Susan Lyne is the co-founder and Managing Partner of BBG Ventures, a fund that invests in visionary entrepreneurs building the next generation of market-defining consumer products and services. Every company in their portfolio has at least one female founder. Some of their investments include Zola, Blueland, Beautycon, and NextGenVest (acq. by CommonBond)
Susan began her career in the magazine industry, where she founded and led Premiere Magazine. She spent almost a decade at Disney, rising to President of Entertainment at ABC. She was the CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; CEO and then Chair of Gilt.com; and she led AOL’s Brand Group, overseeing such brands as TechCrunch, Engadget and Moviefone, immediately before launching BBG Ventures.
A couple of books that Susan recommends are The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger and Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer.
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In this episode, you will learn –
- Why Susan decided to leave her prestigious career in media, television, ecommerce and as an operator for some of the world’s biggest companies to start her own fund?Her mission when founding a venture capital fund and some of her learnings as an operator.
- Does she think venture capital is moving quickly enough to bridge the gap between the number of women founders that are able to fundraise compared to male founders that are able to fundraise? What are some of the things that need to happen to help empower women entrepreneurs?
- When should startups optimize for profitability rather than growth? How does she think about price and evaluation in today’s climate?
- In her due diligence process when evaluating startups, how she knows if the startup is solving a real consumer pain point? How she thinks about founder-market fit? How she thinks about online customer acquisition today given the rising prices?
- How she thinks about time allocation and cadence of communication amongst her portfolio companies. Consumer trends she is most excited about and some of the differences between millennials and Gen Z.
- What’s one thing she would change when it came to venture capital? Her most recent investments and what makes her excited about them? One company that she had the opportunity to invest in, didn’t, and in retrospect wish she did?
If you would like to follow along you can click “Subscribe” on the Apple podcast app or whichever platform you are listening on. If you enjoyed the episode, feel free to also leave a review. You are also to see all episodes here and learn more at www.theconsumervc.com and follow Mike on Twitter or Instagram