The No Cap Newsletter (015)
A bi-weekly newsletter ran by the RippleX Fellowship, covering key program learnings, industry news, and fellow spotlights.
🎉 Welcome Jeeves
We are beyond excited to announce that Jeeves will be joining the RippleX family as our newsletter sponsor!
Jeeves is a leader in financial infrastructure supporting businesses globally. It offers a truly all-in-one expense management corporate card program for international startups including a global switching layer across countries and the ability to run all your company spend on their platform.
The fellowship aims to empower students toward entrepreneurship and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner to join us in this journey!
🌎 RippleX Takes On Toronto
What an exciting way to end the week! We held our latest social in Toronto last Thursday with amazing fellows, alumni, and our friends at RBCx finally together in one place. An eventful night with good laughs shared over food and drinks.
With Summer right around the corner, we are excited to keep the ball rolling with more events to come. Interested to host an event in your local city? Please feel free to reach out to the RippleX team, and let’s make it happen!
🤝 Founder - Partner Fit
When there is money everywhere, who you partner with becomes much more important.
There has been an influx of capital in the venture world lately, and while this always sounds promising we need to remember that capital alone is not enough to make companies successful. With the power shifting back into the founder’s hands entrepreneurs need to look beyond capital and focus more on ‘fit’.
While raising capital is an important aspect of building a startup, given the length of time venture investments last, sometimes upwards of a decade, the relationship between the founder and investor is arguably much more important than the size of the investment made.
The three to six months of meeting with hundreds of investors may be exhausting, it pales in comparison to the seven to twelve years founders spend working with the investors that they end up choosing.
What does a strong founder/partner fit look like?
For Ripple and our founders, it means building a relationship where the founder feels supported through both the good and bad times and feels comfortable in sharing both successes and struggles with the partner.
Tough decisions are inevitable when building a startup and it is imperative that both the founder and partner feel that they can freely express themselves while knowing that they are being supported by a partner who is ultimately a teammate.
Interested to learn about specific tips for a successful founder-partner relationship from Matt Cohen? Keep reading.
💰 Venture Capital 101
If you google ‘Venture Capital’, you’ll find the following definition: capital invested in a project in which there is a substantial element of risk, typically a new or expanding business. This is a term that you’ll see thrown around a ton in the tech scene, but you may be wondering why it even matters? Or perhaps, what value does it provide startups?
Well, startups only have certain options when raising funding which consists of bootstrapping, angel investing, family & friends, grants/loans, and finally, venture capital. VC in the simplest terms is investing in startups. It’s been commercialized in Silicon Valley with household names such as Apple, Cisco, and many more by investors such as A16Z, Sequoia, etc. The investments will result in minority ownership positions (>25% typically) per round ranging across early to late-stage companies and without a doubt, these are very risky investments.
Let’s look into two example startups:
You could be a Tesla (which is totally fine)
Nice business, family-style, consistent cash flows
May get turned down on market size or lack of IP from VCs most likely
Small market, good product, okay team
Or, you could be a Rocket Ship
Venture scale business, potential to become a huge company
Huge market + perfect market timing + customers willing to spend
A solid must-have product, growth through network effects, huge following
Amazing team, and can execute well
Here is a breakdown of the Stage of Venture Captial:
It’s a relationship business.
More important than what you know, it’s who you know.
Building relationships with founders before you invest in them is crucial.
Venture investments are like a marriage – you’re in it for the long run so you better know who you’re getting involved with!
Try to provide value to others before you ever expect anything in return.
The most important pieces of advice: be nice to everyone, and be open-minded.
The lesson doesn’t stop here, there’s much more to cover! Take a peek into our course accessible to anyone:
💡 Fellow Spotlight
Arielle Lok - Co-founder of Peko Produce
Let’s go over some facts. According to the World Resource Insitute, approximately one-quarter of all food produced for human consumption is wasted every year and this equates to roughly $1600 of food thrown out by the average U.S. resident per year. Within Canada alone, $3.1 billion of produce is rejected every year due to cosmetic reasons alone. This is where Peko Produce comes in to fill this divide.
Introducing Arielle Lok, co-founder of Peko Produce from cohort #7 who has developed an amazing solution to tackle this issue. Peko Produce aims to fight food waste and promote access to affordable, healthy food by delivering “imperfect” or surplus fruits and vegetables to consumers at up to 40% off grocery prices. This startup has won numerous competitions across various institutions (McGill Dobson Cup, Queen's Entrepreneurship Competition, etc.) and companies (TELUS Innovation Challenge, RBC Get Seeded, etc.) with no sign of slowing down.
Arielle’s story doesn’t end here. When she’s not actively engaged in building her startup, you’ll find Arielle at Shopify working at the intersection of VC, M&A, and Strategy. She’s previously worked in numerous ventures and of course, is a previous Ripple Ventures alum. Oh did we forget to mention that Arielle was also named as one of DMZ’s 2022 Women of the Year!
See what Arielle had to say about her experience with the fellowship program 👇
“Ripple was unlike any other venture fellowship. They emphasized hands-on learning more than anything else, and every lesson was so practical in a real world setting. I was able to gain 10 amazing friends from across the continent, and I finally made the leap from funder to founder with the support of Ripple and my peer cohort!”
Interested in being featured? Looking to share exciting news? Please reach out to Turja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authored by Turja Chowdhury (Cohort #9).