The VITALIZE Podcast: Venture Capital | Startups | Angel Investing

The VITALIZE Podcast, hosted by Justin Gordon.

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Fostering Authentic Connection in an Over-Networked Society, Building an Extraordinary Life, and Striving to Be the Best, with Pejman Nozad of Pear VC

Fostering Authentic Connection in an Over-Networked Society, Building an Extraordinary Life, and Striving to Be the Best, with Pejman Nozad of Pear VC

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Pejman Nozad (@pejmannozad), the Co-Founder and Founding Managing Partner of Pear VC, a firm specializing in seed stage investments that partners with founders at the earliest stages to turn great ideas into category-defining companies. Over the past two decades, he has been a seed investor in some of the most iconic tech companies including Doordash, Dropbox, Applovin, Gusto, Guardant Health, Branch, Aurora Solar, Soundhound, CourseHero, and others.

As an immigrant from Iran, Pejman did not take the typical path towards becoming a VC. After arriving in the U.S., he lived in an attic above a yogurt shop and then worked at a rug store in downtown Palo Alto. He immersed himself in the vanguard of technology and slowly, with a few small investments, developed a reputation for both identifying talent and taking promising ideas to the next level.

Pejman lives in California with his wife, Mania, and their two children. He was included in the Forbes Midas List in 2021 and 2022 and ranked #1 in the U.S. (#2 in the world) on the Forbes Midas Seed List in 2022.


Website: Pear VC

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/pejman/

Twitter: @pejmannozad

Email: pejman@pear.vc

Show Notes:

  • Pejman’s fascinating background and journey from Iranian soccer player to carwash and yogurt shop employee to rug salesman to investor
  • Where Pejman derives his impressive work ethic
  • What compelled Pejman to capitalize on the opportunity to transition from rug salesman to venture capitalist
  • What makes a great sales person
  • How Pejman was able to break into the industry and establish himself as a great investor and partner
  • Fostering authentic connection in an over-networked society
  • Building Pear as an institution to serve founders at the earliest stages
  • Taking 4 years to convince Mar Hershenson to partner with him and start a fund together
  • The process of raising their first fund while building community at Stanford
  • What differentiates Pear
  • Pear’s model and building their platform
  • Pejman’s big vision for Pear
  • What they look for in founders at Pear
  • Why he prefers to get to know founders in person before investing in them
  • What drives Pejman today
  • What makes Pear a great partner


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

The VITALIZE Podcast Presents: Off Topic, with Andrew Gazdecki and Gale Wilkinson Discussing Twitter Trends, AI as the Next Frontier, and Predictions for 2023

The VITALIZE Podcast Presents: Off Topic, with Andrew Gazdecki and Gale Wilkinson Discussing Twitter Trends, AI as the Next Frontier, and Predictions for 2023

The VITALIZE Podcast presents: Off Topic, a special series where we dig into a variety of topics, trends, and current events in the startup ecosystem. In this inaugural episode of Off Topic, Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Gale Wilkinson (@galeforceVC) and Andrew Gazdecki (@agazdecki).

Gale is the Founder and Managing Partner at VITALIZE, a seed-stage venture fund and angel community investing in The Work Revolution. Previously, Gale founded IrishAngels, one of the largest angel groups in the world. She has led $65M+ in early-stage deals across 80+ startups. Her experience prior to VC includes founding two failed startups, consulting for new product launches with Nielsen, and strategy with Orbitz. Gale received a BBA with honors from Notre Dame and an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was a founding Board member of the C200 Scholars Network, and she is currently a founding Board member of Chicago Blend, an organization focused on increasing diversity in VC and startups.

Andrew Gazdecki is the Founder and CEO of Acquire (previously MicroAcquire), a founder-friendly startup acquisition marketplace. Acquire aims to consolidate the fragmented acquisition market by giving founders and entrepreneurs a single convenient marketplace to meet, coordinate, and close acquisitions. They provide free and instant access to trusted and vetted buyers with total anonymity and are on a mission to turn founder journeys into success stories and foster the next generation of entrepreneurs. They have more than 100,000 registered buyers, more than 2,000 companies listed for sale, and has facilitated more than 500 deals with a combined value of more than $200 million. Andrew has been an entrepreneur for longer than he can remember. He likes to build stuff, mostly companies, and try to tell a story that goes beyond what the company does to how it’s changing markets. Prior to founding MicroAcquire, he started two companies, Bizness Apps and Altcoin.io, both acquired. He’s been featured in NYT, Forbes, WSJ, Inc.com, and Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as prominent industry blogs such as Mashable, TechCrunch and VentureBeat.

Connect with Andrew Gazdecki:

Website: Acquire (previously MicroAcquire)

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/agazdecki/

Twitter: @agazdecki


Connect with Gale Wilkinson:
Website: VITALIZE Venture Capital 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/galevc/

Twitter: @galeforceVC

VITALIZE Newsletter: Re:VITALIZE

VITALIZE Angel Investing Community: VITALIZE Angels


Show Notes:

  • Andrew’s pitch to Elon Musk to get the @acquire Twitter handle for his company’s re-brand
  • Gale and Andrew’s thoughts on Elon’s takeover of Twitter
  • How Andrew stays positive and motivational on Twitter
  • ChatGPT, AI as the next tech frontier, and the challenge of differentiating generative content
  • The danger of deep fakes
  • The opportunities they see for the future of AI
  • Acquire’s potential
  • Valuation & acquisition trends and predictions in VC
  • Their take on the FTX collapse
  • Trends Gale, Andrew, and Justin are excited about in 2023


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

Narrowing the Wellness Gap, the Power of Thoughtful Brand Building, and the Uncharted Territory of Modern Connection, with Lisa Blau and Amanda Eilian of Able Partners

Narrowing the Wellness Gap, the Power of Thoughtful Brand Building, and the Uncharted Territory of Modern Connection, with Lisa Blau and Amanda Eilian of Able Partners

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Lisa Blau and Amanda Eilian, Founding Partners of Able Partners (@ablepartnersnyc), a health & wellness investment fund focused on supporting visionary, early stage brands in positive living. They aim to support entrepreneurs that are helping to make the daily lives of consumers healthier, happier and more meaningful. They seek to partner with companies that are narrowing the Wellness Gap, and are most focused on overlooked or stigmatized communities that have resulted in underserved markets.

Lisa has spent the last decade as an active investor focused on consumer businesses with a particular interest in supporting women-led entrepreneurial ventures. Previously, she co-founded VitalJuice.com, a daily email newsletter on healthy living tips and trends that was acquired by Tasting Table. She also helped build and launch Portero, an online luxury goods auction platform sold to Richemont. Lisa chairs the Investor Group of the Leadership Now Project, a membership organization of business professionals committed to renewing democracy. She is a founding member and leader of the TIME’S UP Care Economy Business Council, a coalition of business leaders and companies committed to building a new American care economy, empowering caregivers, and championing gender equality throughout their workforce. She is a Board Member of The New York Public Library, KIPP New York, and Mt. Sinai’s Parenting Center. 

Amanda has been actively investing in early stage consumer companies for the last decade, drawing on her experience as an institutional investor and entrepreneur. Previously, Amanda was the co-founder of Videolicious, an enterprise video creation platform backed by Amazon, and served as its President until it was acquired by Squarespace (NYSE:SQSP). Under Amanda’s leadership, Videolicious grew to over 5 million users in 103 countries, including Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Walmart, SAP, Verizon and GE. Prior to forming Videolicious, Amanda was a founding partner of Capitol Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) that completed a $265 million initial public offering and became Two Harbors Investment Corp., a $3 billion REIT (NYSE:TWO). TWO grew to over $5 billion of market capitalization (including a spin-off). Amanda began her career in private equity and mergers and acquisitions. Amanda serves on the Board of Directors of the Melanoma Research Alliance and is a member of the Tech:NYC Leadership Council. 


Website: Able Partners

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lisa-jacobs-blau-8284133/ & linkedin.com/in/amanda-eilian-13025b6/

Twitter: @ablepartnersnyc

Email: info@ablepartners.nyc

Show Notes:

  • Able Partners’ focus and investment thesis
  • Investing in primarily women-led companies
  • Why Lisa and Amanda chose to make the jump from founder to investor
  • Able Partners’ strong thesis around the wellness gap and some of their investments that embody this
  • Deal flow at a very thesis-driven fund
  • Important soft skills successful founders need to have
  • Trusting your gut on founder red flags
  • The power of thoughtful brand building
  • The importance of creative connection and community in today’s world
  • How to diversify the VC asset class and startup ecosystem


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

Community-Powered Venture Capital, Expanding with Intentionality, and Distinguishing Good from Great, with Jenny Fielding of The Fund

Community-Powered Venture Capital, Expanding with Intentionality, and Distinguishing Good from Great, with Jenny Fielding of The Fund

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Jenny Fielding (@jefielding), General Partner at The Fund, a first-of-its-kind venture fund fueled by a community of brilliant founders & operators. The Fund invests in mission-driven, technology-enabled companies at the earliest stages. They are a generalist fund with a focus on the basic stuff we need to live: money, health and work, and have invested in the pre-seed rounds of 200+ companies in 4.5 years. They’ve pooled capital, networks, and expertise to help grow startup ecosystems around the globe in a radical new way, and unlike traditional venture capital, they involve their community in everything they do.

Jenny is a 2x entrepreneur and knows how challenging it is to build great products, inspire a team, and keep the lights on. She spends her time working to surround founders with the resources they need to survive + thrive. She has been the first check into 200+ startups including: Chainalysis, Alloy, Latch, Tempo Automation, Headway, Supergreat, Dash, Contra, Particle Health, Bloomscape, Simple Health, Pair Eyewear, Solo Funds, Halp, Minded, Rupa Health, Morty, Wagmo, Smarthop, Solid, PathSpot, Remesh, Cube, OnePipe, Union Crate, Season, Parsley Health and many more. She is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University where she spent many years as a student.

Website: The Fund
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jennyfielding/
Twitter: @jefielding
Email: J@thefund.vc


Show Notes:

  • What Jenny is working on today at The Fund and their “by founders for founders” model
  • The logistics of expanding to ten cities and deciding where to launch
  • The Fund’s structure and the strategy behind it
  • The evolution of The Fund’s growth from fund I to fund III
  • The Fund’s investment thesis
  • Their portfolio-to-portfolio model and how they’re approaching growth strategically
  • How they leverage their diverse community to execute diligence
  • The Fund’s venture partners
  • What distinguishes good CEOs from great CEOs
  • Jenny’s thoughts on valuations in the current 2022 market
  • Jenny’s advice for becoming a better investor
  • Innovation in highly regulated industries
  • Trends Jenny is excited about in the Future of Work
  • The value of in-person activity and events
  • Merging the experiences of being a founder and investor as a GP at a micro fund

More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

Deep Dive: How Gale Wilkinson Conducts Founder Calls

Deep Dive: How Gale Wilkinson Conducts Founder Calls

In this episode, Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks again with Gale Wilkinson (@galeforceVC), Founder and Managing Partner at VITALIZE, a seed-stage venture fund and angel community investing in The Work Revolution. In this round with Gale, we dig into how she conducts initial founder calls for VITALIZE.

Previously, Gale founded IrishAngels, one of the largest angel groups in the world. She has led $65M+ in early-stage deals across 80+ startups. Her experience prior to VC includes founding two failed startups, consulting for new product launches with Nielsen, and strategy with Orbitz. Gale received a BBA with honors from Notre Dame and an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was a founding Board member of the C200 Scholars Network, and she is currently a founding Board member of Chicago Blend, an organization focused on increasing diversity in VC and startups.

Website: VITALIZE Venture Capital 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/galevc/

Twitter: @galeforceVC

VITALIZE Newsletter: Re:VITALIZE

VITALIZE Angel Investing Community: VITALIZE Angels

Show Notes:

  • What Gale looks to get out of initial founder calls
  • Gale’s secret to running founder calls
  • The general script Gale uses and how she tailors it contextually
  • What helps founders stand out
  • How Gale takes notes during the call
  • Gale’s mindset in initial evaluation of founders and the process for a founder to make it through to diligence
  • How these calls differ for Gale as a VC fund manager vs as an angel investor
  • Behavioral red flags from founders
  • How Gale has adjusted to remote founder calls
  • Process and company red flags to look out for
  • Factors to consider when determining ownership terms
  • How founders/investors should prepare for calls with investors/LPs
  • The importance of showing up authentically
  • Gale’s thoughts on giving feedback on calls
  • What founders should ask VCs


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

Lessons for Emerging Managers and How to Evaluate Founder Passion, with Richard Kerby of Equal Ventures

Lessons for Emerging Managers and How to Evaluate Founder Passion, with Richard Kerby of Equal Ventures

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Richard Kerby (@kerby), Co-Founder and General Partner at Equal Ventures, a seed stage focused fund backing the founders and businesses transforming society and industry. Prior to Equal Ventures, Richard was an investor at Venrock, where he led seed stage and Series A stage investments in 6Sense, Amino Apps, Beckon, Burner, Luxe Valet, and Salsify. 

Prior to joining Venrock, Richard was an investor at Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), where he focused on identifying and evaluating later-stage investments. While at IVP, Richard worked with IVP portfolio companies such as Dropbox, FleetMatics, PopSugar, Shazam, and Yext. Previously, Richard worked in the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse. 

Richard is a proud Georgetown alum and is a rabid Hoyas basketball fan. He is also the founder of Stealth Mode, a community of more than 1,500 African American founders, operators and investors.

Website: Equal Ventures

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/richardkerby/

Twitter: @kerby

Email: kerby@equal.vc

Show Notes:

  • Equal Ventures' investment thesis and the strategy behind being generalists
  • Deciding to start a fund instead of joining an existing one
  • Richard’s key learnings as an emerging manager
  • What being hands-on with their founders means at Equal Ventures
  • Their all “hands on deck” approach to building the Equal Ventures team
  • Running the Emerging Managers Circle and deciding to host summits
  • Trends Richard is excited about
  • Richard’s view on remote vs. in-person
  • How Equal Ventures evaluates founders
  • Richard’s advice for emerging managers


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

The Real Impact of Augmented Reality and the Metaverse on the Future of Work, Learning, and the World, with Enklu Founder Ray Kallmeyer

The Real Impact of Augmented Reality and the Metaverse on the Future of Work, Learning, and the World, with Enklu Founder Ray Kallmeyer

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Ray Kallmeyer, CEO and Founder of Enklu (@ExperienceEnklu). After a decades-long career in the AAA video games industry, Ray founded Enklu in 2016 and built and deployed the first wave of spatial apps in augmented reality for the Microsoft HoloLens globally. He now helps enterprises accelerate their spatial transformation with an end-to-end solution which empowers today’s workforce with tomorrow’s technology.

Enklu’s mission is to empower creators with transparent technology. Ray believes in a future where technology fades into the background and people can become more present with each other and their environment.

Ray is an entrepreneur, startup advisor, patent author, featured artist, and public speaker at universities such USC, Stanford, and MIT.

Website: Enklu

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/raykallmeyer/

Twitter: @ExperienceEnklu


Show Notes:

  • Enklu and its origin story that stems back to Ray’s childhood
  • Why Ray chose entrepreneurship
  • The “reality distortion field” and building innovative technology
  • Identifying Enklu’s ideal customer profile and use cases
  • The realities of how the metaverse and AR will impact the future of work and the world
  • Enklu’s big vision


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

Growing Organically via Twitter, Building Remote-First Company Culture, and Taking on Legacy Brands, with Vowel’s CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Berman

Growing Organically via Twitter, Building Remote-First Company Culture, and Taking on Legacy Brands, with Vowel’s CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Berman

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Andrew Berman (@berman66), Co-Founder and CEO of Vowel, the world's first complete meeting solution designed to make every meeting more inclusive and worthwhile – before, during, and after. Vowel is a collaboration platform that makes meetings searchable, shareable centers of knowledge for your business. By redefining what data capture is capable of, they are optimizing the potential of every team.

They are a remote-first company whose 20+ employees span four continents. Their team is made up of engineers, designers, inventors, entrepreneurs and security experts – from leading organizations like Google, Bridgewater, Nanit, Airbnb, Casper, Recombine and others. They’re building both an inclusive product and an inclusive team that celebrates diverse cultures and backgrounds. 

Andrew’s inspiration is to apply new technology to build products that can touch millions of people in ways that were impossible before. He is also the founder of Nanit, the first camera to track human behavior (the leading baby monitor), an experienced investor from seed to LBO stages (Silicon Valley, NY and other markets), and an active and experienced angel investor (with investments in SaaS, Security, Healthcare, Consumer and CV/AI).

Website: Vowel

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/aberman/

Twitter: @berman66


Use coupon code: JUSTGOGRIND for 3 months free of unlimited seats on Vowel’s
Pro plan (monthly only)!

Show Notes:

  • How Vowel is creating instant searchable, shareable knowledge through a modern video conferencing tool
  • Andy’s journey to founding Vowel
  • How the idea for Vowel stemmed from Nanit’s pain points as a distributed team
  • Early distribution and organic growth through Twitter
  • How Vowel’s original use-cases have expanded naturally and leaning into user-led product development
  • Giving their users a 10x improved media experience through their next generation video platform
  • The challenges of building Vowel
  • Recruiting the original founding team
  • Building remote-first company culture
  • The fundraising process and Vowel’s powerful cap table of operator- angel investors
  • How to vet investors
  • Their B2B growth strategy
  • Developing their freemium business model
  • How they view competition and taking on legacy brands
  • Learnings as a multi-time founder and former VC
  • What motivates Andy to challenge the status quo and build innovative companies
  • Andy’s thoughts on the future of work and running remote teams
  • Snagging the vowel.com domain name

More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

How to Build Resilient Companies, Supporting Mental Health to Prevent Founder Flight, and Running a Concentrated Portfolio, with Matt Cohen of Ripple Ventures

How to Build Resilient Companies, Supporting Mental Health to Prevent Founder Flight, and Running a Concentrated Portfolio, with Matt Cohen of Ripple Ventures

Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Matt Cohen (@mattybcohen), Founder and Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures, an early-stage venture fund seeking investments in B2B SaaS Startups in various industries ripe for disruption with a focus on workflow automation and data & analytics platforms. As serial entrepreneurs, they are actively involved with all their investments and aren't scared to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. They support entrepreneurs who seek to revolutionize the most competitive global industries by solving difficult problems with the most unique solutions. Their industry focuses include: enterprise software, healthcare technology, and industrial technology. Matt founded Ripple Ventures in 2018 to help entrepreneurs and start-ups learn from his experiences while giving them more than just capital to succeed. With their 'Operators-First' approach, they work with companies every day not just every quarter. 

Matt Cohen is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist focused on early-stage technology. He knows the risk entrepreneurs take when starting a company, and understands what helps them succeed at the earliest stage. He has hands-on experience in selling enterprise SaaS solutions to the top financial institutions globally, and sees the importance of working with trusted advisors and partners early to help scale a business faster.

Website: Ripple Ventures

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/matt-cohen1/

Twitter: @mattybcohen

Podcast: Tank Talks

Show Notes:

  • How the many facets of Ripple were developed
  • How to build resilient companies
  • The decision to build The Tank – a physical incubator space
  • How the pandemic impacted The Tank
  • How Matt is supporting their founders with mental health
  • Building strong infrastructure to withstand unstable markets
  • Transparency in their relationship with LPs
  • Their concentrated portfolio and deployment strategy through Fund III
  • Their Ripple Fellowship Program to support underrepresented founders and future funders
  • Matt’s perspective on the future of Web3
  • Matt’s family office and how he began investing as an LP


More about the show:

The Vitalize Podcast, a show by Vitalize Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at Vitalize Venture Capital, The Vitalize Podcast includes two main series. 

The Angel Investing series features interviews with a variety of angel investors and VCs around the world. The goal? To help develop the next generation of amazing investors. 

The Future of Work series takes a look at the founders and investors shaping the new world of work, including insights from our team here at Vitalize Venture Capital. 


More about us:

Vitalize Venture Capital was formed in 2017 as a $16M seed-stage venture fund and now includes both a fund as well as an angel investing community investing in the future of work. Vitalize has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Vitalize Team:

Gale - https://twitter.com/galeforceVC
Caroline - https://twitter.com/carolinecasson_
Justin - https://twitter.com/justingordon212

Vitalize Angels, our angel investing community open to everyone:
https://vitalize.vc/vitalizeangels/

Bio of The VITALIZE Podcast: Venture Capital | Startups | Angel Investing

The VITALIZE Podcast is brought to you by VITALIZE Venture Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed angel community. Hosted by Justin Gordon, this podcast takes you on a journey into the exciting world of startup investing and the future of work.

In each episode, The VITALIZE Podcast features insightful interviews with startup founders, investors, and operators who share their experiences, lessons learned, and perspectives on the ever-evolving startup landscape. Gain valuable insights and advice from these industry experts as they discuss their journeys, investment strategies, and the latest trends in the startup ecosystem.

The Angel Investing series of the podcast showcases interviews with a diverse range of angel investors and venture capitalists from around the world.

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