Russ Wilcox, Repeat Founder and VC - Pillar VC


Manage episode 260123488 series 1318661
By Sal Daher. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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If you’ve used an Amazon Kindle you’ve used tech pioneered by Russ Wilcox and co-founders at E Ink. Russ is now a VC who remembers well the trials of being a founder and is a deep well useful knowledge about building startups. I learned a lot.

Highlights include:

  • brief bio of Russ Wilcox
  • the founding story of E Ink
  • the mistake of focusing on a financing strategy rather than product development
  • burning $2 million per month but clients hated the product
  • Golden Lesson for Founders: don’t kill your company by sticking to an unrealistically high valuation; propping up valuation is self-delusion
  • beware liquidation preferences (jargon-free explanation)
  • comparison of VC funding to debt
  • Pillar is a seed-stage VC firm founded by people who have started companies
  • Pillar’s “phantom partners” are 22 startup CEOs who put money into the fund and roll up their sleeves to help
  • Write checks of $1 to $2 million in rounds of $3 to $4 million
  • Put in a lot of time and energy to support founders
  • Emotional support is provided by the Pillar CEO investors
  • Cool Portfolio Company: Kula Bio which has a really clever way to make earth-friendly fertilizer
  • Cool Portfolio Company: Higharc creates 3D plans for your home without needing an architect
  • Russ Wilcox’s wisdom on platform technologies
  • Sal talks about his portfolio company Akili Interactive that has a game to treat ADHD in children and invites accredited investors to join his syndicate at
  • What Russ learned from his post-exit world tour with his family
  • Golden Lesson for Founders: look for a co-founder first

126 episodes