E1: “Angel” Podcast Premiere: Cyan Banister, angel investor now Founders Fund VC, shares portfolio hits/misses, deal flow strategies, finding founder-product fit & backing startups that change human behavior

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about this episode

Welcome to the first episode of the “Angel” podcast. In this series, Jason interviews angels about their investment strategies and pulls back the curtain on how early-stage startups get funded. In E1, Cyan Banister, former angel investor (Uber, Thumbtack) now Founders Fund Partner, shares with Jason her portfolio successes & brutal losses, her formula for choosing successful startups & founders, and her journey from angel investor to VC. Thanks to Audible for sponsoring this podcast.

Timestamps

0:29 What is Angel Podcast about?

1:26 Introduction to Cyan Banister!

2:24 What attracted you to Angel Investing?

3:52 How Cyan deals with her founders.

4:47 Cyan explains her transition from Angel Investor to Venture Capitalist.

5:41 How deals work at a Venture Capital firm.

6:52 How did you find deal-flow as an Angel Investor?

8:34 How do you deal with the overload of emails as an Investor?

9:17 What are some RED flags with deals?

9:56 Cyan explains Y-Combinator’s manufactured pressure to Investors.

11:35 Why Cyan stopped leading investment rounds.

13:14 Simple but overlooked process in due diligence.

14:04 Why you should look at the cap table during due diligence.

16:03 What makes you excited about a founder v. concerned.

17:53 How do you deal with founders without passion?

20:23 What factors do you look for in an idea?

21:49 Jason couldn’t wrap his head around Snapchat.

23:19 Cyan missed out on a $50B company.

24:18 Why the secondary market is important.

25:34 Thank you Audible for sponsoring the Angel Podcast. Go to http://audible.com/angelbook

28:38 What Jason is listening to on Audible.com.

30:54 Cyan talks about a portfolio company that made her sad.

32:59 Should founders listen to investors?

35.00 Why it’s important to listen to the warning signs.

36:24 Cyan’s talks about her most brutal investment.

41:25 Cyan talks about her “solid” wins.

42:02 Cyan: ”Apple is so good at being secretive”

43:46 Cyan’s first interaction with Uber.

49:18 Cyan’s first interaction with Thumbtack.

51:29 Proud to be an investor in Uber.

52:35 Why isn’t there enough good news in the world?

53:57 What it’s like to meet 25 entrepreneurs a week.

55:14 Jason does his Forrest Gump “Shrimp” imitation.

55:26 Cyan & Jason explain their recent investment into a BioTech startup.

58:44 Will flying cars ever happen?

59:13 Thank you Cyan Banister for sharing everything you’ve learned.

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