earnings and what that’s telling us, what China’s 20th National Congress might mean for the global economy, OFAC crypto sanctions, and the startup tip of the week about how to decide whether you should have a co-founder or not when starting your startup.
On this week’s guest episode I chat with Mike Packer of QED Investors, one of the big players in FinTech investing. They have roughly $5B of AUM and the firm was founded by one of the founders of Capital One. Mike focuses on LATAM investments, so we get into all things FinTech and dive into the Latin American market.
On this week’s Partner Meeting episode we discuss the recent jobs report and how the economy is returning to historical norms, the current state of the war in Ukraine and how the markets are reacting, blockchain interoperability and the Cosmos chain, work-life integration and the importance of customer insights and how to use that data to help inform the direction of your business.
Dr. Brian Levine is the Founder and CEO of Nodal, a marketplace that matches surrogates with families. Their mission is to significantly reduce the time and cost required to secure a surrogate by cutting out the middlemen who currently control the market. There’s a lot of nuance in this market. We discuss stigmas, the impact of Roe v Wade being overturned and challenges caused by profiteering in the overall healthcare system. If you’re interested in healthcare, this is a great one for you.
Introducing, the Partner Meeting. We're trying out a new podcast episode where I chat with some of the partners here at Interplay about their area of expertise and what's going on. Mike Rogers - partner of our venture capital vertical - will come on to chat about VC and startup trends. Chris Zhang - partner of our Family Office - is going to cover global macro trends. Brett Palatiello - partner of our blockchain vertical - is going to fill us in on the latest in the world of blockchain, crypto and web3. Phuong Ireland - partner of our incubator - is going to share a business tip of the week.
Navigating PR for your startup? Gregory Galant of Muck Rack joins the pod to discuss how their Public Relations management platform helps organizations find the right journalists to pitch, report on media coverage and prove the value of their work.
For better or for worse, FICO Scores are a crucial tool in the world of finance. On this week's episode I chat with the Freddie Huynh, who oversaw the development of the FICO Score from 1996 to 2015. He provides an in-depth breakdown on how it works.
Jose Bonilla is the Co-Founder and CEO of Chiper, the leading B2B distributor of consumer goods to corner stores in Latin America. Corner stores are prominent in some cities in the US, but in other places around the world they have a massive market share of grocery sales. In India it’s around 90% and in LATAM they account for about 50% of groceries. During their chat, Jose and Mark chat all about Chiper and the innovation ecosystem in LATAM.
Like last year, we’re not going to release any new episodes for July and August, so I just wanted to let you know that we’re not leaving you hanging. New episodes to come in the fall.
Dan Porter is the Co-Founder and CEO of Overtime, the leading brand for the next generation of sports fans. Dan and his team at Overtime identified that the traditional sports media players were (and still are) heavily invested in the old infrastructure like cable deals. That left an opportunity to create an agile sports media brand that would cater to the younger generation utilizing new technology such as social platforms.
Grayscale is one of the biggest heavyweights in the world of crypto investing. They offer investors direct access to crypto. Michael Sonnenshein their CEO and shares his thoughts on the current state of crypto.
Richard Harris is the Founder & CEO of Black Crow AI, a no-code, real-time machine-learning based predictive software that helps companies understand likely customer behavior. Richard’s a veteran entrepreneur and has been involved in tech since the 90s. During our chat we discussed how the world is turning into a browser and what that means for data, the machine learning industry, and key lessons he learned from past economic down cycles.
Andrew Gazdecki is the Founder & CEO of MicroAcquire, a marketplace that helps software companies match with interested buyers. He’s on a mission to help founders sell their companies more easily and is making a ton of progress. A significant number of companies are being sold through MicroAcquire every month. During the chat we discussed the ins and outs of MicroAcquire, Andrews’s tips for being a solo founder and dove deep into how to sell a company - where we covered important strategies to consider, the M&A process and market dynamics.
Ryan Eisenman is the Co-Founder & CEO of Arch, a tech-enabled service that helps private investors organize all of the paperwork associated with their investments. During the convo we discuss the Arch solution, startup lessons and the fairness of investor accreditation laws in the US.
Diana Heldfond is the Founder & CEO of Parallel, an edtech platform empowering students with learning and thinking differences by providing them with a lower cost, faster solution for getting the support they need. Parallel is tackling a big problem. According to Diana 1 in 5 students has a learning and thinking difference that her platform can help address.
Jeremy Levine is a Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. He’s been at the firm for 21 years and has quite the track record, which includes investments in the likes of Yelp, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Shopify. If you’re interested in how the VC industry works this is a great conversation for you.
Chas is a veteran of the healthcare industry and now the Founder & CEO of MARGIN, a tech-enabled procurement solution that helps Ambulatory Medical Centers purchase the equipment they need to operate. In addition to hearing about his company and lessons learned as a founder, what’s great about this conversation is hearing a sophisticated business person provide insights into why the healthcare industry is dysfunctional.
Jason Kirby is the Co-Founder and CEO of Thunder, a platform that connects founders and VCs by utilizing a double opt-in, AI-based matching protocol that not only creates relevant deal flow for all parties, but also helps everyone save time and avoid spam. Thunder is a company that’s come out of the Interplay Foundry, the part of Interplay that builds companies from scratch. We started this with the mission of helping founders that lacked a strong network raise capital.
Sterling Campbell is the CEO of Minotaur, a web3 platform that helps people and brands launch NFT projects. During our chat we talk all about what it takes to launch an NFT project, the current state of NFTs and what’s wrong with the space, what the future of NFTs will look like and much more.
Fabrice Grinda is the Founding Partner at FJ Labs, a VC that specializes in marketplaces and invests in every geography in every category at any stage. As Fabrice puts it they do angel investing at venture scale. Last year they made almost 200 investments. This episode is titled “The King of Marketplaces” because - as you’ll hear during the chat - Fabrice is an expert when it comes to that type of business due to his experience starting what was essentially the ebay for Europe and then OLX, the Craigslist for the rest of the world.
Zack Gray is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ophelia, a platform helping to combat the opioid crisis by revamping the drug rehab model. As they put it, their mission is to “replace folklore with science, drug dealers with doctors, and stigma with privacy, convenience, and choice.” We chat all about the company and the general opioid epidemic, including its history and the failed government response. Zack breaks it all down for us.
John Gannon is Founder of The VC Careers Blog and Co-Founder of GoingVC. Between these two endeavors, John has become one of the goto channels for getting a job in venture capital. He started The VC Careers blog shortly after we graduated business school together in the late 2000s. Since then, it’s scaled and become one of the sources of transparency in the VC industry, listing available jobs, compensation and much more.
Divya Narendra is the Founder & CEO of SumZero, an investment community where peer-reviewed professional investment research is shared amongst its members. Before his professional career, Divya attended Harvard where he became friends with the Winklevoss twins. If you’ve seen the movie The Social Network, Divya is the 3rd founder of ConnectU. Divya shares some fun stories about that chapter of his life and we chat all about his journey from ConnectU to SumZero.
Tovala invented a smart oven that perfectly cooks the chef-crafted meals that they offer, which makes them an interesting part hardware / part subscription hybrid. During the chat we discussed the ins and outs of Tovala - including the in-depth shipping process that’s required to efficiently and safely deliver ready to cook food, how David came to start Tovala and much more. Enjoy.
Chris Yeh is the General Partner of Blitzscaling ventures and author of the book Blitzscaling, which is about the concept of blitzscaling. Blitzscaling is a startup strategy to scale rapidly in order to beat the competition in a winner-take-all market. During our chat we talk all about it and how founders & startups can execute the strategy.
Jarred Kessler is the Founder & CEO of EasyKnock. EasyKnock is a PropTech platform that offers a way for people to access the capital that’s locked in the value of their homes. During our chat we discussed how EasyKnock works and the various products they offer, Jarred’s path from Wall Street to entrepreneurship, the challenges in the overall housing market in America and much more.
Vivek Sharma is the Co-Founder & CEO of Movable Ink. They help businesses use data to create personalized content for customers at every stage of the marketing funnel. Vivek Sharma is the Co-Founder & CEO of Movable Ink, a marketing software that helps companies use data to create personalized content for customers at every stage of the marketing funnel. During the chat Mark and Vivek discussed the ins and outs of Moveable Ink, some important lessons Vivek’s learned while growing the company and adding so many employees, his perspective on capitalizing a startup and much more.
This is just a quick update for all the listeners out there. First, thank you for joining me on this journey. Second, we're taking a break for the next month. New episodes will come in mid-January. See you in '22!
Callie Christensen and Kelly Oriard are the Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Slumberkins, a pre-school brand aiming to support families in the emotional wellness development of their children with educational products. During our chat we discussed the story behind Slumberkins, why teaching kids about emotions is important, the history of parentings and how strategies have changed over time, what they’ve learned about entrepreneurship, and much more.
Stephen Kuhl is the Co-Founder and CEO of Burrow, a furniture company for the modern age that delivers the most convenient customer experience in the industry. During the interview Stephen shared a ton of great insights into the world of manufacturing. If you’re building a DTC business or a company that relies on manufacturing this is worth a listen.
Mike Rudoy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jetty, a financial services platform that helps make renting a home more affordable and flexible. In addition to helping renters get into homes, Jetty's services helps landlords and real estate managers manage their properties. During our chat we discussed the business model behind Jetty, Mike's entrepreneurial journey, the general state of housing in America and much more.
CoVenture’s has found an interesting synergy between debt financing and venture capital. In addition to making venture investments, they provide balance sheet capital to innovative companies that are financing new asset classes.
Numerade is creating the TikTok for STEM education by using short form videos and artificial intelligence tutors. During the chat, Nhon shared his extremely inspiring personal journey and if you follow the thread of his story it seems as though he was destined to start this company. We discussed the intricacies of Numerade, how learning varies by states and countries, how education is evolving in the US and so much more.
Jason Saltzman is the Co-Founder, an app that helps people navigate the craziness when dealing with debt. During this chat we discussed the intricacies regarding debt in America, what it takes to build a strong community and strategies to make winning content on TikTok.
Nihal Mehta is the Co-Founder of Eniac Ventures, a successful seed venture firm that has invested in unicorns like AirBnb and Boxed. Before becoming a VC, Nihal was a serial operator which has helped him become the successful startup player-coach he is today.
Maureen Farrell is a reporter at the New York Times and the co-author of The Cult of We, a book all about the WeWork saga. During our chat we discuss WeWork and extract business lessons from its story + how founders can build and maintain media relationships.
Sam is, in the truest sense, a Silicon Valley insider. He’s a part of the Harvard tech mafia, friends with Zuckerberg and has built a few different tech startups. During our chat we discussed how he sees the VC model changing (he has some strong opinions on this which are great), the evolution of media and its business models, the differences between US and China government strategies towards tech and a whole lot more.
Zheng Huang is the President of the Committee of 100, a US based non-profit leadership organization of about 100+ prominent Chinese Americans in a plethora of industries with a mission to help Chinese Americans thrive in the U.S. and to develop stronger relationships with China.
Angela Lee is the Founder of 37 Angels, an investment network that activates female investors through an educational bootcamp. She is also a professor at the Columbia Business School where she focuses on teaching about venture capital.
Hal Callais is a pivotal member of the startup and innovation scene in New Orleans and its surrounding area. We talk about everything from tech and innovation in New Orleans to the evolution of this ecosystem post Hurricane Katrina.
NYSERDA was established in 1975 to support clean energy and protect the environment. They're the government entity in the state of New York that is taking the lead to help drive innovation in the CleanTech ecosystem.
Mike Tarullo is the COO at Banza, a food company making comfort foods using chickpeas. During our chat we do a deep dive into the world of food startups.
As you can tell from the title, this isn’t a normal episode. I just wanted to give a couple of quick updates.
Jed Katz is the Managing Director at Javelin Venture Partners. Javelin is a premier VC firm that has invested in a ton of successful companies including a bunch of unicorns like Master Class and Thumbtack.
On this week’s episode I chat with Alex Taub. Alex is the Co-Founder & CEO of Upstream, a digital platform that is redefining professional networking.
On this week’s episode I chat with Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners. Sapphire Partners invests in early-stage venture capital funds and Beezer leads their investment team, focusing on both domestic and international funds.
On this week’s episode I sit down with Noah Glass, Founder and CEO of Olo. Olo isn’t a household name, but that’s by design.
On this week’s episode I chat with Darius Monsef, Founder and CEO of Brave Care. Brave Care is creating a new, better healthcare system for kids by providing primary, urgent & remote care catered just for them, 365 days a year.
On today’s episode I sit down with Peter Sullivan, the Founder and CEO of Jackpocket. Jackpocket is digitizing the lottery - allowing everyone to play the lottery from their phone.
On today’s show I chat with Jeff Bussgang, Co-Founder and General Partner of Flybridge Capital Partners, a Boston based VC fund with 700M under management.
On this week’s episode I have a great conversation with David S. Rose, a serial entrepreneur who’s current venture is US Real Estate Market, also known as USREM.
On today’s show I chat with Jon Stein, the Founder and Chairman of Betterment. Betterment is an investing platform that helps people manage their money.
On today’s episode I catch up with Nick Moran of New Stack Ventures. New Stack is a VC firm based out of Chicago, IL that focuses on early seed stage investing.
David Cummings is an entrepreneur who's on a mission to put Atlanta on the map when it comes to tech and venture capital. His current focus and passion is the Atlanta Tech Village, an innovation hub located in the heart of Atlanta.
David Cohen is the Founder of Techstars, one of the largest venture capital operations in the world. Since 2006 they’ve been on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed and have invested in over 2,400 companies. David gives us a behind the scenes look of Techstars and their venture capital business model.
Zeel started by providing in-home massage therapy, but looks a bit different these days. As you might suspect, the pandemic crushed their business and overnight their revenue went to zero. But in a time of crisis Zeel was able to leverage the logistics network they had built over the years to start offering in-home COVID testing. They’ve now expanded their services to include in-home medical services and have positioned themselves to be a pioneer in the nascent in-home-medicine market.
As the Managing Partner of Upfront Ventures, Mark Suster has helped Los Angeles, where he and Upfront are based, reach the national stage when it comes to venture capital. The landscape was totally different 20 years ago and Mark/Upfront is a big reason why.
As the Managing Partner of Upfront Ventures, Mark Suster has helped Los Angeles, where he and Upfront are based, reach the national stage when it comes to venture capital.
Ian Sigalow is the Co-Founder and Partner of Greycroft, one of the biggest and most successful VCs out there.
Limited Partners are a critical part of the venture capital ecosystem. They provide capital to VCs who in turn invest that money in companies, so the LP perspective is important to consider when trying to fully understand how VCs operate.