Madeline Keulen (Victress Capital) – Knowing Your Why, Analyzing Contrasting Trends, and Building Brands

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*Please note that this episode was recorded before the coronavirus global pandemic*

Madeline Keulen is Vice President at Victress Capital. Victress Capital is an early stage venture capital firm that provides visionary and diverse founding teams in the consumer space with capital and resources for growth. Victress has backed 21 innovative companies led by tenacious founders including Alyce, Daily Harvest, Harper Wilde, Rae, and Summersalt. 

Prior to Victress, Madeline developed her consumer expertise as an operator, experiencing first-hand the importance of customer-centric values while working at Apple and The Walt Disney Company. She then moved to Oliver Wyman, where she focused on partnering with leading consumer product and services businesses on strategic growth initiatives, operational improvement, and post-merger integrations.

You can follow Madeline on Twitter @mkeulen and check out her blog mkeulen.com To follow along behind the scenes of the show, you can follow @mikegelb and @consumervc.

One book that inspired her professionally and personally is How Will You Measure Your Life? By Clay Christensen. A couple other books that inspired her professionally are Sam Walton’s Made in America and Phil Knight’s Shoedog.

On this episode you will learn – 

  1. What attracted Madeline to startups and venture capital in the first place? How was she able to break into venture? A bit about Victress Capital? What she looks for at the seed stage? Her diligence process?
  2. Boston’s startup ecosystem. What is the value of a brand? How to think about competitive advantage and moat? How she thinks about contrasting trends? Is this the hardest period to build a brand in today’s climate since it seems so easy to launch a brand?
  3. How the DTC channel has changed? Why she is so bullish on consumer? What she would change about venture capital? Advice for founders in secondary and tertiary markets. The importance of knowing your why.

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