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Data-driven VC #0: What to expect from this newsletter
Where venture capital and data intersect. Every week.
👋 Hi, I’m Andre and welcome to my weekly newsletter, Data-driven VC. Every Thursday I cover hands-on insights into data-driven innovation in venture capital and connect the dots between the latest research, reviews of novel tools and datasets, deep dives into various VC tech stacks, interviews with experts and the implications for all stakeholders. Follow along to understand how data-driven approaches change the game, why it matters, and what it means for you.
Why this newsletter?
Let’s start a few years back. When I first joined Earlybird VC as an intern in 2017, I had anything but a clue about what VC actually was. However, I had one clear - for me very obvious - expectation: Those who invest in and support the most disruptive businesses on our planet would certainly be most advanced in terms of processes, tools and tech stacks themselves. If you see and feel cutting-edge innovation day in and out, why wouldn’t you operate that way yourself? Well, to tell you I was disappointed on this one is probably a vast understatement.
In the beginning, I thought it was only Earlybird, but speaking to some peers at other firms I quickly realized that it was actually an overarching problem across the VC industry. In retrospect, having had Salesforce as a CRM system in 2017 made Earlybird actually stand out at that time. Anyways, the only “real” digitization that VC has ever seen was the transition from pen and paper to mouse and keyboard. Surprisingly, progress has stopped at the MS Office Suite (and Covid-induced video calls..) That’s (mostly) the state-of-the-art in VC.
So back to the initial question: Why this newsletter? Together with an ever-growing group of like-minded people, I made it my mission to push VC to the next level through real innovation. To overcome shortcomings from inaccessibility for underrepresented founders over biased, inefficient and manual decision-making processes to non-scalable, sometimes very limited value-add. I strongly believe that technology in general, but data more specifically, is here to disrupt VC as it did/does with any other industry.
What to expect?
In this weekly newsletter, I share hands-on insights into data-driven innovation in venture capital and connect the dots between the latest research, reviews of novel tools and datasets, deep dives into various VC tech stacks, interviews with experts and the implications for all stakeholders.
More specifically, I will dive into data collection (such as alternative data sources, commercial databases, web crawlers and the related question of make versus buy), data structuring (such as classification, entity matching, feature engineering or data enrichment), entity ranking (such as deterministic or ML-based approaches, how to handle bias and which features actually matter), augmentation to improve human work (such as the automation of competitive landscape mapping, portfolio support via recruiting platforms or follow-on investor matching) but also more macro questions like buy versus build, exemplary tech stacks by other VCs and the latest research. Last but not least, I will focus on the people transforming VC and cover a broad range of learnings on organizational challenges, career snapshots and list job opportunities in the field.
Additionally, the last day of every month, I will share a monthly round-up covering related news, featured tech stacks, novel tools and databases, the latest research, upcoming events and relevant jobs in the field. Contrary to the more extensive weekly episodes, the monthly round-ups will be limited to a reading time of 3 minutes or less and highlight all relevant info in the field at a glance, so you don’t have to track it yourself.
I spent the last decade in diverse old-fashioned industries like venture capital, steel and energy, and always focused on data-driven innovation, data science and machine learning. In between my transition from an engineering job into becoming a VC investor, I conducted my PhD on the topic of “Machine Learning and the Value of Data in Venture Capital”. Ever since, the topic is close to my heart and I’ve been lucky to get to know a growing number of experts in the field. On this foundation, I will share unique experiences and learnings from my own journey as a data-driven VC, and provide a platform for you to complement and exchange thoughts.
I’m super excited and open to where this path leads. Let me know what you think!
Thank you for reading. If you liked it, share it with your friends, colleagues and everyone interested in data-driven innovation. Subscribe below and follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter to never miss data-driven VC updates again.
If you have any suggestions, want me to feature an article, research, your tech stack or list a job, hit me up! I would love to include it in my next edition😎