Episode 123 - Adventures in Venture Capital with Lindsay Lee

February 25, 2021 Hacker Valley Studio

00:00:00

Show Notes

Lindsay Lee is the founder and managing member of Authentic Ventures. Authentic Ventures is an early stage VC firm based in Oakland CA. Lindsay has worked many years in the investment industries as well as venture capital and ran a direct investment fund. Authentic ventures is a new kind of firm focused primarily on women and under-represented minority founders. Authentic Ventures is focused on building its own network of women founders of more diverse backgrounds and entrepreneurs who really want to see success translate into more opportunities for their communities.

Coming from modest beginnings and raised by immigrant parents from the West Indies, his parents really solidified the importance of education. Lindsay has worked in investment banking as an analyst alongside graduates of Ivy League schools, there he learned about his own determination to excel even in tough working conditions while learning as much as possible. After graduating from graduate school Lindsay started an ill-fated technology start up in 1999; funding was hard to find in the early naughts (00’s) especially for Black founders.

After pivoting to working in asset management companies Lindsay joined a family office where he built and managed a portfolio. He reached a turning point there where he was able to look at public and private investments and assess the landscape. Lindsay decided he wanted to differentiate himself and focus efforts on really approaching investment in his own way, to invest in “early stage companies,” as opposed to series A or series B companies. A peer at another firm told him that it was going to be double the effort and twice the financing to get it off the ground. Lindsay’s drive and the network he was a part of propelled him through the challenges. 

The conversation touches upon the “rules of the game” for galvanizing new ideas and bringing new products and companies into the market. He speaks about the roles that entrepreneurs, lawyers and investors have in capital markets. Lindsay found his calling as an investor was one where he was a coach, rather than an entrepreneur who is trying to score goals all the time. Lindsay describes how his focus was on cultivating relationships and community in order to grow an interconnected network that would allow for long lasting impact in the landscape while also bringing success to his firm. 

He shares that the one thing he’s had to get right is finding A+ people to work with. In his approach as an investor he is trying to set the table for women of color and reserve, or build, a seat at the table that allows for success to be shared.  Lindsay believes this focus will lead to more opportunities for more diverse teams. For folks interested in becoming an investor or entrepreneur Lindsay speaks about the importance of team building and utilizing the connections they already have as capital. He also urges people to not ignore the skills they’ve gained by applying themselves and that those skills plus knowledge of the space they’re focused on can create something that’s meaningful. 

Impactful Moments During Podcast

00:00 - Welcome back to the Hacker Valley Studio, introducing Lindsay Lee of Authentic Ventures, a VC firm that invests in seed and early stage companies.

02:30 - Building a more diverse inclusive VC network and culture. 

04:30 - What the exploration of VC was like for Lindsay and what were some of the motivations for moving in this way in that sphere.

06:45  - Why it’s important for diversity that a firm like Authentic Ventures exists in Silicon Valley and the tech community.

07:20 - How VC firms can help create more wealth across communities of color and gender.

09:30 - The journey to VC and what exploring that world looked like for Lindsay.

10:00 - Entrepreneurship as a sport: who are players, rule-makers and play callers.

11:45 - Taking the long view on cultivating good investments and finding the right people.

12:20 - Starting his own thing in VC, differentiating himself and dealing with uncertainty

14:27 - What immersion in VC is like, navigating changing landscapes

15:15 - If you’re looking for a challenge, investing is a good field; things not going to plan.

15:45 - Why you need to find A+ people.

17:20 - Staying humble and grounded in VC

18:14 - What creates success in entrepreneurial endeavors

19:30 - Why Authentic Ventures has a culture of good energy

20:45 - Studying and data in VC, compounding experience and knowledge, the value of having a community

22:40 - Trying to find ideas and company with momentum

23:20 - No free lunch in investing? What does a margin of error mean in this VC world.

24:45 - Why VC firms learn about the founders, how to scrutinize the methodology

26:00 - If you’re an entrepreneur why you should get to know a VC fund outside of funding events.

27:00 - Being an early believer in trailblazers

28:00 - Authentic Ventures tries to win together, with the right people

29:25 - Lindsay talks about not starting out on First or Second Base and making an impact that helps his community.

30:35 - Having something to prove as an analyst at investment banks

31:45 - The best lesson to learn as an investor, understanding the people, connecting with people that share your values.

33:30 - Why there’s no substitute for excellence or hard work.

37:23 - Staying power and determination: “Get your money right.”

38:30 - Staying in touch with Lindsay Lee and Authentic Ventures

 

Stay connected with Lindsay Lee by checking out Authentic Ventures

Learn more about Hacker Valley Studio.

Support Hacker Valley Studio on Patreon.

Follow Hacker Valley Studio on Twitter.

Follow hosts Ron Eddings and Chris Cochran on Twitter.

Learn more about our sponsor ByteChek

 

Recent Episodes

February 27, 2024

Creating Value in the Cyber

Industry with Nick Lantuh

Nick Lantuh, CEO of Interpres Security, joins Ron Eddings on the mic at Hacker Valley’s “On the Big Screen” event to talk about how Nick’s previous career experience have given him unique insight into the cyber...

February 20, 2024

AI & Phishing: Fighting Fire with

Fire

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings is joined by Vishal Dixit, Co-founder & CTO at Graphus Inc., and Sven Bechmann, Senior Product Manager of Email Security at Kaseya to dig into how phishing attacks are evol...

February 14, 2024

Andrew Forgie's Path From Apache

Mechanic to Cybersecurity Sales ...

In this episode, Andrew Forgie takes us on his journey from his early days as an Apache helicopter mechanic in the military to his current role as a regional sales manager in cybersecurity.  Andrew shares his t...

February 6, 2024

Zinet Kemal's Journey From

Ethiopian Immigrant to TEDx Spea...

In this episode of Hacker Valley Studio, we dive into the inspiring journey of Zinet Kamal, an immigrant from Ethiopia who has carved a niche for herself in cybersecurity. Despite starting her journey with limi...

January 30, 2024

Paving the Path for CISOs of the

Future with Gary Hayslip

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings catches up with repeat guest, Gary Hayslip, CISO at SoftBank Investment Advisors and co-author of CISO Desk Reference guide. Gary explains that the varied nature of his current...

January 23, 2024

The Untold Story of Browser Risks:

Pioneering Enterprise Browser Se...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings and guest Or Eshed, CEO of Layer X, discuss how changes in IT infrastructure, employee behavior and malicious tech have created an era where browser security is a must. Or deta...

January 16, 2024

Cyber Defense Reinvented: The New

Era of Attack Surface Management...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings talks with guest Isaac Clayton, Senior Research Engineer at NetSPI. Ron and Isaac discuss the importance of ASM for organizations of all sizes, the challenges of asset identifi...

January 9, 2024

Cyber Resilience Unpacked: Securing

Tomorrow Today with Bill Bernard

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings dives deep into crafting a resilient cybersecurity approach with guest speaker Bill Bernard, VP of Security Strategy at Deepwatch. Bill discusses the necessity of understanding...

January 2, 2024

Looking Backward to GROW Forward in

Cybersecurity in 2024

In this episode, we’ll take a walk down memory lane. Hacker Valley looks back to 2023 to bring you some of the best clips with great advice and insight into being more creative, reflective, and resourceful with...

December 19, 2023

What’s Lurking In Your Containers?

AMBERSQUID Operations, Freejacki...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings, discusses new tactics of adversaries with Director of Threat Research at Sysdig, Michael Clark. Michael digs into the cloud and shares trends about the AMBERSQUID operation an...

WORK WITH US

PODCASTS + SPEAKING + EVENTS

Are you the best kept secret in cybersecurity? Let's change that by partnering together for podcast ads, social campaigns, and your next event or keynote. Send us your details to get started.