Just Go Grind Podcast: Marlon Nichols Of MaC Ventures On Finding Trends First

Justin Gordon
Justin Gordon is the founder of "Just Go Grind" and host of the "Just Go Grind Podcast," a daily show with more than 200 episodes featuring interviews with entrepreneurs and investors. He has an MBA from USC, is an aspiring runner with a 1:29 half marathon personal best, and wants to help one billion people in his lifetime.
Marlon Nichols, founding managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital

On this week's episode of Just Go Grind, hear from Marlon Nichols, founding managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital, a seed-stage venture fund whose investments run from $1.5 million to about $2 million. Their focus is on emerging behavioral and cultural trends plus technology that enterprise will need to stay current.


How does the firm find what's new before anyone else? Marlon says it's their extensive network of people with their fingers on the pulse of pop culture — "from movie stars to movie makers to musicians and producers that are traveling the world and are seeing a ton of things, to relationships with some of the top global advertising agencies" — and once MaC VC hears a trend repeating, they investigate it to see if it's "real."

The decision making is collaborative at MaC VC, made up of co-founders from M Ventures and Cross Culture Ventures, Marlon's previous firm. Merging their companies made sense because they had been co-partnering on many investments, the partners had known each other personally for many years, and they wanted to create a larger investment fund and vehicle. They took six months to actively work together in order to gain confidence in their compatibility. Marlon says, "we wanted to source deals together, evaluate those deals together, learn each other's quirks and and habits, likes and dislikes, pet peeves — all those things." All this to build a firm that is a "multi-fund, multi-decade relationship."

On this episode, hear about how Marlon got into venture capital, what institutional limited partners are looking to invest in and what's next for MaC VC.

Marlon Nichols is a founding managing partner at MaC Venture Capital (formerly Cross Culture Ventures), which finds entrepreneurs who are building the future for the rest of America. He's a former Kauffman fellow and investment director at Intel Capital, where he launched Intel's $125M diversity fund. Marlon, with an extensive background in technology, private equity, media and entertainment, has a unique eye for global trends and shifts in consumer behavior. This has helped him capture high-potential investments, which include Gimlet Media, MongoDB, Thrive Market, Fair, LISNR, Mayvenn, Blavity, Pipe, Wonderschool and other companies that reflect overlooked markets. He serves on the board of directors for Ajua, Blavity, Finesse, Kauffman Fellows Program, LISNR, Ryff, Sote and Wonderschool. (from MaC website).

Laurel Moglen, dot.LA Sr. Podcast Producer and Editor, contributed to this article.


Want to hear more episodes of Just Go Grind? Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts — or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern 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.

Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
Courtesy of Regard

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Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern 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.

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Image by Joshua Letona

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How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

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