Hall is joined by Michael Smerklo, co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures. Hall and Michael kickoff this episode learning about Michael’s background before investing in early-stage companies. Michaels background includes being a CPA and investment banker before attending business school. Once he completed school, Michael moved to Silicon Valley where he first worked with Morgan Stanley followed by Loudcloud for two years. Michael then decided to buy a company. He worked as CEO for 13 years before retiring. At that point, he decided that he really wanted to give back to the entrepreneurial community since he enjoyed working with early-stage companies and became a VC as the next logical step in his career. Michael also shares his advice to new investors in the startup world as well as how he sees the industry evolving. In this episode, you’ll learn Michael’s own personal investment thesis and he came to it. Hall and Michael touch on challenges, risks and opportunities to pursue in this sector.
Thoughts on the Current Startup and Venture Landscape