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Village Global's Venture Stories

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Village Global's Venture Stories takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc/podcast for more.
435 Episodes
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Shrav Mehta (@shravvmehtaa), founder and CEO of Secureframe, joins Erik on this episode to discuss:- How he navigated the idea maze to start Secureframe.- The problem the company is solving.- Thoughts on recruiting as a space.- How thinking on privacy has changed over the years.- Where he’s excited in education.- How he learns about new spaces.- Why marketing is getting more technical.- How to think about marketing and sales in an early-stage startup.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Want to get updates from us? We'll send you the best content we've published, reading and resources, the latest financing news, showcases of our Network Leaders, the best of the podcast, and more. www.villageglobal.vc/signup
Dani Grant (@thedanigrant), co-founder at Jam, joins Erik on this episode to discuss:- How she came to start Jam, the product, and the problem that it’s solving.- How she navigated the idea maze.- Why now is the right time for a product like Jam.- Different waves of collaboration tools.- The future of the company.- Where there is whitespace in collaboration tools and where she’d be investing today.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Want to get updates from us? We'll send you the best content we've published, reading and resources, the latest financing news, showcases of our Network Leaders, the best of the podcast, and more. www.villageglobal.vc/signup
Dan Barto of IMG Academy joins Erik on this episode to discuss:- How the game of basketball has evolved over the last few decades.- What the next changes in the game should be, and will be.- How coaching has changed over time.- How team strategy and composition will evolve.- Players building brands and businesses on their own outside of the NBA.- Whether the players could start their own league and whether they should own more equity in the business.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Want to get updates from us? We'll send you the best content we've published, reading and resources, the latest financing news, showcases of our Network Leaders, the best of the podcast, and more. www.villageglobal.vc/signup
Greg Isenberg (@gregisenberg), founder of Late Checkout, joins Erik on this episode to discuss:- How COVID has impacted the space and how it changes what is possible.- Where the opportunities and white space are in consumer social.- The possibilities for social experiences based around sports.- Why there is a plenty of room for many more social apps.- The potential for future dating apps.- Why there are plenty of social apps that didn’t work out from 2005-2018 that could still work.- His advice for creating consumer social experiences.- How to turn an audience to a community and the dos and don’ts for community-building.- How to monetize a community.Airtime Videos:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46-q5fomh_Uhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRXBMx4BPWUThanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Want to get updates from us? We'll send you the best content we've published, reading and resources, the latest financing news, showcases of our Network Leaders, the best of the podcast, and more. www.villageglobal.vc/signup
Alex Chee (@alexnchee) and Jake Ellowitz (@wakkadojo), who help run product and engineering at Tribe Capital, join Erik on this episode to discuss:- How the product and engineering-oriented mindset at Tribe impacts their investing and why it forms part of their investment thesis.- The different incentives within a firm and how this creates new approaches.- Lessons learned from their time at Social Capital.- Products they’ve built at Tribe and how they’ve helped with the investment process.- Why other firms haven’t done this so far.- How their team interfaces with other companies and firms.- Their philosophy at the firm.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Want to get updates from us? We'll send you the best content we've published, reading and resources, the latest financing news, showcases of our Network Leaders, the best of the podcast, and more. www.villageglobal.vc/signup
Garrett Smiley (@gw_smiles), co-founder of Sora Schools, and Rebecca Kaden (@rebeccakaden), investor at USV, join special guest host Anne Dwane (@adwane), co-founder and partner at Village Global, on this episode.They discuss:- The story of how Sora Schools came about and how they plan to create the best high school in the world.- How Rebecca and USV evaluated the business.- Why a new model for education is needed today.- The role of a school in the 21st century and the importance of community.- What it was like fundraising during a pandemic.- Other needs and problems that provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the education space.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Karan Wadhera (@karanw), managing partner at Casa Verde Capital, joins Erik on this episode to discuss:- The evolution of the space and how it has changed over the last several years.- The different types of companies in the space and who they have been investing in.- Who the winners might be in the delivery space.- The biggest companies that have emerged over the last few years.- His requests for startups in the space.- How the perception of cannabis is changing in culture and the impacts of that change on investing.- Global and geographic differences in space within the US and around the world.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Tyler Hayes (@thetylerhayes), CEO of Atom Limbs, joins Erik on this episode to discuss:- His mission to create mind-controlled bionic arms at Atom Limbs.- How the company came to be.- What enables this technology at this point in time.- How the tech transfer process works from university to commercial application.- Lessons learned on commercializing something like this.- The bottlenecks to innovation in the area.- Why he is intent on curing death.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Chris Castiglione (@castig), co-founder of One Month, adjunct professor at Columbia, and author of a new book on decentralization called The Untold History of the Internet.- Why the launch of the Sputnik satellite spurred the creation of the internet.- The early days of the internet as a publicly funded program.- Why innovation has moved from government to private industry over the decades.- How decentralization became part of the ethos of the internet and why that has changed over time.- How data network effects led to the oligopolies seen among internet companies and whether this could have been different.- Recommendation engines and their effects on how we find truth.- How he would reform the regulation of the internet.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Alfred Chuang and Chris McCann (@mccannatron) of Race Capital joins Erik on this episode to discuss:- Where they were investing during COVID and how to find opportunities in a crisis.- Where they’re excited in the crypto space in 2020.- Thoughts on valuations and why they have remained high.- IPOs, SPACs, and the Long-Term Stock Exchange.- Why they’re not concerned about a bubble.- How the enterprise space has evolved over time.- Their take on remote and how COVID will change how companies operate.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Elad Gil (@eladgil), entrepreneur and investor, and Kevin Hartz (@kevinhartz), investor and co-founder of Eventbrite, join Erik on this episode.They discuss:- What they think is special about each other’s investing abilities.- How certain people are able to stay relevant in every investing cycle.- Kevin’s latest venture and the path he took to start it.- SPACs and their advantages.- How to find your own angel investing style.- How venture will change in the next ten years.- Elad’s COVID investment thesis.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Keith Rabois (@rabois), partner at Founders Fund, and Jacob Helberg (@jacobhelberg), senior advisor at Stanford Cyber, adjunct fellow at CSIS, and formerly of Google, join Erik on this episode. They discuss:- Why the US is indeed in a cold war with China.- The roles of DC and Silicon Valley in this new cold war.- The reasons for the foreign policy establishment’s dovishness on China.- How economic foreign policy became decoupled from national foreign policy.- TikTok, and how tech and geopolitics will intersect in the future.- How the election might play out.- SPACs and how going public will change in the next 12-24 months.- The impact of COVID on valuations in public and private markets.- How COVID impacts remote work and Silicon Valley.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Sacha Lazimi (@SachaLaz), co-founder and CEO of Yubo, and François Meteyer (@FrancoisMeteyer), partner at Alven, join Erik on this episode to discuss:- The founding of Yubo and the philosophy behind the app.- What differentiates Gen Z from other generations.- The future of social networks.- Lessons for founders building in this space for this audience.- The future of entertainment, media, and gaming, and where the investment opportunities are.- The future of Yubo.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Erik is joined on this episode by Ricardo Sequerra (@ric0seq), Pawel Chudzinski (@pawell), Christoph Janz (@chrija), and Louis Coppey (@louicop), partners at Point Nine Capital.They discuss:- The background of the fund and how it got started.- Their journeys in venture so far.- Why they have an equal partnership and how to think about when that arrangement works for a firm.- How SaaS has evolved over the last several years.- Which large companies might be disrupted by SaaS startups.- Opportunities in vertical SaaS.- How machine learning changes the landscape.- How their thesis on digital marketplaces has evolved and why B2B SaaS is a large market.- Other spaces they are interested in.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Flo Crivello (@altimor), former product manager and engineer at Uber, and now starting his next thing, joins Erik to discuss:- Lessons he learned at Uber, and what he might have done differently if he were in charge of strategy.- How transportation is evolving and who the winners in the space might be.- Why the decentralized model works at Uber.- What people misunderstand about the history of tech and Silicon Valley.- Whether egalitarianism is eating the world.- Libertarianism, government, and progress.- His thoughts on Twitter and thinking in public.- His book reviews and explanations of why several books in particular are powerful.- The differences between France and the USA and why they have persisted.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Kevin Gibbon (@kevingibbon), co-founder of Airhouse and formerly co-founder of Shyp, joins Erik on this episode. Airhouse provides modern, all-in-one ecommerce operations for direct-to-consumer companies.They discuss:- Kevin’s entrepreneurial journey and how he came to start Airhouse.- Lessons learned from founding Shyp.- Why entrepreneurs need to be clear about whether they are building a business that is truly VC-backable.- COVID’s implications for ecommerce and which changes endure post-COVID.- Which subspaces in DTC are more likely to be successful than others.- How to start a DTC brand and how Airhouse helps.- Why it’s so difficult to start a DTC brand these days.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Erik is joined on this episode by:- David Perrell (@david_perell), of North Star Podcast- Jeff Umbro (@jeffumbro), of Podglomerate- Sachit Gupta (@sachitgupta), of Conscious CreatorsThey discuss:- Why you should start a podcast.- How to get a podcast off the ground.- Why having one gives you access to people you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.- Monetization models and the merits of each of them.- How to ask better questions and the art of good conversation.- How to grow your podcast over time.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Ben Reinhardt (@Ben_Reinhardt), independent researcher and host of Idea Machines Podcast, joins Erik to discuss:- Why we don’t have more cool science fiction-like technology in the world.- Why there hasn’t been as much innovation or progress as humanity had hoped for.- How venture should evolve to increase innovation.- The challenges posed by system decay.- The way out of overregulation.- How to fix government grants.- How China balances innovation and regulation and how that compares to the US.- The challenges relating to intellectual property.- Where he agrees or disagrees with other thinkers in the space.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Aston Motes (@__aston__), first employee at Dropbox and executive director at /dev/color, joins Erik on this episode. It was recorded as part of an On Deck Fellowship event.They discuss:- The story of how he became the first employee at Dropbox.- What he learned at the company and how he approached helping to set the culture there.- How to sell talent on joining your company.- His frameworks for thinking about startup ideas.- The possibilities for “bank shot” ideas.- How to think about finding a co-founder.- What he looks for in founding teams as an investor.- Insights on the music industry.- How to know when it’s time to shut down your startup.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
Andy Johns (@ibringtraffic), investor at Unusual Ventures, joins Erik on this episode.They discuss:- His thoughts on transportation at short distances and the business model problem that these companies face.- Where his thinking is at with respect to opportunities in consumer social today.- His thoughts on low-code and no-code.- Why he’s interested in fintech and what a financial social network might look like.- Other areas in fintech that are interesting.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.
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Comments (4)

Underdog Underdog

the audio quality when played at higher speeds sucks...

Nov 26th
Reply

Peter Monien

Great book. Ordered it and loved it. Regarding 1:37h and "participatory politics": I would have a suggestion how to achieve this even if the incumbent parties don't support it: https://upgradingdemocracy.com/.

Nov 24th
Reply

Fabiano PS

1:53:00 Stillman will be remembered longer than Ghandi, because he shipped. It's hugely about the moral purity that can rally followers up. Like Vitalik does

May 3rd
Reply

Ryan Thomas

the Bitcoin block reward isn't running out in 20 years... it's 120 years 😒

Sep 10th
Reply
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