Having now raised greater than $1.1 billion for enterprise capital investments over the course of her profession, Elise Hebb remembers when she first caught the VC bug.
It was the mid-2000s and investing was beginning to perk up after the gloom of the dot-com bubble burst.
There was “optimism, innovation, technology. Everything was ‘up and to the right,’” like a rising chart, Hebb said. “It was hard not to get excited about it.”
In 2006 she joined the Seattle-based Madrona Enterprise Group, spending almost 10 years on the VC agency. She left in 2017 to turn out to be partner and chief working officer of Maveron, an investor in early-stage shopper firms. Previous investments embody eBay, Zulily, Allbirds, Trupanion, Normal Meeting and Everlane.
“My job focuses around making sure that our firm runs as well as our best run portfolio company, which means I wear a lot of hats,” Hebb mentioned. “I lead finance and administration as well as marketing, PR, and investor relations and fundraising.”
Maveron final week introduced that it had closed its seventh fund, elevating $180 million. Hebb led the hassle. For greater than a decade, the agency has prioritized variety in its funding groups, and the group who will distribute this new fund shall be evenly break up between three ladies and three males.
That stage of gender equality has helped Maveron attain a extra various set of entrepreneurs. Final yr, 70 p.c of the businesses that Maveron backed had a feminine founder, whereas solely 2.2 p.c of the $130 billion in VC funding that was given out nationally went to women-led firms, based on PitchBook.
Past ladies main startups, Hebb is raring to see extra ladies on the head of Fortune 500-level companies. Of the Fortune 500 firms, 33 are led by ladies, or 6.6 p.c.
“Where is the [female] equivalent of a Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos as CEO of these big companies?” Hebb requested. Maybe the startups that Maveron is supporting right this moment might develop into that subsequent massive factor, spearheaded by a feminine CEO.
“It takes a long time to build these companies,” she said. “We’ll know more in 5-to-10 years.”
And she has a extra rapid request for entrepreneurs. Hebb would love for somebody to construct a platform that hybridizes LinkedIn with a friend-focused social media instrument. She envisions utilizing it to make higher visitor lists for occasions, ferreting out individuals she in any other case overlooks.
“There is no great tech solution to say, ‘Who are the people I know who I’m not spending more time with? How do I surface those people?’” she mentioned. “That drives me crazy.”
When you construct it, (maybe) she will fund.
We caught up with Hebb for this Working Geek, a daily GeekWire function. Proceed studying for her solutions to our questionnaire.
Present location: I dwell in Seattle with my two children, however spend numerous time at our different workplace in San Francisco and touring everywhere in the world visiting our traders.
Laptop varieties: MacBook Professional
Cell units: iPhone XS
Favourite apps, cloud providers and software program instruments: I’ve been utilizing Superhuman these days to check out a brand new e mail shopper. It’s fairly slick. I don’t know what we’d do with out Slack given how unfold out our workforce is. It’s an effective way for all of us to always talk.
Describe your workspace. Why does it be just right for you? I’ve tried to show myself to work from wherever. Given how a lot I journey I’m on airplanes (with spotty WiFi), behind Lyft’s, in convention rooms, and espresso outlets. With the ability to discover productiveness anytime I’ve 10-to-15 minutes is vital.
Your best recommendation for managing on a regular basis work and life? For me, it’s been about setting priorities and aligning my calendar accordingly. When work is especially loopy, I maintain numerous time so meetings and networking that may wait doesn’t fill my time. I additionally know there are particular occasions that my children will want me extra. I’ve discovered to carry numerous flex time at first and finish of the college yr and I attempt to be versatile within the morning to assist with getting the youngsters launched for varsity. My calendar dictates my priorities, so I must be proactive about ensuring that they’re aligned.
Your most well-liked social community? How do you utilize it for enterprise/work? Maveron focuses on shopper manufacturers and I lead our advertising and marketing and PR efforts so I’ve to be on Instagram. I’m making an attempt to restrict my private time on social and screens usually, so I set display screen closing dates and attempt to separate the engagement I must do for work from the time sink of the infinite scroll.
Present variety of unanswered emails in your inbox? Method too many. I are inclined to get a construct up and then after I’m on an extended flight I’ll purge every little thing. I feel I’m headed to the East Coast in a few weeks, so hopefully I’ll land with inbox zero.
Variety of appointments/meetings on your calendar this week? So much. I’m catching up on 1:1s with the workforce and networking coffees given I’ve been within the fundraising tunnel for the final three months.
How do you run meetings? At all times on time to the minute. I learn some time again that one other VC expenses their workforce members for each minute they’re late. It was good inspiration for me. I’ve labored in cultures where being 5 minutes late is the established order and I received sucked into that mindset and it didn’t really feel good.
Past that, it relies upon on the kind of assembly. If it’s a 1:1 with one in all my workforce members I wish to be certain the time is efficacious for them and I’m serving to transfer them ahead. If it’s with an investor, I wish to be certain I’m answering their questions. I all the time favor to have an agenda in Google Docs and take notes in each assembly within the doc. I attempt to align the agenda with my priorities. If I’m my best self I may even maintain 10-to-15 minutes after an vital assembly to complete up notes and set subsequent steps or follow-up gadgets so I don’t overlook.
On a regular basis work uniform? I actually like to decorate up. Excessive heels, tailor-made attire. I really feel extra assured and skilled after I’m dressed properly for work. That mentioned, we’ve got a really informal costume code at Maveron, so generally it’s very nice to roll in carrying athleisure and Allbirds.
How do you find time for household? My children are crucial factor in my life so I all the time find time for them. Meal time is protected, which suggests typically working after they go to mattress, which retains getting later (and consequently tougher) as they become older. I all the time reply after they name, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. However additionally they know that I like to work and they’re happy with my profession. They know that generally work has to take up some household time and settle for that as a result of it’s the exception, not the rule.
Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? I should say driving my Peloton, but it surely’s actually the luxurious of a quiet evening at residence watching one thing stress-free on TV. That’s possibly one evening each two weeks, but it surely’s an awesome recharge. Chef’s Desk on Netflix utterly de-stresses and evokes me.
What are you listening to? I hearken to the New York Occasions Each day podcast nearly on daily basis. It’s such an awesome podcast for present occasions. The “Hamilton” soundtrack is on fixed repeat in our home, which was enjoyable for some time, however now I’m prepared for a break.
Each day reads? Favourite websites and newsletters? Mike Allen’s morning Axios publication is a must-read for me. He sends it out round four a.m. PST so it’s all the time the very first thing in my inbox each morning. Dan Primack or Connie Loizos’s each day VC publication is all the time a fast skim as properly. And, in fact, GeekWire. 🙂
E book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? Our agency simply learn “Thinking in Bets” by Annie Duke. She shares a very fascinating option to separate the standard of our resolution making from the outcomes of these selections. It’s very related for my job, but in addition for all times usually. I additionally simply picked up Ben Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor” once more. I haven’t learn it in 20 years. I really like his framework for investing.
Evening owl or early riser? My deepest sleep is between 5 and eight a.m. which is absolutely brutal as a result of my alarm goes off at 6:15 on daily basis. I’m rather more of an evening owl and regardless of making an attempt to shift my sleep patterns to raised align with my life, I are inclined to sleep from 11 p.m. to six:15 a.m.
Where do you get your best ideas? I’m most conscious as I go to sleep at evening. That’s when my mind sees most broadly. I replay conversations or visualize my subsequent day. I feel by means of my to-do listing. I’m most clear simply earlier than falling asleep. I’m most inventive when I’m near a deadline. I feel I carry out and suppose higher underneath stress.
Whose work fashion would you wish to study extra about or emulate? I’m all the time making an attempt to steadiness ideas and execution higher. There are such a lot of issues I wish to do and it may be onerous to take these ideas, prioritize them and execute on all of them.