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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S.C. Stuart
S.C. Stuart is a foreign correspondent (ELLE China, Esquire Latin America), Contributing Writer at Ziff Davis PCMag, and consults as a futurist for Hollywood Studios. Previously, S.C. was the head of digital at Hearst Magazines International while serving as a Non-Executive Director, UK Trade & Investment (US) and Digital Advisor at The Smithsonian.
How Real-Time Data Is Helping Physicians Track Their Patients, One Heartbeat at a Time

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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.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

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