Episode 34: Brian MacMahon -- Expert Dojo

We talk about how Brian has evolved Expert Dojo into a really interesting international accelerator ($100k checks), how lean startup can be misapplied, and how women are better than men :)

Totally worth checking out--both the Dojo and this episode!

Episode 33: Michael Stoppelman -- Angel, scout, friend

Michael is one of the most sought after and prolific angel investors in LA. One year he invested in 50 companies... and that was before joining a prominent scout program. We also talk about growing Yelp with his brother Jeremy Stoppelman.

Episode 32: Courtney Reum -- M13

M13 is a $200M LA-based brand development and venture capital firm. Courtney is a co-founder of M13 and an investor in Pinterest, Ring, Lyft and much more. This is a fun one!

Episode 31: Noramay Cadena -- MiLA Capital

Founder of MiLA Capital, Noramay Cadena, talks with me about the intersection of tech and manufacturing. Along with partners Carmen Palafox and Shaun Arora, Noramay is writing first checks ($100k-$1M) into 'tech you can touch'.

Shout out to creator, collaborator Z holly and Make it in LA

SoCal Alliance report on SoCal innovation

Kauffman fellows

Episode 30: Michael Tam -- Craft Ventures

Great chat with Michael Tam about Craft Ventures ($1-$15M), vertical labor marketplaces, Uber, his partners David Sacks, Bill Lee, Jeff Fluhr, Sky Dayton, and Michael's path into venture.

David Sacks posts: https://medium.com/@davidsacks

Episode 29: Derek Norton -- Watertower Ventures

We caught up with Derek Norton about Watertower ($100-500k checks with his partner Jeremy Milken), micro M&A, advantages(?) of a hard fundraise, media as IP, and how great we are here in LA :)

Episode 28: Peter Goldberg -- PLG Ventures

Great episode if you like entertaining guests. Peter invests up to $250k initial checks out of PLG Ventures and is not afraid to invest super-early (pre-product, pre-revenue).

He helps his portfolio companies on all things organizational behavior, but was formerly CEO of AmTrust, the largest privately held bank.

Episode 27: Erik Rannala -- Mucker

We got a chance to catch up with Erik about Honey's $4B exit, his new partner Omar, his decision-making process and all things Mucker ($100k - $1.5M checks and a lot of elbow grease).

Episode 26: Mike Palank -- MAC Ventures

MAC is a $100m fund writing $500k - $1.5m checks. David and I didn't talk much because Mike had so many great stories. He tells us about his partners Adrian Fenty, Marlon Nichols, Charles King and some of the cool stuff in interactive media today.

Lil Miquela: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE1J9JxqhFo

... makes our podcast guest list look a little dry

Episode 25: Kelly Perdew -- Moonshots Capital

Kelly is founding partner of Moonshots Capital where he invests $500k - $1.5M with conviction into extraordinary leadership with a heavy emphasis on leaders with a military background.

We enjoyed talking with him about his experience running a syndicate and winning Season 2 of the Apprentice and working with Donald Trump.


Episode 24: Robert Mai -- Scopus Ventures

Robert Mai joins us to talk about Scopus Ventures, an early stage fund focused on B2B enterprise software (initial checks $250-$1M).  Scopus is active in LA and Israel.  Robert also educates us on family office investing.

Episode 23: Brian Lee -- BAM Ventures

Brian is the founder of BAM Ventures, ShoeDazzle, LegalZoom, the Honest Company and more. We talked to him about investing out of BAM Ventures where he's not afraid to invest early--$250-500k into a great entrepreneur and an idea. Also really interesting to learn his approach to launching a brand, shopping at CVS, and what is going on today at BAM labs.

Episode 22: Jay Goss -- Wavemaker 360 Health

Jay is a partner at Wavemaker 360 Health, a healthcare fund with a liberal definition of what a healthcare company is. They do seed investing ($100-$500k first check). Jay is very thoughtful about everything from how he leverages his LPs to the implications of value-based care.

Episode 21: Meredith Finn -- March Capital Partners

Meredith is a partner at March Capital Partners where she leads investments into enterprise B2B companies raising Series A, B and C. Prior to March, Meredith was at Salesforce Ventures.

I'd want Meredith on my board if I were running a later stage enterprise business!

Episode 20: Eric Schiffer -- Tech Coast Angels

Eric is the president of Tech Coast Angels, but we definitely got caught up talking about his prior experience as CEO of 99c only stores. This one is a great listen if you're at all interested in selling consumer goods or scaling operations.

Episode 19: Miki Reynolds -- Grid110

Grid110 is a fantastic free accelerator program in DTLA (no cost, no equity). Miki started Grid110 in 2014 with a focus on fashion tech, but now Grid110 is open to early stage entrepreneurs in all sectors. Miki's awesome and what's not to love.

Episode 18: Laurent Grill -- Luma Launch

Laurent Grill is lead investor at Luma Launch, an LA pre-seed fund that does both B2B and B2C, with a particular interest in storytelling. In addition to funding (average check size $250k), Luma provides great mentors and services for it's teams. Laurent explains why Luma (and others) have moved away from the accelerator model.

Episode 17: Peter Lee -- Embark Ventures

Peter is a founder and managing partner at Embark Ventures, one of the very few deep tech/frontier tech focused investors in town. They write $500- $1M checks into pre-product companies with important science behind them.

Peter is full of interesting thoughts on robotics, brain computer interaction and tech transfer out of universities.

Episode 16: Alex Rubalcava -- Stage Venture Partners

Alex is an early-stage enterprise B2B investor, typically writing checks $300-$600k into rounds of ~$1-3M. He is full of interesting insights and convictions. I could have talked to him for a long time.

Episode 15: Dana Settle -- Greycroft

Dana is a Founding Partner at Greycroft and heads the west coast office. She invests in seed, series A and out of the Greycroft growth fund. We talk to her about tracker funds, acquirers, her relationship to email and other interesting things.

Episode 14: John Waller -- Okapi Ventures

John is a gem. He is also a partner at Okapi Ventures. Before Okapi he was a founder (twice), he worked at Idealab and in corporate M&A. As he says, he has sat on all 10 sides of the table.

Episode 13: Brian Garrett -- Crosscut Ventures

Brian is one of the founders of Crosscut. Crosscut has been doing seed investing in LA since 2007. Brian explains their portfolio construction ($1.5-3M is 'typical' but they stretch in both directions), the personalities of the Crosscut team and how they think about their reputation and the ecosystem they have been a part of growing for the past decade.

From the episode: Nick Kim's post on Platform as a Product

Evolution coaching: https://www.evolution.team/

Episode 12: Peter Pham -- Science

Peter Pham is the co-founder of Science. Science is a startup studio here in Santa Monica that partners with founders at the earliest stage of company-creation. Peter educates me and David on D2C margins and radiation-preventing underwear over tallboys of Liquid Death.

Join us at Innovate Pasadena with great upcoming guests and a podcast if you can't join us in person.

Episode 11: Paul Bricault -- Amplify LA

Paul is founder and managing partner at Amplify. Amplify started as an accelerator, they still have the great office space, but now Paul describes Amplify as pre-seed with benefits. They have a heavy LA focus to their investments ($250-500k) but not funding LA companies exclusively. Paul is also a venture partner at Greycroft and a nice person.

Episode 10: Adam Struck -- Struck Capital

Adam Struck is an LA seed investor from Struck Capital (checks $1-1.5M) who challenges any other VC to put in more sweat equity per dollar than he does. He also thinks VCs should be weirder. I already feel like I'm busting my butt so I will accept the weird challenge.

Episode 9: Kara Nortman -- Upfront Ventures

Kara is a partner at Upfront, a founder, and one of the most prominent investors in LA. Kara shares about the Upfront partnership (8 different UIs with the same backend), advice for founders, and her own areas of interest.

Episode 8: Stender Sweeney -- Pasadena Angels

With over 100 members, Pasadena Angels is one of the largest angel investor networks in LA. Stender Sweeney is chair of the Pasadena Angels and explains how their process works, what size check to expect ($250-750k) and what it means to be 'more than the money'.

Episode 7: Anna Barber -- Techstars LA

Techstars is a 90-day mentorship-driven accelerator program with three programs in LA: Techstars Music, Techstars Space and Techstars LA. Today we talk to Anna Barber, Managing Director for Techstars LA, about the mentorship, investment ($120k) and network that Techstars LA provides.

Episode 6: Eva Ho -- Fika Ventures

Fika invests in enterprise, B2B SAAS and data-oriented solutions. Fika is usually writing checks in the $750k to $1.2M range and Eva tells us how check size and round size have changed over time. Eva is an extremely thoughtful investor about everything from data ethics to building stronger communities. We're glad Eva is part of the LA community!

Episode 5: Mark Mullen -- Bonfire Ventures

Mark talks with us about what sort of traction he looks for when doing B2B seed investing, what sort of questions he asks founders, and his direct personal style.

Episode 4: Will Hsu -- Mucker Capital

Will talks to us about Mucker Capital, the early stage venture fund that he and Erik co-founded as well as Mucker Labs, his very well-respected LA accelerator.

Episode 3: Dustin Rosen -- Wonder Ventures

Dustin Rosen is the founder and managing partner at Wonder Ventures, a pre-seed fund here in LA.

Episode 2: Britt Danneman -- Alpha Edison

Britt talks about venture debt, Alpha Edison's investment thesis and how trust is created.

Episode 1: Eytan Elbaz -- Angel investor, man of mystery

Eytan is a multiple time co-founder (Social Native, Render Media, Scopely), venture partner at TenOneTen, and full of insights on angel investing.