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.

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Behind Her Empire: Hitha Palepu on Women Founders and the 'True' Failure

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Rhoashan Pharmaceuticals CEO Hitha Palepu joins this this week's Behind Her Empire to talk about how she became an angel investor focused on women-founded businesses and her latest book, "We're Speaking: The Life Lessons of Kamala Harris."

Palepu is the daughter of immigrants who came to the U.S. from India. Her father lost his hearing when he was 10 years old. He got through school by lip reading; it wasn't until he arrived in the states he got his first hearing aid.

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Netflix Employees, Counterprotesters Clash in Tense Walk-Out Over Dave Chappelle Special

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Dozens of Netflix employees and LGBTQ supporters walked out of the streaming giant's offices in Hollywood this morning in protest of comedian Dave Chappelle's incendiary new special "The Closer." They were met by a group of Chappelle supporters who carried signs like "jokes are funny" and things quickly turned tense.

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One Global Crisis Helped IPO-Bound Winc Sell Wine. Another Poses a Threat.

Harrison Weber

Do you know something we should know about L.A. tech or venture capital? Reach out securely via Signal: +1 917 434 4978.

Harrison is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. They previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find them on Twitter: @harrisonweber. Send tips on L.A. deals to harrison@dot.la. Pronouns: they/them.

Buoyed by a surge in sales during the pandemic, Playa Vista-based wineseller Winc aims to raise as much as $92 million in a public debut that's anticipated this week.

The 10-year-old company expects to price its IPO between $14 and $16 per share and has applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WBEV."

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