March 25, 2021

Wendy Tsu & Susannah Shipton (AlleyCorp) - Going from idea to venture-scalable business

Wendy Tsu & Susannah Shipton (AlleyCorp) - Going from idea to venture-scalable business

My guests today are Wendy Tsu who is a partner of new business ventures at AlleyCorp and Susannah Shipton, Head of Platform and investor at AlleyCorp. AlleyCorp was founded by Kevin Ryan and both founds and funds companies in New York. On this particular episode, we're going to focus more on the founding / incubation side of AlleyCorp, which I thought was truly fascinating. Some of the companies AlleyCorp founded was MongoDB, Zola, Business Insider, GILT and Nomad Health.


Some of the questions I ask Wendy and Susannah:

  1. What was each of your attraction to innovation and startups?
  2. Tell us about AlleyCorp because it's a bit of a different type of fund that we've discussed on the show.
  3. What is an incubation studio and how do you think about innovation?
  4. How do you think about ideas that could be businesses? Where do you start?
  5. Walk us through your process of once you have a compelling idea what happens next?
  6. This concept of idea-market fit. How do you approach ideas, markets and evaluating pain points?
  7. What are some of the ways you conduct market research?
  8. Once you have conviction in an idea, do you have to have your full team's support to move forward or what are the next steps?
  9. How many companies do you typically launch per year?
  10. Are you able to walk through a couple examples of consumer facing businesses from ideation stage all the way to a proper business?
  11. What's your approach to building teams for young companies?
  12. How do you interview potential CEOs for these businesses that you're building and structure team?
  13. What do you think are the most important interview questions or the goal of an interview?
  14. What's one thing you would change about venture capital or the fundraising process?
  15. What's one book that inspired each of you personally and one book that inspired each of you professionally?
  16. What's the best piece of advice that you've received?
  17. What's one piece of advice for founders today?