Welcome to the Tech for Non-Techies podcast

Fundraising For Non-Technical Founders

Many investors view non-technical founders as more risky. Sometimes this is plain silly, but there are legitimate investor concerns that non-techie founders will make costly mistakes that technical founders will not.

The answer is not to learn to build the product with your bare hands, but to know enough about tech to have a product strategy and relate it to business goals. 

Learning notes from this episode:

  • “You can be the ripest juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches,” - Dita von Teese. Some investors don't invest in non-technical founders and they never will. There are plenty of those who do. Spend your time on them.
  • Learn how to connect product metrics to business metrics, for example how does user engagement relate to revenue or fundraising goals?
  • Understand key tech concepts to make the right hires and set the right goals, but you do not have to retrain to become a...
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From tech entrepreneurship to venture capital

Venture capital is usually not somebody's first job. It is a career people transition into, and one of the best ways to prepare is by working in a start-up.

In this episode, you'll hear from VC James Sore, Principal at SuperSeed ventures, about how he transitioned into tech entrepreneurship and then investing. You will also learn about equity crowdfunding and syndicate investing.

If you want to raise money for a start-up or invest in one, this episode is for you.

 

Learning notes from this episode:

  • Venture capitalists have three main jobs: sourcing deals and investing, raising capital for their own funds, and helping the start-ups in their portfolio.
  • Early stage investing, like early stage start-ups, is risky. In the early stages, companies are still finding structure and product market fit. This makes them the right environment for some people, but completely wrong for others. Knowing yourself and where you thrive is important to get this right. 
  • Venture...
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How To Transition Into Venture Capital

A career in venture capital is lucrative and exciting. Yet, it is also hard to get into, and once you're in, staying successful isn't easy.

Sophia Matveeva spoke to Silicon Valley venture investor Nilesh Trivedi principal investor at J Ventures and Chicago Booth MBA.

They talked about what makes a good VC, the different pathways into venture capital and why many early stage VCs aren't as rich as you think. This is an especially useful episode for angel investors, VCs and founders.

Learning notes:

  • Good tech investors have an understanding of technology, but they do not have to have technical backgrounds. Learning how apps, sites and algorithms get built is a key skill, but learning to code is not.
  • Venture capitalists are investors in startups, but they also have to raise money from investors. Investors that invest into VC funds are called Limited Partners, or LPs.
  • VCs have to spend time growing their brand and network because the competition to invest in good startups is fierce.
  • ...
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Intro to Technology Acquisitions

Listen to learn how and why corporates acquire technology startups. Understand why traditional businesses like Lululemon buy technology companies like Mirror, what red flags corporates look out for and how to startups can prepare themselves for acquisition.

In this episode, Paul Cuatrecasas, a technology investment banker, who has advised on over 50 TMT M&A transactions worth over $25 billion, shares his insights on why tech startups get acquire. Paul is also the author of Go Tech, or Go Extinct.

Key learning points:

 

  • The tech sector is growing exponentially, so the time to invest in tech is now.
  • A decade ago only 1 company out of the top 10 companies in the world by market capitalisation was a tech company. Today, 7 out of the top 10 are tech companies.
  • The Techquisition process Paul describes consists of 12 steps.
  • The first step to making the right acquisition is clarity of vision of what the corporate needs. 
  • Red flags in startups include under-prepared...
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Non-Technical Founders Make The Best CEOs

 

David Segura is a perfect example of how non-techies can thrive in technology. His first venture, Giant Media, was a native video advertising exchange which David sold for millions to an ad tech company backed by TPG & JMI in 2014. Since then David has invested in almost 50 startups, many of which have technology at their core. 

I met David in the early Naughties, when we studied together at the University of Chicago College. At the time, it is fair to say we both had little knowledge of or interest in technology. Yet, after studying Political Science, David made a successful career in tech entrepreneurship and investing. He has never learnt to code. 

In this interview, David talks about:

  • How he worked with his CTO at Giant Media to scale and sell an ad tech platform
  • That you don’t actually need a CTO to get started if you are a non-technical founder
  • Knowing how to work with the tech team being more important than coding
  • Leading a syndicate to invest in a Y...
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