Entrepreneurship, Stand-up Comedy, & Investing – Eric Satz, Founder/CEO of AltoIRA
Play • 39 min
Miguel Armaza sits down with Eric Satz, Founder and CEO of AltoIRA, a company on a mission to help individuals in the US access and execute investments in alternative assets using their retirement savings. We cover: - Eric’s journey from investment banker, to coffee shop owner, to venture capitalist, to AltoIRA founder. - What influenced him to pursue entrepreneurship throughout most of his life. - Why he thinks this is now a great time to invest in private companies. - The advantages of launching a fintech startup in Nashville, Tennessee. - Why he thinks the only thing harder than fundraising for startup money is making somebody laugh and why he has so much respect for stand-up comedians. - And much, much more! Eric is also the host of his own podcast, The Altogether Show, which features unfiltered interviews with untraditional entrepreneurs who ignored boundaries and followed their instincts. https://altogether.show/ Eric Satz An entrepreneur and former investment banker, Eric worked for DLJ/Credit Suisse First Boston before co-founding Currenex, Plumgood Food, and Tennessee Community Ventures, a VC firm. Eric served on the Board of the TVA from 2015-January 2019, and he teaches an entrepreneurship class to high school students. A Miami native and diehard 'Canes and Dolphins fan, Eric went to Amherst College. After years in NYC and then San Francisco, he and his wife moved to Nashville, her hometown, to raise their kids. When he's not breathing life into startup companies, Eric loves to ski, play soccer, and practice yoga. About AltoIRA AltoIRA is a financial technology company on a mission to help individuals access and execute investments in alternative assets using their retirement savings. The firm's cost-effective and hassle-free platform streamlines the process for investors, funding portals and issuers alike. Alto currently works with leading platform partners including AngelList, Wefunder and Masterworks, as well as financial advisors, funds and other direct issuers. Launched in 2018, the Nashville-based fintech firm is backed by leading investors including the family office of Tony James, Moment Ventures, Foundation Capital and the Sequoia Scout Fund. For more information, please visit www.AltoIRA.com - https://www.whartonfintech.org/ - https://twitter.com/whartonfintech - https://www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club - Host: https://www.linkedin.com/in/armaza/
In Depth
In Depth
First Round
Plaid & Dropbox’s Jean-Denis Grèze’s playbook for building an engineering culture of ownership
Today’s episode is with Jean-Denis Grèze, Head of Engineering at Plaid, which securely connects your bank to your apps. Before joining Plaid, Jean-Denis served as Director of Engineering at Dropbox, and even had a stint in law school and one year as a lawyer under his belt before diving deep into the world of CS. While he says becoming a lawyer was a “four-year detour he probably didn’t need,” there’s a lot to be said for how it’s shaped his engineering career and management philosophy. As he puts it, he strongly favors pragmatism over perfection, and it’s something he hammers home within his engineering teams. In today’s conversation, Jean-Denis pulls on threads from across his career to weave together a modern playbook for engineering leadership — and the hard-won lessons that stick with him. He also shares his insights on why his engineering org doesn’t have titles, the one question he asks every engineering manager candidate, and how his team prioritizes technical debt and keeping the lights on versus sexy, brand-new projects. Today’s conversation is a must-listen for technical leaders or those who are eyeing the engineering leadership track. From motivating a team to tracking the right KPIs, Jean-Denis has got tons of great tactics and stories from his time at Plaid and Dropbox for you to learn from. You can email us questions directly at review@firstround.com or follow us on Twitter @twitter.com/firstround and @twitter.com/brettberson
57 min
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
11:FS
493. Insights: Partnerships in finance: building the new banking ecosystem
With the help of fintechs, BaaS, third party providers and even M&As, banking as we know it is changing. Partnerships are proving to be the key to unlocking what the future of the banking ecosystem will look like. In this episode, Adam Davis sits down with a panel of guests for an insightful conversation about how partnership in finance could have the potential to change the entire ecosystem of banking. Joining Adam on the show are: Victoria Roberts - Director of Fintech Delivery Panel at Tech Nation Jason Wilkinson-Brown - Head of Partnerships, TSB Keith Grose - Head of UK, Plaid This podcast is brought to you by Jack Henry Digital (https://hubs.ly/H0w__kt0) the pioneer and creator of personal digital banking that helps community financial institutions strategically differentiate their digital offerings from those of MegaBanks, BigTechs and FinTechs. This podcast is also brought to you by Mitek (https://bit.ly/2VXQy3o)(NASDAQ: MITK). Mitek is a global leader in mobile capture and digital identity verification solutions built on the latest advancements in computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Mitek’s identity verification solutions enable an enterprise to verify a user’s identity during a digital transaction, which assists businesses operating in highly regulated markets to reduce financial risk and meet regulatory requirements while increasing revenue from digital channels. Financial services, marketplaces and other organizations around the world use Mitek to reduce friction creating the digital experiences their customers expect. Mobile Deposit® and Mobile Verify® are used by millions of consumers for check deposit, new account opening and more. The company is based in San Diego with offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and St Petersburg. Learn more at www.miteksystems.com. Banking as a Service is deconstructing the banking stack. It's enabling brands to embed finance more easily, and to tailor financial products to specific customer needs. This is presenting new opportunities for specialised providers and offers banks extra revenue streams. Download our report for a comprehensive, no BS view of what Banking as a Service is and what it means for the industry. Head to bit.ly/bankingasaservice (https://bit.ly/bankingasaservice). Fintech Insider by 11:FS is a podcast dedicated to all things fintech, banking, technology and financial services. Hosted by a rotation of 11:FS experts including David Brear, Simon Taylor, Jason Bates and Sarah Kocianski and joined by a range of brilliant guests, we cover the latest global news, bring you interviews from industry experts or take a deep dive into subject matters such as APIs, AI or digital banking. If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe and please leave a review Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fintechinsiders where you can ask the hosts questions, alternatively email podcasts@11fs.com! Special Guests: Jason Wilkinson-Brown, Keith Grose, and Victoria Roberts.
46 min
Equity
Equity
TechCrunch, Chris Gates, Alex Wilhelm, Danny Crichton, Natasha Mascarenhas, Grace Mendenhall
The end of Plaid-Visa, and Palantir's growing startup mafia
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we -- Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace -- had a lot to get through, as the news volume in early 2021 has been rapid, and serious. Sadly this means that some early-stage rounds missed the cut, though we did make sure to have some Series A material in the show. So, what did we the assembled crew get to? Here's your cheat-sheet: * The demise of the Plaid-Visa deal, our chat with the CEO of the fintech unicorn, and what the failed transaction could mean for startup valuations more broady. * Why the $1.4 billion Nuvia exit to Qualcomm is impressive in scale, and puzzling. This topic also gave Danny a chance to talk about chips, his favorite thing. * Auto-insurance rates can often depend on highly variable demographic data like marital status, income, and education. Loop is a new seed-stage startup that wants to make the process more equitable. It landed millions this week, underscoring a broader insurtech wave. * SuperCharger Ventures pivoted its fintech accelerator into an edtech accelerator! We discuss why the shift and its surprising focus on B2B makes a ton of sense. * Crypto's going up and down, ahead of the anticipated Coinbase IPO and the known Bakkt SPAC. More on that here. * Sticking to the SPAC front, SoFi joined the list of companies using black-check companies to approach the public markets. * As is Talkspace, the tele-therapy startup that you've heard of. * And then there was SoftBank, of course, which has its own SPAC in the market now, confirming earlier reports. Which makes perfect sense. There are so many SPACs and bits of IPO news and funding rounds to pick through and cover that we're already straining the time limits of the show to even cover half of the material. This week that meant that we excised a chunk of the show to a forthcoming Saturday episode that is focused on e-commerce. So, we will talk to you again soon!
30 min
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
Harry Stebbings
20VC: Databricks CEO, Ali Ghodsi on The 3 Phases of Startup Growth, How to Evaluate Risk and Downside Scenario Planning & Who, What and When To Hire When Scaling Your Go-To-Market
Ali Ghodsi is the Founder & CEO @ Databricks, bringing together data engineering, science and analytics on an open, unified platform so data teams can collaborate and innovate faster. To date, Ali has raised over $897M for the company including from the likes of a16z, NEA, Microsoft, Battery, Coatue, Greenbay and more. Prior to Databricks, Ali was one of the original creators of open source project, Apache Spark, and ideas from his research have been applied to Apache Mesos and Apache Hadoop. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Ali made his way from fleeing Iran as a refugee to living in a Swedish ghetto? What was the founding moment for Ali with Databricks? 2.) How does Ali think about and evaluate risk today? Why does Ali always make his team do downside scenario planning? How does Ali think about his relationship to money today? Why does Ali disagree with gut decisions? What is his process for making decisions effectively? 3.) Stage 1: The Search for PMF: What are the core elements included in this phase? What types of leaders thrive in this phase? What type struggle? How can leaders sustain morale in the early days when it is not up and to the right? Who are the crucial hires in this phase? 4.) Stage 2: Scale Go-To-Market: What are the core roles needed to expand GTM fast and effectively? Why should you hire sales leaders before marketing leaders? Why is hiring finance leaders so crucial here? What mistakes are most often made here? How do the board resolve them? 5.) Stage 3: Process and Efficiency: What are the first and most important processes that need to be implemented? How does Ali need to change the type of leader he is to fit this stage? How does one retain creativity and nimble decision-making at scale and with process? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode Ali’s Favourite Book: Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.
42 min
16 Minutes News by a16z
16 Minutes News by a16z
Andreessen Horowitz
FinCEN Crypto Rule; Haven Healthcare Breakup
We're covering two trends in this week’s episode of "16 Minutes," where we talk about the news, tech trends, and the long arc of innovation:  #1 FinCEN, the Treasury Department's financial crimes enforcement arm, proposed a new rule targeting cryptocurrency holders’ ability to transact using self-hosted wallets. These are software applications for storing crypto that allow people to transact on the blockchain directly, rather than going through financial institutions. The rule would require banks and other financial businesses to keep records, and verify the identities not only of their customers but also — notably — their customers’ counterparties, or people with whom the customer transacts, in certain cases. (Full disclosure: a16z has publicly opposed this plan, and has said it plans to join others in the industry in challenging the rule in court. You can read more about our position here.) a16z General Partner Katie Haun and Operating Partner Anthony Albanese explain the rule and what impact it could have on crypto innovation. #2 Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase shut down their joint healthcare venture. Haven was touted as a potential game-changer for employee-funded health care plans and health costs in general, due to the combined resources of its three corporate sponsors, but it was disbanded after three years. We turn to a16z bio General Partner Julie Yoo for a quick check-in on what opportunities this project actually highlighted (including for startups). — with Zoran Basich
21 min
Acquired
Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Special: Acquired x Indie Hackers
As regular listeners know, we typically cover some of the biggest companies who often receive the most media attention (see Airbnb and DoorDash). But today's episode is a little different. In our conversation with Courtland Allen of Indie Hackers, the largest community of startup founders, we dive into the stories of underdogs. What happens when there are millions of people doing small business entrepreneurship? How does anyone having access to the globally addressable market of 3 billion internet users open the door for the niche-est of products? We tell the story of Courtland’s own “Indie Hacker” journey, how he came to found Indie Hackers itself, and the lessons learned along the way. If you want more more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: * This episode is supported by Teamistry, a great new podcast from Atlassian that tells the stories of teams who work together in new and unexpected ways to achieve remarkable things. It's one of our best new podcast discoveries in 2020 and we think Acquired listeners are going to love it. Our thanks to Teamistry for their support, and you can listen here: https://link.chtbl.com/teamistry?sid=podcast.acquired * Thank you as well to Kevel and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * https://www.kevel.co * https://www.capchase.com Playbook Themes from this Episode: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/special-acquired-x-indie-hackers ) 1. As long as you don't quit your journey, you're still in the act of succeeding. * Indie Hackers was Courtland's seventh company. Before it, Courtland had started six other companies, each with a few thousand dollars in revenue but never as big as he wanted it to be. Looking back, Courtland has realized that everyone has a certain number of companies they need to start before they succeed: for some, that number may be one, for others, 36. For him, that number was 7. So his advice? All you have to do is not quit before you get to that number. 2. The journey is as important as the destination. * While Courtland was working on some of his earlier companies, he was miserable. A few of those working years felt like a complete blur. But sometime before he started Indie Hackers, he realized that in order to keep going until you succeed (see playbook #1), you must structure your life so that it's easy for you to not quit. In other words, you have to make the journey fun — almost like the emotional counterpart to Paul Graham’s famous “default alive” concept. With this reframe, Courtland began to enjoy the journey — enjoying the new people he met and the new things he learned. This mindset helped him level up as a person. Instead of worrying and asking "am I there yet?" he was able to enjoy the building journey. 3. Stories are always paramount. * As we discuss so often on Acquired, stories can be an incredibly powerful force, and their value is one of the core theses/value propositions of Indie Hackers. One insight Courtland came to from Hacker News was that people didn't want to just read comments about people who didn't succeed. They wanted high quality, verified stories that were trustable in some way. * Indie Hackers sends a survey out to users 6 months after they join the community. One of the questions the survey asks is, "would you have started your company if not for Indie Hackers?" 15-20% say they would not have started without some story or interaction on Indie Hackers! 4. Don't try to create budgets — sell to people that already have them. * Courtland originally tried to monetize Indie Hackers via advertising, and shared advertisement opportunities with the Indie Hacker community. But he soon realized that these smaller businesses weren't exactly the best customers to sell to. Eventually, he transitioned to selling to enterprises, and was pleasantly surprised by how much easier it was to sell. * The sales process simplified is: educate, then win. If you're selling to someone with a budget, you essentially bypass the education step. 5. Utilizing platforms, like everything in business, has tradeoffs. * There are no hard or fast rules in business. Everything has tradeoffs. Platforms may help with distribution but make it harder to build a brand and also create risks and dependencies. For Courtland, it was important for Indie Hackers to have its own brand. Additionally, he already had a distribution strategy (Hacker News). Hence, it made sense for Indie Hackers to be its own site, as there were many risks but few benefits to using some other platform like Medium. 6. Trust and mission alignment are critical in acquisitions. * Acquisition terms are about much more than just the purchase price. Sometimes, other considerations are more advantageous than cash (e.g. equity), and there are creative ways to align their incentives. * For Courtland, it was crucial that he retain freedom over his time and control over the direction of Indie Hackers. Hence, it was — and still remains — key that Patrick and Courtland's relationship have a high degree of trust. 7. Acquisitions can enable established brands to take bigger risks. * “Intra-preneurship” can be difficult because the initiative is constrained by internal processes and standards as well as external expectations. Hence, you can often take bigger risks through an acquisition. Google video versus YouTube is a great example of this. 8. There is an infinite number of "indie hacker" opportunities. * There is no end to the number of niche problems that can be identified and served. Big businesses and platforms create massive opportunities to go for the long tail. New businesses can build on top of these platforms or build for these platforms, creating tools to help people use them. For example, there are thriving tools business ecosystems today for Stripe, Shopify, WordPress, and still many more use cases yet to be addressed. Links: * Indie Hackers: https://www.indiehackers.com
1 hr 49 min
BCG Henderson Institute
BCG Henderson Institute
BCG Henderson Institute
Book Interview: The Six New Rules of Business with Judy Samuelson
Judy Samuelson is executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. She previously worked in legislative affairs in California, banking in New York’s garment center, and ran the Ford Foundation’s office of program-related investments. In her new book, The Six New Rules of Business: Creating Real Value in a Changing World, she explores how societal shifts in recent decades have upended the traditional rules of business, calling into question the business’s purpose and its role in society and offering new rules for how to make businesses successful in their new social contexts. In a conversation with Martin Reeves, Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, Samuelson discusses insights from her new book and emphasizes the role of business education in changing the business ecosystem for the better. *** About the BCG Henderson Institute The BCG Henderson Institute is the Boston Consulting Group’s think tank, dedicated to exploring and developing valuable new insights from business, technology, economics, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. The Institute engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice and to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. For more ideas and inspiration, sign up to receive BHI INSIGHTS, our monthly newsletter, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
25 min
Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders
Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders
Bilal Zaidi
Andrew Wilkinson, Tiny // Building The Internet's Berkshire Hathaway, Going Public & Munger's Mental Models
Andrew Wilkinson is the co-founder of Tiny. He owns 30+ companies, including Dribbble, Metalab, Girlboss & Castro. Collectively, these businesses bring in $100mil+ in annual revenue. Andrew took WeCommerce public the week of this interview, with the most recent market cap hitting $800mil Canadian dollars (Jan 2021) He's a leading expert in buying, starting & growing online businesses. Let us know what you think on Twitter: @bzaidi & @awilkinson Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/QRIl2aGmzMc In this conversation, you'll learn: * why Warren Buffet + Charlie Munger's approach inspired Andrew to create the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet * how mental models like "inversion" can help you think more effectively * the 4 types of entrepreneurs + understanding which type you are * how to hire key employees + a CEO to replace you * the importance of incentives + how to align employees around a shared vision Timestamps: * 00:00:00 Snippet * 00:03:32 Who is Andrew? Buying, Building + Growing Companies * 00:07:41 Mental Models: Studying Warren Buffett + Charlie Munger * 00:10:22 Inversion * 00:12:12 Make A Few Good Decisions A Year * 00:13:54 The New Zealand Approach * 00:15:30 Fishing Where The Fish Are * 00:22:11 Controlling Emotions * 00:24:50 When Deals Don't Go To Plan * 00:26:07 How 2020 Changed Andrew's Strategy * 00:27:40 The Value Of Service Businesses * 00:32:08 Incentives * 00:34:09 4 Types of Entrepreneurs * 00:37:13 How to Hire a CEO * 00:40:21 Working With Recruiters * 00:41:42 Lessons on Firing * 00:43:35 Incentivizing CEOs * 00:46:20 Creating A Shared Vision * 00:50:39 The Art of Delegation * 00:53:33 "Twitter should be milking money" * 00:56:38 Lessons From Shareholder Letters * 00:58:49 The Future of Local News * 01:00:39 Wrap-Up
1 hr 2 min
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