11: Investing Sensibly to Launching Your Own VC Fund - Eamonn Carey, MD Techstars
Eamonn is the Managing Director at Techstars London, and an early stage investor, advisor and board member in over 25 companies across the US, Europe and Asia. He also helps out at Zeroth.ai in Hong Kong, who invest in AI and ML companies. He is launching his own VC fund and runs a regular dealflow email for 300+ angel and VC investors.
Previously, he was the MD at Techstars Connection in partnership with AB InBev program in New York, and has worked as a mentor on Techstars and multiple other accelerator programs across Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia.
He is a regular speaker at conferences around the world and a wealth of information on the VC, accelerators and tech scene. As such we talk a lot about accelerators, VC’s and tech on the podcast.
1. You do only have one life on this planet — Enjoy your work
If you aren’t super passionate about what you’re doing at work. minimise time at work or start your own business and do something you believe in. find your passion and work for your own goals
Don’t work with dickheads
The team you work with should be nice people that don’t suck.
When interviewing for a role ask mundane questions to see if they can be normal and nice to hang out with.
When interviewing a team check to see if they get on with each other within the team and be alert to micro-gestures that might suggest one person is being controlling or isn’t appreciated by the others.
Keep control of your time by constricting tasks to specific slots so you know when you will be able to do different things and ensure you keep time saved for personal stuff. whether it’s working on specific business tasks or spending time with your family its good to have time that won’t be interrupted by calls. especially when your an investor in many companies and working with accelerators
3. Being a good CEO with Growth mindset
Having a can-do attitude where you can constantly learn and improve your skills is the best way to be. His favourite CEO’s are like sponges that are constantly learning from everyone they meet and every action they take whether it has good or bad consequences it is a chance to constantly improve themselves and their businesses.
As a bonus, they are normal people who are fun to hang out with due to having varied interests. So go all in on growth mindset
4. Don’t always listen to advice from Mentors / Investors
There is no overwhelming easy to implement the strategy on how to take advice. you will always get some good advice and some bad advice and work out which is the best and which isn’t comes with experience. The only thing we can say is to not let advice paralyse you into indecision and when you are unsure try to go with your gut.
The story of the business that received mainly negative feedback and stalled on their idea to then lose out to others is hardly unique. Have faith in your vision. If people don’t understand it often you need to explain your vision better rather than give up. or ignore some of the haters.
of course, the advice is often really useful and just ignoring people is also stupid.
A good rule of thumb is to not listen too closely to people that don’t understand the industry and try rely more on input from your potential customers.
We are both very happy to discuss any of the idea’s mentioned in the show or anything else =]
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Special Guest: Eamonn Carey.