Jaclyn Freeman Hester of Foundry Group on investing in emerging manager funds, venture trends, and mistakes fund managers can avoid when raising - Venture Unlocked Episode 017
Founded in 2007 by Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson, Ryan McIntyre, and Seth Levine The Foundry Group has $2.4B under management and has invested in startups such as FitBit, SendGrid, Beeswax, and Notion. Several years ago the firm, led by Jaclyn and Lindel Eakman, started investing in interesting emerging manager firms, and have acted as LP’s in firms such as Forerunner, K9 Ventures, Founder Collective, IA Ventures, Homebrew, and Ludlow.
Jaclyn got her MBA/JD from the University of Colorado and practiced corporate law advising startups and private equity firms as well as buyers and sellers in M&A transactions. She also worked closely with her husband and his family on their SaaS startup, FareHarbor, from the earliest stages through acquisition.
In this episode we discuss the following topics:
04:59 The catalyst for Foundry starting to invest in Emerging Managers
08:54 Her view on emerging manager trends and opportunities
11:42 What she looks for when evaluating new managers
20:59 Do competitive moats in venture exist?
24:51 What type of characteristics she’s sees a critical for successful VC’s and teams
31:06 How they evaluate managers that are going from proof of concept to raising the first institutional fund.
35:37 Common mistakes emerging managers make pitching
38:45 The best questions that GPs have asked her
41:08 Jaclyn’s biggest career mistake
43:26 Her best advice to new managers
Mentioned in this episode:
I’d love to know what you took away from my conversation with Jaclyn Freeman Hester. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.