Kara Nortman is the co-founder of Seedling and partner at Upfront Ventures. In this interview she recounts her evolution as a creative child from an adventurous family, to her role as a partner in the largest and most tenured venture capital fund in Los Angeles.
Armed with an AB in Politics and an MBA from Stanford, Kara Nortman found herself the only person from business school attending a C++ class when she interned at Microsoft more than a decade ago. Before that, she delved deep into esoteric stuff, sailing across uncharted waters (talk DSL and IP switches) just to make her job as telecoms industry analyst at Morgan Stanley more fulfilling and meaningful.
To Kara, so much lies beyond our comfort zones. For her, true entrepreneurs need to “dig past their limitations” to make the impossible possible. But for this to happen, entrepreneurs must have resilience, self-awareness, and passion for what they do.
Join Kara as she walks us through her formative years, from family trips that gave her a broader perspective, to her role as a VC evaluating the business viability of startups. Find out what makes a good pitch, and which traits differentiate successful entrepreneurs from those who won’t make the cut.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- How Kara’s upbringing influenced her evolution as a top-tier entrepreneur.
- The important role love of learning and discovery plays in achieving entrepreneurial success.
- The importance of finding mentors even at the point where you can mentor budding entrepreneurs and leaders yourself.
- Why being passionate also matters in the art of investing.
- Which entrepreneurial traits venture capitalists commonly look for.
- Why entrepreneurs should also conduct due diligence on the particular investors they are pitching to as much as the other way around.
- The factors making Los Angeles a highly attractive venue for innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth.
These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg
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Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- Featured Entrepreneur: Kara Nortman, Upfront Ventures partner, Seedling USA Chairman. Kara Nortman in Venture Inside, @karanortman
- Mentioned Personalities
- Scott Jones: Inventor, voice mail pioneer, and serial entrepreneur. Scott A. Jones, @chachaman
- Mark Suster: Entrepreneur, angel investor and Upfront partner. @msuster, Both Sides of the Table, Mark Suster @ Medium
- Ted Meisel: Entrepreneur and investor. WiserCare, @tedmeisel
- Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer, TCP/IP co-inventor. On “Reinventing the Internet”, Vint Cert @ TED, Vint Cerf @ Google
Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Kara on Twitter!
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What stood out most to you about what Kara shares in this podcast?
For me, it’s the importance of love of learning and discovery in achieving entrepreneurial success.
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