Insatiably Curious

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June 27, 2024
Apple's Big AI Reveal + A Breakdown of Pay-to-Play
Discover how Apple's latest tech release, "Apple Intelligence," integrates AI to enhance user experience, from photo management to personal productivity. Learn about its implications for the tech industry and venture capital practices like pay to play. Explore the new opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs in this evolving landscape.
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June 20, 2024
Global Market Recap: 2024 Mid-Year Analysis
Explore how 2024 market trends, inflation, Fed policies, and global economic shifts are shaping the investment landscape for savvy investors.
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May 30, 2024
Building Your B2C Customer Base: A Step-by-Step Guide
Phuong delves into the crucial strategies for acquiring initial customers when launching a B2C (business-to-consumer) product.
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May 9, 2024
Diversification Demystified: Creating a Balanced Portfolio
Diversified portfolios are the key to success. I recently discussed the topic of diversification with Chris Zhang, CIO and partner at Ascend Interplay. We explored the endowment model, which focuses on alternative assets like private equity and real estate, and its benefits for ultra-high-net-worth families and individuals with long-term investment horizons. Chris shared insights on the limitations of traditional measures like volatility and correlation, and we discussed the scarcity of true uncorrelated assets in the current macro environment.
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April 11, 2024
The Human Factor: How Hiring Shapes Your Organization
Recruiting and team construction are pivotal for company culture and success. In this episode, Phuong joins me to discuss the crucial role of hiring in startup development. Phuong offers insights into assessing team needs, crafting job descriptions, conducting interviews, and evaluating candidates based on qualities like grit, humility, and integrity. We stress the importance of prioritizing human skills alongside technical qualifications, as each team member influences organizational culture and success. Additionally, we introduce the Superman Analysis tool used at Interplay to assess team needs and identify skill gaps, ensuring effective team structure and staffing.
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April 4, 2024
A Deep Dive Into Vertical Software
Todd Saunders, CEO of Broadlume, and Chetan Narain, co-founder and CTO of Pepper, join us to delve into vertical SaaS applications across industries. We examined how Broadlume and Pepper utilize vertical SaaS in flooring and food distribution, emphasizing the significance of customer relationships and industry-specific data. Our discussion highlighted vertical SaaS's evolution, advantages, and potential for expansion beyond software into high transaction volume markets. Furthermore, Saunders and Narain discussed AI's impact on their businesses, focusing on its role in enhancing efficiency, customer experience, and profitability, underscoring AI's broader implications for productivity and shareholder value.
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March 28, 2024
The Downstream Effect of Reddit's IPO, Implications of the Residential Realtor Settlement, and What Boeing's Struggles Means for American Industry.
Mike and I discussed current events and their impact on the innovation economy. We highlighted successful tech IPOs like Reddit and Estera, signaling a strong demand for tech companies in the public market, potentially spurring more listings and investments. We also examined a significant settlement in the real estate industry, which could shift capital to homeowners and disrupt the brokerage sector. Finally, we addressed Boeing's challenges, reflecting on management issues and the potential for new players to enter the aviation industry, suggesting opportunities for innovation and competition.
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March 21, 2024
Impact of AI Across Real Estate and Various Sectors: A Discussion at The Annual Columbia Business School Real Estate Symposium
I recently spoke at The Annual Columbia Business School Real Estate Symposium, invited by the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. My talk centered on the transformative impact of AI across industries, including its convergence with augmented reality, robotics, and quantum computing. I highlighted the challenges and opportunities AI presents in real estate and emphasized the importance of adapting to this changing landscape. Ultimately, I stressed the need for responsible AI usage and expressed gratitude to Columbia Business School for providing a platform to share these insights.
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March 15, 2024
Doing Things that Don't Scale: Unpacking An Important Concept for Startups
Phuong is back on the podcast this week to discuss the importance of doing things that don't scale in startups.This concept popularized by Paul Graham of Y Combinator, involves manual processes to acquire customers and refine products before scaling. We emphasize prioritizing learning and validation over rapid growth in the early stages, as it helps founders gain profound insights crucial for long-term success.
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March 7, 2024
Are We Having a Soft Landing on a Minefield?
Chris is back on the podcast this week, joining me to discuss recent market shifts. Our overall assessment is that the year started with uncertainties but seems to be stabilizing, with tech companies performing well and equity markets thriving. However, despite positive signs, there's concern over a potential commercial real estate crisis, as refinancing becomes challenging. The episode concludes with plans for future discussions on wealth management.
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February 23, 2024
How to Effectively Test Your MVP
Phuong is back for her first appearance in 2024, where she shares insights on effectively conducting user testing for MVPs. We discuss the importance of learning from customer behavior, gathering a small group of dedicated users, setting clear objectives, tracking engagement metrics, and using various feedback methods like observing user interactions and conducting interviews and surveys. Overall, it's a valuable discussion on the iterative process of refining MVPs based on user feedback.
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February 15, 2024
The Impact of Conflict on Israel’s Startup Ecosystem
I had the pleasure of interviewing Alan Feld, Founder & Managing Partner of Vintage Investment Partners, a renowned venture firm managing around $4 billion. Alan's extensive experience has allowed him to deeply understand the essence of successful companies, which he applies to foster growth within Vintage. We delved into topics such as team dynamics, humility, and character, drawing insights from his perspective. Additionally, we explored the impact of conflict on Israel's startup ecosystem, with Alan providing valuable insights and updates. This conversation transcends blame, focusing instead on the repercussions of conflict on an otherwise thriving entrepreneurial environment. I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion and extend special thanks to Alan for his participation.
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February 8, 2024
Using Space To Make Life Better On Earth with Dylan Taylor of Voyager Space
In chatting with Dylan Taylor, CEO and chairman of Voyager Space, we discussed the company's contract to build America's next space station, STARLAB, in collaboration with NASA. Dylan, a significant figure in the space industry, emphasizes the importance of space beyond the Mars mission narrative, highlighting its potential for scientific research, manufacturing, and societal advancement. He details Voyager's mission to scale up space infrastructure projects and recent milestones achieved with Airbus and SpaceX. Additionally, we explore the implications of privately owned space infrastructure and the emergence of two distinct space ecosystems led by the US and China, with Dylan stressing the benefits of privatization in advancing the industry. Dylan also shares his personal journey from a real estate executive to involvement in space exploration, underscoring the importance of following one's passion.
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December 21, 2023
2024 Predictions Episode
In the final 2023 episode, colleagues Phuong, Mike, and Chris provide insights on 2024 predictions. Phuong focuses on AI's impact in marketing, customer service, and co-pilots. Mike anticipates higher Series A valuations, increased market capital, and active M&A and IPO markets. Chris forecasts global volatility, potential credit crunch, geopolitical tensions, predicting lower interest rates, a stronger S&P 500, and unresolved conflicts while emphasizing self-care during the holidays for mental well-being.
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December 15, 2023
Are Rate Cuts Coming in 2024? Breaking Down this Week's Big Fed Announcement
Chris returns to dissect the turbulent events in public equity and bond markets, particularly the significant shift in the Federal Reserve's stance. We explore the transition from a pessimistic outlook on rate increases and economic slowdown to a more lenient approach. The discussion navigates the potential interplay between political influence and economic policy, hinting at a strategic rate cut aligning with the election cycle. Additionally, we highlight the global ramifications of these market movements, with the US shaping Western economies and influencing currency values and commodity prices on a global scale. The conversation underscores the intricate interconnectedness of global economic systems, showcasing how Federal Reserve decisions resonate across diverse regions and markets.
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December 7, 2023
Level Up Your Life: A List of Helpful Apple Features, Apps, Software and Must Reads
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.
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November 30, 2023
Entrepreneurial Essentials: The Pillars of Founder Success
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.
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November 16, 2023
Unraveling Market Mysteries: A Deep Dive on Fed Influence and Global Turbulence
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.
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November 9, 2023
Mastering Pricing Strategy: Unveiling the Art of Business Positioning
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.
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November 2, 2023
Creating Value for Real Estate Investors by Creating Value for People with Amy Rubenstein of Clear Investment Group LLC
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.
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October 26, 2023
The Boardroom Blueprint: Maximizing Investor Relationships for Entrepreneurs
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.
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October 20, 2023
What a lackluster IPO market means for the venture ecosystem + insights on the changing VC landscape
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.
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October 12, 2023
Our 100th Episode! How to pivot your startup and why it’s important / shouldn’t get a bad rap.
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.
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October 5, 2023
Navigating the Changing Financial Landscape: A Conversation on Interest Rates, Politics, and Market Outlook
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.
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September 21, 2023
Prepare Your Mind: Nutrition for Mental Well-Being and Hygiene with Zak Williams of PYM
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.
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September 14, 2023
Is a VC Market upswing coming? Plus, how to hit the ground running after the summer slow down & how to craft a compelling value proposition.
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.
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July 13, 2023
Summer Survival Guide for Founders: How to Navigate the Lull, Fundraising Tactics and Useful Parenting Strategies
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.
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July 6, 2023
The Secrets to Managing Distributed Teams with Adam Nathan of Almanac
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.
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June 29, 2023
How to construct a team and make your first hires + has the initial AI hype bubble burst?
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.
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June 22, 2023
The importance of KPIs and how to avoid analysis paralysis
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.
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June 15, 2023
Effects of the recent debt ceiling resolution, the dichotomy of the stock market and bond market, and the butterknife problem
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.
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June 8, 2023
Approaching Venture Capital with Intention w/ Seth Levine of Foundry
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.
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June 1, 2023
Ethics in the portfolio/VC relationship + a step by step guide for iterating your MVP
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.
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May 25, 2023
Unlocking Capital: The Power of Venture Debt for Startups with Billy Libby of Upper90
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.
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May 18, 2023
The ultimate guide to bootstrapping your startup + a conversation about the recalibration of Series C valuations
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.
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May 11, 2023
China Has Arrived: A Deep Dive Into China's Tech Surge and Increased Standard of Living with Chris Zhang, Partner & CIO of Interplay Family Office
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.
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May 1, 2023
The Secret to Building A Killer Minimum Viable Product + How to Bank Without the Panic: A Brainstorm on How to Stop Bank Runs
During this episode Phuong shares the secretes to creating a minimum viable product + Chris and I brainstorm ways to stop bank runs.
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April 24, 2023
How the AI horse race will impact the future of search, validating your MVP, is the dark cloud of the FTX scandal gone and an update on the inflation battle
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.
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April 13, 2023
Solving the Multi-Generational Wealth Puzzle with Taylor Adams of Belief Partners
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.
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March 30, 2023
How & when to build your startup’s sales team, a discussion about the open governance opportunities that come with crypto, and a deep dive into the modern tech-enabled restaurant industry with Vivian Wang of Landed
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.
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March 21, 2023
The game theory of a bank run, navigating advisor relationships, and bond laddering explained
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.
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March 16, 2023
Banking Madness: A before and after analysis of Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, plus what really happened with Silvergate
It's been a wild week in the world of banks. During this episode we share some of our big takeaways.
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March 9, 2023
Tax tips for startups, content checkin including our go to sources for news, and indexing against sandbagging
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.
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March 2, 2023
How to Build & Develop a Venture Capital Firm with Peter Hebert of Lux Capital
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.
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February 23, 2023
A breakdown of the tech innovation cycle, Tesla’s recall, the importance of customer support, Brett is back with a state of crypto and blockchain update, and spy balloon madness
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.
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February 16, 2023
VC pace is picking up, messy earnings results, and Startup Tip of the Week: How startups land partnerships Part 2
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.
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February 7, 2023
The power of partnerships for startups, Q1 tech earnings, surprise January jobs data + interview with Tomer Biger of Noble about embedded finance
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.
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January 31, 2023
The new Series A is the old Series A, the institutionalization of venture capital, B2B pricing strategies, the strength of USD, and households are starting conserve capital
We're back at it with another episode featuring segments with Mike Rogers, Phuong Ireland and Chris Zhang.
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December 21, 2022
2023 Predictions & How Founders Should Navigate The Near Future
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.
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December 13, 2022
Is AI going to replace us, Co-Founder relationship management, China’s updated Covid policy, and Russian oil price cap
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.
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December 6, 2022
VC deal flow is down and insider rounds are up, Apple’s in-app purchase policy and what it mean for mobile blockchain adoption, China’s zero Covid policy protests, and community building startup advice
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.
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November 22, 2022
Twittertainment, social media strategies for startups, how to use crypto principles to avoid another FTX + interview with Jehan Luth of Banyan
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.
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November 15, 2022
Partner Meeting: Are tech layoffs an indicator of what’s to come, CPI data that’s not bad news, FTX and the ensuing crypto mayhem, and how to build marketplaces
On this week's Partner Meeting we cover the recent tech layoffs, CPI data, the FTX debacle and how to build marketplaces.
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November 10, 2022
The danger of overcapitalizing a startup, Reddit releases NFTs, pricing strategies + interview with Alon Talmor of Ask-AI
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.
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November 3, 2022
Doing Good Can Make You Money with Tensie Whelan, Director of NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business
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.
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October 25, 2022
Partner Meeting: What founders should do when deals aren’t getting done, China’s 20th National Congress and what it means for the global economy, Q3 earnings start to roll in, OFAC sanctions in crypto, and should you have a co-founder
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.
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October 20, 2022
The Fintech VC Powerhouse & Penetrating the LATAM Market with Mike Packer of QED Investors
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.
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October 13, 2022
Partner Meeting: Resetting the bones of the economy, work-life integration, interoperability and Cosmos, and the importance of customer insights
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.
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October 6, 2022
Reimagining Surrogacy with Dr. Brian Levine of Nodal
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.
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October 4, 2022
Partner Meeting: VC’s current pace, corporations and NFT adoption, BOE's intervention attempt & Interplay’s Superman Analysis
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.
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September 29, 2022
Growth Hacking With PR with Gregory Galant of Muck Rack and The Shorty Awards
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.
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September 22, 2022
FICO Scores: A Complete Breakdown with Freddie Huynh
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.
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September 15, 2022
LATAM Awakening as a Tech Hub | Jose Bonilla, Co-Founder & CEO of Chiper
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.
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July 7, 2022
Summer Break 2022 Announcement
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.
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June 30, 2022
Next Gen Sports Media with Dan Porter of Overtime
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.
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June 23, 2022
Making Crypto Accessible to the Masses with Michael Sonnenshein of Grayscale Investments
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.
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June 2, 2022
Democratizing Machine Learning to Predict the Future with Richard Harris of Black Crow AI
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.
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May 19, 2022
How to Sell Your Startup with Andrew Gazdecki of MicroAcquire
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.
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May 12, 2022
Solving The Admin Nightmare For Private Markets with Ryan Eisenman of Arch
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.
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April 28, 2022
20% of Children Have Learning Differences, This Startup Is Here to Help | Diana Heldfond of Parallel
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.
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April 21, 2022
The Contrarian VC with Jeremy Levine of Bessemer Venture Partners
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.
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April 7, 2022
The Inside Scoop on the US Healthcare System with Chas Sanders of MARGIN
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.
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March 31, 2022
The Secret to Raising Capital for Your Company or VC Fund with Jason Kirby of Thunder.vc
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.
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March 17, 2022
NFT 2.0: Creating Real Value with Sterling Campbell of Minotaur
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.
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March 10, 2022
The King of Marketplaces with Fabrice Grinda of FJ Labs
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.
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March 3, 2022
Using Tech to Cure the Opioid Epidemic with Zack Gray of Ophelia
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.
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February 17, 2022
How To Get A Job In VC with John Gannon of The VC Careers Blog and GoingVC
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.
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February 10, 2022
From ConnectU to SumZero, The Journey of Divya Narendra
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.
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February 3, 2022
Tovala: Building a Subscription Unicorn with David Rabie, Co-Founder & CEO of Tovala
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.
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January 27, 2022
Blitzscale or Die: A How to Guide For Startups & Founders with Chris Yeh of Blitzscaling Ventures
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.
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January 20, 2022
Helping Homeowners Access Trapped Home Equity with Jarred Kessler of EasyKnock
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.
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January 13, 2022
The Ultimate Personalized Journey For Customers with Vivek Sharma of Movable Ink
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.
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December 23, 2021
Winter Break Announcement
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!
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December 16, 2021
Emotional Learning Products for Kids… and Their Parents with the Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Slumberkins
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.
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December 9, 2021
Reimagining The Furniture Industry with Stephen Kuhl of Burrow
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.
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December 2, 2021
Helping Renters Get Into Homes with Michael Rudoy of Jetty
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.
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November 18, 2021
Debt Financing & Venture Capital: An Unlikely Synergy | Ali Hamed of CoVenture
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.
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November 11, 2021
How Do We Teach 2B Children? Democratizing Access to Tutors With AI | Nhon Ma of Numerade
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.
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November 4, 2021
Killing Debt With Tech To Save Americans with Jason Saltzman of Relief
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.
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October 28, 2021
Operator Turned VC: How Eniac Ventures Acts Like A Startup Player-Coach w/ Nihal Mehta
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.
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October 21, 2021
What WeWork Taught Us & The PR Playbook w/ Maureen Farrell of The New York Times and The Cult of We
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.
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October 14, 2021
The Next VC Frontier & Inside Silicon Valley w/ Sam Lessin, GP at Slow Ventures & Co-Founder of Fin
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.
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October 7, 2021
US-China: Tech, Politics and Avoiding War w/ Zheng Huang of Committee of 100
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.
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September 30, 2021
VC Lessons From A VC Founder and Professor at Columbia Business School | Angela Lee of 37 Angels
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.
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September 23, 2021
New Orleans: A Blossoming Tech & Innovation Hub with Hal Callais of Callais 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.
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September 16, 2021
How New York State Is Becoming the Cleantech Capital with John Lochner of NYSERDA
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.
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September 9, 2021
The Playbook for Starting A Food Company w/ Mike Tarullo of Banza
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.
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July 22, 2021
Summer Break Announcement!
As you can tell from the title, this isn’t a normal episode. I just wanted to give a couple of quick updates.
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July 15, 2021
Meet My Mentor: Lessons From Veteran Venture Capitalist & Entrepreneur Jed Katz of Javelin VP
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.
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July 8, 2021
How to Profit from NFTs & Redefining Professional Networking w/ Alex Taub, Co-Founder & CEO of Upstream
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.
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