Soaked by Slush podcast

#26 Roxanne Varza | Can you teach entrepreneurship?

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Roxanne Varza not only has one of the most cinematic names of anyone we’ve talked to, but it also carries a boatload of weight in the European startup ecosystem. She is the Director of Station F, the biggest startup campus in the world, located in Paris (France, not Texas). Roxanne has played a central role in building one of the most vibrant startup communities ever, helping founders give their startups a boost. But what is the exact function of such communities? How can they ‘teach’ entrepreneurship and facilitate its broader adoption? In this episode, we will talk about the difference between the American and European ecosystems, how to get more people into entrepreneurship, and Station F’s role in all of this. Expect to learn: - Can you teach entrepreneurship? How? - What is the benefit of centralized hubs for entrepreneurs? - What is the biggest difference in mindset between the American and European ecosystem according to Roxanne? - How does Roxanne define success for Station F? Check Soaked by Slush out at: Twitter: https://twitter.com/soakedbyslush/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soakedslush/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soakedbyslush/ Soaked by Slush website: https://www.slush.org/soaked/ Slush website: https://www.slush.org Shoot us a message or feedback: [email protected] 01:27 Intro to Roxanne 02:55 Biggest difference between French and American entrepreneurs 05:28 What could the European ecosystem still learn from the American? 07:06 Talking about money in Europe vs America 09:27 Intro to Station F 12:02 Can you teach entrepreneurship? 13:50 What’s the benefit of joining a centralized community? 15:17 What does Station F look like? 17:19 Why should one not join Station F or a similar community? 18:38 How do you attract different kinds of people to entrepreneurship? 20:47 How do you start teaching someone entrepreneurship? 22:58 What kind of fundamentals does a company need to have in place for entering Station F? 25:48 Station F as a litmus test for the startup community 28:45 What is Station F’s purpose? 30:23 Surprising characteristics of successful entrepreneurs 33:16 Roxanne’s experience as an angel investor

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    #33 Scott Sandell | How to last for 100 years in venture capital

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    In this episode, we had the pleasure of talking to one of the absolute veterans of venture capital, the Managing General Partner of NEA, Scott Sandell. NEA has been around since the 1970’s, making it one of the oldest VC firms in history. That coupled with Scott’s personal track record and experience makes for a heap of knowledge and insights about investing, venture capital, entrepreneurship, technology and more. We hope you’ll enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed making it. Expect to learn: How NEA set out to build a company lasting 100 years How Scott transitioned from being a product manager at Microsoft to venture capital  How Scott thinks about investment decisions How could the VC model be innovated? 00:50 Introduction to Scott  01:30 Introduction to NEA  02:45 How do you build for longevity in VC?  05:20 Transition from Microsoft to NEA 09:05 Scott’s favourite investments  14:45 How Scott makes investment decisions 16:50 Have the basic ingredients for success changed? 21:52 Recent investments that have made Scott excited 26:20 How much has the tech world changed since Scott’s time at Microsoft? 27:50 Innovating the VC model  30:40 Is the VC model wasteful? 33:20 Allocation of capital to purpose-driven companies
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    #32 Nicola McClafferty & James Clark | All about rebranding: why should you do it?

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    How does one rebrand? Should you even rebrand? We were joined by Nicola McClafferty and James Clark, from the establishment formerly known as Draper Esprit. That’s right, Draper Esprit did what many people often advise against and rebranded themselves, to Molten Ventures. In fact, it’s probably not great that I’ve written Draper Esprit more times than Molten Ventures. In this episode we will talk to James and Nicola about the reasons behind the rebranding, the operational checklist for rebranding, and how to choose a name for the new brand.  Expect to learn: Why James generally thinks rebranding is a bad idea How the need for rebranding should be identified What the creative and operational side of rebranding look like Does the name matter? 00:44 Introductions to Nicola, James, and Molten Ventures  04:00 Rebranding: what has changed, why did you choose to rebrand? 06:30 Rebranding in an increasingly competitive environment  11:10 Checklist for rebranding 18:05 When is the right time for a startup to start thinking about a brand?  23:30 Death of the artist in a brand  26:00 Using external help in rebranding?  28:00 Operational side of rebranding 34:45 Determining the name 36:30 Deliberate creative tension involved 37:45 What is ‘Make More Possible’ all about?  40:00 Do you think competition among VCs will push more to consider rebranding?
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    #31 David Nothacker | Growth through acquisition

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    I don’t know about you, but there’s something special and even beautiful about trucking. About the seemingly simpler life on the highway, accompanied by demanding distances and fleeting views. It doesn’t immediately conjure up images of digital platforms and software, but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be a good idea. Sennder is a Berlin-based digital freight logistics company that seeks to provide a platform that connects shippers with a unified fleet of trucks in Europe, and David Nothacker is their CEO and Co-Founder. In this episode, we discussed sennder’s growth through acquisitions and David’s acquisition checklist, customer acquisition, and the future of the freight industry.  Expect to learn: If David thinks consulting is a good path to entrepreneurship How sennder approached customer acquisition of smaller and bigger customers Sennder’s growth through acquisition Some of David’s thoughts on the future of the trucking industry 00:30 Intro to David  01:30 Consultants and startup founders – similarities and differences 03:30 How David got started with sennder 05:05 David’s pivot experience  07:45 Why is the digitalization of freight forwarding happening now?  09:37 How did you identify the problem? 11:40 B2B platform companies’ march forward – what is the main difference to B2C companies?  14:45 How did you acquire your first customers?  16:40 Acquiring bigger players as customers  18:20 Sustainability in the industry as a whole and what sennder is doing about this  21:30 Next 7-10 years going to see the first autonomous trucks (on highways) last legs will be done by people. Long-distance trucking.  26:25 Growth through acquisitions  31:15 How do you determine which companies to acquire? 33:50 Expansion
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    #30 Nahoko Hoshino & Anthony Doeh | SoftBank is doubling down on Europe – why now?

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    When Softbank unveiled its first 100 billion dollar Vision Fund in 2017, the world had never seen investment funds of such magnitude. Two years later in 2019, Vision Fund 2 was announced, and in 2021, their combined fair value was estimated to be 154 billion dollars. In this episode, we talked to two representatives from SoftBank, Anthony Doeh and Nahoko Hoshino, about what this journey has been like from their perspective. What are some of the lessons taken from the first to the second fund? Do they have different strategies from one to the other? And how does the future look? Expect to learn: Is the Vision Fund II fundamentally different? Why is Europe more interesting now? How SoftBank assesses teams and founders What SoftBank sees as future trends 00:50 Introduction to Anthony and Nahoko  01:30 Softbank Vision Fund II: What has changed?  03:20 How has the 2nd fund been different 06:30 Does it include early stage investing? 09:15 Critical milestones for eligible companies 11:35 Why Europe now?  15:40 European founders – big companies mushroom into new companies 16:50 Intangibles in founders 20:15 Importance of founder and investor relationship 24:00 Are VC markets more competitive now? 26:30 How do you determine what’s the right path for a company to exit?  31:00 Will data and AI change everything?
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    #29 Edgeir Vårdal Aksnes | Less is more: The power of simple value propositions

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    Our guest this week, Edgeir Vårdal Aksnes, is reinventing how people buy electricity. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always even remember that I’ve bought electricity, I just know that I pay a bill. To Edgeir and his co-founder Daniel, this sounded like a transaction that was ready to be improved, to fit both the problems and opportunities that our ever-weird modern age has to offer. And not only does Tibber, the company Edgeir co-founded, already provide a much appreciated product to many around Europe, it has grown with some fascinating unconventional means; no salespeople, simple value propositions, and a crystal clear narrative.  Expect to learn: How Tibber’s business model is intrinsically aligned with purpose Why Tibber has no official salespeople Edgeir’s perspective on simplicity in solutions Edgeir’s thoughts on how to think about value propositions 01:00 Introduction to Edgeir and Tibber  02:30 Why did you start? 06:30 How energy can be optimised 09:15 How Tibber plans customers’ access to information 12:10 The power of simple value propositions  15:10 How important is it for a company to have clear, tangible, and ambitious goals 20:10 Is there a tension between profit and sustainability?  25:05 The importance of having a crystal clear story 28:10 Should you start with a less impact-driven company to ‘learn the trade’ before?  30:30 Reinventing an industry with massive legacy 34:20 What’s up next for Tibber?
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    #28 Philippe Botteri | What’s happening in European SaaS?

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    In some previous episodes, we have discussed the state of the European ecosystem and its future trajectory, everywhere from the projections of investors to what’s happening on the aisles of accelerators. In this episode, Philippe Botteri from Accel joins Isak and William to discuss the Accel 2021 Euroscape report, which outlines pretty much all you need to know about the state of the European cloud ecosystem. With Philippe we discussed data on the amount of public and private funding in Europe and Israel, the number of IPOs, as well as comparisons with similar US metrics, among others. The report also provides some takes on what Accel sees as accelerating future trends such as the rise of crypto and DeFi infrastructure, as well as AI’s impact on the complexity of use cases. Are Europe and Israel “on their way to global domination”, as the report puts it? Link to the Accel 2021 Euroscape: https://www.accel.com/noteworthy/2021-accel-euroscape-on-the-path-to-global-dominance (https://www.accel.com/noteworthy/2021-accel-euroscape-on-the-path-to-global-dominance) 00:50 Introduction to Philippe Botteri and Accel 08:00 What is happening with cloud and SaaS 12:30 Why include Israel: part of same ecosystem  13:10 A look back to 2016 20:10 Is Israel making Europe look better?  23:20 Why is Israel a unicorn factory?  25:50 What’s different about this batch of founders? 27:50 “The world of cloud is flat” 29:50 Future trends for SaaS
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    #27 Emily Orton | From founding days to IPO

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    No trace of darkness in this episode, where we talked to Emily Orton, Co-founder & CMO at the cybersecurity success-story Darktrace. Emily has been on board from the beginning, and shared some of her main learnings from the founding days to their recent IPO. In this fast-paced discussion, Emily and William discuss Darktrace’s early days in terms of customer acquisition and brand building, hiring and training people to become future leaders, scaling yourself as a founder in a rapidly growing and international company and the floatation of Darktrace on the London Stock Exchange. Expect to learn:  How Darktrace approaches hiring and why you don’t necessarily need a business degree to do business How Darktrace approached acquiring the first customers and building the brand and story behind the company How we can foster more research-driven innovation in Europe How Darktrace approached expansion Emily’s thoughts on Darktrace’s recent IPO 00:40 Introduction to Emily and Darktrace 07:06 Transition from tech to building a brand 11:54 How to create that initial momentum 17:20 What to focus on when hiring 22:55 Scaling yourself as a founder  25:57 Fostering more research-driven companies in Europe 29:42 Global expansion 33:52 Darktrace’s IPO process
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    #26 Roxanne Varza | Can you teach entrepreneurship?

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    Roxanne Varza not only has one of the most cinematic names of anyone we’ve talked to, but it also carries a boatload of weight in the European startup ecosystem. She is the Director of Station F, the biggest startup campus in the world, located in Paris (France, not Texas). Roxanne has played a central role in building one of the most vibrant startup communities ever, helping founders give their startups a boost. But what is the exact function of such communities? How can they ‘teach’ entrepreneurship and facilitate its broader adoption? In this episode, we will talk about the difference between the American and European ecosystems, how to get more people into entrepreneurship, and Station F’s role in all of this.  Expect to learn: - Can you teach entrepreneurship? How?  - What is the benefit of centralized hubs for entrepreneurs? - What is the biggest difference in mindset between the American and European ecosystem according to Roxanne? - How does Roxanne define success for Station F? Check Soaked by Slush out at: Twitter: https://twitter.com/soakedbyslush/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soakedslush/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soakedbyslush/ Soaked by Slush website: https://www.slush.org/soaked/ Slush website: https://www.slush.org Shoot us a message or feedback: [email protected] 01:27 Intro to Roxanne 02:55 Biggest difference between French and American entrepreneurs 05:28 What could the European ecosystem still learn from the American? 07:06 Talking about money in Europe vs America 09:27 Intro to Station F 12:02 Can you teach entrepreneurship? 13:50 What’s the benefit of joining a centralized community? 15:17 What does Station F look like? 17:19 Why should one not join Station F or a similar community? 18:38 How do you attract different kinds of people to entrepreneurship? 20:47 How do you start teaching someone entrepreneurship? 22:58 What kind of fundamentals does a company need to have in place for entering Station F? 25:48 Station F as a litmus test for the startup community 28:45 What is Station F’s purpose? 30:23 Surprising characteristics of successful entrepreneurs 33:16 Roxanne’s experience as an angel investor
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    #25 Lotta Kopra | Combining science and business: Commercializing deeptech

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    In this episode we are taking a trip back home to Finland, with our guest Lotta Kopra, the Chief Commercial Officer of Spinnova. Spinnova has developed a technology with which raw wood pulp that has been separated into microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) can be used to make a recyclable textile fibre without any dissolving or harmful chemicals. Did you have to read that slower? That’s one reason Lotta has this job; she is in charge of commercializing Spinnova’s product and helping their technology become a viable option on the market; they’ve been doing a grand job thus far, forming partnerships with the likes of The North Face, H&M Group, and Marimekko. In this episode, we will delve into Lotta’s thoughts about the intersection between science and business, and what it is like to work on the customer side of deeptech.Expect to learn: The integral difference between evolutionary and revolutionary products How to approach the commercialization of deeptech products When you should start thinking about the business side of things when developing a deeptech product What are the best ways to approach big partners and the importance of internal champions How to prioritize between customers Check Soaked by Slush out at: Twitter:https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fsoakedbyslush%2F&redir_token=QUFFLUhqbUVWWF9ZMmpjdkpZREZRNXc2clNlZXFmelFWQXxBQ3Jtc0tuOUpHLVJNa244dE5acWNlMm5DSGNxd2x4TlBoNTBKQXVUWXhTSmpIaW9qcVBhSTJTalNGdXBUalpNb2lxNERKWlV6Y01IY0ZDSlVEempkMmhabzJDNGtHUkJHR0xfUU5XRHpBTU8yWThick9jMDA5NA%3D%3D&event=video_description&v=WTaoLFVk880 ( https://twitter.com/soakedbyslush/) Instagram:https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.instagram.com%2Fsoakedslush%2F&redir_token=QUFFLUhqbU1vdHNocWUtOXN4Wk54Y3otelVVc3pPdXE0UXxBQ3Jtc0ttcGlHLWpBNTlSMmZVdjFYY0lfX3hmd3hEc2RwZHB1UFd4ckprUWN5YlBsY3VvMUI4QlhDU3drTmItOHB1YzQ3TUVReTRUSzZGTzFUbXI5MWxUY3lra3ItblVsazFwTXhVSW9wanNMU1I5VThKVEZzZw%3D%3D&event=video_description&v=WTaoLFVk880 ( https://www.instagram.com/soakedslush/) Facebook:https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsoakedbyslush%2F&redir_token=QUFFLUhqbWpERDNkekJ3SmxfUE83MEZUYTFqS0oxZ2JyZ3xBQ3Jtc0tuNEV6T1JGdFdQMHNWQUpaUWF2bDFiYnhidjQwb1p1TGZJSTI0enludGVvNjZFUXl6VlM5MzE5YjVBQjJjQ2RmTXFTUFMwX1k5ODZrcHhKc1VQeEtNTl8wQzJtdGJpdXIzaFN0N0l5RnFDNW1VOGUwVQ%3D%3D&event=video_description&v=WTaoLFVk880 ( https://www.facebook.com/soakedbyslush/) Soaked by Slush website:https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.slush.org%2Fsoaked%2F&redir_token=QUFFLUhqbG9zTkNIVHV2RE9OamhtVXZYak5FOWhMX00xZ3xBQ3Jtc0tsVXdRS3VGVzNRcGNZTDQ0a0pqakFkdFFKZkd6NjBoV2R6bGtia3IxZVJzSEd5UmQ5VktrcGVCQkVFNjRFWDdmVFVRQmRqTVRKTGdCclM2dkxHVm1rZE9UakR5amJMSnl6RkpVODg1UE1TM1lUVW1xUQ%3D%3D&event=video_description&v=WTaoLFVk880 ( https://www.slush.org/soaked/) Slush website:https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.slush.org&redir_token=QUFFLUhqbW15MzkxSGFaMXg1S0JBbmhYd2k2SW5yZUM5QXxBQ3Jtc0ttOF9ELW5CckVhWG12UzNlUlozVVQxMkFLSzhuWDlWTHhta0lNcGI2LUIxZC01R2lzU2pHZ0EteFpMa2s1RWZQZXYybkNkbllrb1doSXRKVkZFdjhQdWVESFozZWkyaWtUaWR2VnAteVZhOEFGLUlCbw%3D%3D&event=video_description&v=WTaoLFVk880 ( https://www.slush.org) Shoot us a message or feedback: [email protected] 00:30 Intro to Spinnova 05:07 The role of a CCO in a deeptech company 07:18 What makes a good CCO for a deeptech company? 09:00 Innovation evolution vs revolution 12:10 Customer led development before business model development? 12:36 Approaching big partners 15:36 Prioritizing between customers 17:19 Difficulties for deeptech companies to commercialize their products 20:27 Recognizing Spinnova products 22:42 How did Spinnova seal their partnerships? 26:00 Structuring sales processes 27:51 Hidden decision-makers 30:50 The need for commercializing 37:13 What’s next up for Spinnova?
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    #24 Nicole Quinn | Why VCs should do field research on consumers

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    In this episode of the Soaked by Slush podcast, we had the opportunity to host Nicole Quinn, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures. As an investor, Nicole is a master at working with founders, brands, and end-customers. Her impressive background in both investing and entrepreneurship has garnered her a wealth of experience and knowledge – especially when it comes to consumer brands. Nicole’s unique style of working with founders certainly makes her ideas worth a(n intriguing) listen.  Expect to learn: Do founders need to have a “run through walls”-attitude? How VCs should support their portfolio’s founders and the problem with the "founder hero"-myth Why Nicole doesn’t want to invest only in the “bubble of Silicon Valley” Why is speaking to customers central to investors as well? Why companies should focus on niche markets first  01:25 Introduction to Nicole 05:55 Important things in successful founders 09:00 The importance of the founding team’s obsession 13:10 Talking to customers and apps on Nicole’s home screen. 16:38 When founders believe they have product-market fit too early 18:45 People don’t want to hear bad things about their companies 19:33 Problem of founder ‘hero mindset’ – can grit get too toxic? 23:14 Philosophy of relation-building with founders 26:06 What do founders usually worry about too much? 29:34 Starting niche first 33:38 Would founders experience from first building something smaller before building something that scales  36:14 The importance of listening Check Soaked by Slush out at: Twitter: https://twitter.com/soakedbyslush/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soakedslush/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soakedbyslush/ Soaked by Slush website: https://www.slush.org/soaked/ Slush website: https://www.slush.org Shoot us a message or feedback: [email protected]

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