Alice Bentinck - Building a Start-Up Machine - [Invest Like the Best, EP.285]
My guest today is Alice Bentinck, co-founder of Entrepreneur First. Entrepreneur First, or EF, invests pre-company by systematizing the way that talented individuals find co-founders, develop ideas, and scale into companies. They’re an incubator of teams and ideas on a mission to create impactful companies that, without their help, wouldn’t exist. I first spoke with Alice’s co-founder, Matt Clifford, over two years ago and have been fascinated with EF’s model of investing ever since. Please enjoy my conversation with Alice Bentinck.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
This episode is brought to you by Canalyst. Canalyst is the leading destination for public company data and analysis. If you're a professional equity investor and haven't talked to Canalyst recently, you should give them a shout. Learn more and try Canalyst for yourself at canalyst.com/Patrick.
Today's episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex is the integrated financial platform trusted by the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and fastest-growing companies. With Brex, you can move money fast for instant impact with high-limit corporate cards, payments, venture debt, and spend management software all in one place. Ready to accelerate your business? Learn more at brex.com/best.
Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
[00:02:33 ] - [First question] - Overview of what Entrepreneur First is today
[00:05:57 ] - How she identifies the people to bring into each cohort and convince them to quit their job to join EF for eight weeks
[00:10:10 ] - Categories of the main types of people who join the EF program
[00:12:32 ] - What she’s learned about negative screening at the first stage of recruits
[00:14:07 ] - Positive signals she looks for in early admissions
[00:17:46 ] - What the program itself feels like as a participant
[00:21:29 ] - Reasons partners tend to fail and whether or not EF advises equity splits between founders
[00:24:49 ] - How important the idea is that the team will be working on
[00:28:04 ] - Exercises she enjoys doing with the new cohorts around social norms
[00:30:38 ] - How the experience looks physically in each city
[00:32:57 ] - Categories of data collected as the cohorts unfold and making investment decisions
[00:36:46 ] - Ways the companies mature after EF and what kinds of investors fund the next stage of their startups
[00:40:55 ] - Why aren’t there ten EF style initiatives or organizations
[00:44:26 ] - Motivations for the change in their holding company structure
[00:46:48 ] - The love of product and ideas she’s playing with right now
[00:51:49 ] - Cities she has her eye on that EF is not a participant in today and criteria that makes a city desirable for EF
[00:54:03 ] - A piece of software that EF could benefit from that doesn’t exist yet
[00:55:30 ] - The keys to her harmonious relationship with her co-founder Matt
[00:59:01 ] - National and international impediments that directly impact company building
[01:01:36 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for her