The Hustle Stage – Interview with Sydney Thomas of Precursor Ventures

by: Jasmin Johnson, Venture Associate Intern 

In the last episode of our summer series, The Hustle Stage, we had the chance to sit down with Sydney Thomas of Precursor Ventures to learn more about her experiences investing at the earliest stages.

Prior to her time at Precursor Ventures, Sydney worked in business development and product marketing for various startups. She received her MBA from Berkeley and her BA from Duke.

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The Hustle Stage – Interview with Angel Investor, Brad Flora

By Jasmin Johnson, Venture Associate Intern.

In the sixth episode of The Hustle Stage, we had the chance to talk with current angel investor and Perfect Audience founder, Brad Flora about his work as an investor and his approach when evaluating investment opportunities.

His experience as a founder in the AdTech arena helped to formulate his investment interest in direct-to-consumer retail and B2B Software-as-a-Service companies as well as his expectations around potential investments. Some of his recent investments include Simple Contacts, Zeus, and Armory. 

The Hustle Stage – Interview with Sara Deshpande of Maven Ventures

By Jasmin Johnson, Venture Associate Intern.

In the fourth episode of The Hustle Stage, we connected with Sara Deshpande, General Partner at Maven Ventures, to learn about how her passion for consulting early stage founders led to her current role as a VC. 

A Stanford Business Grad, Sara also discusses how her past experiences in healthcare strategy and as the leader of the largest startup incubator in New Orleans add value when evaluating and partnering with startups as an investor with Maven.

Maven Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in software technology companies that meaningfully impact consumers’ lives.

The Hustle Stage – Interview with Tom Willerer of Venrock

By Jasmin Johnson, Venture Associate Intern.

In the fifth episode of our series, The Hustle Stage, we sat down with Tom Willerer to learn about his transition from product roles at prominent startups Netflix and Coursera, to his current role as a partner at Venrock.

Having experience in education with Coursera and with subscription-based models, Tom’s investment focus at Venrock is in both EdTech operators and companies across various industries that implement a direct monetization model. 

 

The Hustle Stage – Interview with Ben Blumenfeld of Designer Fund

By Jasmin Johnson, Venture Associate Intern. 

In the third episode of The Hustle Stage, we had the chance to chat with VC Ben Blumenfeld to learn about the intersection of design-thinking and fundraising at his fund, Designer Fund.

Designer Fund is an early stage investor in startups that seek to transform industries with traditionally poor user experiences such as financial services by providing a superior user experience that reflects design with the end-user in mind. Its portfolio includes companies such as Stripe, AltSchool, and Droplet.

Prior to co-founding Designer Fund, Ben was a Facebook design lead for 5 years, design director at e-commerce firm, Varien, and designer at CBS.