Sean Ammirati
Jul 22 · 24 min read

After helping start Comcast Ventures, Rich left with two other partners to start Touchdown Ventures.

On this week’s episode, we have a great conversation about his perspective on Corporate VC as well as unpacking the model that Touchdown Ventures is pioneering.

I’ve asked you for feedback on email, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram about the kind of content you’re looking for.

I remain interested, but one thing I’m consistently hearing is that you want more information about Corporate Venture Capital as a growth strategy. Rich is a great person to kick off these conversations.

Listen on this page

Show Links:

Touchdown Ventures Focus Areas

Want to Break Into VC? Try CVC! by David Horowitz

Can Corporate Venture Capitalists Help Startups Go Public? by Selina Troesch

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Full Transcript

Sean Ammirati: 00:08 Welcome to Agile Giants: Lessons from Corporate Innovators. I’m Sean Ammirati, your host, Co-Founder and Director of The Carnegie Mellon Corporate Startup Lab and Partner at the early-stage venture capital fund, Birchmere Ventures. Each week, I’m going to talk to guests who are experts at creating startups inside large corporations.

Sean Ammirati: 00:29 I believe fundamentally a startup within a company is the same as one inside the proverbial garage, a group of entrepreneurs trying to make the world a better place using new ideas and inventions. However, I also believe some of the techniques and processes are just inherently different. This podcast is going to explore those similarities and differences.

Sean Ammirati: 00:56 Welcome to another episode of Agile Giants. I’ve asked you for feedback via email or social media just to let me know the kind of content you’re looking for and obviously I’m still interested in that so if you want to email me, seanammirati as S-E-A-N-A-M-M-I-R-A-T-I@gmail.com, or that same handle on Twitter or Instagram, I’d still love to hear the kind of content you’re looking for, but one thing I’m consistently hearing is that you want more information about Corporate Venture Capital as one of the things you could consider for your toolbox on creating growth. And today’s guest, Rich Grant, is really an expert in that.

Sean Ammirati: 01:33 Rich helped set up the Comcast Ventures Program, a very well respected corporate venture capital group. And then, founded the group, Touchdown Ventures, with two of his colleagues, that has gone and helped a number of companies set up their corporate venture capital activities. We had a great conversation about his perspective from his time at Comcast and also Touchdown. As well as unpacking a little bit the model that Touchdown is pioneering.

Sean Ammirati: 01:58 I think this is really helpful, again, for those of you trying to figure out how to weave corporate venture capital into your tool box. Let me know if you’re looking for more content on this, or other things that would help you figure out how to create transformational growth.

Sean Ammirati: 02:10 Thanks so much.

Sean Ammirati: 02:16 So, Rich, I really appreciate you joining me today. I think it’d be great to get your background here, both on Touchdown. But, before we get to Touchdown, I think your background leading into it is helpful as well. So, can you start by just walking through your career before you founded Touchdown Ventures?

Rich Grant: 02:31 Absolutely, Sean. And thank you for having me on the program and podcast. So, I really spent my entire career, almost twenty years, helping large companies grow. I started my career in Investment Banking, which is really corporate financial role advising around M&A and growth capital. So, both debt and equity.

Rich Grant: 02:53 I was interested in getting into the corporate side of things. Coming out of three years in banking and spent really the next six years of my life working at Sony Pictures, working at Comcast, in Corporate Development, Corporate Strategy, and Business Development roles. Where we were looking to grow these organizations through partnerships, through strategic investments, and through M&A.

Rich Grant: 03:17 And then, 2010, one of the women that I worked for, was tapped to take over the combined venture arms for Comcast NBC, Comcast did announce an acquisition of NBC and were getting set to merge those two venture groups. As part of that effort, they were looking to expand the venture platform for the combined company. Expand the team and expand geographically. So I had a very close relationship with this woman Amy Banse who currently runs Comcast Ventures and moved over to the Comcast Ventures team, moved out to San Francisco with Amy to help launch and run the San Francisco office for Comcast Ventures. Which as you know and many of the listeners will know are recognized as one of the more prolific and well-regarded corporate venture groups out there.

Sean Ammirati: 04:07 Yeah absolutely and actually we had Beth Comstock on maybe a month or so ago and she was mentioning Amy as well so that will be a familiar name to people who listen to all of these episodes.

Sean Ammirati: 04:17 So that’s cool. … and then you left to start Touchdown Ventures and so could you talk about what led you to do that and also maybe explain what Touchdown Ventures is for people who may not be familiar with your group?

Rich Grant: 04:31 Yes, absolutely. So, I spent effectively five years at Comcast Ventures and one of the partners there that I got pretty closely with is David Horowitz and he and I had worked together on a number of deals and had looked at a variety in sectors and had actually partnered, co-invested with a third gentleman, Scott Lenet and so David, Scott and I got close actually through a portfolio company where David had been a board member with Scott. I had been a board observer.

Rich Grant: 05:01 And the three of us sort of built out this hypothesis or this thesis that there are thousands of large companies out there. Very similar to a Comcast or an Intel or a Qualcomm that had the financial means to, could bring a lot of value to, and get a lot of value from the venture ecosystem through investing.

Rich Grant: 05:23 But back then and even today only a small fraction of those companies were actively making investments and doing it in a sort of institutionalized or professional manner.

Sean Ammirati: 05:34 Yep

Rich Grant: 05:34 And as part of that we also had this view that venture and corporate venture could be much broader than just technology and bio-tech and really where corporate venture started from. And so, just seeing technology sort of infiltrate and invade really every category of the economy. Seeing entrepreneurs starting businesses in every sector ranging from food to industrial as well as tech and healthcare, et cetera. The things that you typically saw.

Rich Grant: 06:02 We felt like there was room and there was an opportunity to create a firm, where we could bring the venture capital expertise, our background, our network, our experience, our process and partner with these corporations, these large corporations that recognized they needed to continue to innovate and that venture capital could be one of the tools to help them innovate.

Rich Grant: 06:25 And so effectively what Touchdown is, is we are a Venture firm but rather than deploying our own capital … raising our own capital and deploying that, we built a team and we’re close to thirty people now. Where we bring our best practices, we bring our experience, we bring our team. We partner with these large companies that have certainly capital to invest and strategic goals and desires and needs. And then a lot of resources they can bring to the table as well in terms of helping and supporting these startups and these entrepreneurs.

Rich Grant: 07:01 And we lock arms and we form partnerships where we will go in an invest in companies and startups that are relevant to that overall effort.

Sean Ammirati: 07:12 Yeah and your name comes up a lot. I was actually literally in New York yesterday with a company that I think fits that mold exactly. You know a billion-dollar, publicly-traded company that’s thinking okay how do we get into venture. So I think this playbook has been, I’m sure helpful for the groups you’ve done that with so far.

Sean Ammirati: 07:28 If you put yourself in the shoes of one of those companies, how do you think about them evaluating, partnering with a group like yours versus starting their own internal fund like Comcast Ventures did.

Rich Grant: 07:41 Yeah, I mean I think there’s been a nuance to it because when we think about it we are partnering with these corporations and really the brand of the corporation is front and center. This is their fund and we really are trying to, through our model, make it very collaborative meaning we have regular sort of check-ins with the working team of folks. We have regular check-ins with maybe an advisory group and certainly the executive teams at these companies.

Rich Grant: 08:14 And so our corporate partners can really do as much or as little as they want in the venture process but they maintain sort of visibility and control. Which is I think really important, what differentiates our model versus, maybe some of the other options out there for large companies.

Rich Grant: 08:32 So they really are sort of getting their own venture fund. It’s really a question of what’s most appropriate in terms of how you staff that. Right? And it’s our view that, obviously you do the math and sort of evaluate whether or not it makes sense to … do you have the folks internally already set up to do this. But, if you want to hit the ground running and have a built in team of folks that are experienced, that you can tap into in a serve our existing team and deal flow and process.

Rich Grant: 09:06 But, if you do have resources internally or you feel more comfortably comfortable going out and hiring folks to staff up and run this, completely in house. I think that’s great too. I mean, not every company has those resources or has the time to do that or has the ability to make the types of commitments you need to make to folks that you’re going to bring on from the outside.

Rich Grant: 09:30 But, at the end of the day, we feel like it’s really important for the overall corporate venture ecosystem to be friendly, to be helpful to one another. We co-invest with a lot of CVCs. We do a lot of, sort of training and sharing our best practices with other CDCs. And so, we want to see the community build-up, whether it’s sort of with us or using some in house model.

Sean Ammirati: 09:54 Yeah, that’s it. So the human capital sort of is what you emphasize there, which is interesting and makes a ton of sense. I would think that there’s also some network effect to being part of a group like yours where there’s multiple different CVC funds kind of working on this together. Are you seeing that at all or not?

Rich Grant: 10:18 Yes. Actually in multiple ways. I mean, I think the most tangible piece is that, as part of our process and as part of in a sort of the every initiative good. I think venture corporate venture group, you’re going to engage with other investors.

Rich Grant: 10:36 And what we’ve done is essentially map out the top 200 investors, generally across the board, which account for 65% or 70% of all the capital that’s being deployed in the venture asset class. And we maintain regular relationships with these folks. We have preexisting relationships in some cases dating back 15 or 20 years in the case of David Scott and myself. And so it’s very hard to replicate that. And there’s huge benefits because when I go in, I may be thinking about one particular fund or firm or when I go in and talk to another VC. But we can tell a conversation about the entire portfolio and I can actually source deals for each one of our corporate partners, through those touch points.

Rich Grant: 11:28 So that’s just one example of taking an existing relationship and sort of getting much more value out of it than you would get if you were just having that sort of one on one conversation.

Rich Grant: 11:37 I think the other piece which also relates to just being able to bring multiple partners to the table is, in some of the companies that we’re looking at investing in maybe relevant to multiple corporate partners. And so it doesn’t necessarily matter if we were able to source it, because we were having a conversation around one of these strategic opportunities. Obviously, be mindful of, sort of compliance and proprietary deal flow, but we can potentially create syndicates with multiple strategics that bring different value to the table and allow companies to see deals that might not necessarily be endemic to them. They may not have thought about them as viable opportunities, but because they’re part of this network. They’re getting exposure to that and it’s really maybe stretching even, kind of the way that they’re thinking about innovation and about the opportunity with venture.

Sean Ammirati: 12:31 Yeah. … I wasn’t trying to force you to sell more aggressively, but it just felt like human was part of it. But I imagine there are some of these other network effects. I think you did a good job laying that out. That’s important too. And at least a lot of companies just given what I do at CMU Kind of mean with this same problem you’ve had your whole career on, which is like how do we grow and how do we grow in non-incremental ways. And I think corporate ventures part of that and there’s a lot to this conversation that I’ve had you attack corporate venture.

Sean Ammirati: 12:58 Maybe a natural place to go from here would just be to talk a little bit about the areas of focus for touchdown ventures. So just to give people a sense on the breadth of the types of industries and focus areas that you guys are looking at.

Rich Grant: 13:13 Yeah. And in our focus areas are really defined by what’s strategically meaningful and interesting to the corporate partners that we have. And as I had referenced earlier, we work with about a dozen or so companies out there and they come from a wide variety of industries. We work with companies in media and enterprise and communications and the consumer sphere, including food and beverage in healthcare and also in sort of industrial spaces.

Rich Grant: 13:43 And so there’s a broad set of industries that we cover. And I can give you a little flavor about how we think about each one of these. But I would say that the underlying themes that you see across all of these industries and oftentimes you learn or you see a theme in one and then you realize, oh that’s applicable in another one or it’s coming, in another year or two later in another industry, which really helpful. But some of these big themes that we see across the board or are tech enablement for lack of better term, big data, artificial intelligence or machine learning, new business models and new brands.

Rich Grant: 14:22 And really across the board, if you were to go to our website and take a look at the different categories, there are certainly more detail underneath. Each one of them, I would take or argue that is at least two or three of these themes are what’s driving the innocent of the more detailed, more T-cell descriptions.

Rich Grant: 14:42 If you’d like, I’m happy to go into, kind of each of the six areas that are listed there.

Sean Ammirati: 14:48 I think it’d be worth at least an elevator pitch on each one of them. Just I think it does give people a flavor and again I can include a link in the show notes to the URL that you’re referencing. So if people are listening they can pull it up while you’re doing the elevator pitch here.

Rich Grant: 15:03 Absolutely. So, in digital media or media is one of the categories that we’re focused on. If you think about that space, the definition of what professional content is, is changing. And because of that it’s changing how we create content, where it’s distributed, how it’s monetized, how audiences are engaged. And so you’ll see all the themes that we’re focused on media really dry, that these kind of core tenants of the change and evolution in the media space.

Rich Grant: 15:33 Enterprise and Enterprise software in particular is another area of focus for us. Every, large enterprise is looking for tools that drive efficiency and drive productivity and enable them to manage or take advantage of their data assets. And so we’re seeing a lot of interest in investment and in many cases, this is software and Sass has been sort of a classic area for investment for institutional VCs.

Rich Grant: 16:03 What we’ve found is we might invest in a tool that’s very relevant to one of our corporate partners, but it could be a tool that’s applicable for other corporate partners. Maybe not strategically, but maybe it’s HR tech, maybe it’s something in legal tech or compliance.

Rich Grant: 16:18 Every one of the corporations that we work with has teams that are focused on that. And so being able to maybe make an investment in one but then bring, again referring back to the network effects. Bringing a staple of other corporate partners that could be customers that those products is also interesting. And probably there’s a lot more we can do in sort of down the road as we grow the firm.

Rich Grant: 16:41 Communication consumer, there’s been a lot of talk about 5G and all the emerging experiences and services that will be enabled by it.

Rich Grant: 16:50 We want to help accelerate the development of those and make sure that, kind of in an always-on always-connected world, that people’s data is safe and that the brands and the companies that are leveraging these tools are taking full advantage of the kind of this ability in this channel to engage with customers. And so that’s what you’ll sort of see in that category.

Rich Grant: 17:14 Health care has been a big priority for us for the last few years. We are just in a sort of just scratching the surface of what we can do there from a firm perspective. But if you think you can take a step back and you think about healthcare, it’s a basic human need and we’re looking for tools that can help us scale access to enable patients to receive a better and more personalized, more affordable experience. And a big part of this is, is sort of thinking about what or how can technology play a role in preventative care and making sure that people are living in a sort of a healthy lifestyle and sort of lessen the chance if they get sick or being a better predictor of when and if they will.

Sean Ammirati: 17:57 I want you to finish the last two, but just to reinforce the point there too, that’s interesting for people who listen to a lot of these episodes. We had someone from Highmark on, which is the western Pennsylvania Blue Cross Blue Shield. Recently we were talking, there’s just interesting problems that certainly need capital and they can get capital from somebody like you or non-corporate VCs, but they also often a lot of these ideas require strategic partnerships and kind of the income as the advantage to people who can play there. So it does feel like corporate innovation broadly including venture is really right for digital health and Pharma transformation. So it’s kind of interesting that that’s one of your focus areas to me.

Rich Grant: 18:40 Yeah. And it mean some sub segments, Pharma’s a very good example. The large corporates have historically been the primary financing source for early stage drugs and, so you’re seeing that maybe similar mentality shift into digital health or any kind of broadly healthcare systems, et Cetera. I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s a necessary thing just given whether it be a system, a healthcare system or somehow provider in some way, shape or form. They’re touching the patient and they have a relationship with the patient and they also have a lot of legacy or sort of infrastructure and work in a kind of a broad ecosystem or healthcare system that isn’t going to change overnight and you need real kind of practitioners that are close to the patient and close kind of the broader, broader space to enable a lot of the change.

Sean Ammirati: 19:43 I think this is an interesting point that we’re seeing over and over again, both here on Agile Giants and at CSL. So you’re two more though, industrial manufacturing and then food and beverage.

Rich Grant: 19:53 Yeah, I mean food and beverage is pretty related. So, we work with a couple of different companies that are in the food space, but in food in particular, we’re looking at emerging brands and concepts and channels for distribution. But there’s a big emphasis on healthy or better for you alternatives. A big emphasis on functional foods and sort of underlying that is social impact and convenience. And there’s a lot of 10 gentle things and tenants that are shared between sort of what we’re looking at in the food and beverage space as well as or seen in the health care space too.

Rich Grant: 20:32 And then the last one, last but not least, in no particular order, just sort of how it’s listed on the website, industrial manufacturing and maybe not as sexy of a place as, sort of the consumer-facing or food and space. There’s a real need and you’re seeing a lot of solutions pop up, that enable you to track and or protect people, assets have visibility and drive efficiency in the supply chain. And so we’re doing quite a bit there in a variety of ways to make sure that we bring a lot of the kind of the visibility and efficiency that you might see in other parts of the kind of the proverbial stack to the supply chain or to the kind of physical infrastructure of a building or a campus.

Sean Ammirati: 21:22 That’s fantastic. And I think really does illustrate sort of the work that you do, a lot of the people also who listen to this are corporate executives responsible for their own company’s growth strategy and transformation and growth strategy. Maybe without going into a specific company’s name, just more generally, could you unpack how this work that you’re doing can kind of impact your partner’s overall strategy?

Rich Grant: 21:48 Absolutely. When we first get started with any corporate partner, I had mentioned early on we’re pretty process-oriented but we spend several months sort of building out what the investment strategy is going to be. And this strategy is always defined by the overarching goals from the company, from the organization.

Rich Grant: 22:10 So we sit down with the senior leadership team, we sit down with business unit leaders and, with folks who are from different parts of the organization to get a better sense for that company. What are the right goals? What is the mission at the overall organization? What are some of the problems that we can solve? Through venture, through engaging with startups and that really helps us define what the strategy is and what the appropriate sort of KPIs are for that particular, that particular effort.

Rich Grant: 22:42 I think that there’s a bunch of different benefits that you can get from working with startups. They can range from filling in holes in your roadmap, so maybe you ended up just don’t have enough resources to address certain needs or maybe there’s very specific requirements and you’re better off or working with an outside party. And so venture can be one way to align yourself with companies that can help you solve some of those near term problems.

Rich Grant: 23:09 It could be much further out to try to identify new spaces that we want to move into as an organization and identifying companies that could be a conduit to do that, either as a partner or maybe down the road as an acquisition target. It could be a way to sort of emphasize to the broader market that your an innovative company and that can help you with your recruiting and that can help you with, sort of your overarching in a sort of internal culture.

Rich Grant: 23:40 There’s a number of things and benefits that you can get out of at adventure. What we want to do is just be set up upfront to understand what’s going to resonate, what’s going to be beneficial so that when we go out and we’re meeting with hundreds if not thousands of companies every year, we know how to use the venture program to organize the overall innovation effort. So venture’s a great tool to meet a bunch of companies and then use the sort of the institutional knowledge that we gather upfront and through ongoing conversations to effectively try to help those startups navigate the organization. Maybe they should talk to part of the organization around a partnership. Maybe they should be talking to the Corp Dev team because they’re closer to an acquisition or maybe it is just an investment and we’ll figure out other ways to sort of support and help that team and that company.

Rich Grant: 24:35 Though we just found that that ventures a great tool to access and then organize a lot of the broader innovation efforts. And I’d say it would between the work that I’ve done, it touched down between what I saw at Comcast. I probably seen just about all of these scenarios play out, whether it be, it’s appropriate more for a partnership. It’s appropriate for M&A it could be all three of those things. It could be just for intelligence gathering, it could be for a new space or helping off new space. Each one of those has played out in the last kind of eight or nine years that I’ve been doing this.

Sean Ammirati: 25:13 That’s right. It’s not an either-or. It’s almost like a Chinese menu. Pick the things that are relevant for you. Let’s look at the other side of this firm and I want to be respectful of your time. So just a couple more questions here, but let’s look at this from the other side, which is maybe having sat in this chair for the last eight or nine years, what do you think is most misunderstood about corporate venture capital?

Rich Grant: 25:34 How much longer do we have there? There’s a lot of myths. I would say qualify missed about corporate venture. Some of the bigger ones are well-noted ones is that corporations are done money, that they’ll pay too high of valuation and they move too slow. Don’t know how to conduct diligence or appropriate diligence for venture stage.

Rich Grant: 25:57 Another big one is the corporations will over-promise and then under-deliver on what they’re going to bring commercially or strategically to start up. We’ve heard it quite a bit that there’s this misconception that corporations only do late-stage investments and so you don’t want to talk to a corporation in the earlier stages. I could probably sort of go through each one of these and say why I don’t believe it’s true. But actually the biggest misconception I think that I hear and that is probably frustrating, is that taking a corporate investment limits your options down the road.

Rich Grant: 26:33 And this concern comes up in a multitude of ways. Sometimes people will say, well, if I partner with one company, does that mean I can’t have a commercial relationship with one of their competitors? We’ve heard recently this concern that will if I take corporate money, does that mean, does that sort of blackball me from raising additional capital down the road? Am I sort of single-threaded for the remainder of the venture.

Rich Grant: 26:58 And then the last one is and we hear this quite a bit in sort of spaces where the venture is new. So thinking about like the food and beverage category, is if I take a corporate investment, does that limit my exit opportunities down the road? Am I now beholden to sell to that particular company? And it really, in my experience, none of these concerns are accurate.

Rich Grant: 27:21 When you sit back and think about the venture ecosystem, the most important thing and really the currency that we trade on is our reputation.

Sean Ammirati: 27:33 Sure.

Rich Grant: 27:33 And we would not be investing behind a company to destroy a company. We want to see every company that we invest in be successful. Because we’re co-investing alongside of other VCs who want to make money and entrepreneurs who want to build great businesses and presumably make money as well. And so if we were to limit the opportunities and not bring more value than we’re getting, then we’re really not going to build a very good relationship or reputation for ourselves. And ultimately we wouldn’t be invited to invest in companies. And when you look at the broader trends in the venture ecosystem, you’re seeing more and more corporate participation.

Rich Grant: 28:14 I think as of 2018 one out of every six deals had a corporate investor in it. The amount of dollars being deployed by corporates has grown substantially over the last decade. And if you look at the deals representing the majority of the capital that’s been invested in a category, those include corporate investors.

Rich Grant: 28:36 If you look at the recent IPOs, the majority of them had corporate investors and so I think that fact-based suggests that yes, corporations are adding value. They’re enabling companies to raise significant sums of capital that are enabling them to build big businesses that can be exited via IPO and we’re doing additional work as a firm. One of my colleagues, Linda Trows did this article around IPOs.

Rich Grant: 29:02 We’re also looking at M&A activity and financing activity or fall on Vance activity to show that there is, kind of a correlation. There is a connection between inner taking, corporate venture investments and there being kind of ample opportunity to build great businesses after that.

Sean Ammirati: 29:19 Yeah, I mean so everything you talked about or the constraints, there are corporate VCs who put some of those restrictions on some of their investments. Right. But that it’s not a requirement. There are also traditional financially driven only VCs who put terms on their term sheets that are not helpful for the company’s continuing to grow. So I think that’s just every term sheet. The first version comes with things that entrepreneurs need to walk and make sure they understand, especially if they’re comparing different alternatives. All the ramifications of each set of term sheets.

Rich Grant: 29:52 Yeah. And you have to be thoughtful about in every venture investment it’s a partnership between the corporation that’s investing with the other investors and with the company itself. And everybody should be getting value out of it. Right? There should be more value from the sum of the parts than individually and so yes, there might be some trade-offs and certainly, there might be some things that are important to the corporation that we work with that we can’t sacrifice. But it’s really our job to explain those, set the rate expectations with entrepreneurs and ultimately deliver more value than any of those constraints might interject or create.

Sean Ammirati: 30:35 Yeah, exactly. This has been fascinating. I want to do get to the last question I’d like to do with every gasp. Another audience of this podcast are students of mine at Carnegie Mellon that are finishing up their master’s programs and thinking about what they want to do next with their life. And Rich if somebody is listening to this and thinking, man, I’d love to have a career similar to yours, what advice would you give him or her?

Rich Grant: 31:00 Yeah, I get asked a lot about how do you get into venture capital? And it’s a tough industry to break into. It’s a very small community. When we put out a job application, and I think this is similar to other firms you might see hundreds of applicants for one role. And you combat that with the fact that because it’s a small community, a lot of firms aren’t really set up well to manage a recruiting process. And so oftentimes there’s a lot of haphazard or sort of not well-oiled machine processes that are run, or around, various job openings.

Rich Grant: 31:40 I guess I would say that two pieces of advice. One is that venture capital is a small community and go where the growth is and corporate venture is the area that’s growing.

Rich Grant: 31:53 My partner, David Horowitz who had referenced earlier wrote an article about this, but just like you want to identify growth opportunities and investor you need to think about your career in the same way and proper venture if we’re adding, I don’t know, 100, 150 new corporate venture groups every year, that’s where there’s going to be more opportunities and more seats to try to target.

Rich Grant: 32:15 So that sort of piece one, and I think David did a great job and in this article, if you want to go back and check that out.

Sean Ammirati: 32:23 And Rich, if you can just email that to me afterward, I’ll include that in the show notes as well.

Rich Grant: 32:27 Excellent. Yeah, that’d be great.

Rich Grant: 32:28 The second piece of advice is, you know it’s going to be competitive for each one of these rules and you need to figure out a way to stand out. You probably have heard the statement dress for the job you want not for the one you have. And so my view is not necessarily in the way you dress, although-

Sean Ammirati: 32:44 It’s a Patagonia verse is where you’re looking for?

Rich Grant: 32:47 No, don’t go and buy a bunch of this, but do the job that you want before you have the job. And that there’s many ways you can do this, right? You can go out and build investment thesis on a space that you can share with VCs, meet with companies and entrepreneurs and figure out maybe you don’t have capital to invest in, make angel investments, but maybe you can provide, help and support and time on a pro bono basis.

Rich Grant: 33:13 And so meet with VCs and offer to work with them and help them on a pro bono basis. Internships and are a great way to get your foot in the door and get some visibility into what this job’s all about. And if you have the capital or some capital makes either investment or get involved in a school venture efforts, make mock investments. You need to, ultimately, when you walk in that door, you don’t want to appear like you’re a project and you need taught everything. You want to show that you’re already doing this and it’s sort of a lateral move more than it is a kind of a new opportunity for you.

Sean Ammirati: 33:52 Yup. I think that’s great. Well, Rich, I really appreciate the time today. Thanks so much for joining us on Agile Giants and look forward to continuing to watch your firm as the developed there.

Rich Grant: 34:01 Excellent, Sean, I really appreciate your having.

Sean Ammirati: 34:13 I hope you enjoyed this episode of Agile Giants. If so, consider sharing it with a friend and if you think it’s worth five stars, which I hope you do, please go to iTunes and rate it so that others can find this content as well.

Agile Giants

Each week, join Sean Ammirati, Co-Founder & Director of the Carnegie Mellon Corporate Startup Lab, as he interviews guests who are doing the important work creating startups inside large corporations.

Sean Ammirati

Written by

Partner, Birchmere Ventures (http://birchmerevc.com/); Carnegie Mellon Professor; Leads the CMU Corporate Starutp Lab (https://www.corporatestartuplab.com)

Agile Giants

Each week, join Sean Ammirati, Co-Founder & Director of the Carnegie Mellon Corporate Startup Lab, as he interviews guests who are doing the important work creating startups inside large corporations.

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