Announcing Talks forEntrepreneurs: Conversations with Experts and Entrepreneurs to Help You Grow Your Company.

At Matrix Partners, our mission is to support and guide entrepreneurs building bold new businesses. Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest jobs around, but we believe that hearing the experiences of other founders and experts is one of the best ways for us to spur more learning and faster growth.

Our Talks forEntrepreneurs series starts with Payments–a space more complicated than many where it’s critical for entrepreneurs to know the players, technologies and how they’re all connected and changing.

In this series of videos, General Partner Dana Stalder sits down with successful founders and executives in FinTech. Each short talk helps entrepreneurs understand the challenges, opportunities, and players in different areas of payments, while giving them tools and knowledge to grow their companies.

The first three videos are included below. Listen or view on your favorite channel, and subscribe to be notified as we post more videos on FinTech, marketplaces, startup management, and more. Drop us a note at talks@matrixpartners.com with topics you’d like us to explore next. We hope you enjoy the Talks!

 

Lessons Learned Starting My First Company (10 minutes)

Osama Bedier founded Poynt 18 months ago after leadership positions at Google and PayPal. Hear what he’s learned, including:

  • Skipping a seed round
  • Selling before coding
  • Hiring great people and letting go

 

From LendingClub to Orchard–What’s Happening in Credit? (16 minutes)

Hans Morris of Nyca Partners, Director at LendingClub and former president of Visa, joins Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners to discuss the evolution in credit:

  • Why this is a multi-hundred billion dollar opportunity
  • What investors look for in credit startups
  • Global vs US opportunities for innovation

 

Mobile Payments: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know (22 minutes)

Scott Loftesness of Glenbrook and Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners discuss mobile payments and:

  • The 8+ year journey to ApplePay
  • Technologies here to stay: NFC, tokenization, and biometrics
  • What it all means for the Networks
  • What’s driving merchant and consumer demand

Like these? Listen or view on your favorite channel, and subscribe to be notified as we post more videos on FinTech, marketplaces, startup management, and more.


Toward Our 3D Future

This article was originally published in TechCrunch.

3dprinthouse-e1425055831270If the past couple of years have been about one theme for me investment-wise, they have been about exploring the bridge between bits and atoms with a series of bets aimed to make a path between the digital world and the physical one we populate.

And no, I am not talking about ordering a pizza from my smartphone or getting a maid on-demand to come clean my house within an hour. I’m talking about turning the bits on your screen into something you can touch or turning the room in which you are reading these words in into a digital model that you can inhabit. I am referring to the worlds of 3D printing and virtual reality.

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Bridge Group 2015 SaaS Inside Sales Survey Report

Survey results from 342 B2B SaaS companies on key inside sales metrics including group structure, ramp and retention, quota and compensation, activity & technology and leadership.

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Intro

The SaaS model has become mainstream, and is everywhere. Gone are the early fears of data privacy and security, and now even late adopters are using SaaS for a variety of functions. Software as a Service didn’t just change the delivery mechanism, business model and associated metrics, it also changed the way software is sold. In most SaaS companies, the model of choice is Inside Sales (occasionally coupled with a smaller team of field sales reps).

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Namely – our third HR tech investment in three months. What’s going on here?

Namely_Logo_fullTypically, HR tech has been viewed skeptically by investors. The HR function is a cost center, and because it’s been hard to show a strong ROI, the head of HR doesn’t typically command a big budget.

Despite this, Matrix is announcing our third HR tech investment in three months, a New York based SaaS company called Namely. What are we seeing here that is so compelling?

Namely is part of a second generation of SaaS and mobile apps. The first generation of apps like Salesforce.com and Workday were built with a primary focus on being systems of record, with little focus on user experience and enjoyment. Most salespeople don’t like using Salesforce.com, as it adds a lot of work to their already busy lives. Similarly, we’ve heard consistent reports of a strong reluctance of employees and managers to incorporate Workday into their daily routines, as it also adds work, its UI is not intuitive, and makes simple tasks complex.

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The Smart Payment Terminal – Digital Infrastructure to Transform Local Business

Local Business is Ripe For Innovation

logo-100Over the last ten years, smartphones and tablets have fundamentally changed the way most people go about their daily lives. The basic ways we communicate, navigate, work and play are dramatically different, and most would agree, dramatically better. Mainstreet, on the other hand, looks just about the same as it did one, or even two decades ago. Walk in to almost any small businesses, and you’ll encounter the same clunky, outdated payment terminal and cash register. Every so often you’ll find a merchant using a touchpad POS system, and if you find a really ‘cutting edge’ early adopter, there will be tablets strewn across their countertops so that customers can use a new age check-in or coupon/promotion system.

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