Our guest today is Ezra Galston, Founding partner of Starting Line, a seed stage consumer tech focused fund based in Chicago. Previously he was a Principal at Chicago Ventures. Some of his investments include Cameo, Flyhomes, and Spothero.
One book that inspired Ezra personally is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. One book that inspired him professionally is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
I highly recommend following Ezra on Twitter @EzraMoGee. You can also follow your host @mikegelb.
Some of the questions I ask Ezra -
- What initially attracted you to venture capital and how did Starting Line come about?
- What makes Chicago special as a startup ecosystem?
- I've had on investors that say if you start a company outside the coasts or the main venture ecosystems, that's ok, but there needs to be a plan to move to the main venture ecosystem because of recruiting and hiring. I've other investors that love investing in secondary markets (it's weird to consider Chicago a secondary market) or not obvious markets. How do you think about this?
- Talk to me a little bit about your due diligence process and your stage?
- What are some of the differences between managed and lightly managed marketplaces?
- For entrepreneurs that are thinking about starting marketplace, what are some things they should consider when approaching marketplace design that would influence whether they should have a managed vs. un-managed marketplace?
- Now, decision making on the internet in some ways is hard because there is so much choice. How do you think about curation?
- I'd love to learn a little bit about consumer technology that you are focused on that are for the 99%
- What opportunities in consumer tech are you focused on and gets you excited?
- What is one thing that you would change when it came to venture capital?
- What's one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
- What's your most recent investment and what makes you excited about it?
- What's one company on your anti-portfolio and did you learn anything from passing?
- What's one piece advice that you have for consumer tech founders?