LA Venture: Crosscut's Rick Smith on How He Came to Venture Capital

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.
Rick Smith and Minnie Ingersoll

Rick Smith is a pillar in the L.A. tech community. He is the co-founder of Crosscut Ventures and a founding member of the PledgeLA program in Los Angeles.

Most recently, he joined the LA Venture podcast to share some of his early experiences as a venture capitalist and what's next for him and Crosscut.


Smith grew up in Decatur, Illinois, and went on to attend Harvard Law School where he earned his law degree. As an attorney, Smith ended up working with another major figure in Los Angeles: Eli Broad, the philanthropist whose name is well cemented in L.A. history. Smith was responsible for bringing Broad's company SunAmerica into venture investing.

"I was not on the investing side. And I wrote this memo and so if we do one, we should do 10. It's gonna be risky, all this stuff. And I was basically just reading Wired Magazine. I mean, I did not know anything about tech. I didn't know anything about venture capital." Smith said.

Later, Smith joined Palomar Ventures where he met Brian Garrett, who then became the co-founder of Crosscut Ventures. The two raised a $5 million fund for their venture just before the 2008 stock market crash.

In the rest of this episode, Smith talks further about investing out of Crosscut Fund V, building out the fund's scout program where scouts each get $200,000 to invest, and his own personal growth.

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ADHD and Dyslexia Often Aren't Caught Until It's Too Late. Santa Monica-Based Polygon Wants to Change That.

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

ADHD and Dyslexia Often Aren't Caught Until It's Too Late. Santa Monica-Based Polygon Wants to Change That.
Courtesy of Polygon

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Ian Siegel, ZipRecruiter
Image courtesy of ZipRecruiter

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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

Riot Games Doubles Down on Mobile With ‘Aim Lab’ Investment
Image from Aim Lab

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