Kate Shillo Beardsley talks about future of venture capital investing in new economy

Kate is the Founding Partner of Hannah Grey investing at the intersection of human behavior and technology in the new economy. At her previous fund Upslope Ventures, she invested in Billie, Airhelp, Eight, Rachio, Self, Stream, Parcel (acquired by Walmart), PureWow (acquired by Gallery Media Group), and Vida (acquired by Compress USA). Prior to Upslope, she was a Founding Member of Lerer Hippeau (Funds I, II & III) in NYC, investing in 200+ companies. Kate is Co-Chair of The Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association and is based in Denver, Colorado.

Here are the She-VC Questions:

  1. VC is a very hard industry to prepare for. There is a norm of someone has to go Ivy League school, have engineering background, be a founder of a startup to be a successful VC. Tell us how your non-traditional route helped you to be a successful GP of Upslope Ventures now Hannah Grey?

  2. What does it mean to invest in a new economy because there is the death of the old economy?

  3. You have been investing in community driven commerce products. Please share some of your learnings from the investments you made.

  4. Having trust build inside the product architecture. What was it like investing in Venmo?

  5. Most of our audiences are emerging and experienced fund managers. VC is a very relationship driven industry. Can you elaborate how an emerging fund manager can tap into market opportunities in an industry like this.

  6. Let's talk about the valuation and your thought process on performance data.

  7. Venture Capital is one asset class which is also cyclical. The boom-bust cycle, appetite for high risk but it also has a lock up period for Limited Partners for as long as 15-20 years unlike hedge funds where LPs can redeem their capital out of market panic. For many of us we look at investment as permanent capital that protects from erratic market behavior and good investments need long term commitment. Liquidity has been an issue for LPs for a long time, in a time like this, how do you approach Liquidity position to your incoming LPs?

  8. It is said that venture capital is all about identifying patterns in time. Yet some of the bigger ideas are unpredictable and sometimes those investment decisions can be non-consensus among Partners. To invest in such unpredictable big ideas one has to learn and see things differently, analyze markets that others are finding it non-sexy to invest in. I think venture capital is not a job but it is a lifestyle. So how do you prepare yourself for such a lifestyle. What learning habits that you have or acquired ? How do you analyze various thinking models? What are the LP resources that you read and follow. How do you maintain work life balance?

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