Tech Investing Outside of Silicon Valley, w/ David Tisch – [Invest Like the Best, EP.55]

My guest this week is David Tisch, who was instrumental in building and fostering venture capital investing in New York City. If you liked my conversation with Jerry Neumann–who, incidentally, introduced me to David–you are going to love this one.

David was a co-founder at tech stars, New York’s answer to Silicon Valley’s famous tech incubator Y Combinator. He now runs the Box Group, a prominent seed stage venture capital firm, which has looked at thousands of startups and invested in more than 200.

We explore tech investing outside of Silicon Valley, the tech accelerator model, the evolution of early stage investing, and why the best companies may start coming out of non-traditional venture hubs.

David does a great job of explaining how things have changed for technology startups and why certain strategies–especially those for acquiring customers–won’t work nearly as well in the future.

I learned a lot during this hour, and I think you will too. Please enjoy.


Show Notes

2:16 – (First question) – Looking at David’s motivation and role in building up the venture capital tech investment scene in New York


6:14 – What David did to further the mission of fostering tech startups in New York, namely his work with TechStars


10:11 – What is Y Combinator and how does that differ from Tech Stars


13:02 – What is the procedure for getting into a startup incubator


17:08 – Most memorable applications


19:12 – What is the boot camp/incubator experience like


20:34 – What should future incubators be focused on to help develop the right ideas


23:46 – What aspects of the business should a start up be focused on in the beginning


26:46 – What got David interested in investing


28:47 – The challenges of launching new tech today and the colonization of identity


32:04 – Exploring David’s investing strategy


35:45 – Finding the consumer facing companies that can scale and provide a return for venture capitalists


38:03 – The problem of scaling up for start ups


39:20 – What business models does David prefer when making venture investments


40:53 – What’s important to look at when investing in other sectors, starting with Fintech


44:41 – Where does David think we are in the venture capital cycle


49:37 – How much does the exit strategy play into the initial seed investment


50:18 – David’s thinking on the portfolio of companies when picking an investment


52:48 – David’s biggest sin of omission


53:56 – Common personality traits among potential founders


55:24 – Is storytelling relevant for startups focused on the enterprise side of the business


56:07 – David’s story to convince founders to work with him


57:51 – biggest mistakes that David has seen


1:01:47 – What does it mean for our health that are time has become completely consumed by technology


1:03:58 – What trend has David most excited looking forward


1:06:44 – Kindest thing anyone has done for David