Seed to Scale: Episode 13 with Mark Suster, Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures
On current startup and venture ecosystem in LA, why the city embraced Bird and the challenges facing cities as we embrace the future of transportation.
Founding General Partner Nihal Mehta talks with Mark Suster, one of the very best VCs in the biz and a true pioneer of LA venture capital.
Mark is the Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures, the largest and longest-serving fund in LA – all the way back to 1996, long before the region became known as Silicon Beach. To date, they’ve invested in more than $1 billion, with about 50% going to tech companies from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Mark’s investments include Bird, Density, Imbellus, Invoca, MakeSpace, mitú, Nanit, Osmo, and Tact.
In this episode, Mark speaks to how his prior experiences influence how he approaches his work today. Most importantly, how his mother was his earliest role model as an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and activist, and how he got into programming on his mother’s computer while still in high school which lead him to become a computer programmer in the late ’80s (when it wasn’t as sought after as it is today). Mark discusses what he learned during his time at Accenture and how it laid a strong foundation for understanding how businesses operate at scale.
Mark speaks to the current startup and venture ecosystem in LA, and why more influencers outside traditional VC are becoming investors. He also addresses the future of transportation, including the rapid adoption of Bird in Los Angeles and what cities are doing to solve the many challenges.
He also addresses the current state of politics, something he covers often on his blog Both Sides of the Table.