LA Venture Podcast: Upfront Ventures' Mark Suster on the Primary Job of the Venture Capitalist

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.
LA Venture Podcast: Upfront Ventures' Mark Suster on the Primary Job of the Venture Capitalist
Upfront Ventures

On this week's episode of the LA Venture podcast, hear from Mark Suster, managing partner at Upfront Ventures, as he explains why he thinks the best time to talk to founders about fundraising is three to four months after their last fundraise.


Key takeaways:

  • Inclusion in the hiring process means hiring women, introverts and people that don't fit the traditional chest-pounding VC mold.
  • There's a lot to be learned from watching people get what they want done with sugar and honey -- without being rough about it.
  • Most VCs get into the business because it excites them to help an entrepreneur in his or her journey and spend a disproportionate amount of their time doing just that. But that work is secondary to the VC's primary job -- which is to return capital.

When you look at the great women of our industry...it seems somehow that women had to quit their firms and go raise their own funds in order to be in power. And the model for our industry has got to be different.


VC is like a pimple on the butt of the whole world of investing. It's such a tiny, tiny, tiny thing that we do here that we think is so self-important. But the real money is like things like public markets and commodities and, you know, currency and all the big dollars.

— Mark Suster

Mark Suster is the managing partner at Upfront. He previously was the founder and CEO of two successful enterprise software companies, the most recent of which was sold to Salesforce.com where Mark became vice president of products. Prior to being a founder, Mark was a software developer at Accenture where he lived and worked in Europe, Japan and the U.S. Mark is a graduate of UCSD and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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The Future of Urban Farming Looks Like a Formerly Abandoned Warehouse in Compton

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

The Future of Urban Farming Looks Like a Formerly Abandoned Warehouse in Compton
Plenty Farms via Samson Amore

In the middle of downtown Compton, California, fresh produce is scarce. According to the Compton Chamber of Commerce, the city is both a food desert and also a food swamp.

Drive through Alameda St. or Rosecrans Ave., and you’ll notice that grocery chains are sparse but fast food joints are numerous: Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Popeye’s, IHOP. With the exception of a Walmart Supercenter off Long Beach Blvd., I couldn’t identify anywhere else to get fresh produce, unless it was a small, local corner store.

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https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Collide Capital Founder Aaron Samuels On The Importance of Storytelling

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Collide Capital Founder Aaron Samuels On The Importance of Storytelling
Courtesy of LAV

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Collide Capital founder and managing partner Aaron Samuels discusses the importance of storytelling and talks about how his career journey led him to venture capital.

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Why Is Nasa Tracking And Mapping Dangerous Methane Plumes?

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Why Is Nasa Tracking And Mapping Dangerous Methane Plumes?

Multiple studies conducted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena using both airborne and ground-based sensors have found that the overall rate of methane gas emissions in Southern California have fallen in recent years.

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https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
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