Marvin Liao, Founder and Partner of Diaspora Ventures and formerly a General Partner at 500 Startups joins the aSaaSins podcast to talk about.
- What are Marvin's assessment criteria for investing in pre-seed and seed stage companies.
- How long after a company joined 500 Startups did he know if a company was going to make it or not, and what differentiated those that made it from those that didn't.
- How the incubator model is changing and evolving, and what this means for the future of seed stage companies going through incubator programs.
- How to improve your odds at getting accepted into an early stage accelerator, and alternative approaches and options founders can take to get support to go from zero to one.
An Investor, executive coach and ex-Operator. Marvin is a Partner at Diaspora VC & Board Member/Partner at GameGroove Capital. He was formerly a Partner at Venture Capital Fund 500 Startups, running the SF based accelerator program as well as investing in Seed stage start ups.
He Invests in Digital Media, Enterprise SAAS, Marketplace, Mobile, Internet of Things & Fintech startups. He invested in & worked with over 414 Pre-seed & Seed stage startups such as Embroker, Eaze, Aircall, Manychat, Shippo, RapidAPI, Worthix, Indio, Pipefy, Innovacer, Vela, Apostrophe, AgFunder, Printify, Whereto, Qualio, PlateIQ, Avanoo, Zentist, Stackshare, Shortpoint, MonkeyLearn & Cube.js (aka Statsbot) among many others during his tenure there.
Previously an experienced client-facing senior executive in the media and technology space in both large and start up growth companies, having managed large multifunctional teams across multiple countries. He has P&L management experience and most recently responsible for 100% YoY revenue growth while running a business unit and building new sales channels in EMEA & the Emerging Markets regions for the last ~4 years at Yahoo!. A 10.5 year veteran of Yahoo! Inc., Marvin has held executive roles in the various departments of Sales, Business Development, Ad Operations and Marketing. Most of his roles were regional or global management roles giving him extensive experience across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States in his career at the company.Marvin presently serves on the Investment Committee/Advisory boards of several Venture Capital Funds across the globe.
Marvin is a frequent speaker at many Digital Marketing & Tech Startup Conferences. A longtime fan, participant, and an observer of the digital revolution occurring across the world, he is interested in opportunities with top growth companies large and small with a focus on driving monetization and expanding into new international markets.
"I have a prediction with 100% in 10 years you're going to have a billion dollar ARR company emerge out of this category"
The Zero to One phase is the hardest stage because you're having to convince people to use a new product from a new company. And on top of that LaunchDarkly at the time was also a process change, and people weren't really used to continuous delivery.