My guest today is Mercedes Bent, who is a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and is on their consumer investing team. Lightspeed Venture Partners's mission is to serve the world’s most extraordinary people who are building tomorrow’s companies today. Some of her portfolio includes Forage, Stori Card, Outschool and Flockjay among other amazing companies. Mercedes is primarily focused on investing in edtech/future of work, fintech, and consumer products. We talk about how consumer businesses are building new models that involve ownership for consumers, parts of edtech where there is opportunity, and how she thinks about optimism.
I highly encourage you to follow her on Twitter @mercebent. You can also follow your host, Mike, on Twitter @mikegelb. You can also follow for episode announcements @consumervc.
A book that inspired Mercedes is:
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
Some of the questions I ask Mercedes:
- Let's start at the beginning. What was your initial attraction to technology and consumer facing businesses?
- What were some of your experiences that had a lasting impact in how you approach investing?
- What are some of the changes you've seen in consumer spend and how has that helped shaped where you spend your time when looking at opportunities?
- What are some of the sectors you're currently focused on?
- We've heard the expression the future of consumer is fintech. How do you think about the future of consumer relating to business model?
- Walk me through your due diligence process
- What are some of the milestones you have to see in order to be interested?
- What are some qualities in founders you like to see?
- What's one thing that you would change in venture capital?
- What's the best piece of advice that you've received?
- What's one piece of advice that you have for founders?