MBA Associate Program @ Red Sea Ventures

Red Sea Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm located in NYC, is seeking a part-time MBA Associate to join the firm as an intern at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester. The firm is seeking an individual who will become an integral part of the fund’s day to day operations and investment process. The MBA Associate will work closely with the Red Sea Ventures team, attend pitch meetings, conduct diligence, and share their views on investment opportunities. Responsibilities will also include summarizing potential investments and conducting extensive market research.

The MBA Associate will receive fantastic exposure to venture capital, the technology industry, and the NYC start-up ecosystem and will gain experience in all aspects of the deal process including sourcing, investing, term sheet negotiation, and portfolio management.

This position will be part-time during the Spring 2018 semester. The MBA Associate will be expected to spend ~12 hours in the office each week and be available for up to 20 hours / week in total. There is potential for the MBA Associate to transition to a full-time internship during Summer 2018 contingent on performance.

Responsibilities

  • Assist team with identifying, sourcing, & evaluating new opportunities

  • Research market opportunities and develop investment themes

  • Produce detailed financial analysis and investment due diligence for potential investments

  • Work in a strategic capacity with portfolio companies on a regular basis

Desired Qualifications

  • Ideally a first-year MBA student looking to enter the venture capital industry

  • 2-5 years of experience preferred at a highly-regarded investment bank, consulting firm, technology company,

    or venture fund

  • Demonstrated passion for technology and entrepreneurship

  • Personal integrity, initiative, quantitative expertise, strong communication skills, and the ability to work as an effective part of a team are essential

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a premier undergraduate program

  • Legally qualified to work in the U.S.

Compensation

• This opportunity is unpaid, but some expenses are included

Next Steps

Please email hello@redseaventures.com using the subject “Red Sea Ventures – MBA Internship Application” and attach your resume and a brief cover letter.

About Red Sea Ventures

Red Sea Ventures is an early-stage venture firm investing in technology-enabled startups that are building the next generation of products and experiences for consumers and workers. Red Sea Ventures makes Seed & Series A investments and focuses much of its efforts on the New York ecosystem. Prior investments include: Sweetgreen, Convoy, Outdoor Voices, Allbirds, WayUp, SkySafe, Nest, and Elite Daily. To learn more about Red Sea Ventures please visit www.redseaventures.com or follow us on Twitter @redseaventures.

Scott's AlleyWatch Interview, Allbirds wool loungers, WayUp & Casetext Series B's, Fabric Launches

Scott was interviewed by AlleyWatch as part of the new series, Inside the Mind of an NYC VC. 

He provides insight into the way we think about the world here at Red Sea Ventures, and how that informs our investment focus and decision-making. Core to this worldview is our belief that the social contract between employer and worker is breaking down. We are moving from a hub and spoke society in which workers demonstrated loyalty to large corporations, to a networked model where individuals and entrepreneurs connect to work through marketplaces and platforms.

"Large companies were previously organized under a social contract promising to deliver employment and income security, training, identity, pensions, and also an implicit promise to continue to hire and absorb new incoming groups of workers. But that isn’t happening anymore and Automation and AI will only accelerate that disintegration.

Now, the Internet has flattened everything. It’s given the edges of the network access to production capacity, to information, to the fundamental resources that were previously only the province of large organizations. Because of this flattening, and the capacity to produce and push power out to the network edges, there is a major shift happening in how our society is organized and is going to be organized."

Scott goes on to talk about the importance of community in successfully building a consumer brand and how millennials have escaped Plato's proverbial Allegory of the Cave and seen the shadows on the wall.

Read the full interview here.

Millennial Job Search Platform WayUp Raises $18.5 Million Series B

Congratulations to Liz, JJ and the WayUp team on the latest funding round led by Trinity Ventures. This brings WayUp's total funding to $27.5 million since it was founded in July 2014, which they plan to use to build out their engineering and product teams. Currently, the team is over 50 employees. 

Casetext raises $12 million for legal research assistant CARA

Casetext raises a $12M Series B on the back of their successful new product release, CARA. 

CARA is an AI-powered legal research assistant that uses Casetext’s wikipedia-like database of over 10mm court cases and annotations, as well as sophisticated natural language analysis and AI, to understand the brief and recommend related cases.

CARA is an invaluable, innovative research tool,” Quinn Emanuel partner David Eiseman said in a statement. “With CARA, we can upload a brief and within seconds receive additional case law suggestions and relevant information on how cases have been used in the past, all in a user-friendly interface.

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, who led Casetext's previous round, wrote in his blog A VC, "the legal business is ripe for AI-driven innovation. Much of legal research can and will be automated with tools like CARA."

Fabric raises $2.5 million to simplify life insurance

Brooklyn-based Fabric, an insurance-tech startup, has launched and raised a seed round of $2.5 million. The funding was led by Bessemer Venture Partners and included Red Sea Ventures. Fabric, which is licensed as an insurance agency, has built an entirely digital process through which customers can purchase life insurance from providers in two minutes without having to deal with a pushy agent. 

The company that made 'the world's most comfortable shoes' is releasing a brand-new style

Allbirds' new Wool Lounger

After the very successful launch of the Wool Runner last year, Allbirds is now launching its second design, the Wool Lounger. We've had the privilege of testing these out and can confirm they are as comfortable as they look.

The Wool Loungers use the same proprietary blend of super-soft natural merino wool from New Zealand that the Runners use; however, Allbirds has incorporated many learnings into the second model from their first year in-market. In fact, the Wool Runner itself "underwent 17 small changes and improvements in the last year." 

The Wool Lounger is available in both women's and men's sizes in green, gray, blue, and yellow. The price is the same as the Wool Runner: $95.

Read more, or Buy a Pair.
www.allbirds.com/

#FashionFWD

Scott moderated a panel at #FASHIONFWD on the future of commerce and the importance of "building a community around your brand." #FashionFWD

Check out the Red Sea Ventures job board on Monday to see open opportunities across the portfolio.

Filter by location and role to find jobs that meet your search criteria, and subscribe for updates to be alerted when new positions are added.

PORTFOLIO COMPANIES YOU'LL LOVE TO WORK FOR
RED SEA MONDAY BOARD

Karan Singh of JanusVR published a Medium post on the design philosophy behind JanusVR and "The Immersive Internet".


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The #1 Holiday Gift Guide in Venture Capital :)

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Happy Holidays from Red Sea Ventures
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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Enjoy this curated list of gifts and promos from the RSV portfolio.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Scott, Jason & the RSV team

 
1. OUTDOOR VOICES

With a New Year's resolution to be more active, of course you need new gear! Outdoor Voices makes sportswear for Doing Things daily — dog walks, runs, and yoga included. 
 
20% Off Your Order
Code: OVHOL20
2. ALLBIRDS

Your feet deserve the gift of comfort and style. Allbirds Wool Runners are the world's most comfortable shoes. If feet could clap, they would!
3. ELECTRIC OBJECTS

The gift that keeps on giving: Electric Objects is a great way to bring infinite options of art into the home. It's the perfect holiday gift for that new home. 

Buy 1 EO2, get $20 off
Promo code: CBS20
4. AMPLE HILLS

The Holiday Season means ample excuses for as much ice cream as you want. Ample Hills ships nationwide!

You can order online at www.amplehills.com
5. GOBY TOOTHBURSH

Everyone will love the Goby electric toothbrush as a stocking stuffer and you'll also benefit from a family with the freshest breath!

Save $15 when you purchase and subscribe to replacement brush heads. 

This holiday, give the gift of growing and get the whole family hands-on with their food — from mushrooms that grow in 10 days to easy windowsill planters, and home aquaponics!
 
15% off Ready to Grow product line with promo code: GIFTOFGROWING15
7. NUCLEUS INTERCOM

There's no better gift than letting Grandma see the kids! Nucleus is a connected intercom device that combines the family phone, video calling, baby monitoring and smart controls for an all-in-one tool for communication and home management. 
 
15% off all orders
Code: nucleuscbs2016
8. TRACKSMITH

Don't walk into the new year. Run! Tracksmith creates premium performance apparel to celebrate the style and culture of running.
 
Free Shipping to New Customers
Code: trackholiday16
9. THE FANCY

It's OK that being cool isn't your thing, let Fancy be your guide! Discover amazing stuff, collect the things you love, and buy it all in one place.

If you're in NYC, check out Fancy's Holiday pop-up shop at 461 W 14th Street over the next few days. 
10. VIOLET GREY

Do you have a lot to make-up for this Holiday? Violet Grey provides a discerning curation of beauty products, tips and inspiration deemed essential by the industry experts who know best.
 
Spend $100, receive $20 off
Code: HOLIDAY20
11. WAYUP

Need an extra hand in the New Year? Hiring interns or recent grads? Use code WELCOME25 to only pay $50 for a 30-day recruiting package on WayUp. 

Go to WayUp.com/Employers, signup, then use the promo-code at checkout.
12. ZIPDRUG
 
Give your friends and family the gift of never waiting at the pharmacy. Zipdrug provides on-demand prescription delivery and savings. Zipdrug is available in the New York Metro area and accepts all insurance plans.
 
Your first delivery is free! ($10 value)

 
13. PAINTZEN

Paintzen takes the pain out of painting with instant quotes and online booking. Start the New Year fresh, with a new coat of paint!

10 % off with discount Code: PZHOL10
Max $200, no discounts below $450.
14. BUSTER.COM

Buster is the easiest way to book a bus, van on limo for your holiday party or corporate event. 

10% off promotion under the discount code: RudolphTheRedSeaVentures
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
NYC EARLY-STAGE VENTURE CAPITAL
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MBA Internship Position @ RSV

Looking for a part-time intern to work at Red Sea Ventures, an early-stage tech venture capital firm located in NYC. The firm is seeking interns who will become an integral part of the fund’s day to day operations and investment process. Interns will work closely with the team at the firm attending new pitches, conducting diligence and sharing their views on investment opportunities. Responsibilities will also include summarizing potential investment opportunities and extensive market research.

The internship will serve as fantastic exposure to venture capital, the technology industry and the start-up ecosystem in New York City. Candidates will gain experience in all aspects of the deal making process from sourcing to investment to portfolio management.

The internship will begin part-time with the potential to transition to a full-time summer internship. Interns will be expected to spend ~12 hours in the office each week and be available for up to 20 hours / week in total.

About the Role

  • Research emerging market opportunities and develop investment themes

  • Assist team with identifying, sourcing & evaluating new opportunities

  • Produce detailed financial analysis and investment due diligence (including business analysis, competitive

    landscape review, financial modeling and deal structuring)

  • Work in a strategic capacity with portfolio companies on a regular basis

About the Applicant

  • Ideally a first year MBA student looking to enter into the private equity or venture capital field

  • 2 - 5 years of experience preferred at a highly-regarded investment bank, consulting firm, technology company or venture fund

  • Demonstrated passion for technology and entrepreneurship

  • Legally qualified to work in the US

  • Personal integrity, initiative, quantitative expertise, strong communication skills, and the ability to work as an effective part of a team are essential

  • Applicants should have a Bachelors degree or equivalent from a premier undergraduate program

Compensation

Internship is unpaid but travel and some expenses are included.

Next Steps

Please email jason@redseaventures.com using the subject title “Red Sea Ventures – MBA Internship Application” and attach your resume.

About Red Sea Ventures

Red Sea Ventures is an early-stage tech, venture firm focusing on seed & series A investments within New York City. Prior investments include Convoy, SkySafe, Fancy, Nest, Splash, Casetext, Joor, Sweetgreen, Way Up, All Birds, Goby, Trigger Media, Host Committee, Violet Grey, InsideHook, Electric Objects and Elite Daily. 

4 Pillars of Community by Scott Birnbaum

At Red Sea Ventures, we’ve invested in a number of companies that build strong brands and view community as a fundamental asset of their brand and business. Those that have done it well have done it really well and through working with them and through the work I did at Seeds of Peace building a community of thousands of young professionals volunteering countless hours to host events and raise awareness, I’ve distilled a few big lessons which I’ll share periodically as updates to this post.

The term Community is in my opinion way overused. At RSV we care a lot about community because, when it is built properly, it makes the company more defensible. It is what often affords a company the patience of early adopters when there are early product missteps or other aspects of execution that go wrong (which is inevitable). The Community supporting that company and product is willing to tolerate errors because they, together with that startup, form a community and feel a shared responsibility for the success of the founders and the company as a whole.

Those communities can exist amongst employees, customers, partners, volunteers, neighbors, etc… . Just to level set what community actually means I’m going to copy+paste from Wikipedia (my college professors would kill me for quoting this source — but i wonder what todays profs think about Wikipedia as a reference source — I digress):

A community is a social unit of any size that shares common values, or that is situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a village or town). It is a group of people who are connected by durable relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties, and who usually define that relationship as important to their social identity and practice.[1] (…)
Human communities may share intentbeliefresourcespreferencesneeds, andrisks in common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

Community is not just a bunch of random people who buy your product because it’s cheaper than anywhere else. It’s not a group of people who use your software without any shared values, beliefs, and needs. And in my opinion communities where there is no real connection between each node but only a connection from hub to spoke (customer to customer vs. customer to company) is not a defensible community worthy of that appellation.

We’ve seen companies like Sweetgreen build an incredible community by empowering all their employees with professional development opportunities, connecting them to each other, the company and the founders in a way that helps them evolve as individuals and as members of the Sweetgreen family. I think many would also say that Sweetgreen’s community translates into customers buying into and sharing common values and expressing their identity by choosing to eat at Sweetgreen even if it means waiting in line for 30 minutes for a salad and an amazing fresh juice. Sweetgreen has also invested in hosting events for those local to their restaurants whether it be a live music event that turned into a major music festival a few years later or a meditation class at their latest store opening.

We’ve seen Casetext build a community of law practitioners and researchers sharing their interpretations of caselaw building a database of research annotations delivering democratized access to alternative legal research tools when the only alternatives are paying $50 every time you hit the search button on LexisNexis or Westlaw.

WayUp has helped college students and recent grads develop job hunting skills and placing them in part time jobs that help pay their way through school.

Outdoor Voices that makes “technical apparel for recreation” … empowers you feel good about just going out for a run or to play a game of basketball without feeling like you need to in #beastmode on the court. They also build community through a series of events including sunday morning dog walks with coffee and dog treats at the end of the walk and more recently#DoingThingsDay which brought together hundreds of people to do yoga in celebration of the pursuit of happiness through communal physical activity.

These are just a few of our partner companies that build community through their products and services but they are emanate founders who have understood the importance of building community for all the stakeholders in their success. Most importantly they’ve understood that just building a good product for your customer isn’t enough anymore. When customers buy your product today they’re also expressing their identity and their values and choosing to support your company rather than all your other competitors. So the activities that make up community building are the ways that you tell your patrons who you are and why they should choose to align who they are with your brand.

So I’m going to boil this down to the 4 Pillars of Community. In order to build community, you have to look at everything you do through the following lens. You don’t need to build all 4 of these pillars (though its better if you do) but you need at least 3 and #1 is not optional.

1/ Mission — REQUIRED/NOT OPTIONAL: For a community to have the chance to withstand the test of time and missed expectations you need to define the values and the shared mission of the community and communicate those to your prospective community members. If you don’t have mission and values that are shared and infused in everything you and your company does, then you cannot have a shared mission or purpose. If you don’t have shared mission or purpose, then you don’t have community and as soon as anything gets tough, your customers, your employees, and your partners will turn their backs on you. Give them a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves by giving them a mission to believe in that is authentic to you and to the product you’re building.

2/ Social Networking Opportunities: Everyone wants to meet people they like and get along with. If you don’t offer your stakeholders opportunities to be around like minded people that they will respect, then your community doesn’t enrich that person’s life sufficiently and they will go and find some other community that will. Whether that is meeting someone to date, get married to, or a new friend, this is an important part of connecting people to each other and being the center of what brings them together.

3/ Professional Networking: Everyone needs to make money. We all have basic needs to pay our rent, buy a home one day, provide for ourselves and our families, pay student loans, etc… if your company has the potential to connect people to each other in a way that may help them progress in their careers, get a new job, make more money, your organization or company will have a special place in their hearts for a long time.

4/ Personal or Professional Development: If you can give people opportunities to grow personally or professionally, you’ll be the platform that has helped them improve their sense of self-worth and gain valuable skills.

Community requires constant nurturing. You can’t build it, set programs in motion and then neglect to maintain them, allocate resources to support the community, and continuously improve it. Nothing is forever. Keep investing. If you don’t, then the community disintegrates and your brand is quickly irrelevant.

Why we invested in Skysafe.io

Today, SkySafe announced the close of its Seed round led by Andreesen Horowitz with our firm, Red Sea Ventures, participating along other great investors we’re proud to be co-investing with. SkySafe is building defense systems to prevent unauthorized drones from entering private or public spaces. Through SkySafe, security operators will be able to (1) detect and (2) disable or take over control of drones as they enter the protected airspace in real time. The spaces that SkySafe intends to protect include stadiums, airports, prisons, universities, public infrastructure, etc… This is obviously not a consumer solution but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a celebrity purchase an installation to protect their home.

At Red Sea Ventures, we’ve been thinking a lot about the power of drone technology and its far reaching implications on the world: enabling advancements in agriculture, surveillance and security, entertainment, and delivery of critical supplies to hard to reach places (medication for example). But with 2.5M drones projected to be sold in the US this year at $500-1000 a piece, these devices will inevitably fall into the hands of more bad actors who will threaten public safety either through negligence or malice. Just this week we were reminded of how important systems to defend against drones will be when a British Airways plane was hit by a drone at Heathrow Airport. This is unfortunately not an isolated case. In the last year the FAA has reported almost 600 incidents of drones in US airspace.

Against this evolving landscape and growing market we have been looking for opportunities to support entrepreneurs building businesses in this space.Julian first met the team in November and as soon as we had a chance to dig in with Grant and the SkySafe team, we realized we’d found a rare instance of Founder/Market fit capable of delivering on this complex technical challenge and ambitious vision. The team comes at the problem with highly technical backgrounds as engineers who worked on anti-drone systems of the US Air Force and strong business minds intensely focused on solving the problem of security in a way that allows Drone technology to flourish without sacrificing the safety we all seek.

We look forward to continuing to working with Grant and the team at SkySafe to support their vision to secure the skies above.

- Originally posted on Medium

LeagueApps Ballin' for Charity

LeagueApps will be hosting Ballin’ for Charity, a 3v3 Invitational Basketball tournament for the tech community in NYC, on Saturday March 19th.

Spots are limited! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Tournament runs from 8am-2pm on Saturday March 19th at Basketball City in NYC
  • 100% of the proceeds will go to charity - 50% to Positive Coaching Alliance to ensure all kids have amazing sports experiences and 50% to the winning team’s charity.
  • There will be a Startup division and a Partner division (VCs, Service providers, Corporations), with the two clashing in the final rounds. 
  • The basketball will be great, and the party even better. A DJ will be spinning throughout!
  • Because it’s the first weekend of March Madness, games will be shown throughout the event and there will be a March Madness after party.  
  • We’ll also open up a limited number of Sponsorship opportunities, as it’s a chance to get in front of 400+ leading members of the tech community.

For more information and to register, visit www.ballinforcharity.org.

Email fundplay@leagueapps.com with any questions or call Stephanie Vera at (646) 942-2861

MIT VENTURE RESEARCH PROJECT

AT RED SEA VENTURES, WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME WORKING WITH OUR PORTFOLIO AND GETTING TO KNOW OUR FOUNDERS PRETTY WELL (AND VICE-VERSA). THIS MAKES FOLLOW-ON INVESTING IN LATER ROUNDS WITH FOUNDERS WE BELIEVE IN TO BE A BIG PART OF OUR THESIS. IN THE FALL, A FEW CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FOLLOW-ON INVESTING AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PRO-RATA RIGHTS LED TO A PROJECT WITH A VERY TALENTED TEAM OF MIT MASTER OF FINANCE STUDENTS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF PROFESSOR MINAHAN. OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS, THE TEAM HAS DONE AMAZING WORK ANALYZING THE VALUE OF THESE RIGHTS AND THE VENTURE CAPITAL ENVIRONMENT AS A WHOLE. AT THE END OF THE PROJECT, THE TEAM TRAVELED TO NEW YORK CITY TO PRESENT TO RED SEA VENTURES AND OUR FRIENDS AT NEW YORK BASED VENTURE FUNDS. WE COULDN'T BE HAPPIER WITH BOTH THE RESULTS AND THE ADDITION OF OUR NEW INTERN, BRIAN LISTON.