Ask a VC, the TCTV show where you ask the questions, is back after a long hiatus and we’re kicking things off with two partners this week from Spark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz!
If you’ve got questions about what it’s like to shift from being an entrepreneur to being a venture capitalist, both our interviewees can actually tell you.
So how does this show work? You ask questions either in the comments or at askaVC(at)TechCrunch(dot)com and we’ll put them forward to our VC guests.
So for our first taping, we have Nabeel Hyatt, who just joined Spark Capital in February after serving as a general manager at Zynga (pictured at the right). He sold his company Conduit Labs to the social gaming giant and that deal set the groundwork for Zynga’s Boston studio.
Before that, he was a vice president of product at the MIT Media Lab spinoff Ambient Devices, which embedded information from the web into everyday objects like light bulbs, mirrors, refrigerators, and umbrellas to make the physical environment an interface to digital media.
If you’ve got questions about what the “Zynga mafia” will end up being like, he’s probably the one to ask.
Then later this week we have Peter Levine, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, who is extremely seasoned at company building (pictured at the top). Not only does he teach at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and do mountain climbing, he has also served as CEO of XenSource, a provider of open source virtualization solutions that was acquired by Citrix Systems. He then became the senior vice president and general manager of Citrix’s data center and cloud division.
He’s also actually a two-time venture capitalist. Before XenSource, he was a managing director at Mayfield. And then, before that, he was at Veritas Software where he started as an engineer when the company had just a few people. By the time he left 11 years later, the company was doing $1.5 billion in revenue, had nearly 6,000 people and he was one of three executive vice presidents, responsible for sales to hardware manufacturers, marketing, mergers and acquisitions and the Veritas venture fund. Like his firm’s other partners, he also writes regularly and has some good advice on how to run board meetings and evaluate sales deals here.
Levine has recently gotten the firm into deals like Actifio, the virtualization data management software maker that raised $33.5 million in December. So if you have questions about Andreessen’s enterprise strategy or the firm’s unique approach, he’s the one to ask.
Founded eight years ago, Spark Capital is a leading venture capital firm focused on early stage startups. Spark’s portfolio includes companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, AdMeld, OMGPOP (acq Zynga), ThePlatform (acq Comcast), and 5Min (acq AOL). With offices in Boston and New York, Spark invests across the globe and across stages, from a $250k active partner at a seed stage, to $25m to establish category leadership. Spark’s tight-knit group of partners focuses on a number of areas including: advertising...