278. The Sustainable & Temporary Trends of COVID, The Self-Aware Founder, and Writing the Survival Guide for the Mental Aspect of Entrepreneurship (Mike Smerklo)

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Mike Smerklo of Next Coast Ventures joins Nick to discuss The Sustainable & Temporary Trends of COVID, The Self-Aware Founder, and Writing the Survival Guide for the Mental Aspect of Entrepreneurship. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC.
  • What's the thesis at Next Coast Ventures?
  • What are 'Next Coast' markets?
  • How do you come up with the themes that drive investment focus at NCV?
  • What are some of the trends emerging now that you are following that may have the most impact on new business creation over the next five years?
    • Which are sustainable and which are temporary? Especially in the post covid world.
  • The biggest difference in the founder journey from the LoudCloud and ServiceSource days vs. today?
  • What qualities do you look for in founders when investing in the early-stage vs. growth stage?
  • How do you help founders?
  • What led you to write the book Mr. Monkey and Me?
  • Why are you giving all the proceeds for the book to charity?
  • I would love to hear your thoughts on self-awareness w/ entrepreneurs and your approach to it.
  • This question is called three data points. I'm going to give you a hypothetical situation w/ a startup, and you can ask three questions for three specific data points.
    • Let's say you're approached to invest in a Series A Marketplace startup...
    • The company is based in Houston
    • The sector is oil/gas.
    • They launched 24 months ago.
    • and they currently have $500k/month GMV and a 25% take rate ($125k monthly revenue run rate)
    • Again, the catch is, you can only ask 3 questions for 3 specific data points, in order to make your decision. What three questions do you ask?

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