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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