Founder Forward

NEA (New Enterprise Associates)

Founder Forward is a new podcast from NEA that explores the company building journey with candid commentary and useful insights from entrepreneurs and investors at every stage of growth. Join host Kate Barrett as she talks with rising founders about solving big problems, from making healthcare equitable to powering our planet sustainably. Each episode weaves in a featured conversation between an NEA investor and a founder they support at some of the firm’s most exciting portfolio companies.  Founder Forward is produced in partnership with FRQNCY Media. read less
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Episodes

Optimatik & Forethought:  Building Generative AI Companies In a Rapidly Evolving Market
Aug 2 2023
Optimatik & Forethought: Building Generative AI Companies In a Rapidly Evolving Market
On this episode, Mandela Patrick, Co-Founder and CEO of Optimatik, an AI company that harnesses data-driven insights to optimize high-quality creatives for brands, speaks with host Kate Barrett about building something new in an already noisy field, the value of tapping into your own trusted network, and the powerful ways new tools can democratize access to technology. Throughout the conversation Deon Nicholas, Co-Founder and CEO of Forethought, the leading generative AI for customer support, and NEA Partner Vanessa Larco share their thoughts about building a business in a volatile, highly competitive market, cultivating intentional growth through careful prioritization, and the difficult decisions founders have to make during tough times. Tune in to hear what inspired Mandela and Deon to become founders, how they’re leveraging the hype around AI to hire top talent, and how generative AI is empowering people to be more efficient, productive and creative. You can follow us on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn. The information provided in this podcast is solely intended for the use of entrepreneurs, corporate officers, and founders regarding potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies of New Enterprise Associates (NEA). The contents are not intended to be used in the investment decision making process related to any fund managed by NEA. Any investments identified are for illustrative purposes only. No assumptions should be made that any investments were or will be profitable. Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. NEA has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this podcast nor notify its audience in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. For more information about NEA’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies, please refer to www.nea.com.
Violet & Everside:  Putting Patients First to Transform Care Delivery and Improve Outcomes
Jun 7 2023
Violet & Everside: Putting Patients First to Transform Care Delivery and Improve Outcomes
On this episode, Gaurang Choksi, Founder and CEO of Violet, the first cultural competence credentialing and upskilling platform for clinicians, speaks with host Kate Barrett about the importance of inclusive care in generating better health outcomes, how data can be used to build health equity, and the powerful role mission can play in all aspects of company building. Throughout the conversation, Everside Health CEO Chris Miller and NEA Co-President Mohamad Makhzoumi share insights and advice gleaned in building one of the nation's largest providers of direct primary and mental health care--from the benefits of increased access to care, to how CEOs can vet potential investors to find the best long-term partner for their business. Listen to find out what inspired Gaurang and Chris to build transformational healthcare companies and how prioritizing patient outcomes is reshaping a massive industry. To learn more about NEA, visit: nea.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast.  Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms.   NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable.  The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA.  NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated.  To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies.  Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.
Thirteen Lune & Mejuri: Leaning Into Consumer Trends and Cultural Shifts to Build a Powerful D2C Brand
May 3 2023
Thirteen Lune & Mejuri: Leaning Into Consumer Trends and Cultural Shifts to Build a Powerful D2C Brand
In this episode, Nyakio Grieco, Co-Founder of Thirteen Lune, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce beauty platform featuring Black and Brown-owned brands, speaks with host Kate Barrett about how a cultural turning point led her to create a mission-driven startup, how to harness an ever-evolving marketing stack to drive growth, and the importance of vetting potential investors. Throughout the conversation, Mejuri CEO and Co-Founder Noura Sakkijha and NEA Partner Vanessa Larco share insightful commentary about changing consumer behaviors, how to hire for long-term growth, and the powerful ways in which measurement can help propel a business forward. Tune in to hear what inspired Nyakio and Noura to become founders, how their families and backgrounds shaped their entrepreneurial visions, and why it's important to infuse a company's values into every aspect of the business. To learn more about NEA, visit: nea.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast. Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms. NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies. Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.
Flowbo & Patreon: Fueling the Creator Economy
Apr 19 2023
Flowbo & Patreon: Fueling the Creator Economy
In this episode, Flowbo CEO & co-founder Daniel Kang talks to host Kate Barrett about his path to entrepreneurship, what inspired him to build financial infrastructure for creators and influencers, and navigating new challenges as his company grows. Throughout the conversation, Patreon CEO and co-founder Jack Conte and NEA partner Jonathan Golden discuss the unique challenges creators face in monetizing their work, how a marketplace platform can shift the power dynamics between brands, institutions and individuals, and perspectives on prioritizing product versus growth as the business scales. Tune in to find out what compelled Daniel and Jack to build companies in service to creators, what really matters most when choosing investors, and valuable lessons each has learned as a first-time founder. To learn more about NEA, visit: nea.com or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast. Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms. NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies. Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.
Beek & MasterClass: Finding Purpose, Product-Market Fit, and Partners for Growth
Apr 5 2023
Beek & MasterClass: Finding Purpose, Product-Market Fit, and Partners for Growth
In this episode, Pamela Valdes, CEO and Co-Founder of Beek, the largest audio platform for Spanish speakers, speaks to host Kate Barrett about starting a company to solve a pressing problem, how she grabbed the attention of Silicon Valley, and why a founder has to keep growing alongside their business. Throughout this conversation we hear from David Rogier, Founder and CEO of MasterClass, and NEA General Partner Rick Yang. As they look back on the company's rapid rise from big idea to beloved brand, David and Rick talk about unlocking product-market fit, embracing the tumultuous highs and lows of company building, and finding the right investors for the journey. Tune in to find out what inspired Pamela and David to take big leaps of faith, obstacles they faced as first-time founders, and how they convinced some of the world's biggest names and most sought-after advisors to get on board.  To learn more about NEA, visit: nea.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast.  Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms. NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies. Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.
Webiny & Databricks:  Accelerating Adoption, Customer-Guided Growth, and Forging Powerful Partnerships
Mar 22 2023
Webiny & Databricks: Accelerating Adoption, Customer-Guided Growth, and Forging Powerful Partnerships
In this episode, Webiny Co-Founder Sven Al Hamad speaks with host Kate Barrett about his path to founding the serverless CMS startup, gaining traction in a massive market, and solving real problems for users. Throughout the conversation, Databricks Co-Founder Ali Ghodsi and NEA's Pete Sonsini discuss the early challenges, big wins and defining moments that have shaped Databricks' ascent, sharing some great stories and sound advice from their decade-plus journey together.  Tune in to hear these founders talk about building open-source solutions that truly meet the needs of the communities and enterprises they serve, and how listening to customers can shape a company's path in unexpected and important ways.  To learn more about NEA, visit: nea.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast. Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms.   NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies. Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.
BlueOcean & Cloudflare: Defying Expectations, Radical Prioritization and “Scaling” Culture
Mar 1 2023
BlueOcean & Cloudflare: Defying Expectations, Radical Prioritization and “Scaling” Culture
In this episode, BlueOcean Co-Founder Liza Nebel speaks with host Kate Barrett about her journey from the advertising world to starting a brand intelligence company, building a strong foundation to drive rapid growth, and the importance of aligning a team around shared goals. Throughout the conversation, Cloudflare Co-Founder Michelle Zatlyn and NEA’s Scott Sandell reflect on their decade-long journey working together, sharing insights and advice about what it takes to build one of the world's most impactful technology companies. Tune in to find out what inspired Liza and Michelle to become founders, the important lessons they have learned along the way, and their perspectives on often being the only woman in the room. To learn more about NEA, visit: nea.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast. Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms.   NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies. Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.
WeaveGrid & GoodLeap: Passion, Purpose and a Path to Profitability
Feb 15 2023
WeaveGrid & GoodLeap: Passion, Purpose and a Path to Profitability
In this episode, WeaveGrid Co-Founder Apoorv Bhargava speaks with host Kate Barrett about what it takes to innovate in the climate tech space, what makes a company venture-backable, and how to design a solution where every stakeholder wins. Throughout the conversation, GoodLeap Founder Hayes Barnard and NEA’s Jeff Immelt chime in with their own insights and advice about getting investors to buy into sustainability and ESG, what matters in mentorship, and tried-and-true methods for building a great team. Tune in to find out what each of these founders has learned along the way about leading a successful mission-driven company. To learn more about NEA, visit nea.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast. Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms.   NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies. Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.
Welcome to Founder Forward!
Feb 7 2023
Welcome to Founder Forward!
What does it take to build a great company? How can a founder transform a personal passion or pressing problem into a powerful mission and a thriving business? What do successful entrepreneurs and investors know that every founder can apply to their own company-building journey? Each episode of Founder Forward explores all of these questions, with candid commentary and useful insights from venture capitalists and entrepreneurs at every stage of growth. Join host Kate Barrett along with leading investors like Scott Sandell, Peter Sonsini, and Rick Yang, as they talk to some of today’s boldest and brightest founders – from Patreon’s Jack Conte to Ali Ghodsi of Databricks, from Blue Ocean’s Liza Nebel to Nyakio Grieco of Thirteen Lune – about the triumphs, tough lessons and defining moments that shape their company building journeys. To learn more about NEA, visit: nea.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The information provided in this podcast is for educational and illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be an offer of securities, investments, investment advice or recommendations. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, nothing in this communication should be interpreted to suggest that the SEC has endorsed or approved the contents of the podcast. Any offering of securities by NEA is restricted to qualified investors and is made pursuant to offering documents that contain important disclosures concerning risk, fees, conflicts, and other important information. The company founders or other executives featured in the podcast are not compensated, directly or indirectly, by NEA but may be founders or executives of portfolio companies NEA has invested in through funds managed by NEA and its affiliates. The host of the podcast is an employee of NEA and is compensated in her role as a NEA employee. NEA has paid to optimize the placement of this podcast on certain online search platforms.   NEA makes no assurance that investment results obtained historically can be obtained in the future, or that any investments managed by NEA will be profitable. The statements made by the founders, investors and the presenters in the podcast are their own, and are not intended to be an endorsement of the investment advisory services offered by NEA. NEA has no obligation to update, modify, or amend the contents of the podcast nor to notify the listeners in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate or outdated. To the extent the founders and investors featured in the podcast discuss hypotheticals, projections, or forecasts to illustrate their views, such views are their own and are not verified or adopted by NEA, nor has NEA tested the validity of the assumptions that underlie these opinions. The companies featured in the podcast are not a representative sample of all current or former NEA portfolio companies. Listeners of the information contained in the podcast should consult their own legal, tax, and financial advisers because the contents are not intended by NEA to be used as part of the investment decision making process related to any investment managed by NEA.