LA Venture: Marlon Nichols On His 'Glass-Half-Full' Mentality

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.

On this week's episode of the L.A. Venture Podcast, hear from Marlon Nichols, a founding Managing General Partner at MaC Venture Capital. MaC Ventures is seed-stage venture fund prioritizing investments in underrepresented founders.


Nichols shared how he got started in venture: After initially picking up the business at Intel Capital, he became a Kauffman fellow, where he is currently on the board. He left Intel to pursue his "cultural investing thesis" and became the founder of Cross Culture, and then MaC Venture Capital.

Nichols emphasized the positive culture at MaC Venture Capital, saying that he and his team share a "glass half full" mentality.

He also discussed the things he thinks set the fund apart; namely, a vast and diverse network built across entertainment, sports and the major advertising and global advertising agencies. He talks about MaC's operations capabilities, and how it can refine product storytelling.

Nichols said "I've seen great technology companies just, like, struggle to tell the world why their technology matters."

He also discussed leading MaC Venture Capital's recent investment in Pipe, a startup that helps companies scale without debt. When he invested, the company was valued at $13 million. In less than a year it's grown to be valued at $2 billion.

In the rest of this episode, Marlon shares about his background growing up as a Jamaican immigrant, and how his blue collar mentality is cornerstone to his investment philosophy.

Marlon Nichols is the founding managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital and a Kauffman fellow who also serves on its board of directors.

"We tap into those folks— call them influencers—who are tastemakers and we try to find common links throughout these people and throughout the world. Once we see something that's popping up over and over again, that tells us that there's there's something interesting happening here that we should pay attention to." —Marlon Nichols

dot.LA Engagement Intern Colleen Tufts contributed to this post.

Want to hear more of L.A. Venture? Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Spinn Raises $20M For a More Sustainable Home-Brewed Coffee

Bernard Mendez
Bernard Mendez is an editorial intern at dot.LA. He attends UCLA, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics. Mendez was previously an editor at the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper at UCLA.

One Los Angeles-based coffee startup is hoping to put a new spin on at-home coffee making.

Spinn makes a coffee brewing machine that uses a unique "centrifuge process" and offers coffees from a variety of vendors — without relying on wasteful packaging that its competitors use.

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/bernardhmendez
bernard@dot.la

Olympics Numbers Are Down for NBC, But the Games Have Just Begun for Peacock

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Cynics are having a field day with the tepid audience that watched Friday's Olympics opening ceremony on NBC.

The data show a 36% decline from the 2016 Games across all NBC's platforms, which include its linear TV channel, Peacock and NBC Sports digital.

On the other hand, the network said Saturday brought Peacock record viewership.

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/hisamblake
samblake@dot.la

'It's So Prevalent': A Labor Rep on Gaming's Culture of Harassment and Discrimination

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

When labor organizer Emma Kinema saw a tweet pop up on her feed saying that California is suing Activision Blizzard for workplace harassment, she said she felt heartened.

To her recollection, it's the first time such a large state agency has targeted a big player in gaming to try to fix a toxic culture problem that has plagued the industry for years. But it wasn't surprising to Kinema. For over five years, she's been working with the Communications Workers of America to organize gaming workers and calls this type of discriminatory culture "pervasive."

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/hisamblake
samblake@dot.la
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS

Trending