E3: “Angel” podcast: Andrea Zurek, XG Ventures (Facebook, Twitter) & angel since 2006, shares startup selection criteria, lessons building Google, ideal terms & valuations, solving hard problems & finding right combination of money, fortitude, discipline




about this episode

In “Angel” episode 3, Jason speaks with Andrea Zurek, Founding Partner of XG Ventures (“ex-Googlers”), and angel investor since 2006. Andrea, whose portfolio includes Facebook, Twitter and Box, shares how she picks companies, her ideal terms and valuations, the trouble with TAM and solo founders, deciding when to follow on, how she applies lessons from building Google to help her founders, best advice for accredited and non-accredited investors, insights on increased opportunity for women in investing, portfolio greatest hits & misses, and much more. Thank you to Audible for sponsoring this podcast.

0:00 Angel is brought to you by Audible.com/angelbook

0:15 Introduction to Andrea Zurek.

2:24 What is XG Ventures?

3:20 Andrea describes the early days of Google.

4:35 Why did you decide to leave Google?

8:03 The advantage of Silicon Valley.

8:26 How did you source your deal flow?

10:09 Do founders want your money, knowledge, or network?

12:58 How do you look at deal terms?

13:58 How do you value companies in the early days?

15:57 What is a “Down Round”?

15:58 How do you decide if you’re going to do a “down round”.

19:39 Andrea loves Pro-Rata.

19:52 What is the ratio of of companies you meet with v. making an investment?

21:13 How do you select startups to invest in?

24:58 People v. Markets?

26:36 Thank you to Audible for supporting the show. Go to http://audible.com/angelbook

29:42 What audiobook is Jason listening to?

32:05 What are some intangibles that you look for in a founder?

34:15 What are some RED flags with deals?

38:04 What are your big hits?  

39:09 Andrea explains her thesis behind picking her winners.

42:29 Andrea explains some companies that sold too early.

44:55 Why you should care about your entrepreneurs.

46:38 What is your most frustrating investment?

51:09 Best advice for beginner accredited Angel Investors?

55:54 What do you love about Angel Investing?

57:23 Advice for non-accredited investors?

1:00:36 Spending 250k on a MBA v. Investing into startups.

1:01:21 Is there any difference being a female Angel Investor?

1:04:00 Andrea explains a company revolutionizing women’s bras.

1:05:25 Are female founders held to a higher standard of performance by male VCs?

1:06:50 Female founders are more prepared than men.

1:09:27 Founder University.

1:12:20 Thank you Andrea.

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