UVC: Melody Koh from NextView Ventures on navigating early stage venture investing, empowering exceptional founders, fostering trust with founders and investing in the everyday economy
In this episode we discuss:
[00:00:00 ] Why Melody chose to stay in the US for startups and her hobbies growing up
[00:07:00 ] What values Melody upholds as a VC when working with startup founders
[00:12:00 ] The important lesson Melody learned in early-stage venture investing
[00:13:00 ] Why Melody believes in investing in exceptional founders with high potential
[00:18:00 ] Melody's hands-on approach as a VC and how she supports founders
[00:21:00 ] The benefits of NextView Ventures' concentrated bets on startup founders
[00:22:00 ] Why building trust is crucial in the VC-founder relationship
[00:23:00 ] Melody's role as a VC and how she guides founders
[00:25:00 ] How NextView faced challenges during COVID and supported a struggling portfolio company
[00:28:00 ] The key trait that makes founders successful in the fast-changing startup world
[00:30:00 ] Understand the mindset founders need to overcome obstacles and achieve their mission
[00:32:00 ] Why startups should focus on problems in large, pervasive markets
[00:35:00 ] NextView's investment thesis and the problems they aim to solve
[00:37:00 ] How NextView supports concept-stage companies through their accelerator program
[00:42:00 ] Meaning of different seed and pre-seed funding stages for startups and what matters most
[00:53:00 ] Investors Melody would reach out to if she were starting a new startup today
Melody is a Partner at NextView Ventures based in its New York office. She has spent her entire career working with technology and Internet startups as an entrepreneur, operator, and investor.
Prior to joining NextView, Melody was Head of Product at Blue Apron (NYSE: APRN). Melody joined Blue Apron as the first product hire when the company was 18 months old with 20 HQ employees. She helped scale the business through hyper-growth (25x in 3.5 years) and to its IPO, building and leading a 35-person team across Product Management, Product Design, and Analytics/Data Science.
Previously, Melody was a Product Manager at Fab.com leading marketing & analytics products and the founder/CEO of a seed-funded wine subscription e-commerce service. Melody was also a venture investor at Time Warner’s strategic VC group and was a one of six inaugural members of First Round Capital’s Product Co-op initiative. Melody began her career as a tech/media M&A investment banking analyst at Evercore Partners.
Melody holds an MBA with Distinction from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Commerce with Distinction from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and son.