Season 2

Season 2 Ep. 29: Earning Cryptocurrency Through a Microtask Marketplace with Simon Yu of StormX

There are plenty of people who work full-time, yet still don’t make enough to get by. What if there was an app that would allow individuals to earn income in the form of cryptocurrency from anywhere, at any time, with any device?

Simon Yu had to drop out of college when his parents declared bankruptcy. He got a full-time job as a bank teller but was still struggling to make ends meet. In fact, Simon was sleeping through lunch so he wouldn’t have to eat another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He eventually started a Korean taco business as a side hustle, and with the help of Facebook, Bomba Fusion went viral. Simon was able to finish school and get a job as a Senior Credit Risk Analyst, where he started thinking about the potential of Bitcoin.

Now Simon serves as the CEO of StormX, a microtask marketplace that allows people all over the world to earn STORM tokens for things like playing videos, trying new products, and P2P freelancing gigs. He sits down with us today to tell his story, explaining his path from Food Truck to crypto startup. Simon walks us through the intense process of a crowd sale, discussing the long hours he spent in preparation and offering his advice for entrepreneurs considering an ICO. Listen in for Simon’s insight around the shift in his business now that cryptocurrency has become mainstream and how Storm Play helps individuals enter the space without risking their own money to buy tokens through an exchange.


Connect with Max


Connect with Boost VC

Season 2 Ep. 28: Entrepreneurs in Space with Max Haot of Launcher

“From my point of view, yes, we need to be multiplanetary, and one of the big motivators … is really the desire to spend the rest of my career to make whatever big or small contribution—but a contribution—towards advancing Earth-escape technology as a category.”

Max Haot is the founder and CEO of Launcher, a team on a ten-year journey to advance launch technology and deliver small satellites to orbit. Max came to the US in 2005 when the company he was working for in the UK was sold to Verizon. He served as the VP of Digital Media for Verizon Business for two years before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and founding Livestream, the platform that democratized livestream video capability. Vimeo acquired Livestream last September, giving Max the opportunity to pursue his passion for space.

Max is joining us today to share the inspiration behind Launcher, discussing how SpaceX shifted the perception that only governments could achieve orbital flight. He walks us through the timeline of space technology to date and explains how the miniaturization of satellites, growing connectivity and decrease in the cost of launch is further opening space to entrepreneurs. We talk about the feasibility of Earth-escape technology, and Max shares his take on humanity’s need to become multiplanetary if we want to survive long-term. Listen in for insight into the opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the satellite space and how community-building impacts the longevity of a startup.

Connect with Max

  • Launcher
  • Launcher on Instagram
  • Launcher on Twitter
  • Max on Twitter
  • Max on LinkedIn


  • Livestream
  • SpaceX

Connect with Boost VC

  • Boost VC Website
  • Boost VC on Facebook
  • Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2 Ep. 27: Investing Nerdy and Early in Smart Hardware with VC Sunil Nagaraj of Ubiquity Ventures

The beauty of smart hardware lies in its agility. With a recurrent feedback loop and regular software updates, products can be improved over time. Ubiquity Ventures is focused on funding startups that pursue this continuous refinement, investing in a feature trajectory rather than physical product.

Sunil Nagaraj is the managing partner of Ubiquity, a seed-stage venture capital firm interested in smart hardware and machine intelligence. Prior to starting his own fund in 2017, Sunil spent six years as VP with Bessemer Venture Partners, where his focus involved IoT, developer tools, space and security companies.

Sunil sits down with us today to share his background as an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He explains the idea behind his startup, Triangulate, discussing the challenges he faced in A/B testing and why he ultimately decided to shut the company down. We discuss the benefits of smart hardware and its ability to ‘increase the velocity of the scientific method.’ Listen in for Sunil’s insight on understanding the world through the lens of a coder and his meaningful definition of success.

Connect with Sunil

 - Sunil’s Website 
 - Sunil on Twitter
 - Sunil on LinkedIn 
 - Ubiquity on LinkedIn

Connect with Boost VC

 - Boost VC Website
 - Boost VC on Facebook
 - Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2 Ep. 26: The Basics of Bitcoin Mining with Chris Shepherd of HashRabbit

Bitcoin mining is tough to explain to Muggles outside the ecosystem, but Chris Shepherd is up for the task. Chris was a part of Tribe 4 here at Boost, and he also happens to be the face of the illustrious Boost VC Mural. Who better to take us through the basics of mining?

Chris is the co-founder and CEO of HashRabbit, a startup that builds software for large-scale mining facilities. Chris was introduced to mining as a designer and frontend developer for LaunchKey. From there, he made his own mining rigs and set up shop in his apartment as well as his parents’ garage. When his co-founder pointed out that the code was easy to hack, HashRabbit was born.

Today Chris joins us to share his journey into the world of cryptocurrency. He walks us through the basics of Bitcoin mining, explaining how the computers involved process transactions—without bias. Chris offers his insight around the biggest opportunity in mining today, and we look at the longevity of the blockchain.


Connect with Chris

Connect with Boost VC

Season 2 Ep. 25: Leveraging VR to Make Ads an Experience with Ara Parikh and Michael Rucker of OmniVirt

VR is about immersion. Rather than simply witnessing an experience, we become a part of it. Imagine the advantage for brands and publishers if their content could leverage that same kind of engagement, creating ads that include us in an immersive media experience.

OmniVirt is a VR and AR advertising platform for brands and publishers with the capacity to distribute 360° video content that audiences can view with one tap—no app installation or headset required. The company seeks to help creators monetize their videos on the web, and they serve high-profile clients like The New York Times, Universal Pictures and VICE, among many others. COO Michael Rucker spent seven years at YouTube before co-founding OmniVirt, and Ara Parikh served as an emerging media analyst at Innosight before becoming the head of product marketing.

Ara and Michael join us today to explain how OmniVirt helps brands and publishers distribute and monetize immersive media experiences. We discuss the OmniVirt’s competitive advantage, exploring the reasons why publishers are increasingly investing in their own sites. Ara and Michael share their first VR experiences and explore the significance of creating compelling VR content. Listen in to understand the top use cases for VR in advertising and learn the value in making ads an experience.

Season 2 Ep. 24: Design Thinking for the Blockchain with Dan Elitzer of IDEO CoLab

How can the crypto community embrace design thinking? By thinking in terms of prototypes. Rather than waiting until a product is perfect, develop a test version and let it out into the wild. Allowing the community to engage is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t—and work up to your vision.

Dan Elitzer is the Blockchain and Digital Identity Lead at IDEO CoLab, IDEO’s research and design network tasked with shaping how emerging technologies will affect our world. Dan has spent his career immersed in entrepreneurship, serving as a consultant to organizations like Community Wealth Partners and KickStart International before becoming the Finance & Operations Officer for the Grameen Foundation. While earning his MBA, Dan co-founded the MIT Bitcoin Club and MIT Bitcoin Project, an initiative to establish MIT as a center of digital currency innovation.

Today Dan joins us to share how IDEO came to explore emerging technology in the blockchain space. We discuss his introduction to cryptocurrency as well as IDEO CoLab’s current projects. Listen in for Dan’s advice around the application of design thinking to blockchain technology and his definition of success in his role at IDEO.

Season 2, Ep. 23: The Drone Market, Future Thinking, and Candy for Fat Kids with Jonathan Nutzati of Mothership

Up until 18 months ago, there was ‘one drone to rule them all.’ But that stopped working as the consumer began to demand specialization. Different industries have different needs, and the drone market has begun to drill down and solve the problems specific to fields like construction and agriculture. Some problems remain unsolved, and that’s where Mothership Aeronautics comes in.

Jonathan Nutzati is an aerospace engineer, entrepreneur and future-thinker with a passion for solving mankind’s greatest problems. He earned his master’s from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2012 and went on to design electric motors for Tesla. In 2016, he founded Mothership, a startup that develops high endurance aircraft with applications in energy pipeline inspection, mineral exploration and security.

Today Jonathan joins us to explain what sets Mothership apart from other drone technologies. We discuss the lessons Jonathan has learned as an entrepreneur and the challenges around communicating with investors when your market size is somewhat intangible. Listen in for Jonathan’s insight around the evolution of the drone market and the value of future-thinking.

Season 2 Ep. 22: VR Voice Interaction and Developer Advocacy with Michael Ludden of IBM Watson

What if you could talk directly to a VR experience, accessing the menu or a particular tool simply by asking for it? Michael Ludden argues that voice interaction makes sense for every virtual reality application as a method of control, and in his role as Director of Product with IBM Watson, he is committed to building a toolkit for developers that allows them to incorporate services like Speech to Text and Watson Conversation into their own products.

Michael began working with the developer community as a tech evangelist for HTC before getting into developer marketing in his roles with Samsung and Google. He shifted to building products for developers when he moved to IBM Watson in 2015, and his team there functions to solve problems for developers with initiatives in Developer Incentivization, Developer Marketplaces and VR/AR Labs.

Today Michael joins us to share IBM Watson’s utility as an AI platform, explaining how its VR Speech Sandbox provides a toolkit for developers to build products that incorporate Watson’s services. We discuss the best methods to incentivize developers, and Michael offers insight around converting developers into advocates. Listen in to understand how IBM Watson plays into the rise of digital assistants like Alexa and Siri, and learn how you might use its services to build your own custom VR and AR experiences.

Season 2, Ep. 21: The Evolution of the Crypto Ecosystem with Sebastian Serrano of Ripio Credit Network


When we met Sebastian Serrano in 2013, he was the quintessential tenacious founder, attending any and every industry event and becoming a part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem—before it was called the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Sebastian’s interest in the space began in 2012. Inflation in Argentina was on the rise, and the government was making it more and more difficult to move money. Bitcoin appeared to be the answer, and Sebastian set out to help build the infrastructure necessary to give people access to the network. He created a payment processor called Bitpagos and had success in bringing Bitcoin to Argentina.

The problem was that people were not buying that Bitcoin, so Sebastian built an exchange called Ripio. As he got more interested in the consumer side of cryptocurrency, he developed a passion for banking the unbanked, providing a full suite of financial services to users in established and emerging markets. Ripio evolved to become Ripio Credit Network, a peer-to-peer global credit network protocol.

Today Sebastian joins us to share his journey down the crypto rabbit hole, explaining how his background in programming and computer science led to an interest in the space. We discuss the evolution of the ecosystem from 2012 to 2018, and Sebastian offers insight on the legitimization of Bitcoin via government regulation. Listen in and learn Sebastian’s take on current needs in the cryptocurrency space and how RCN built a community through its token sale.

Season 2, Ep. 20: Design Tools, Standalone Headsets and the Future of VR with Peter Le Bek of Sketchbox

“The first generation of headsets has proved that VR is going to be a thing, but it’s not going to be a thing on that generation of headsets.”

2017 was a reality check for the VR industry. The market size continues to be limited by barriers like setup time and the fact that it’s a pain in the ass to take anywhere. So what is the key to mass adoption? Peter Le Bek argues that standalone will be the gamechanger the space needs to get people in headsets.

Peter is the co-founder and CEO of Sketchbox, the number one prototyping tool for augmented and virtual reality. The application allows designers to share their ideas through a VR storyboard—without writing code. Peter fell in love with design working as the CTO for a startup in Toronto. That also happens to be where he met Joe Connolly, his co-founder at Sketchbox. Peter has been programming since he was 12, and he holds a degree in computer science from the University of Glasgow.

Today Peter joins us to share his initial skepticism toward VR, explaining how live motion controllers made him a believer. He offers his best advice for VR designers and shares some of his favorite experiences. We discuss the value in finding a co-founder with a complementary personality and what sets Sketchbox apart from competing design tools. Listen in and learn why Peter believes that standalone headsets will eliminate the barriers to entry and usher in a new era in VR.

Season 2, Ep. 19: Distributed Teams, Crypto Product Design and Bad Decisions with MyEtherWallet Founder Taylor Monahan

What is Taylor Monahans greatest challenge in managing a distributed team? They are TOO efficient!  

Technology has given rise to more and more distributed teams who work remotely from all over the world, especially in the cryptocurrency space. As the founder of a crypto technology startup, Taylor considers her ability to jump on a call and stir the pot—forcing the team to get to know each other and develop a strong culture—as one of her greatest strengths.   

Taylor created MyEtherWallet in 2015. The company is an open-source, client-side interface for generating Ethereum wallets. MyEtherWallets global collaboration of talented developers thrive on building intuitive products that easily and securely interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Prior to founding MyEtherWallet, Taylor worked as a front-end developer for Mangrove Web and digital producer for Americhip. She is also a proud NYU film school dropout.  

Today Taylor shares how she fell into the crypto rabbit hole and the experience that inspired MyEtherWallet. We discuss ICOs, the potential for bad decisions in the emerging crypto tech space, and the value of struggle—for individuals and companies. Listen in for Taylors insight around managing a remote team and keeping your team happy when money doesn't matter! 

Connect with Taylor
MyEtherWallet on Medium
MyEtherWallet on Twitter
MyEtherWallet on Reddit

Resources Mentioned 

Connect with Boost VC
Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 18: 3D Data Analytics for Virtual Reality with ObserVR CEO, Lucas Toohey

The data analytics benchmarks and standards for web and mobile applications simply cannot be applied to virtual reality; the linear tracking of clicks doesn’t give VR developers a clear understanding of how users are interacting with their product. Rather, a 3D data set that analyzes several metrics together affords developers with a clear picture of what features and functions users love and what they’re missing.

Lucas Toohey is the CEO of ObserVR, an analytics platform for virtual reality that tracks user actions throughout their experience to identify patterns over time, giving developers data-driven insights around user engagement with their VR products. Lucas founded the company with fellow California Polytechnic students Jacob Copus and Justin Cellona, and together they are intent on helping to define the standards and benchmarks for VR as the technology gains traction.

Today Lucas shares the story of ObserVR, explaining how the startup was conceived and the team dynamic among the three co-founders. He offers his insight around the value of analytics in VR development, the data benchmarks for gaming, and the most engaging VR content on the market. Listen in for an overview of the market for high-end headsets and Lucas’ take on the value of AR companion apps.

Connect with Lucas

ObserVR on Medium
ObserVR on Twitter
Lucas on Twitter

Resources Mentioned

Oculus Rift
Windows Headsets
Space Pirate Trainer
Moment Labs
Adam’s Blog on Medium
Casino VR Poker

Connect with Boost VC

Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 17: Venture Capital in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem with Bart Stephens of Blockchain Capital

“[The crypto space has] got its own special culture. The folks that populate our industry are free-thinkers and renegades, and they have interesting ideas about changing the financial system as we know it.”

Bart Stephens has always been on the cutting edge of new technologies. He began his career with E*TRADE, pioneering online stock trading in the early 1990’s. Bart went on to become an entrepreneur, founding, the internet’s largest cancer-related website, before selling it to Pfizer in 2001. Then he joined forces with his brother to form Stephens Investment Management, a hedge fund and VC firm that broke new ground in the area of Nanocap investing. 

Bart’s background as both an operating entrepreneur and venture capitalist led to the creation of Blockchain Capital in 2013. He serves as managing partner of the VC firm which focuses on the blockchain technology sector and cryptocurrency ecosystem.  Today Bart shares his experience as a venture capitalist in the blockchain era, discussing the dual role of the VC and the incredible pace of the crypto industry. We talk about Blockchain Capital’s successful ICO, exploring the concept of a VC token and the value of raising capital via blockchain technology. 

Bart offers his insight around explaining Bitcoin to those new to the space and gives his best advice for traditional VCs considering crypto. Listen in to understand Blockchain Capital’s agnostic approach to investment and the advancements in counterparty risk that Bart is following in 2018.

Connect with Bart

Blockchain Capital
Email Blockchain Capital
Blockchain Capital on Twitter
Bart on Twitter

Resources Mentioned

0x Protocol
Radar Relay
Will Warren on Boost VC Podcast

Connect with Boost VC

Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 16: Sidechains, Stable Coins, and What’s Wrong with the ICO with Charlie Lee of Litecoin

‘There’s definitely some teams that are using [ICOs] and are able to fund their ideas better and more easily than the traditional VC way of doing things, but there’s just too many bad actors that just want a get rich quick scheme.’
Charlie Lee created Litecoin in 2011 while he was working as software engineer for Google. Litecoin is ‘the silver to Bitcoin’s gold,’ functioning as a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that complements Bitcoin. In the long-term, Charlie sees Litecoin becoming a payment currency used at both physical and online stores, and he is currently working to promote widespread merchant adoption.
Charlie also spent four years with Coinbase, serving as the Director of Engineering for the digital currency platform. Today Charlie explains why he is not a fan of the ICO, discussing why it’s ripe for bad actors. We cover the future of cryptocurrency and the major debates in the ecosystem, including hard forks and Bitcoin Gold. Charlie shares his inspiration for dedicating his career to cryptocurrency as well as his ambitions for Litecoin. Listen in for Charlie’s insight around sidechains, stable coins, and the value of CryptoKitties.

Connect with Charlie

Litecoin on Twitter
Charlie on Twitter

Resources Mentioned


Connect with Boost VC

Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 15: Privacy, Security and Selective Transparency on the Blockchain with Linda Xie of Cryptoasset Fund Scalar Capital

Most people don’t realize just how transparent the blockchain is, but every transaction that happens on Bitcoin is public. None of us wants to have our net worth on display, leaving us vulnerable to fishing attacks and allowing others to see what we spend our money on. So how do we approach privacy in the cryptocurrency space? Where should we be storing our Bitcoin to keep it safe? And how can we be selectively transparent, choosing what information we want to reveal—and to whom?

Linda Xie was working as a portfolio risk manager for AIG when Coinbase onboarded Overstock in January of 2014. Inspired by the move, Linda sent a cold email to Coinbase offering to work for the company in any capacity. By June, she was employed as a regulatory compliance investigator for the digital currency platform, working with law enforcement to conduct blockchain investigations and track down cybercriminals. Eventually Linda was promoted to Product Manager, and she continued at Coinbase until September of this year when became an entrepreneur in the cryptocurrency space. 

Linda currently serves as the co-founder and managing director of Scalar Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund. An expert in the areas of privacy and security, she is passionate about crypto as an ‘unseizable asset’ that governments cannot control. Today Linda shares her take on where we should be storing our Bitcoin and what is stopping cryptocurrency from mass adoption. We discuss the introduction of Coinbase Custody, exploring why the fees are so high and the potential for competition in the space. Linda offers her definition of crypto privacy, explaining the concept of ‘selective transparency.’ Listen in to understand what projects and tokens she is excited about and the impact of crypto as an asset that governments cannot seize or control.

Connect with Linda

Linda’s Blog
Linda on Twitter
Scalar Capital
Scalar Capital on Twitter

Resources Mentioned

Coinbase Custody

Connect with Boost VC

Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 14: Governance, Decentralized Organizations and Valuing Blockchain Technology with Aragon Co-Founder Luis Cuende

‘What’s crazy for me is that for the first time in history we can actually try out new governance mechanisms without people dying in the streets.’ The beauty of blockchain technology is in its ability to facilitate ‘bloodless wars’ in which opposing sides compete without bloodshed and ultimately build a borderless world that is fair and free.

Luis Cuende’s interest in the blockchain began in 2011 when he was only 16 years old. After reading the Bitcoin white paper, Luis connected with others drawn to the idealistic implications of cryptocurrency and started working on blockchain pioneer Stampery, a service providing secure and decentralized proof of existence and ownership. In October of 2016, Luis co-founded Aragon, a governance platform for decentralized organizations. The project allows users to manage organizations via the blockchain with the intent of creating a fair, efficient world. 

It’s no surprise that Luis is on the Forbes 30 Under 30 as well as MIT Technology Review’s Spanish Innovators Under 35. Today Luis gets into the details of a decentralized organization, explaining its basic framework and how the governance mechanism works. We look at Aragon’s IPO and discuss what other token sales can learn about transparency from the company’s success. Luis offers his advice to future founders around cultivating community and his take on how a VR startup might use a decentralized organization to create a virtual world valued in tokens. We cover the valuation of crypto projects and the significance of sound technology over a curated marketing campaign. Listen in as Luis offers his profound insight on the growing popularity of cryptocurrency in Spain, fueled in part by the push for Catalonian independence.

Connect with Luis

On Twitter:

Resources Mentioned

Bitcoin White Paper
Aragon’s Transparency Model
Chris Burniske on Twitter
Luis’ Utopian Blog Post

Connect with Boost VC

Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 13: Freedom, Global Entrepreneurship and the Possibilities of Cryptocurrency with VC Tim Draper

“Venture capital, to me, is a way that we can raise money to help entrepreneurs who can go out there and do something for the world that just opens it up. I am always pushing for freedom, and I think it’s great to see venture capital be able to support entrepreneurs—wherever they are—to go out there and do something extraordinary for freedom.” -- Tim Draper

Tim Draper is the founding partner of Draper Associates as well as Draper Fischer Jurvetson (DFJ). His gift for assessing the fastest way to get a service to its users was instrumental in the success of viral communication networks like Hotmail and Skype. He has been an early investor in several wildly successful startups including Baidu, Tesla and Cruise Automation. Tim is recognized as a leading supporter of global entrepreneurship, and he was named #7 on the Forbes Midas List, #1 Most Networked Venture Capitalists by Always On, and World Entrepreneurship Forum’s 2015 ‘Entrepreneur for the World.’ In 2011, he created Draper University, a residential and online school that seeks to help talented young people meet their entrepreneurial goals.

Today Tim offers his definition of entrepreneurship and his journey from aspiring entrepreneur to venture capitalist. He shares his take on the ideal relationship between VC and founder and the sectors he is looking to invest in right now. We explore the world of cryptocurrency, discussing its potential to transform governance, how innovative VCs are trying new things with Bitcoin, and what the industry can learn from the P2P music and media revolution. Listen in to understand why Tim equates freedom with wealth and how to leverage the ripple effect of optimism. 

**Connect with Tim**

Draper Associates
Draper Associates on Twitter
Draper University
Tim Draper on Medium
Meet the Drapers

**Resources Mentioned**

The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs by William H. Draper III
Bionomics: Economy as Ecosystem by Michael Rothschild

**Connect with Boost VC**

Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 12: Helping Scientists Become Entrepreneurs with Arvind Gupta of IndieBio

What happens when you marry a background in genetic engineering with extensive experience in design? A unique skill set that supports life scientists in becoming entrepreneurs, helping PhDs turn benchtop science into applied products with the potential to change lives.

Arvind Gupta is the co-founder of IndieBio, the world’s largest seed biotech accelerator. He has over a decade of experience helping startups and Fortune 50 companies launch new tech products, and his thought-leadership has been published in Time, Design Observer, and Rotman Management Magazine, among others. Arvind has received a number of international awards for design and innovation, and he is a frequent speaker at events like SFMOMA and TEDx New Silk Road.   

Today Arvind shares his take on how the future of humanity rests in biology, explaining how advances in technology have facilitated better, faster results in scientific research. We discuss how the IndieBio approach takes capital expenditure out of the system and coverts it into operating expenses for biotech startups. We cover the current trends in biotechnology, where to go for information about the industry, and the types of companies Arvind is looking for right now. Listen and learn what the term CRISPR really means and how this powerful technology will eventually allow us to “design ourselves.”

**Connect with Arvind**


**Resources Mentioned**

MIT Technology Review
Scientific American
New Scientist
The History of Money by Jack Weatherford

**Connect with Boost VC**

Boost VC Website
Boost VC on Facebook
Boost VC on Twitter

Season 2, Ep. 11: State of Crypto & VR with Adam Draper

Disruptive ideas are the ones that go viral, and the two hottest ideas in VC right now are cryptocurrency and VR. Today we’re taking a step back to articulate the major themes in both ecosystems, discussing Bitcoin’s exponential growth, the current FOMO among investors when it comes to cryptocurrency, and the debate around tokens as securities. 

We’re also exploring what the best first use case of virtual reality might be, looking at B2B applications like collaboration and business training as well as fitness applications such as FITXR. Listen in to understand the debate around the correct distribution vehicle for VR and what the industry is doing to address its major problems.  

Follow Adam on Twitter:


Season 2, Ep. 10: Investing in Talent and Drive with VC Semil Shah of Haystack

“I’m obsessive by nature … and when I meet someone that’s 100X of that in their own thing, but they’re also good at what they do, I feel very lucky.” Venture capitalist Semil Shah is looking for entrepreneurs with a combination of talent and drive, who out-class others in what they do and prioritize their obsession with building an enterprise.

Semil is an investor and writer based in Silicon Valley who created a small fund called Haystack. He has been an early investor in 70-plus companies such as Instacart, DoorDash, Hired, and OpenDoor. Semil is also Venture Partner with GGV Capital, and he was named to the 2017 Midas Brink List by Forbes. He fell into venture capital through his work as a writer and consultant to several firms on Sand Hill Road, including General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins and GGV Capital.

Today we discuss the attributes of Semil’s writing that led VCs to utilize his work as a resource and current themes in the world of venture capital and entrepreneurship. Semil shares his early investing experience, what gets him pumped about financing a project, and how he applies the Saturday 2pm Test to potential investments. Listen in to understand Semil’s take on the role of seed capital versus series A money and his advice for up-and-coming VCs.

Semil's Blog:
SoftBank Vision Fund:
Fred Wilson's Blog:
Sequoia Scouts:
Andy Johns on Twitter: