Raising Venture Capital 101 with Jules Miller of Mindset Ventures


Summary of Episode

#19: Jules Miller, partner at Mindset Ventures, joins Annaka and Ethan to share her insights on venture capital funding. Jules shares her insights for startup founders looking to raise VC funding including how long their pitch deck should be, questions to ask potential investors, and common mistakes founders make when raising including who shouldn’t be seeking VC funding. 

Jules Miller is a partner at Mindset Ventures, an international venture capital firm that invests in early-stage enterprise software companies. Prior to working in venture capital, Jules also founded her own company and worked at a variety of startups. She has an extensive background in blockchain and has been in the venture capital space for quite some time.

Full Episode Transcript

Podcast Episode Notes

From founder to venture capitalist [1:12]

Angel investors vs venture capitalists … what's the difference? [3:38]

Why did Jules decide to become a VC investor after creating her own startups? [4:18]

Funding a diverse group of founders and working to create change in the VC industry [6:01]

Growth and people — the two most important qualities Jules focuses on when funding projects [8:03]

Venture capitalists focus on different business stages and each developmental stage of a startup carries different levels of risks [10:48] 

If you are not planning to grow 200% to 300% a year, reconsider seeking out VC funds  [13:42]

Most VCs will want a seat on the company’s board, so be prepared to give up influence in your company if you choose to seek VC funding [14:36]

VCs invest in startups that scale quickly and need to make quick decisions. Overinvolved CEOs may struggle with this [15:41]

The coaching and mentorship relationship between a founder and the VC firm [18:13]

How to pitch to VC firms on the first meeting — Hint: be concise [20:41]

Jule’s investment committee will pay attention to the five Ts: team, TAM, technology, traction, and terms [23:02]

Investors typically want 10x on their revenue over five to ten years [26:21]

Fit matters. Good ideas may not be funded for various reasons [28:29]

People problems and team dynamics can be reasons startups do not succeed in the initial stages [30:12]

Ask questions! Both VCs and founders need to ask each other questions and assess fit [33:08]

Don’t take rejection personally, and learn from rejection [36:41]

Tech industries and software businesses with strong margins are hot right now [39:55]

Focus on the relationship you are trying to form with the VC firm and engage the audience [43:48]

Pivoting is still possible as the company grows, and there are always options [46:22]

How the pandemic changed the locations of startup hubs (Hint: You don’t need to live in NYC or Silicon Valley to succeed) [49:50]

Jules’s word of advice “If you can show growth, you can raise venture capital” [52:52]

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