About a month ago (thought it feels ages ago!), as part of my work as a venture partner with Bullpen Capital, we helped organize the inaugural “Post-Seed Conference” in San Francisco (Vator and Venture51 were co-sponsors). It was a blast, and despite the rainy weather and non-SOMA location, over 400 founders, operators, investors, and members of the tech and business media attended to cover the event.
I wanted to wrap-up the event (yeah, a little late, but…) with three brief takeaways: (1) There are more seed investors and firms, and therefore, more seeded companies; but (2) there aren’t more traditional funds, so while a good number of seeded companies find product-market fit, they often find the larger, institutional, and traditional venture capital funds, many of whom would rather make larger bets on (often) de-risked companies; so, as a result, (3) there’s a great opportunity to select those companies in the “Post-Seed” stage. A new stage? No, a small A round done seed-style — and help them go from start-up to scale-up and raise a super-sized A round.
Finally, I have the full videos (see below) from the event (and pictures, if you’d like to download). First, click here to see videos of panels which include Josh Elman, Hunter Walk, Mike Walsh, Gil Penchina, Connie Loizos, Eric Newcomer, Alistair Goldfisher, Villi Ilchev, David Siemer, Patrick Chung, Ryan Swagar, Ash Patel, Duncan Davidson, Ryan Floyd, Larry Marcus, and many more.
Second, I wanted to highlight (below) the four Keynote Fireside Chats at the event. I watched all of these backstage (except for the one I was on stage) and they were all stellar. First, Cory Johnson from Bloomberg West TV sits down with Chris Dixon from Andreesseen Horowtiz and walks through Chris’ career as a founder and angel investor, as well as Dixon’s comments on today’s seed investing climate; next, I sat down with Naval from AngelList and talked about Uber in India, the talent crunch today, Syndicates on the platform, and more; Bullpen founder Paul Martino kicked off the event with none other than Keith Rabois from Khosla Ventures — any interview with Keith is worth watching, especially this one where he talks about his unconventional investment pace as a big VC, his new company HomeRun, and more; and finally, Vator founder Bambi Francisco sat down with her old friend, Peter Thiel, for a long, honest, wide-ranging discussion on startups today, investing, and education. (I’ll write more about these videos soon.) I hope you enjoy these and if you’re an early-stage founder trying to navigate the waters of financing today, hopefully these conversations will provide some insight into today’s market conditions.