On this episode of Startup Slingshot Radio I sit down with Mike Maples Jr. Mike is the Founding Partner at FLOODGATE where he has invested in a whole host of startups including Twitter, digg, Chegg, and Spiceworks. In our time together, we chat about what he thinks founders should look for in a VC, what he looks for in companies he invests in, and so much more. Don’t miss Mike share his experience eating dinner with Bill Gates and the time he taught Tim Ferriss all about angel investing. Enjoy!
Have comments, questions, ideas, or feedback? I want to hear it. Tweet me at william_griggs.
Topics Covered In This Episode
- BEING A VC
- What’s the difference between a great VC and a bad VC?
- When I say great VC whose name comes to mind? Why?
- It appears you have a strong deal flow from Austin.
- What do you like about Austin startups?
- What sectors do feel are ripe for innovation?
- Do you use tools like MatterMark and CB Insights?
- What do you look for in founders?
- Who were your mentors starting out in VC?
- Dave Marquardt of August Capital (Microsoft’s only VC investor)
- Kathryn Gould, the founder of Foundation Capital
- Chris Sacca of Google (GOOG)
- What did you teach Tim Ferriss about angel investing?
- WORKING WITH FOUNDERS
- What do you think is your superpower when it comes to helping startups?
- When I say the words “amazing entrepreneur” what name or names come to mind?
- Where do you see first time entrepreneurs trip up most?
- Is there a common set of strengths that successful founders have?
- When I say “underrated” what founder or company comes to mind?
- What’s one thing you learned at HBS that has stuck with you?
- What’s one thing thing you’ve learned from your father?
- What’s one piece of advice you would give your 25 year old self?
Mike Maple’s Bio
Mike Maples Jr has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010 and was also named one of “8 Rising Stars” by FORTUNE Magazine. Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was involved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back startup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (IPO TIVS, acquired by IBM) and Motive (IPO MOTV, acquired by Alcatel-Lucent.)
Some of Mike’s investments include Twitter, Twitch.tv, ngmoco, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaarvoice, Spiceworks, Okta, and Demandforce.
Mike is known for coining the term “Thunder Lizards,” which is a metaphor derived from Godzilla that describes the tiny number of truly exceptional companies that are wildly disruptive capitalist mutations. Mike likes to think of himself as a hunter of the “atomic eggs” that beget these companies.
Education: BS, Stanford University; MBA Harvard Business School.
Interests: Calligraphy, cinematography, and sporting clays.