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.

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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.

The Hustle Stage – Interview with Kevin Lee of Pear Ventures

By: Jasmin JohnsonVenture Associate Intern.       

In the first episode of our series, The Hustle Stage, we sat down with Kevin Lee of Pear Ventures to learn more about how his background in product management translates to his work in evaluating and guiding startups.

Prior to beginning his work at Pear VC, Kevin worked in several roles including as a product manager at Kabam and AltSchool, venture capital associate at FundersClub, and founder of Product Manager HQ.

*Since the recording of this interview, Kevin has announced that he will be stepping down from his role at Pear Ventures to focus on other pursuits and we wish him all of the best in his future endeavors!