We just wrapped up our 7th annual AngelList Confidential. The conference brought together our community of founders, GPs, and LPs to discuss the past, present, and future of startups and technology. Featured speakers included Sam Altman, Naval Ravikant, Sarah Smith, and many others.
Here were some of the key highlights from AngelList Confidential 2022, as well as recordings of each session.
In his keynote address, AngelList CEO Avlok Kohli announced “AngelList Venture” is now simply “AngelList.” He also shared the current state of AngelList and new innovations for the funders and founders ecosystems, including institutional-grade reporting metrics, Venture Fund browse, eliminating carry fees, and hiring and retention tools. Additionally, Avlok unveiled a new brand identity for AngelList, and Amit Matani joined to discuss AngelList Talent’s rebrand to “Wellfound.”
“You can best think of what we're building as two ecosystems that are side by side. Funders and founders. Funders represent the GPs and LPs, and founders represent startups.” – Avlok Kohli
The Future of VC
Packy McCormick (Managing Partner, Not Boring Capital), Turner Novak (Managing Partner, Banana Capital), and Sarah Smith (Managing Partner, Sarah Smith Fund) joined Harry Stebbings (Managing Partner, 20VC) in conversation on investment strategy, how to provide value to portfolio companies, reasons for optimism in the current macro environment, and who will dominate venture over the next 10 years.
“Solo GPs are going to win the future…if you look around this call there's four different people with funds who can add value in four…kinds of ways. And I think there's ways to construct your cap table so you can get that max benefit.” – Packy McCormick
The Future of Artificial Intelligence
Sam Altman (CEO, OpenAI) sat down with Avlok to discuss how artificial intelligence will change the world in the coming years and what an AI-assisted future could look like.
“Imagine all the scientific progress since the beginning of the Enlightement until now, we had in a one year period...It’s chaotic...But we can cure all disease, we can travel to the stars, we have unlimited power. Who knows? That's something that I think is under-hyped about AI.” – Sam Altman
How to Start Right
HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah shared his perspective with Avlok on when’s the right time to launch your own startup and how you should approach key startup inflection points, including hiring, fundraising, and bringing on a co-founder.
“Too many founders make the mistake of waiting for that exceptionally good idea before they start their company…So my advice generally is if you have some semblance of an idea you want to go after and you have some unique domain insight or customer insight or access to a market, just start. And then as you evolve the company, the better idea will start to kind of come to you.” – Dharmesh Shah
The Rise of Founder VCs
Sophia Amoruso (CEO, Business Class), Immad Akhund (CEO, Mercury Bank), Siqi Chen (CEO, Runway), and Karine Hsu (Founder, Slope Agency) chatted with Ryan Hoover (Managing Partner, Weekend Fund) about how they manage investing in startups while simultaneously running their own businesses, why founder VCs have an advantage over traditional VC firms, and emerging trends in the venture space.
“Don't [raise a fund] for egotistical reasons. Don't do it for glory, don't do it for headlines, don't do it to be relevant, don't do it for social capital. You know, I've done things for that reason, and it's just the wrong reason. And it doesn't work. And people can smell it a mile away.” – Sophia Amoruso
How to be a Second Mover
Ramp CEO Eric Glyman talked to Avlok about how to succeed in an industry where there’s already an established incumbent, how Ramp maintains a high product velocity, and advantages of being a second mover in the market.
“What we’ve tried to model at Ramp is we’re very opinionated…We’re explicitly here to serve customers and help them become more efficient versions of themselves. The bigness of the mission combined with the flexibility of approach is exciting. You can have strong opinions loosely held about the best path to accomplish the mission. And then you can use those opinions to build more differently. As competitive as the world can be, I think being opinionated is a must, and I love to push on it.” – Eric Glyman
Being a Founder Yesterday vs. Today vs. Tomorrow
Founders Jonathan Benamoun (Fi), Krystle Mobayeni (Bento Box), and Tracy Young (TigerEye) talked to AngelList business lead Sumukh Sridhara about how the job of a founder has evolved in the last 10 years, and how it will continue to change in the coming years. The panelists also discussed the future of remote work, the experience of female founders, equity compensation, and lessons from scaling a startup to acquisition.
“10 years from now, all the decisions makers in business are going to retire out of the workforce, and there’s going to be this massive cultural shift of Millennials and Gen Z replacing Boomers and Gen X...What I love the most is this generation is so informed. They care about social justice, they care about equality, they care about emitting less carbon, and I’m hopeful and optimistic that they're going to take everything they care about and put their money where their mouth is and actually look at these factors as they're starting their startups.” – Tracy Young
Data-Driven Investing Strategies
Collin West (Managing Partner, Ensemble VC) and Tomasz Tunguz (Managing Partner, Redpoint Ventures) joined Kevin Laws (Advisor, AngelList) to share data on the current state of the early-stage startup ecosystem. The panelists also discussed how data impacts their investing strategy, and answered questions from the audience.
“It’s not about finding some magic metric for investing…Last year alone, 50k financings were announced in the U.S., and we just don’t think any credible investor can say, ‘hey, I’ve met them all, and these are the best ones.’ So we use software and data to look for what you would look for in a great team and sort by team quality. As a firm that allows us to narrow our focus, spend our time with a much shorter list of companies, and spend more time with them.” – Collin West
The Future of Climate Technology
In the last session of the conference, Sierra Peterson (Managing Partner, Voyager VC), Ramez Naam (Managing Partner, Planetary VC), and Ryan Bethencourt (Founder, Wild Earth) discussed the present and future of climate technology with moderator Tommy Leep (Managing Partner, Jetstream), including the technologies they're most excited about, and how they evaluate climate tech investing opportunities.
“The rise of [climate tech] is the biggest economic opportunity we’ve ever seen…the technology is better, the market is demanding it, and the founders are showing up to build the next set up billion dollar companies for this multi-trillion dollar opportunity.” – Sierra Peterson
This year’s invite-only event was attended by 1,300+ members of the AngelList community all over the world. Attendees were treated to 10 sessions, 30 speakers, and two full days worth of insights into the future of startups and technology.
We plan to bring you more great programming at AngelList Confidential 2023. We look forward to seeing you there!
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