This week’s episode features the partners of the Collaborative Fund, a venture-capital firm based in New York City. This is a unique, group interview with Lauren Loktev, Kanyi Maqubela, and Craig Shapiro that explores all aspects of their search and investing process, including how they identify thematic change in the world and then build a portfolio around those themes. The quality of a team is crucial to success in investing and this is a great example of a team with chemistry on a singular mission. They all offer great advice on how to operate a business, build a team, and find interesting new investments.
Also, stay tuned to the end for a bonus segment captured while the tape was still rolling.
2:28 – (first question) – Start by exploring Lauren’s background and how that impacts her world view.
5:11 – Does Lauren have a specialty in sustainability, clean-energy, clean-technology investments because of her interest or location.
6:15 – Kanyi goes through his background
7:51 – Kanyi talks about his parents coming to this country as a refugee and why education is so important to him
9:02 – How education is an important theme to Collaborative Fund
9:49 – Exploring a day in the life of a venture capitalist
12:21 – How do venture capitalists look at valuation
15:45 – Craig says the market helps to drive valuation
19:26 – The impact of high valuations early on for both successful and non-successful companies
20:33 – How do you know when a company is worthy
21:14 – Brand is a huge part
22:11 – Simply Gum
23:45 – Some of the factors that helped them invest in a company and what gave them the edge
24:31 – Lauren talks about one of her recent interests – Osmo – Kids toy company
28:02 – How does competition play into their decisions
33:39 – Kanyi talks about one of his recent investments and how we went about it.
35:18 – Exploring the pre-product market fit
37:28 – Rapid learning is important to venture, but it’s also something they look for in potential investment targets
40:19 – Advice for any entrepreneurs/founders
45:05 – What are the dimensions of brand that make it so important to a company
50:00 – Looking at Lauren and Kanyi’s most memorable day. (You can find Craig’s in his previous episode)
55:03 – What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for Lauren and Kanyi
57:58 (BONUS SEGMENT) – A look at a research paper discussing the declines in IPO’s and the fact that there is about half as many publicly traded companies as there were several decades ago.
1:01:47 – Is the IPO process and liquidity a necessary step in a company’s life cycle
1:04:55 – A look at The Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) and how it could help the market for publicly traded companies
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