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The Winning Traits of Founders; Andrea Hippeau, Partner at Lerer Hippeau

"There’s a lot of road blocks as a founder. You have to be willing and able to run through walls and not get exhausted.” -Andrea Hippeau

Andrea Hippeau is a Partner at Lerer Hippeau, an early-stage venture capital fund that has invested in some of the most forward thinking brands - Warby Parker, Allbirds, Cotopaxi, Casper, and Thrive. Andrea shares what traits all the best founders have, what her investor matrix is, how she uses her network, how founders should leverage their investors, and what her number one focus would be if she was starting all over again in venture capital.

Key Takeaways:

1. The Best Founders: Have Tenacity, Hire Well, and Financial Fitness. They also have a clear vision and are comfortable in their own skin.

2. Make Your Board Work for You: Boards aren't just formalities; they're a powerful resource. Andrea explains how founders can use their boards strategically for problem solving, planning, and long-term success.

3. Be Yourself: Don’t take a job that forces you to change your wardrobe to fit in. Be at a place where you can be your authentic self.

Topics Covered:

Andrea’s background and journey to Venture Capital 2:53

Responsibilities as Partner 9:56

Creating an Investor Filter 11:52

How to tell within 30 seconds whether to invest 14:10

Selecting the right people 17:50

Building a Network 23:17

Common traits of good founders 25:52

Why Founders need to be one step ahead 29:28

VC’s relationship with Founders 30:10

How communication plays a crucial role in VC-founder's relationship 34:04

How Founders Should Leverage Their Board 35:29

How Lerer Hippeau supports their portfolio 42:21

Effective time management habits 43:58

Best advice 46:47

Book recommendation 48:11

Number one focus if Andrea had to start over as a VC 48:56

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