Our guest today is Jesse Draper, Founding Partner of Halogen Ventures. Halogen Ventures is a Los Angeles, California based Venture Capital fund focused on investing in early stage consumer technology startups with a female in the founding team. Some of their investments include Hop Skip Drive, Clover Letter, and Binti. Previously, Jesse was an actress and founded/hosted The Valley Girl Show, where she interviewed some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, government, and technology.
One book that impacted Jesse personally is To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam. One book the inspired Jesse professionally is High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil.
Here are some of the questions I ask Jesse –
- Talk to me about your attraction to acting and why the shift to VC?
- What was the opportunity that you discovered that led you to starting Halogen?
- What types of businesses or areas do you focus on at Halogen?
- What makes you excited about Los Angeles as a venture hub?
- I know that every company that you invest in must have at least one woman in a leadership role. What are some ways that the VC community could be doing to be more inclusive?
- Talk to me a little bit about your due diligence process?
- What stage do you invest in and how are you thinking about the early stage landscape?
- COVID is very top of mind right now, has this shifted your strategy on what areas you should focus on?
- Has it been harder finding conviction since you have to meet founders remote?
- What’s one thing that you would change when it came to venture capital?
- What’s your most recent investment and what makes you excited about it?
- What’s one company that you had the opportunity to invest in, didn’t and in retrospect wish you did?
- What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
- What’s one piece of advice to founders?