DiscoverThe Silicon Valley Podcast
The Silicon Valley Podcast

The Silicon Valley Podcast

Author: Shawn Flynn

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We open a window into the minds of the most successful leaders, investors, creators, and inventors — sharing Silicon Valley business acumen with entrepreneurs around the world.

No. 1 Silicon Valley ”Podcast Must Follow in 2023” - Feedspot
178 Episodes
Shownotes for Maya Acherman PHD   Professor Ackerman is a world-renowned researcher in generative AI and CEO/co-founder of WaveAI. A pioneer in the space, Ackerman has been researching generative AI models for text, music and art since 2014. Dr. Ackerman was an early advocate for human-centered generative AI, bringing awareness to the power of AI to profoundly elevate human creativity. Ackerman has over 50 peer reviewed research publications and her research has been cited in over 1200 publications.   Named “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, interviews with Dr. Ackerman appear on NBC News, New Scientist, NPR,, SiriusXM and international television stations across the globe. Dr. Ackerman is a member of the Steering Committee of the Association on Computational Creativity and has been on the program and reviewing committees of twenty different AI journals and conferences. A sought-after speaker, she appeared on many top stages, including the United Nations, IBM Research, Microsoft and Stanford University.   Dr. Ackerman is the recipient of awards from the Association of Computational Creativity, Office of Naval Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and more. She earned her PhD from the University of Waterloo, held postdoctoral fellowships at Caltech and UC San Diego and is on the faculty of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Santa Clara University.   Personal website:   We talk about What is generative Artificial Intelligence? How are Chat GPT and Open AI changing the world? Is Chat GPT the Google search killer such as what is being mentioned in the new? What are the next steps for this technology?   And much more…   Connect with Maya Acherman Websites (Company) (Personal) Email
Arun Bio   We founded MBM Capital with one mission: create a new, profitable pathway for founders whose companies are orphaned by traditional VC.   Arun has over 20 years of investment, operations and turnaround experience, including at firms such as Shinsei Bank (early employee at JC Flowers / Rippledwood led turnaround), StoneCastle, Klarna and LedgerX. He has invested over $500mm of capital during his career in speciality finance companies, community banks, fintech and other special situations.     We talk about   How does one come up with their fund’s thesis? What type of numbers in general terms do Private Equity groups like to see? How does interest rates change your decisions when making an offer on a company? How do you go about thinking about structuring a deal, both price and terms, when you make an offer on a company? How do you analyze different value drivers of a company? And much more     Connect with Arun 917-804-6533
Daran Herrman  CEO at Goboto | Host of Establishing your Empire with 10+ years of experience in managing online businesses, including managing strategy development, global eCommerce solutions, online marketing & multi-channel retail partnerships for business & consumer market sectors.  (2) Daran Herrman | LinkedIn  Sam Wong Sam is a CEO coach, fractional CEO/CTO/CFO, a Silicon Valley advisor and the author of 21 Secrets of Successful Startups, a book about world-class execution for startups. Sam also provides online training for entrepreneurs at As a serial entrepreneur, he has been CEO, CTO, or VP Engineering / TechOps for five companies, driving multiple acquisitions. As a hands-on “roll up the sleeves” startup advisor, Sam draws from his 30+ Roger King CEO of Chiefpeople 20 years experience in recruiting at both the executive level and the individual contributor level. Interested in companies Brian Sparkes Experienced consultant with a demonstrated history of working in higher education, and startup culture. Experienced in high stakes communication, presentation skills, strengthening emotional intelligence in leadership and teams, business development, building business culture, community and social capital. Jason A Bay Area local & Entrepreneur Evangelist who believes in making a difference, utilizing my “Why” and thinking outside of the box to create phenomenal results. I have held leadership roles in marketing, sales, business development, project management, training, and consultation in industries/sectors such as Fintech, Healthcare, Medical IOT, Travel & Hospitality. I also serve as the Membership and Partnership Director with the BayAngels, a leading angel investor organization in the Bay Area, helping aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs to be top players in Silicon Valley and other markets, such as China and India.  Self-motivated and stellar leader describe my personality. In my leisure time, I love traveling, networking, and volunteering in various communities.   We talk about: Bad investments in Silicon Valley. Key takeaways from the Silicon Valley ecosystem. What are the benefits of being with an Angel group.   And much more
Show notes for panel 3 Your Exit Process. The Business Capital & Exit Strategy Summit   Jerome Fogel Jerome Fogel is the co-founder of Fogel & Potamianos LLP. He is known as a dealmaker and innovator in the legal community. He represents successful entrepreneurs, small and lower middle market companies, and high-profile sports and entertainment leaders. He also serves as the go-to offsite general counsel for a number of organizations. ​He has participated in over 100 corporate, non-profit, and entertainment transactions including company formations, mergers & acquisitions, equity financing, high-profile partnerships, talent agreements, digital music distribution, television distribution, publishing, licensing, and commercial transactions.     Shawn Flynn mid-market investment banker and Podcast Host. Shawn started his career as a business owner, founding, and growing a successful company in Beijing China before returning to the US to work with companies ranging from fast growing Silicon Valley startups to established overseas public companies. He brings his international experience working with all stages and sectors of businesses to his role as Principal at a premier middle market investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, raising growth capital, and secondaries. Shawn holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from UCSD and speaks Mandarin and Spanish (lived abroad for almost 8 years) and he is the host of the award-winning Podcast "The Silicon Valley Podcast" You can connect with Shawn at Podcast   Hall Matin Through TEN Capital, I help #startup and growth companies everywhere raise #funding from #angels, family offices, venture capital and high net worth individuals. Through the Texas Entrepreneur Networks I established a funding program to match entrepreneurs with investors I also run the Wilco Funding Portal which has raised over $3M for companies based in Williamson County. Through the Texas Open Angel Network I educate angel investors on how to make investments into startups and growing companies. As part of TOAN, I host the Investor Connect podcast series in which I interview venture capital, angel, and family offices investors on how they invest in startups and growth companies. I assist in the formation and launch of startup investment groups, mentorship programs and accelerator programs which includes the First Look Forum, Idea to IP at UT, Incubation Station(SKU), AccelerateNFC, and others. I formed the TEN Advisory program consisting of highly capable professionals to provide business services to startup and growth companies.       How does one do due diligence on the buyer? When should a company bring in an investment banker to help them sell their company? What is the process to sell your business? How to increase the odds of a deal closing. Who should be on your team when selling a company?
Shownotes for Austin Panel 2   Sam Wong Sam is a CEO coach, fractional CEO/CTO/CFO, a Silicon Valley advisor and the author of 21 Secrets of Successful Startups, a book about world-class execution for startups. Sam also provides online training for entrepreneurs at As a serial entrepreneur, he has been CEO, CTO, or VP Engineering / TechOps for five companies, driving multiple acquisitions. As a hands-on “roll up the sleeves” startup advisor, Sam draws from his 30+   Jerome Fogel Jerome Fogel is the co-founder of Fogel & Potamianos LLP. He is known as a dealmaker and innovator in the legal community. He represents successful entrepreneurs, small and lower middle market companies, and high-profile sports and entertainment leaders. He also serves as the go-to offsite general counsel for a number of organizations. ​He has participated in over 100 corporate, non-profit, and entertainment transactions including company formations, mergers & acquisitions, equity financing, high-profile partnerships, talent agreements, digital music distribution, television distribution, publishing, licensing, and commercial transactions. ​   Daran Herrman 10+ years of experience in managing online businesses, including managing strategy development, global eCommerce solutions, online marketing & multi-channel retail partnerships for business & consumer market sectors. A winning financial and visual track record in online and omni-channel marketing with multi-channel campaigns across     We talk about   What are the milestones investors will want to see at each stage of your company’s development? How do you set aside equity for the founding team members? How do you built your advisory board? How quickly should your company grow? And much more…
Brian Will is a serial entrepreneur who has created or co-created six very successful companies in four different industries over the last thirty-five years. His first foray into owning his own business was a 10-year stint in the landscaping industry that he started when he was twenty years old. This was followed by three online internet companies during the boom of the late nineties and early 2000s.   The first was an online health insurance website and call center that was eventually sold to a venture capital company in Silicon Valley and today is one of the largest online Medicare insurance platforms in the US.   The second was an online “lead generation” company in the subprime credit space that was sold to a private equity firm out of Chicago.   ]We talk about   Why people should not listen to Silicon Valley Billionaire experts? What skill set would be best to learn early on when starting a business? Why do so many businesses fail? When is it time to leave a company and take a break or do something new?   And much more…   Connect with Brian Will Brian Will – The Author of The Dropout: Multi-Millionaire ( (14) Brian Will | LinkedIn
Raising Capital for Your Startup   When is the right time to go out and raise capital? What are some of the biggest mistakes founders make? What tips and tricks are there to increase your chances?   Moderator Wen Zhang   Panelist Shawn Flynn Sam Wong Roger King
John Thrasher John Thrasher, Experience As A Service ™ EAAS ™, A seasoned senior management professional with over 25 years of executive management experience. Proven ability to tackle new challenges, critically assess situations, think strategically, implement tactically and execute consistently. A highly effective leader who can assemble, manage and nurture world class management teams. Proficient at: Sales enhancement, Profit and Process Improvement. Experienced at developing strategy, KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) managing cross functional teams to create, maintain and grow a Company's sustainable competitive advantage.   We talk about How do you set KPI’s for the companies? What normally takes a company from good to great? When working with a client, how do you measure success? What is strategic planning? How does one go about preparing a company to sell? And much more…   Connect with John Thrasher   (626)824-5219. (3) John Thrasher | LinkedIn Website
Mike Trigg Experienced Silicon Valley executive and entrepreneur. Deep domain expertise in marketing, sales, customer service, business development and revenue-generating functions. Aspiring fiction author. UC-Berkeley MBA.   We talk about What were some of the highs and lows of Silicon Valley? How did the 1996 communication decency act section 230 change the world? What is a venture fundable company? How is everyone in a Venture Capital deal incentive? Bit Flip the latest Novel by Mike Trigg, And much more.   Connect with Mike Trigg Websites (Personal) (Blog)
Moaz Hamid Mission-driven technologist, and strategist. Solving for the future of jobs, accessibility, and medicine, as well as the role of robotics and artificial intelligence. Previously a general manager and partner with Google, Microsoft, HTC, Dangaard (Nordic Capital) and Palm.   Currently mvmt ventures (accessible first venture studio & fund). Advisor, Simplifyber, and EnlitenAI. Mentor/ advisor for early stage founders, Yellow by Snap Inc. (accelerator), Fast Track by First Round Capital, leAD Sports & Health Tech, Founder Institute, and mentor/chair-advisory board, Startup Boost LA (pre-accelerator). Advisor, SoftBank (Robotics). And a member/robotics, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Healthcare Foundation (MLK-CHF) dream council.   Previously, served as an advisor and executive partner for Kasparov Chess Foundation, Samsung Mobile, Sony Ericsson Xperia, Brightpoint, Emirates, HP, as well as leading investment and strategy on Skype, BullGuard, Sonim, Neo, RemeAi, Sygic, and SouthWing, as well as advising numerous other leading consumer technology, telecom, startup, financial, software, and hardware companies.   Areas of expertise; business strategy, roadmap & product strategy, go-to-market & marketing strategy, product design & management, brand building & strategy, due diligence, and technical expertise in systems analysis & design. Speaking engagement; entrepreneurial journey, hiring and building a team, global market, technology, robotics, ai, culture and leadership...     We talk about The venture studio model What is Disability tech? Organizing and Running a corporate accelerator program Strategies in raising a fund   And much more   Connect with Moaz Hamid
  Shownotes for Luba Lesiva   Luba Lesiva I lead - the Palantir alumni syndicate and fund. Come join us at I also help tech companies get out of the weeds of fundraising and investor management, and back to building great products, via my work at L4C.   We talk about Syndicate vs. Fund what are the benefits and negative for each as an investor? How can a syndicate be used for a VC fund to screen deals? What are the steps to take a fund from zero to 1? How does one tap into an existing network? What’s the Cold start problem?     Connect with Luba Lesiva
  Andrew Berman My inspiration is to apply new technology to build new products that can touch millions of people in ways that were impossible before.   - Founder of Nanit, the first camera to track human behavior (the leading baby monitor) - Experienced investor from seed to LBO stages, Silicon Valley, NY and other markets - Active and experienced angel investor (SaaS, Security, Healthcare, Consumer and CV/AI)   ***If you're pinging me cold and you want a meeting, you need to be a annual Vowel business plan customer***     We talk about How different is the role of a CEO from a COO? How important is timing to the success of a company? Why is a hardware company so hard? Why is it about taking a company from zero to one that you enjoy? How does one know when it’s time to move on from one company to another?   Connect with Andrew Berman (4) Andrew Berman | LinkedIn Promo Code for three months free:  siliconvalley
Shownotes for Aaron McDaniel and Klaus Wehage...Chief Executive Officer Global Class is a #2 Walll Street Journal BestSeller Global Class is a Silicon Valley-based consulting firm that works with companies expanding globally to implement best practices of the most successful global scale businesses. As we emerge from the COVID-19 Pandemic, companies have the opportunity to revisit their operation models and look to international markets for both target customers and talent - once that decision is made, the question become HOW. The Global Class team (the same team that founded 10X Innovation Lab, a global accelerator located in Silicon Valley) has worked with over 2,500 corporate executives and more than 1,700 entrepreneurs across 5 continents. We serve as trusted advisors for market-leading global corporations, fast-growing companies and multi-billion dollar government agencies through delivering virtual, home country-based, and Silicon Valley-based programs with the aim of helping these businesses grow globally. Through previous partnerships, the Global Class team has been involved in several company expansion and soft-landing programs for government agencies in Asia and LATAM. In fact, it’s our core expertise and we have successfully developed frameworks that provide training, mentorship, and interconnectivity to client organizations.   We talk about What is a “company-market fit”? What research should be done before expanding into a new market? How important is localizing processes when a company enters a new market? When a company expands globally how does it values expand into markets with it?   Connect with for Aaron McDaniel and Klaus Wehage... Aaron McDaniel Klaus Wehage
Shownotes for Tony Quingtong Chief Executive Officer Securieon Group is a hybrid of management and acquisition advisory for low mid-market privately held companies who need an outside looking in review of their company’s growth strategy. Founders and executives may be at a pivotal point of deciding how best to efficiently scale for additional revenue, capital, investors or M&A.   As the global internet economy evolves, market trends change as does consumer buying habits. Unrecognized, a domino effect occurs which can derail the best intentions of founders who built their organizations on gut reaction, hard work and timing.   Securieon provides extensive financial and market analysis to validate founder initiatives, identify systemic management and operational issues preventing the achievement of higher performance, while creating and implementing innovative strategies to mitigate risks for all stakeholders. Executed properly, a founder attains the leverage required to secure growth capital, improve profitability and eventually exit at a higher valuation. . We talk about When is a company past the point of saving? When should a company bring in outside consultants? What are some of the first things one analyzes in a company to make an assessment? When looking for a turnaround expert what questions should someone ask the person or team they are interviewing?       Connect with Tony Quingtong (4) Tony Quintong Jr | LinkedIn  TonySecurieon
Swati Chaturvedi​ Co-Founder and CEO Swati has been a management consultant, an investment professional and is now an entrepreneur. Prior to starting Propel(x), Swati was an investment professional at Exigen Capital, where she worked on IT Telecom, Travel, and BPO deals. Before that, she was a management consultant working across a variety of industries. Swati is the co-founder of the MIT Alumni Angel Investors group. She founded and led the group 2013 – 2015 and continues to be on the screening committee. She has an MBA from the Sloan School of Management, an M.S. from MIT, an M.S. from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. Outside of work, Swati loves to spend time with family, watch movies and read. We talk about   What is a schedule K-1 for SPVs? What are some terms or some vocabulary that people seem confused about when looking at early-stage and syndicates? What about angel groups and Venture Capitalists? How do they use, and work with syndicates? In general, have you seen any changes in the Silicon Valley Investment landscape that occurred over the pandemic? How should a company line up milestones with their funding strategy?     Connect with Swati Chaturvedi Linkedin (1) Swati Chaturvedi | LinkedIn Twitter Swati_Propelx Website Company Linkedin (1) Propel(x): About | LinkedIn
Show Notes Gavin Reardon Gavin is a founder, investor and entrepreneur specialist. Before founding Kingson, Gavin provided financial leadership to a fintech that grew revenues to more than USD 50 million before being acquired. Gavin understands the nuances and challenges that face entrepreneurs and how the right investment can unlock accelerated growth. In Kingson, Gavin provides strategic leadership to the development of the Kingson funds and portfolio construction of the underlying businesses. He focuses on capital raising and deal making and loves the people aspect of seeing strategy and execution combined into operational excellence.   As a VC, Gavin focuses on mobile, data and IoT across financial, insurance and health tech investing in emerging startups that have both reach and scale to solve real-world problems.     We talk about          What are some of the biggest surprises for the startup founders when they arrive in Silicon Valley from Africa? What is the current VC landscape in South Africa? What is the background of many of the Investors in Africa? What areas of Tech are African companies excelling in? What is the biggest misconception about the African startup ecosystem?       Connect with Gavin Reardon Gav Reardon (@GavReardon) / Twitter
Show Notes John Baird John is Founder of Velocity Coaching and coauthor (with Edward Sullivan) of the recently published book, Leading with Heart (Harper Collins). John is considered to be one of the premier executive coaches in Silicon Valley, having coached CEOs and Founders for over 25 years. John built his career working with the top leaders at companies ranging from early stage start-ups to Fortune 500 firms like Apple and Nike. His first company ExecutivEdge (with Michele Bolton) in many ways set the standard for executive coaching in Silicon Valley over 20 years ago. He considers his 25 years of coaching work at Apple, from their fast growth period to the present, to be among his most significant achievements. John’s passion for bringing strong leadership and culture building skills to early stage ventures resulted in the founding of the Velocity Group in 2015 (with Ben Tauber). John is currently the Senior Partner and Board Chair at Velocity. He and Managing Partner Edward Sullivan have positioned Velocity as the “go to” coaching firm for early stage companies beginning to scale. They have worked with companies at various stages of growth including Marketo, Krux, AirTable, Clover Health, CultureAmp, Doordash, Grail, MasterClass, Remitly, and many others. Most recently, John serves as a Fellow at Sapphire Ventures. John brings a strong business perspective to his work, helping leaders leverage their natural talents and expand their skill sets to the next level. John is passionate about innovation and change and helps leaders scale and transform their teams and organizations while building cultures of inclusion and diversity. CEOs have found his advice, counsel and practical tools critical to scaling their companies and avoiding many of the pitfalls along the way. John holds a PhD in Organizational Communication and Leadership from Purdue University. He spent 17 years on the faculty at San Jose State University in the College of Business and was named Outstanding Professor of the entire University during his time there.   We talk about          What questions should someone ask when looking for an executive coach? Heart led companies’ vs fear led companies? Is it different coaching Fortune 500 CEOs vs CEO from Early startups? What do you need to see or hear to be able to say someone is a leader?   Connect with John Baird Leading with Heart (
Show Notes Christopher Nguyen CEO and Co-Founder of Aitomatic Hacker, Professor, Builder/Founder w/ successful exits, Leader, Knowledge-First ML Creator @h1st_ai, ex-GoogleApps,   ‣ Strategic executive leadership [Google, Panasonic] ‣ CEO/CTO/VP Eng, successful startup+corp experience [Agenda-Asia, Arimo, Aitomatic] ‣ Hands-on software engineering management - built & led teams of '00s ‣ Machine Learning/AI, Extreme Internet-scale, highly available, low-latency service architectures ‣ Quantitative finance, applied statistics   We talk about          What’s it like to successful start and exit several companies? What is a Knowledge-First App Engine? How do you train a cyber-security system against something that has not happened yet? What is open-source project Human-First AI. What are some of the top strategic technology trends you are seeing now and believe will be there in 2023 and 2024?     Connect with Christopher Nguyen
Kevin Gsell is the Managing Director, Company Solutions for Nasdaq Private Market, NPM is leading the way by bringing private companies, banks and brokers, stakeholders, and investors together to transact in one marketplace.   How have the private markets changed over the years? What is the history of the Nasdaq private market? How important is it for liquidity, or a way for people to sell their shares, for these companies that stay private for so long? For employee, investors? How are people for lack of a better word getting “screwed” on prices for shares of privately traded companies?   Connect with Kevin Gsell   (5) Kevin Gsell | LinkedIn Trade Private Company Stock | Nasdaq Private Market
Show Notes Michael Brooks Life is a freelance paradise. How do I know? Thanks to my company's $150 million in freelance payouts. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐫𝐮𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐎𝐧-𝐒𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐤 As the CEO and Founder of GoLance, I have an insider's view of the POWER of the "gig-economy," and how lucrative and benefit packed it truly is to work remotely. For all parties involved! I've created one of the world's largest freelance platforms, where high-quality global talent is able to connect with, and work for, incredible companies all over the world.   We talk about          What is the future of outsourcing? How does risk impact one’s decision making? What's it like to run a company from Puerto Rico? How to stand up to a larger company that tries to bully your startup? How to use Quora and Podcast for all your marketing And much more     Connect with Michael Brooks Linkedin Company Twitter MichaelBrooksPR
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