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October 31, 2023
Dan Bowyer

Venture Capital is very much like gambling with Dan Bowyer

Venture Capital is very much like gambling with Dan Bowyer

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Show Notes

About Today's Podcast

In this conversation, Dan shares his journey from a poor neighborhood in South London to becoming a venture capitalist. He emphasizes the importance of sales skills for startup founders and advises aspiring founders to work in sales in a young startup. Dan also discusses the challenges of starting a venture capital firm and the lack of resources available for those interested in this field. He shares his opinion on crypto and web3, stating that he believes crypto is theft and that the metaverse is overhyped. Dan also talks about the importance of investing in startups that are reinventing and transforming industries. This conversation covers various topics related to venture capital and startup funding. The chapters include discussions on wasted investments, the difference between pitching to VCs and appearing on shows like Shark Tank, overlooked terms in term sheets, due diligence processes, founder control and bootstrapping, and the importance of personal branding. The conversation also touches on the role of VCs in startups, providing feedback to founders, evaluating pitch decks, and the impact of fundraising on ego. In this conversation, Dan discusses the challenges of competing with an overvalued offer from an impressive VC. He emphasizes the importance of having the brand on the cap table and the need to lead investment rounds. Dan also shares his approach to raising funds based on milestones and the importance of not taking too much cash at crazy valuations. The conversation concludes with a question for the next guest about their childhood experience that influenced their current view of the world.


*Sales skills are crucial for startup founders, as sales is the answer to almost every question in startup land.

*Starting a venture capital firm is challenging, and there is a lack of resources available for those interested in this field.*Investing in copycat products is not desirable, as the focus should be on reinventing and transforming industries.

*Pitching to VCs is different from appearing on shows like Shark Tank, as the former focuses on building a vision and attracting customers, while the latter is more entertainment-driven.

*Founders should pay attention to overlooked terms in term sheets, such as double-dipping and protective rights, and seek legal advice to understand the implications.

*Due diligence processes involve assessing the commercial viability of a startup and conducting background checks on the founding team.

*VCs can provide support and guidance to startups, particularly in areas like hiring, financial modeling, and go-to-market strategies.

*Personal branding can be important for founders, but it should not overshadow the focus on building a successful business.

*VCs typically invest in people and evaluate their ability to execute on their vision, rather than solely focusing on the idea or product.

*Pitch decks should be concise, visually appealing, and convey a compelling narrative to capture the attention of investors.


00:00 Introduction and Audio Editing

00:30 Early Life and Background

01:24 Transition to Tech and Entrepreneurship

03:11 Becoming a Venture Capitalist

06:40 Starting a Venture Capital Firm

08:27 Importance of Sales in Startup

10:16 Challenges of Starting a Venture Capital Firm

11:44 Lack of Resources for Starting a VC Firm

16:02 Investor Fit and Red Flags

19:29 Investing in Startups during Market Disruption

22:23 Opinion on Crypto and Web3

25:15 Lack of Understanding in Crypto Investing

27:35 Best and Worst Investments

31:00 Investing in Copycat Products

34:24 Thoughts on WeWork

39:07 The Impact of Wasted Investments

41:34 Shark Tank vs. Pitching to VCs

43:17 Overlooked Terms in a Term Sheet

47:22 Due Diligence Process and Red Flags

50:13 Involvement of VCs in Startups

52:20 Building the Startup OS

53:41 Founder Control and Bootstrapping

56:28 Pride in Bootstrapping

58:13 Providing Feedback to Founders

01:01:07 Evaluating Pitch Decks

01:03:30 The Influence of Personal Relationships

01:04:36 Founder Replacement and Failure

01:06:35 The Importance of Personal Branding

01:09:21 The Impact of Fundraising on Ego

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