“In the Studio” welcomes this week a seasoned operational executive, a board member at some of the Valley’s largest companies, and long-time angel investor who, upon leaving behind his work in industry became so interested in early-stage startups, he not only started his own seed-stage technology fund, but also elected to put his own personal twist on his model.
Maynard Webb wears many hats. Having spent his entire career in the technology sector, most recently in executive operational roles with eBay and LiveOps and currently holding board seats at Yahoo!, LiveOps, and Salesforce, Webb wanted to create a structure whereby he could continue his angel investing but also keep him in close contact with his network while helping the next generation of entrepreneurs get their ventures off the ground.
The result is WIN — Webb Investment Network — a differentiated model of early-stage investing where Webb assembled a staff to help find, sort through, and manage new investments, as well as a more formal network of affiliates who have worked with him over the decades. WIN is a relatively quiet operation, compared to others, and focuses on startups in e-commerce, mobile, cloud computing, and enterprise. Founders who receiving funding from WIN have access to the platform of affiliates which they can leverage, and which Webb set up to scale his own network to benefit others. WIN is part of a growing trend of smaller, seed-stage funds which are creating new models of engagement, as well as platforms for their portfolios to leverage, that indirectly challenge what one would consider to be a “traditional” venture capital model.
In this short discussion, Webb and I discuss how he came up with the operational model for WIN, what founders can expect from the WIN platform, and what areas he’s excited about investing in, as well as a bit on his forthcoming book, “Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship,” in which he shares his frameworks for those in the workforce (either future founders, or those who work in companies) on how to chart a path for their career in today’s economy. Webb’s book is available for pre-order on Amazon.