Why Maveron Plans More Venture Investments in Consumer Startups
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“I think great companies are created by truly extraordinary leaders, and I think that these incubators and classes can teach people certain things, but truly great leaders, that are truly motivated to do extraordinary things—I think it’s kind of hard to teach that,” he says.
Selecting that extraordinary talent is even more important in light of the well-documented shortage of Series A capital, which Levitan says is real. He says it’s healthy for the VC industry because it means less money is chasing after the same number of opportunities.
“Creating great companies is really hard,” he says. “It’s not going to happen most of the time.”
The Series A crunch “is forcing us to be very direct with our seed funding recipients,” Levitan adds. “You’re buying yourself 18 months of runway. Here’s what it’s important to prove in that time.”
Lastly, I was curious about how much attention Starbucks honcho Schultz devotes to Maveron 15 years after he co-founded the firm. While Schultz provided Maveron’s funding base, these days, “the vast majority” of the firm’s capital is from traditional institutional investors, Levitan says.
“Howard’s got more than a full-time job running Starbucks,” Levitan tells me, having just wrapped up a call with Schultz. “He’s busy.”
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