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Martin G. Tobias: Focus On What Is Within Your Control, Ignore All Else

Incisive Ventures invests in companies led by Great Founders defining a blue ocean market niche through a unique software innovation (preferably a platform) which significantly reduces friction enabling customers to be lazy. Only invest when I can be helpful to the company and alongside smart, committed investors I know and trust.

Tell us about yourself?

I am a 3x venture funded CEO now investing full time. I am an LP in over two dozen venture funds, have invested in over 200 companies and run a small venture fund myself. I am a bit of a software nerd and love having hard problems to solve every day. I like investing in other nerdy people on a mission.

If you could give one piece of advice to other investors, what would it be?

Focus on what is within your control, ignore all else.

If you could give one piece of advice to startup founders looking to get funding from you, what would you say?

Show me why you and only you can solve the problem you hope to solve.

What do you look for in the founding team of the startups you invest in?

Team works well together. Has the seed of a unique idea that comes from personal experience with the problem area and unique insight into the market and product.

Is there a trait you have noticed predicts success in your investments?

Invest early in software that significantly reduces friction in a big market. Companies that have a product that is PULLED into the market rather than Pushed.

How has COVID impacted your investment strategy and existing investments?

Covid has been a boon for both companies and investors. It has opened up the horizons. No longer is VC a local only thing. I invested in 7 companies in India during the Pandemic. That would have never happened before the pandemic.

What do you see as the emerging areas of technology that you are looking to invest in?

Connected fitness, better you health generally, consumer fintech, vertical SaaS for legacy industries.

How do you source new investment opportunities?

30% existing founder and employee network, 30% venture funds I partner with, 30% prior CEOS I have funded before.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Read our blog at incisive.vc. I am investing in public. I post my themes, investment memos and comments on industry.

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