When you mix venture capital with a love of music, you’ll get this week’s guest, Andy Weissman — the current managing partner at Union Square Ventures. After graduating from Wesleyan University, Andy received his JD from Georgetown and quickly moved into venture capital. He describes himself as someone who stumbles through life looking for peace, happiness, and comfort, but I know him as someone who’s unlike any other venture capitalist I’ve ever met. In this episode, we talk about how luck and serendipity are one and the same and how he makes his investment decisions at Union Square Venture—particularly when factoring a company’s mission and purpose.
People can thrive professionally in different environments and roles, and this week’s guest has done so. From entrepreneur to White House staffer to his leadership role at BlackRock—the largest asset manager in the world—Jonathan McBride has always followed his instincts. After graduating from Wharton, he began his career at Goldman Sachs. A few years later, he took the leap to start Jungle Media Group—later selling that company to take on a new role as the chief strategy officer for Universum. His career in the private sector is moving up and to the right, so why leap to the public sector? You have to believe it’s an opportunity that only knocks once, and for McBride, the chance to work for President Obama was that opportunity. We talk about his life’s influences, the experiences and lessons that make him the person he is today, and the fact that he’s one of the finest individuals I know.
In this episode, I’m speaking with Freestyle.VC Partner, Jenny Lefcourt. We grew up together in Miami, Florida, and it’s been fun to watch her professional life evolve into what it is today. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania,Jenny became a CPA at Arthur Andersen—where she discovered public accounting wasn’t for her. After a couple of years working for a startup in Silicon Valley, she attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business, before dropping out to start her own company. We talk about how—after an initial bumpy start—she discovered her true passion and became the co-founder of two successful startups, eventually leading to her current role as a venture capitalist.