Introducing: Ask a New Investor


Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Over the last year or so, I’ve been writing about tactical fundraising to try to help new entrepreneurs with their seed rounds.  But, having been there myself, I realize that even with all the help in the world, it’s still really really hard to raise a seed round.  Everywhere I go — whether it’s here in the Bay Area or on the road — entrepreneurs tell me that it just takes so much time to connect with investors.  Entrepreneurs whom I meet aren’t lazy, but when faced with balancing the needs of a business and spending the time networking with investors, it’s a hard tradeoff.

So, I’m trying a little experiment here on my blog.  I’m starting an interview series with new investors — both new VCs and angels.  I want to try to connect relevant entrepreneurs with new investors and help new investors get more qualified deal flow and exposure.

We’ll see how this works out, but for the time being, I’ve invited a few active investors to do guest interviews with me in the coming weeks.  All of these investors have done at least one seed investment in the last 6 months, but most have done many investments.  I want to make sure that all of my guests are actual investors and not just posers or investors who are sitting on the sidelines.

These interviews will be done online but will be highly interactive.  I’ll ask questions during the interview, but I also expect attendees (entrepreneurs) to bring their own questions.  This means that the attendees will be highly curated.  In order to attend, entrepreneurs will need to fill out a quick application form, and I’ll pick entrepreneurs who are a good fit to join me in a conversation with my guests.  And I’ll share those applications with my investor guests as well as with 500 Startups.  If there are more qualified applicants than slots, first priority will go to my newsletter subscribers.  Afterwards, I’ll publish the interviews to the public on my blog.

I’m pleased to announce my first guests.  They are the founders of a new VC firm called SoGal Ventures, Pocket Sun and Ellie Galbut.  They run the same firm but cover slightly different areas, so I’ll be interviewing them separately.

About Pocket (from the SoGal website)


Pocket Sun founded SoGal, one of world’s largest communities of diverse entrepreneurs with 10 chapters worldwide. She has advised on dozens of startups across Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, China, and Southeast Asia. She was on the cover of Forbes Asia as a 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital, a LinkedIn Top Voices in VC & Entrepreneurship, and was featured on BBC, CCTV, Inc., The Straits Times, Harper’s BAZAAR, etc.

Born and raised in China, Pocket is bicultural and bilingual. She holds a Master of Science degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from College of William & Mary.

Pocket will be joining me on Tues 12/6 at 9pm PT and in her words, invests in:

  • Smart Hardware
  • Next-gen Consumer Tech
  • AI-powered Enterprise Tech
  • Diverse Founders
  • Teams based in Asia
  • Pre-Seed/Seed Stage

About Elizabeth


Elizabeth Galbut is a venture capitalist and business designer. Prior to finishing business school, she founded A-Level Capital, the first student-led venture capital firm powered by Johns Hopkins students. Prior to graduate school, Elizabeth was a strategy & operations consultant at Deloitte Consulting focusing on large healthcare clients. Outside of her client-facing work, she contributed to business development efforts that led to over $200M of new work.

Elizabeth holds a MBA/MA Design Leadership Dual degree from Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Institute college of Art. She is also a proud alumnus of Georgetown University and London School of Economics.

Ellie will be joining me on 12/13, tentatively at 1pm PT and in her words, invests in:

  • Health Tech
  • Next-gen Consumer Tech
  • AI-powered Enterprise Tech
  • Diverse Founders
  • Teams based in the US
  • Pre-Seed/Seed Stage

Ellie also separately also invests on behalf of A Level Capital, which is a VC firm for Johns Hopkins students and recent alums.  And, she’ll be looking at relevant deals for that fund as well.

To apply to join one of their interviews, please fill this out below:

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