Jan 26, 2021 • 54M

Mike Maples of Floodgate on investing models, how he thinks about exceptional companies, and building a lasting firm - Venture Unlocked Episode 019

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Samir Kaji
Venture Unlocked is the playbook for starting, operating, & scaling a successful venture capital firm. Samir Kaji, Host of Venture Unlocked has +20-years of experience assisting & advising startups and venture firms. Listen for VC fund guidance.
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We have a special treat of an episode this week with one of the top first generation seed investors in Mike Maples, Jr. of Floodgate. After leading two successful startups, Mike started Floodgate (formerly Maples Investment) in 2006, and has since invested on companies such as Twitter, Lyft, Twitch, and Okta. 

As is always the case when I speak to Mike, he provided many nuggets of investing, firm building, and went deep into his early days of Floodgate.

In this episode we discuss the following topics:

04:54    How Mike raised his first fund from Austin Ventures

07:27    Explaining seed investing to LPs in the early days

13:58    Why he decided to bring on Ann Miura-Ko as a partner early on

20:25    His view on what a “Thunder Lizard” is

23:45    Defining the mental models Floodgate uses for Seed Investing

24:40 Why great entrepreneurs are like time-travelers

31:18   How thinking about “Thunder Lizards” helps inform his portfolio construction.

37:38   How he’s changed his portfolio construction over time.

48:00   The lessons he learned from missing out on companies such as AirBnB.

52:15   Who Mike admires most in the VC world

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I’d love to know what you took away from my conversations with Mike Maples, Jr. 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.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency