How this VC became the rising star in Silicon Valley

The co-founder of investor firm Clearbanc Michelle Romanow about why her revenue share model sets founders on a better path for profits

Before the age of 28, Michele Romanow already started 3 companies. She's on TV regularly as one of the Dragon's on CBC's Dragon's Den, the Canadian equivalent to ABC's Shark Tank. And she was named as Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

In this episode Michele talks with Britta about why she co-founded Clearbanc, a new breed of VC firm that is completely revamping the VC game.

Clearbanc funds startups through equity-free investments with the promise of being specifically founder friendly – and it made big noise with 1 billion dollars in investments only last year into almost 2200 startups so far.  Michele is convinced that's her firm's strategy is setting startups on a much better path for profits, because in her view "founder led companies have been far more successful than ones that have been led by the board generally".

During the Corona crisis Clearbanc finds itself in a unique position, since it largely invests in e-commerce companies that have seen an uptick in usage due to the rules of social distancing. In this podcast Michele talks about why in her view “No VC is the better VC”, shares her perspective on the upsetting lack of female investors in the VC world – and what founders can do now to get a better deal for themselves and their startup.

2:09: How a serial entrepreneur became the founder of VC firm Clearbanc
9:37: Why equity-free investments are the future for founders
15:49: Why the startup world needs more female VCs to have more female founders
21:25: Michelle about investing: “You need to have skin in the game to really care.”
24:37: Beer Garden Break: "You are not a true disruptor unless there is a few people that don't like you"
31:41: How to start a VC firm with a co-founder who is also your partner in your private life
36:55: Award winner, founder, successful investor, tv star: What's next, Michelle?
38:19: Either-or-game: “I learned to trust my instincts”

Production: Regina Körner & Migo Fecke (professional-podcasts.com), Hubert Honold.