Welly Sculley & Winter Mead of Oper8r on building the “YC for fund managers” and tips for launching a firm - Venture Unlocked 022
As the Emerging Manager world continues to grow, so does the importance of providing these managers with key education, resources, and community. Enter Oper8r, founded by Welly Sculley and Winter Mead, which is looking to become the “Y-Combinator for venture fund managers”.
Prior to launching Oper8r in 2020, Winter worked as a fund-of-funds manager at both Sapphire Capital and Hall Capital Partners, While Welly most recently worked at venture backed fintech Ripple.
Oper8r selects seasoned mentors to advise the cohorts and provides them with the knowledge, networks, and tools necessary for launching (or growing) a venture firm. They completed their first cohort in the fall (to which I had the pleasure of speaking at).
Listen in to hear their observations and tips for emerging funding managers!
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In this episode we discuss the following topics:
02:07 What inspired creating “a YC for fund managers”
03:33 How the program works
05:30 The profile of emerging managers Oper8r is looking to attract
12:05 The criteria for successful first-time fund managers
16:42 How different types of LPs evaluate emerging managers
24:43 Ways to jump start a first fundraise.
31:47 Should you start with focusing on an anchor investor?
34:25 What’s Minimal Viable Fund size and what percentage you can first close on
41:42 Viable tactics for getting to a first close
43:43 LP communication and courtship process
Mentioned in this episode:
I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Welly and Winter. 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.