23 Bobby Yazdani – The Founder of Cota Capital on Investing in + Advising Entrepreneurs

23 Bobby Yazdani – The Founder of Cota Capital on Investing in + Advising Entrepreneurs

“As an entrepreneur, you have a few, go-to key advisors. For me, Bobby Yazdani rises to the top of my list.  In many ways, he’s a start-up “coach”.  He doesn’t lay out the answers for me, but gives me tools I need to help Monica + Andy grow. He has the keen ability to, as he says, “see around the corner” and help use those insights to build processes that foster our growth. I’m so excited to share his invaluable insights with all of you.” – Monica

As the founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Cota Capital, Bobby Yazdani has invested in more than 130 early-stage tech start-ups in 15 years. Companies in his portfolio include everything from Birchbox and Bonobos to Google, Dropbox and Uber. In 2014, he was named by CB Insights as the #1 angel investor, out of a list of 2000, for most successful follow-on funding and is also currently an investor and board member for Monica + Andy.

In this rare interview, Bobby discusses his early days as an immigrant from Iran and how that shaped him into the entrepreneur and investor he is today. He also reveals the crucial steps any entrepreneur needs to take before approaching a potential investor, the two qualities of any successful entrepreneur, and the invaluable advice he shares with CEOs in his portfolio.

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“I’ve never seen a great company get developed because they’ve repeated somebody else’s success.” – Bobby Yazdani

Show Notes:

  • How Bobby got started in venture capital
  • The discipline that Bobby has developed
  • Bobby’s journey to becoming an advisor
  • How he was influenced by his parents and being an immigrant
  • What factors impact Bobby’s decision to invest in a company
  • What qualities Bobby looks for in CEOs
  • Bobby’s advice for entrepreneurs
  • The doubts that entrepreneurs often feel
  • The importance of being realistic
  • Why the journey is never over as an entrepreneur

“Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. I think we push people too much at times to think that entrepreneurship is for everyone. Once you decide to go down that road, you have to sign up for continuous change.” – Bobby Yazdani

Links Mentioned:

“I don’t see myself as a pure venture capitalist, I like to view myself as a person that finances companies and entrepreneurs to build businesses.” – Bobby Yazdani