Last night I had the pleasure of conducting a wide-ranging interview with Mark Suster at Columbia University's Business School. The event was organized by the Columbia Venture Community and co-hosted by Columbia Tech Ventures and the New York Venture Community, although we had many guests from the Silicon Alley community at large. Mark spoke candidly about his life experience and insights gleaned over the years from being a 2x entrepreneur, mentor, and more recently as a venture investor in front of a packed crowd of entrepreneurship enthusiasts from the student body, faculty, alumni ranks and from the venture capital and angel communities alike. The video, which was shot by Tobin Schwaiger-Hastanan, is posted just above.
It was a special evening, not just for his candor and insights- but also for the fact that Mark ended up staying with us for hours- late into the night, meeting and talking with everyone who wanted to chat with him after his talk had ended. The Columbia community has been abuzz about his appearance since then- and people were was still raving about him today at Steve Blank's talk. Ironically, I had posted my appreciation for people who give so much of themselves to the community just yesterday!
If you can't listen to the entire 2 hours of the talk itself, I highly recommend you go to the following sections of his talk:
Minute 33: What he's looking for in an entrepreneur. "Someone who can go right up to the line"... "Something you can't teach people"
Minute 37:27: "Life in a startup is a lot of fighting"
Minute 40: Co-founders and Compensation
Minute 42: On Mentorship and Mentorship Programs
Minute 49: On the NY and LA entrepreneurial ecosystems
Minute 50: The Importance of "Patron" Companies
Minute 56: Super-Angels: "They don't exist, it's an extinct species" .... "It's Bull#*%!!"
Minute 57: New Class of Early-Stage VC's
Minute 59: The Signaling Problem: "Complete and Utter Bull$%@"
Minute 59: VC's of all types
Minute 1:06 The Importance of Learning from Other Entrepreneurs
Minute 1:13 Awesome Q & A Begins!!
Hope you enjoy!
(Suster prior to "bringing down the house" at Columbia University)