Thu, 29 October 2020
Fabrice Grinda is a wildly successful entrepreneur and investor. In this episode he recounts in detail 4 stories that any entrepreneur – any person, really – will find fascinating.
The first is the story of building one of Europe’s first marketplaces before eBay got there – and what happens when you turn down $100 million for your company.
The second is the story of Zingy, and what it’s like to grind without capital and miss payroll 27 times, before ultimately succeeding.
Third, Fabrice talks about building OLX, the global trading platform, after Craig Newmark refused his offer to fix Craigslist. Learn what happens when OLX and its competitor go to war and spend billions on – TV advertising.
Finally, Fabrice offers his considered view of the future: On how climate change is being addressed through technology, and how COVID has affected startups that will ultimately change the world.
Wed, 7 October 2020
Jaclyn Hester has just become a Partner at Foundry Group. So first, “Congratulations, Jaclyn”.
Jaclyn joined Foundry Group – the Boulder-based tech company and venture fund investor -- after a few years at big law firms. As a lawyer, she worked on everything from startup formation and financing to large M&A processes.
During graduate school at CU Boulder, she caught the entrepreneurship bug and immersed herself in the local startup community, serving as the Executive Director of Startup Colorado. She has also built a startup with her husband, Anders. Their family’s bootstrapped tour and activity software company was successfully acquired in 2018 by Booking.com. She becomes a partner Foundry just as it raises its first Foundry Group Next (“FG Next”) fund.
On Her Path from Lawyer to Entrepreneur
“I always had a feeling that there was something more interesting about the businesses themselves than about the legal aspect. I think for me, it felt like being the attorney was just a way to be connected to the business. And I enjoyed going to law school. It was an incredible education. But I must have known that I liked the businesses, maybe, better.“
On the Purpose of the FG Next Fund
“It is important to remember that the pools of capital at the institutional level -- so the pension funds, the endowments -- these are multi billions of dollars. Venture capital is just a teeny tiny thumbnail inside of their private asset or private equity asset class, which itself is one a bunch of other asset classes that they invest in. And so it's probably among the riskiest highest reward of the things that they invest in. But it's a really small piece. So if you think about, a 10, 20, 30 billion dollar pool of capital spending time on making 1 to 10 million dollar investments in a venture capital fund -- just doesn't make sense.”
On COVID-19’s Impact on Companies
“We’ve always believed that you can build great, great companies anywhere and that the talent is not concentrated in the Bay Area. That trend is accelerating with more openness to remote work. Not having to have everyone in the same place means that people are thinking about talent differently.”
Jaclyn on Twitter