Cover image of Origins - A podcast about Limited Partners, created by Notation Capital
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Origins - A podcast about Limited Partners, created by Notation Capital

Updated 8 days ago

Business
Technology
Investing
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Origins is a podcast about Limited Partners, the firms and institutions that invest in venture capital funds. Through a series of interviews, we explore what has historically been an opaque corner of the startup ecosystem and learn how the people behind the capital make decisions. This podcast was created by Alex Lines and Nick Chirls, partners at Notation.

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Origins is a podcast about Limited Partners, the firms and institutions that invest in venture capital funds. Through a series of interviews, we explore what has historically been an opaque corner of the startup ecosystem and learn how the people behind the capital make decisions. This podcast was created by Alex Lines and Nick Chirls, partners at Notation.

iTunes Ratings

47 Ratings
Average Ratings
39
4
1
1
2

Good stuff

By jlintz2 - May 31 2016
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A++++++ would buy again. Nice to peel back behind the curtains of the LP world

Great to hear the other side

By Nicoslepicos - May 12 2016
Read more
As an entrepreneur, appreciate hearing the perspective from LPs

iTunes Ratings

47 Ratings
Average Ratings
39
4
1
1
2

Good stuff

By jlintz2 - May 31 2016
Read more
A++++++ would buy again. Nice to peel back behind the curtains of the LP world

Great to hear the other side

By Nicoslepicos - May 12 2016
Read more
As an entrepreneur, appreciate hearing the perspective from LPs
Cover image of Origins - A podcast about Limited Partners, created by Notation Capital

Origins - A podcast about Limited Partners, created by Notation Capital

Latest release on Jan 07, 2020

Read more

Origins is a podcast about Limited Partners, the firms and institutions that invest in venture capital funds. Through a series of interviews, we explore what has historically been an opaque corner of the startup ecosystem and learn how the people behind the capital make decisions. This podcast was created by Alex Lines and Nick Chirls, partners at Notation.

Rank #1: Mike Maples, Floodgate

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Mike Maples is the founding partner at Floodgate and has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (IPO TIVS, acquired by IBM) and Motive (IPO MOTV, acquired by Alcatel-Lucent.) Some of Mike’s investments include Twitter, Twitch.tv, ngmoco, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaarvoice, Spiceworks, Okta, and Demandforce.

In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including Mike's decision to become a VC and how he raised Floodgate's first fund, how Floodgate's fund strategy and portfolio construction has evolved since, and how he and his partners think about building the firm in the years and decades to come.

Jul 24 2018

50mins

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Rank #2: Hunter Walk, Homebrew

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We talk with Hunter Walk, founding partner at Homebrew about his experiences building product as one of the first hires at Second Life and then at YouTube after the Google acquisition. We also dig into what it took to get Homebrew off the ground in 2013 with his partner Satya Patel.

Jan 31 2017

1hr

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Rank #3: Andy Weissman, Union Square Ventures

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We cover a lot in this episode — including Andy’s experience working in the early days at AOL and how that informed the creation of betaworks. We discuss what it was like joining Fred, Brad, and Albert as the fourth partner at USV, and subsequently becoming a managing partner at the firm a few years later.

What we found most interesting about the conversation was Andy’s description of his perpetual search for the “New New Thing,” a term made popular by the Michael Lewis book under the same name. Given the incredibly competitive venture landscape today, Andy argues it’s no longer enough to be looking to invest in the latest hot trend, but to do venture the right way, one most look further out on the horizon to find the thing no one else is yet looking for. This is maybe the most challenging part of doing VC well, but also the most fun and rewarding. Andy provides some hints at a roadmap, so we hope you’ll listen and find it useful.

Oct 31 2017

51mins

Play

Rank #4: Michael Larsen, Cambridge Associates

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Mike Larsen is a managing director at the global investment firm Cambridge Associates, based in Boston. Mike works with endowments, foundations and other large institutional investors on their private investment programs, particularly focused on venture capital exposure. He spends his time meeting with managers, sourcing new ideas, and implementing VC programs for his clients’ portfolios.

Cambridge Associates has come up several times on Origins in the past, so in this conversation with Mike, we dig into exactly what it is that CA does—and how they advise their clients to invest in VC and PE. We discuss the difference between CA’s discretionary and non-discretionary activities, how they approach building venture portfolios from scratch, how Mike evaluates VC managers, as well as how he thinks about the future of the asset class.

Oct 10 2017

50mins

Play

Rank #5: David Fauchier, Cambrial Capital

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David Fauchier is the co-founder of Cambrial Capital, an investment firm based in London deploying a thesis-driven fund of funds strategy focused on the digital assets space. David has previous experience as a product leader and angel investor in Europe, and has one of the most thoughtful approaches to investing in the blockchain space that we've seen. We cover a wide range of topics in this episode, including the varied types of strategies that blockchain VC firms and crypto funds are pursuing today, why a fund of funds in this space makes sense, and how David sees the digital assets space evolving in the years to come. Whether you're a crypto noob, or a blockchain expert interested in the sector, whether you're a small personal investor in the space or a large asset allocator considering it, David does not disappoint :-)

Feb 26 2019

55mins

Play

Rank #6: Bryce Roberts, Indie VC

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Bryce Roberts is the founder of Indie VC, a 12-month program and venture fund designed to fund and support founders on a path to profitability. Before that, Bryce was a co-founder of OATV in 2005, one of the earliest seed focused VC firms, where they invested in companies like Fastly, Foursquare, Planet, Hipcamp, and others.

On this episode, we discuss the earliest days of seed investing and raising OATV while Bryce lived in Utah, as well as the difficult decision to morph OATV into what is now Indie VC. Bryce has a decidedly different and refreshing perspective on venture capital than anyone we've had on Origins - He believes that raising capital should not turn a business into a binary outcome and that more founders should think about the road to profitability - What Bryce describes as "permissionless entrepreneurship."

Jul 16 2019

56mins

Play

Rank #7: Leah Busque, Fuel Capital

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Leah Busque is a General Partner at Fuel Capital, an early-stage venture firm based in SF. Before Fuel, she was the co-founder and CEO of TaskRabbit for eight years, and before that an engineer at IBM. In this episode, we discuss Leah's path to founding TaskRabbit, moving to SF, and partnering with Chris Howard as Fuel's second GP just over a year ago. We also dig into how she discovered and has navigated the LP community, how she expects to support the founders she works with as a former founder and engineer herself, and finally how Leah and Chris plan to grow Fuel as a firm in the years to come.

Apr 18 2018

50mins

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Rank #8: Roland Reynolds, Industry Ventures

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On this episode of Origins, we sit down with Roland Reynolds, a managing partner at Industry Ventures. Industry Ventures is a fascinating “full stack venture capital firm.” Their funds invest into companies and venture capital partnerships through both primary and secondary transactions, which is an important part of the venture ecosystem that we have yet to cover on the Origins podcast.

We cover a lot in this episode — including Roland’s experience working earlier in his career at JP Morgan and Columbia Capital, as well as founding one of the first dedicated micro-VC fund of funds more than ten years ago. Roland’s firm, Little Hawk Capital, was an LP in Industry Ventures, and ultimately merged into it to begin their primary fund of funds business.

What we found most interesting about this conversation was the breadth of the Industry Ventures business — their flexibility to approach the venture landscape in many different ways — as buyers of other LP’s positions in VC funds, as well as secondary buyers of individuals and employees shares in VC funds and companies, as primary investors in VC funds, and finally as direct investors in startups. Industry has the ability, and in fact mandate, to do it all. We learned a lot in this episode and think you will too.

Jan 09 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #9: David Frankel, Founder Collective

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David Frankel is a managing partner and co-founder of Founder Collective, which launched in 2011 with a simple mission: To be the most aligned fund for founders at the seed stage. In the years since, they’ve become one of the most respected and highest performing venture firms in the industry.

Before starting Founder Collective, David spent most of his life as an entrepreneur, co-founding Internet Solutions, the first ISP in Africa, at the ripe old age of 23. When Internet Solutions was acquired by Dimension Data, he served as a key executive and on the board through its successful listing on the London Stock Exchange and up until it was ultimately acquired by NTT Japan for $3.2B.

In this episode, we discuss David’s early beginnings as an entrepreneur when he was a teenager, his decision to go back to business school after selling Dimension Data, challenging times raising Founder Collective’s first fund with Eric Paley, and FC’s contrarian approach to many widely held beliefs in the venture industry today.

Jul 18 2017

55mins

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Rank #10: Jeff Fagnan, Accomplice

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Jeff Fagnan is a founder of Accomplice and more recently Spearhead, in partnership with AngelList. Jeff is well known as a founding investor, working with most of his portfolio since inception, sometimes as a co-founder including Veracode (Sold to CA Technologies for $614M in 2017). Jeff sits on the board of many scaling startup‍‍‍s including AngelList, Carbon Black, InsightSquared, PillPack, and others. He's also the founder of Spearhead, a program that provides funding and mentorship for new angel investors; Maiden Lane, the first investment vehicle built on top of AngelList; Boston Syndicates (BOSS),a federated movement to create stronger angel substrate in New England; and TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good), a nonprofit foundation harnessing the power of the tech ecosystem to catalyze social innovation in New England.

In this episode, we discuss Jeff's fourteen years as a partner at Atlas Ventures in Boston, the spinout and transition to Accomplice, and the many experiments with the venture model that's run with Maiden Lane, Angellist, and now Spearhead.

May 15 2018

48mins

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Rank #11: Jonathan Abrams, Nuzzel

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Jonathan Abrams, founder and CEO of Nuzzel, is a busy man. Jonathan previously founded Friendster and Hotlinks, is an active angel in companies like AngelList and Docker, co-founded Founders Den in San Francisco, and is an LP in some great VC funds. We discuss Jonathan’s move to Silicon Valley in the late nineties to work for Netscape as an engineer, starting his first companies, and discovering the layer of capital and people behind the venture community.

Jan 04 2017

42mins

Play

Rank #12: David Tisch, Box Group

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David Tisch is a founder and managing partner of Box Group, the most prolific angel and seed investing firm in NYC, where they're investors in companies such as Pillpack, Flatiron Health, GroupMe, Plaid, Roman, among many others. He previously co-founded Techstars New York, a fixture of the NYC tech community for many years, and is the head of Cornell Tech's Startup Studio.

In this episode, we discuss how Box Group has stuck to its knitting over the years by continuing to focus on the earliest stages of startup investing, how investors do (and don't) add value to the companies they work with, how the NYC tech community has evolved over the past decade, and how Box Group may evolve in the future. David is one of the most colorful and genuine guests we've had on Origins, and so it's no surprise that this interview was one of the most fun we've done to date.

Oct 09 2018

51mins

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Rank #13: Nick Chirls and Alex Lines, Notation

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In this episode of Origins, Beezer Clarkson turns the tables and interviews Nick Chirls and Alex Lines of Notation. Having just closed Notation II, we figured this would be a good time to explain who we are, what we do, and why we do it. We cover our time working together in the early days at betaworks, our decision to ultimately leave and start Notation, the process of raising our first and now second funds, and how we think about the future of the firm.

One small footnote - We recorded this episode almost a year ago, when we first closed Notation II, so some of the language is a bit out of date - For example we prefer using "first-check" instead of "pre-seed." Check out our new website and Notation II launch announcement to see what we mean :-)

Feb 20 2018

54mins

Play

Rank #14: Aaron Gershenberg, SVB Capital

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Aaron Gershenberg is a founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s fund of funds and direct investment group, SVB Capital. Aaron joined SVB in 1999 and has been part of the venture capital industry since 1996. Under his leadership, the group has over $3.3 billion under management across fund of funds, direct funds and separate accounts.

Prior to joining SVB, Aaron oversaw the opening of FirstCorp’s Northern California office, a venture leasing company focused on early stage companies. Aaron earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and African Studies from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in finance from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Aaron combines his passion for philanthropy with his love of the outdoors. In 1984 he joined 50 students biking from Boston to Los Angeles, raising money for Oxfam America. In 1993, Aaron was a founder of the Hearst Castle Best Buddies ride, a 100 mile ride from Carmel to the Hearst Castle benefiting the intellectually and developmentally disabled. This is his 10th consecutive year of participation.

Jun 06 2017

42mins

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Rank #15: Bradley Tusk, Tusk Ventures

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Bradley Tusk started Tusk Ventures to help startups work with governments at scale. To date, this unique venture capital firm has worked with companies like Uber, Fanduel, Handy, Eaze, and others to help them navigate regulatory challenges. Tusk Ventures grew out of Tusk Strategies, which Bradley started in 2010 to help major institutions run multi-jurisdictional campaigns to shape their public reputation, overcome regulatory hurdles, and proactively engage governments to solve problems and seize opportunities.

Previously, Bradley served as the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s successful re-election bid in 2009, and before that he served as the Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois from 2003-2006.

Not surprisingly, this was one of the most fascinating conversations we’ve had on the show to date. We discuss Bradley’s unique model and approach to venture investing, and how he’s thought about raising capital from LPs for a firm that looks very different to traditional VC. We also cover how he originally got connected to Travis Kalanick at Uber to help them navigate the regulatory landscape, what it was like to work for Mayor Bloomberg, and how Tusk Ventures chooses which projects to work on today.

Apr 25 2017

53mins

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Rank #16: Ryan Nece, Next Play Capital

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Ryan Nece is a Managing Partner at Next Play Capital, a mission-driven co-investment and fund of funds focused on venture capital. He started his career playing football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played for eight years, winning a super bowl championship as a rookie. After retiring from football, Ryan co-founded Straightcast Media, which he successfully exited to FOX Sports in 2015. Ryan is also the founder of the Ryan Nece Foundation, and a fellow at the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program.

Needless to say, this was one of the most fascinating interviews we've had on the Origins podcast to date, covering Ryan's time in the NFL, what it takes to build a career after football, and why he believes it's never been a more exciting time to invest in startups and venture.

Jun 26 2018

51mins

Play

Rank #17: Manu Kumar, K9 Ventures

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Manu Kumar is the founder of K9 Ventures, a technology-focused Pre-Seed fund based in Palo Alto, California. K9 Ventures was the first "pre-seed" venture firm in the industry, and Manu was the first investor in companies like Twilio, Lyft, Carta, Crowdflower, and many more. Manu has a truly unique outlook on the VC business, and has a highly disciplined (and successful) investment model that he's stuck with since the beginning.

In this episode, we discuss Manu's time at Carnegie Melon and Stanford, where he received his PhD, his success as an entrepreneur, how he started K9 as a solo GP, his unique investment approach and portfolio construction strategy, and how he is planning to build K9 Ventures in the decades to come.

Jan 15 2019

54mins

Play

Rank #18: Rob Mazzoni, TrueBridge Capital Partners

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Rob Mazzoni is a principal and one of the earliest members of the TrueBridge investment team, an alternative asset management firm founded in 2007 and focused on the venture capital industry. Rob first worked with TrueBridge co-founder and general partner Mel Williams at UNC Management Company, Inc. (UNCMC) as an investment and performance analyst.

In this episode, we discuss Rob's professional path as an LP since college, as well as the founding and evolution of Truebridge Capital Partners since 2007. We cover Truebridge's decision to partner early with now top-tier firms like a16z and Founder's Fund, as well as their decision to commit to seed as a category several years ago via firms like Lowercase Capital. Finally, we discuss their contributions to the larger venture community, including their work constructing the storied Midas List with Forbes.

Sep 18 2018

57mins

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Rank #19: Bruce Ou, Grove Street Advisors

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On this episode of Origins, we sit down with Bruce Ou, a Managing Partner at Grove Street Advisors. GSA is a unique type of investment firm in that they build customized private equity fund portfolios to address each of their LP clients’ individual investment needs. Their sole business is to manage discretionary separate accounts, investing in lower middle-market buyout, growth equity and venture capital. 

Bruce is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee, and leads investments across all segments of private equity and venture funds. Bruce also co-leads GSA’s strategy and portfolio development in China and is actively involved in the firm’s secondary fund investing activities. 

In this episode, we dig into all areas of the GSA business as well as Bruce’s background as an LP, and particularly his work across the globe and in China. His insight into the Chinese technology industry is a fascinating look into the second largest venture market in the world behind the U.S., and a good reminder that innovation today is found everywhere.

Dec 19 2017

45mins

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Rank #20: Winter Mead, Sapphire Ventures

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Winter Mead is a Vice President at Sapphire Ventures, where he focuses on Sapphire's fund investments in the United States and internationally. Before joining Sapphire Ventures in 2014, he worked at Hall Capital Partners. Prior to Hall, Winter founded Mead and Mead, an international food distribution and logistics business. He also spent a number of years working for several early-stage technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In this episode, we discuss why Winter joined Sapphire Ventures in the early days to help build out their fund investing business, building a track record as a young LP in the industry, and how Sapphire approaches working with VC fund managers in a way that looks and feels different than most LPs in the market today.

Mar 28 2017

42mins

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Chad Byers, Susa Ventures

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Chad Byers is a co-founder and partner at Susa Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund based in SF that has backed companies like Robinhood, Flexport, and Andela. Chad discusses growing up in Silicon Valley, his path to venture, the unusual founding story of Susa with his partners, and how they've strategically planned their funds over time. Chad is one of the smartest young seed investors in SF, and this episode was essentially a playbook on how to build a seed firm.

A huge thank you to Carta, the title sponsor for this season of Origins. It's a core product that we use daily --> Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.

Jan 07 2020

52mins

Play

Lo Toney, Plexo Capital

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Lo Toney is the founding managing partner of Plexo Capital, a new $42.5 million fund incubated inside of GV focused on making investments in seed-stage VC firms led by women or people of color. In addition to investing as LPs, Plexo Capital makes direct investments in startups that are funded by firms where Plexo has an LP position. The fund’s investors include Alphabet, Intel Capital, Cisco Investments, the Royal Bank of Canada, Kapor Capital, the Hampton University Endowment and the Ford Foundation.

Previous to Plexo Capital, Lo was a partner at GV and Comcast Ventures, as well as an operator in various capacities at Zynga, Nike, and eBay. In this episode, we discuss Lo's unique career journey, some of the early lessons he learned helping to build iconic web products in the dot com era, how he landed at GV and more recently decided to build his own venture platform in Plexo Capital.

We're also excited to announce Carta as the title sponsor for this season of Origins, a product we use and love. Get 10% off when you use the Notation Signup Link (Terms and conditions apply). This season is also sponsored by SVB and Cooley, two of the earliest and most trusted supporters of our work at Notation.

Dec 11 2019

50mins

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Fabrice Grinda, FJ Labs

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Fabrice Grinda is the founder of FJ Labs, a company co-creation and investment firm, focused on marketplace businesses. FJ Labs has invested in companies such as Flexport, Shippo, Lime, Brightroll, among many others. Fabrice is also a serial entrepreneur, previously founding three companies - Zingy, Aucland, and OLX - All of which scaled to significant size. He was born in France and is an avid traveler, writer, and speaker.

In this episode, we cover what it was like to come to the U.S. for college, starting his first company in the dot com in France at the age of 24 and riding it to massive scale before experiencing the fallout in the early oughts, as well as starting again, successfully exiting companies, and becoming a true expert on marketplace business dynamics. We also discuss the transition to investor, the unique aspects of FJ Labs, both from an LP perspective and an investment perspective, as well as making a personal decision a few years ago to live "asset-light."

Oct 01 2019

59mins

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Paul Mace, Tufts University

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Paul Mace is the Director of Investments for Private Equity and Real Estate in the Tufts University Investment Office. He is responsible for evaluating private market managers and their investment strategies to potentially include in the university’s portfolio. Before joining Tufts, Paul was an investment banker evaluating M&A and private equity transactions for a boutique advisory firm.

In this episode, we dig into the many similarities and differences in evaluating private real-estate funds and venture funds, two areas that Paul is responsible for at the Tufts endowment. We also discuss how the Tufts endowment has evolved over the past 15 years, and their plans for the future, particularly their approach to venture capital and emerging managers.

Sep 10 2019

43mins

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Beezer Clarkson hosts Anne Martin, CIO of Wesleyan University

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In this special episode of Origins, Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners hosts Anne Martin, the Chief Investment Officer of Wesleyan University. Anne was previously a Director of Investments at Yale University, where she oversaw the private and natural resource portfolio. At Wesleyan University, she oversees all aspects of the endowment and reports to the university's board and investment committee.

Over the course of the conversation, Beezer and Anne cover exactly what it means to run and invest a university endowment, Anne's goals for the program, how she thinks about investing across asset classes, and particularly how she approaches venture capital and picking managers. Their discussion is a unique look into what is a typically opaque part of the Limited Partner ecosystem, and a must-listen for anyone considering raising capital from endowments.

Aug 06 2019

49mins

Play

Bryce Roberts, Indie VC

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Bryce Roberts is the founder of Indie VC, a 12-month program and venture fund designed to fund and support founders on a path to profitability. Before that, Bryce was a co-founder of OATV in 2005, one of the earliest seed focused VC firms, where they invested in companies like Fastly, Foursquare, Planet, Hipcamp, and others.

On this episode, we discuss the earliest days of seed investing and raising OATV while Bryce lived in Utah, as well as the difficult decision to morph OATV into what is now Indie VC. Bryce has a decidedly different and refreshing perspective on venture capital than anyone we've had on Origins - He believes that raising capital should not turn a business into a binary outcome and that more founders should think about the road to profitability - What Bryce describes as "permissionless entrepreneurship."

Jul 16 2019

56mins

Play

David Fauchier, Cambrial Capital

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David Fauchier is the co-founder of Cambrial Capital, an investment firm based in London deploying a thesis-driven fund of funds strategy focused on the digital assets space. David has previous experience as a product leader and angel investor in Europe, and has one of the most thoughtful approaches to investing in the blockchain space that we've seen. We cover a wide range of topics in this episode, including the varied types of strategies that blockchain VC firms and crypto funds are pursuing today, why a fund of funds in this space makes sense, and how David sees the digital assets space evolving in the years to come. Whether you're a crypto noob, or a blockchain expert interested in the sector, whether you're a small personal investor in the space or a large asset allocator considering it, David does not disappoint :-)

Feb 26 2019

55mins

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Lindsay Larsen, UVIMCO

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Lindsay Larsen is a managing director at UVIMCO, which represents the University of Virginia's $9B+ endowment. At UVIMCO, Lindsay co-heads the endowment's venture capital investing, as well as hedge fund investing and the growth equity portfolio. She previously held roles at Sequoia Heritage and Bluestem Asset Management, and she started her career at Goldman Sachs after attending UVA as an undergrad.

In this unique look into how a large university endowment is managed, we dig into how UVA sets its return targets and goals, and how that impacts Lindsay's time spent across VC, hedge funds, and growth equity. We discuss the increasingly global nature of startups and the asset class broadly, and how that's led Lindsay and UVA to consider markets outside the US, particularly China, as well as her bottoms-up approach to picking VC managers and investment strategies. Lindsay has had a particularly interesting vantage point into the VC business over the past decade, and for any VC considering approaching or pitching a large endowment as an LP, this is an important episode to give a listen.

Feb 05 2019

52mins

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Manu Kumar, K9 Ventures

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Manu Kumar is the founder of K9 Ventures, a technology-focused Pre-Seed fund based in Palo Alto, California. K9 Ventures was the first "pre-seed" venture firm in the industry, and Manu was the first investor in companies like Twilio, Lyft, Carta, Crowdflower, and many more. Manu has a truly unique outlook on the VC business, and has a highly disciplined (and successful) investment model that he's stuck with since the beginning.

In this episode, we discuss Manu's time at Carnegie Melon and Stanford, where he received his PhD, his success as an entrepreneur, how he started K9 as a solo GP, his unique investment approach and portfolio construction strategy, and how he is planning to build K9 Ventures in the decades to come.

Jan 15 2019

54mins

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Conrad Shang, UTIMCO

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Conrad Shang is a Director at UTIMCO, The University of Texas and Texas A&M Endowment, where he leads the VC portfolio for one of the largest university endowments in the country. He’s been on both sides of the table, having also previously been a VC at Norwest Venture Partners and Bain Capital Ventures. This was a particularly fascinating conversation because Conrad now oversees what is probably the largest VC portfolio of anyone we've had on the Origins pod.

On this episode, we discuss Conrad's background and what led him to this new role at UTIMCO, the strategies that are possible and make sense for an endowment of that size, and how they're approaching the venture asset class overall, now and into the future. We also discuss topics that are particularly relevant today as we head into 2019, including LPs increasingly looking to make direct investments, how UTIMCO is thinking about blockchain investing, and how the endowment thinks about allocating through both bull and potentially bear cycles.

Dec 18 2018

55mins

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Zach Aarons, Metaprop

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Zach Aarons is a co-founder and partner at Metaprop, an early-stage venture firm and accelerator focused on real estate related technology. Zach has been working at the intersection of real estate and venture capital for the past decade, and he's the most active early-stage PropTech investor in the United States, having funded over 60 startups in the space as an individual as well as 40 startups (and counting) through MetaProp NYC's venture capital funds. In addition to early-stage investing, Zach is a project manager at Millennium Partners, and has worked on large-scale mixed-use development projects with experience in real estate development, commercial asset management, property marketing, and commercial leasing.

In this episode, we discuss how Zach started in the NYC tech community, his time as an angel investor before Metaprop, and what it took to get Metaprop off the ground with his two partners. We also dive into Proptech investing, building a sector-specific firm, and their unique model that brings together startups, real-estate executives, and large real-estate companies across the U.S. and Europe.

Nov 27 2018

58mins

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Sarah Anderson and Emily Geiger, Cintrifuse

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On this episode of Origins, we interview Sarah Anderson and Emily Geiger, who are responsible for two critical components of Cintrifuse, a unique organization and public-private partnership established to drive the next phase of growth in the Cincinnati region. Sarah is the Managing Director of the Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund, a fund of funds that invests in VC managers across the U.S. Emily is the VP of BigCo Innovation at Cintrifuse, where she focuses on bridging partnerships, as well as exploring new potential areas for innovation and collaboration between large companies in the Cincinnati region and the broader U.S. startup community.

Cintrifuse is a special organization - Unlike any other we've had on the Origins pod - made up of a diverse group of people, funds, startups, big companies, and ideas all dedicated to establishing a stronger tech presence in Cincinatti in order to improve the economy in the region. But it's also had a big impact on startups and VC across the U.S., and so we're thrilled that Sarah and Emily could spend some time giving us a look inside the Cintrifuse universe.

Oct 30 2018

49mins

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David Tisch, Box Group

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David Tisch is a founder and managing partner of Box Group, the most prolific angel and seed investing firm in NYC, where they're investors in companies such as Pillpack, Flatiron Health, GroupMe, Plaid, Roman, among many others. He previously co-founded Techstars New York, a fixture of the NYC tech community for many years, and is the head of Cornell Tech's Startup Studio.

In this episode, we discuss how Box Group has stuck to its knitting over the years by continuing to focus on the earliest stages of startup investing, how investors do (and don't) add value to the companies they work with, how the NYC tech community has evolved over the past decade, and how Box Group may evolve in the future. David is one of the most colorful and genuine guests we've had on Origins, and so it's no surprise that this interview was one of the most fun we've done to date.

Oct 09 2018

51mins

Play

Rob Mazzoni, TrueBridge Capital Partners

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Rob Mazzoni is a principal and one of the earliest members of the TrueBridge investment team, an alternative asset management firm founded in 2007 and focused on the venture capital industry. Rob first worked with TrueBridge co-founder and general partner Mel Williams at UNC Management Company, Inc. (UNCMC) as an investment and performance analyst.

In this episode, we discuss Rob's professional path as an LP since college, as well as the founding and evolution of Truebridge Capital Partners since 2007. We cover Truebridge's decision to partner early with now top-tier firms like a16z and Founder's Fund, as well as their decision to commit to seed as a category several years ago via firms like Lowercase Capital. Finally, we discuss their contributions to the larger venture community, including their work constructing the storied Midas List with Forbes.

Sep 18 2018

57mins

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Shan-Lyn Ma, Zola

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Shan-Lyn Ma is the co-founder and CEO of Zola, the fastest growing wedding registry and planning site in the U.S. Before Zola, Shan-Lyn was the chief product officer of chloe + isabel, and an executive at Gilt Groupe. In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including Shan-Lyn's experience growing up in Australia, discovering the Internet at a young age, and eventually moving to the U.S. to go to Stanford and pursue her dreams as a technology entrepreneur. We also discuss the many lessons Shan-Lyn learned in product and strategy at Yahoo and Gilt Groupe, her recent activity as an angel investor and LP, and how she brings all of these experiences to bear in her day-to-day running Zola.

Aug 21 2018

50mins

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Mike Maples, Floodgate

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Mike Maples is the founding partner at Floodgate and has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (IPO TIVS, acquired by IBM) and Motive (IPO MOTV, acquired by Alcatel-Lucent.) Some of Mike’s investments include Twitter, Twitch.tv, ngmoco, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaarvoice, Spiceworks, Okta, and Demandforce.

In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including Mike's decision to become a VC and how he raised Floodgate's first fund, how Floodgate's fund strategy and portfolio construction has evolved since, and how he and his partners think about building the firm in the years and decades to come.

Jul 24 2018

50mins

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Ryan Nece, Next Play Capital

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Ryan Nece is a Managing Partner at Next Play Capital, a mission-driven co-investment and fund of funds focused on venture capital. He started his career playing football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played for eight years, winning a super bowl championship as a rookie. After retiring from football, Ryan co-founded Straightcast Media, which he successfully exited to FOX Sports in 2015. Ryan is also the founder of the Ryan Nece Foundation, and a fellow at the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program.

Needless to say, this was one of the most fascinating interviews we've had on the Origins podcast to date, covering Ryan's time in the NFL, what it takes to build a career after football, and why he believes it's never been a more exciting time to invest in startups and venture.

Jun 26 2018

51mins

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Jeff Fagnan, Accomplice

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Jeff Fagnan is a founder of Accomplice and more recently Spearhead, in partnership with AngelList. Jeff is well known as a founding investor, working with most of his portfolio since inception, sometimes as a co-founder including Veracode (Sold to CA Technologies for $614M in 2017). Jeff sits on the board of many scaling startup‍‍‍s including AngelList, Carbon Black, InsightSquared, PillPack, and others. He's also the founder of Spearhead, a program that provides funding and mentorship for new angel investors; Maiden Lane, the first investment vehicle built on top of AngelList; Boston Syndicates (BOSS),a federated movement to create stronger angel substrate in New England; and TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good), a nonprofit foundation harnessing the power of the tech ecosystem to catalyze social innovation in New England.

In this episode, we discuss Jeff's fourteen years as a partner at Atlas Ventures in Boston, the spinout and transition to Accomplice, and the many experiments with the venture model that's run with Maiden Lane, Angellist, and now Spearhead.

May 15 2018

48mins

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Leah Busque, Fuel Capital

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Leah Busque is a General Partner at Fuel Capital, an early-stage venture firm based in SF. Before Fuel, she was the co-founder and CEO of TaskRabbit for eight years, and before that an engineer at IBM. In this episode, we discuss Leah's path to founding TaskRabbit, moving to SF, and partnering with Chris Howard as Fuel's second GP just over a year ago. We also dig into how she discovered and has navigated the LP community, how she expects to support the founders she works with as a former founder and engineer herself, and finally how Leah and Chris plan to grow Fuel as a firm in the years to come.

Apr 18 2018

50mins

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Ro Gupta, Carmera

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Ro Gupta is the co-founder and CEO of Carmera, a street-level intelligence platform. The company's flagship product is CARMERA Autonomous Map, which delivers real-time, 3D maps and navigation-critical data for autonomous vehicles. Ro previously spent six years with Disqus, the web's largest community discussion network. He's also the first Notation portfolio company founder we've had on Origins! In this episode, we discuss Ro's path to co-founding Carmera, the explosion of interest in autonomous vehicle technology, angel investing, and of course the limited partner ecosystem.

Apr 03 2018

51mins

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iTunes Ratings

47 Ratings
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Good stuff

By jlintz2 - May 31 2016
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A++++++ would buy again. Nice to peel back behind the curtains of the LP world

Great to hear the other side

By Nicoslepicos - May 12 2016
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As an entrepreneur, appreciate hearing the perspective from LPs