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We talk to Southern California VCs to get to know them, their funds, and their advice for entrepreneurs

LA Seed Investors

Jeffrey Evans — Mantis VC

Jeffrey Evans — Mantis VC

Talking with Jeffrey made me wonder if I need to get a celebrity for our venture fund.  Jeffrey had the opportunity to work with Alex and Drew of the Chainsmokers to set up Mantis VC and it sounds like an amazing team.

Jeffrey explains the value that the Chainsmokers are able to bring and how entrepreneurs and funds can best work with celebrity.

Fred Farina — The Caltech Fund

Fred Farina — The Caltech Fund

Fred is the Chief Innovation and Partnerships officer at Caltech where he oversees the Tech Transfer office and recently set up two new funds : The Caltech Fund and the Wilson and Hill fund.

Jackie Fast — Sandbox Studios

Jackie Fast — Sandbox Studios

I learned so much about working with celebrities from Jackie Fast at Sandbox Studios :

* Celebrities are not doing this for impact.  It is for the money
* George Cloney’s $1B payday from Casamigoes caught everyone’s attention
* It’s not only about choosing the right celebrity, it’s also about having the right team around them
* Celebrities are so eager to work with startups, they are resorting to DMs
* Celebrities and startup collaboration is going to explode

Brad Zions — Pitbull Ventures

Brad Zions — Pitbull Ventures

Should we be pouring massive amounts of time and money into web3 or is it just technology looking for a use case? 

Pitbull Ventures founder Brad Zions is also the producer of Kissing Jessica Stein and the co-founder of Lemonade restaurants.  He tells us why movies and restaurants are bad investments and why, in his opinion, web3 is even worse. 

Will Bumpus — Concrete Rose

Will Bumpus — Concrete Rose

Will Bumpus from Concrete Rose joins us today.  Concrete Rose has grown quickly and is now leading rounds with $1-2M checks to support a virtuous cycle of wealth and opportunity for underrepresented communities of color.
 
Will tells us about his own focus on sustainability and where that came from in his life. He also shares why he and his partners may (hopefully) be part of a growing trend of VCs pledging a percent of their carry (50%!) to give back to nonprofits.

Megan Holston-Alexander — A16Z

Megan Holston-Alexander — A16Z

Megan Holston-Alexander leads A16Z’s Cultural Leadership Fund (CLF).  CLF connects the world’s greatest cultural leaders with the best new technology companies.

Megan tells us about getting black people onto cap tables, into tech and building generational wealth.

She tells us how A16Z has grown this network and her own journey into this role.

Raj Ganguly — B Capital

Raj Ganguly — B Capital

B Capital has rapidly grown to over $6B AUM and has just announced its first early-stage fund, the $250M Ascent Fund run by a superstar team that includes Eduardo Saverin, Gabe Greenbaum, Karen Page, Karan Mohla, and Howard Morgan.

Raj says B Capital was not an overnight success but was built steadily on the conviction that there needed to be a firm that could be best in class on value-add and also global from the outset.

Faraz Fatemi — Lightspeed

Faraz Fatemi — Lightspeed

What does it mean to be more authentic online and will it lead to a nicer Internet? 

How will future social networks make it easier to establish an online identity, find community and enable community ownership?

Faraz Fatemi, partner at Lightspeed, brings his perspective on consumer psychology to today’s episode of LA Venture. 

Shomik Dutta — Overture VC

Shomik Dutta — Overture VC

Shomik Dutta says that climate, and specifically the need to decarbonize every major industry will “eat the world” in the same way that Marc Andreesen famously said that software would eat the world in 2011.

Shomik argues that the TAM in climate is multiples of the TAM in software today.  The immensity of the need is one of the motivations of the work that he is doing now at Overture.

Kyle Lui — Bling Capital

Kyle Lui — Bling Capital

Another great example of top Silicon Valley talent moving to LA!   Kyle Lui was a partner at multi-billion dollar DCM until he left to join Ben Ling at Bling Capital.  He shares thoughts on how a small fund can still build best in class playbooks and...

Paige Craig — Outlander VC

Paige Craig — Outlander VC

Paige Craig shares his amazing story of sneaking into Iraq dressed as a CNN reporter, how he built a private military from scratch inside Baghdad and then how he parlayed that exit into an incredible investing career that includes Wish, Scale, Gusto, AngelList and many others.