Michael is the CEO & Managing Partner of Forum Ventures (Previously known as Acceleprise), a B2B SaaS focused accelerator and fund with locations in San Francisco, NYC and Toronto. Prior to Forum Ventures, Michael was one of the first 30 employees at Box in a BD role and then led partnerships at Forum Ventures, an ed tech company that scaled to $20M+ in revenue. Lastly, he is also an angel investor in a dozen companies, most notably in the seed round of Flexport. .
Here are the topics/Questions:
How your experience founding a B2B SAAS focussed accelerator has prepared you in the venture investing?
Do you consider there is a rise of Accelerator VC fund? What is the future of this super early stage investing platform?
You got into SAAS very early and have invested in Flexport, Naturebox and Station etc.. Please share some of your learnings from this super early stage investment you made.
Many VCs offered to take steps to improve the lack of representation in their industry during the Black Lives Matter movement. What was your experience and where do you think is the systemic problem when it comes to funding for black founders?
Let's talk about the B2B SAAS startup valuation and your thought process on B2B SAAS startup performance data. How do you analyze that during due diligence at such an early stage investment.
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 a booming B2B SAAS market?
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 LPs?
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.
#venturecapital #startups #diversityequityinclusion