Office Hours: I'm an investing partner at Magma Partners, was an early Twitter employee, and have written 9 books translated into 10 languages. I'm Claire Diaz-Ortiz.Featured

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Thanks so much for joining us @clairediazortiz!Elphas – please ask @clairediazortiz your questions before Friday, January 8th. @clairediazortiz may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
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Happy to be here!
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Hi Claire,Thank you for your time! My name is Mila and I am the founder of Hostkeyper, a vacation rental cleaning company. I have been able to expand my business from my home city (Houston) to 4 more cities in 5 years. But I want to be able to offer our services in all major cities in the US and maybe beyond. Can you help me with my next step? Do I need investment to become as accessible as Handy? (An on demand cleaning company) Do you think I can do it without investment? How do I make that next step? Thank you in advance!
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Without knowing a ton about your business, I'd say the big thing to be careful about is spreading yourself too thin. It's much better to own one or two great local cities than to just start superspreading (especially if you don't have the fundraised cash to do so.) I would take a closer look at what Shearsheer has done: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/26/dallas-shearshare-has-a-marketplace-connecting-stylists-with-available-seats-at-salons-and-2-3-million-in-funding/
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Thanks for the link!
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;;))
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Hi Claire,I'm the newly single founder (previously co-founder) of a skincare startup. Currently the company is 100% bootstrapped, but in order to grow and make a name in the beauty industry I feel we'll need to take on outside investment. What makes a company attractive to angel investors and VCs? What key metrics do you consider most important?
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Hi! Depends on how much revenue you already have to make a real judgement, but at pre-seed it's just about founder and the plan, as your business grows real metrics start to matter. (What's your MRR and burn?) That said, the first most important question you need to ask if you want to build a venture-scale business. If so, VC funds are right for you. If not, there are good alternative financing options. Check out: https://earnestcapital.com/
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Love this intro - fascinating to hear how many books you read as well! This might be a bit of an odd question, but curious to hear your thoughts as fellow investor. I find it incredibly hard to turn down excellent founders, but at BGV we only have x number of investment opportunities a year and we all know how hard it is for under-represented founders to find capital at pre-seed, especially if they don't have the networks. So what do you do to encourage founders (that you might have to say no to now, but can hopefully say yes to in the future) particularly if they don't have the means to keep their businesses running because they might have caring responsibilities, or other commitments, or no access to capital otherwise?
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Totally understand this pain point. I'd say my personal strengths as an investor fundraising & networking (and marketing, when relevant), so when I can't invest as an angel or VC I am often helpful by making intros to people who might be interested, whether that be funds, angels, journalists, or hires. I'm just always trying to "be helpful" in a real sense (I know that sounds stupid AF), but for real!
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Hi Claire!You are very impressive and have already done a lot of the things that I hope to do in my life! Similar to you, I am also interested in writing, public speaking, and entrepreneurship. Specifically, I am really interested in the healthtech/biotech space; I write a healthtech newsletter (http://theprescription.substack.com/) and cofounded & served as the CTO of a healthtech startup. A couple of questions for you:1) How did you get started with your writing your first book? E.g. how did you decide that you wanted to write a book and what topic to write about? How did you get a publisher or did you self-publish? How did you market your book?2) Similarly, how did you get started with public speaking? 3) I'm not sure if this is your area of expertise or not so no worries if you are not the right person to ask. What are some trends and opportunities that you've noticed in the healthtech/biotech spaces?Thanks! :)
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I just signed up for your newsletter! Yay!1. I was on a trip in South Africa with a friend in my mid-twenties and a dude had just broken up with me so we decided, after wine, to write a book about dating. I googled, "How to Write a Book Proposal" and then did what it said and then "How to Find a Book Agent" and then did that. My first book (which was truly about dating!!!) was the gateway. So, yeah, things went up from there!2. Public speaking was something that started mostly while I worked at Twitter and grew slowly. By the time I left the company I had a speaker's bureau and was doing a bunch of keynotes and really liked it. Although I do still really like it, the travel elements involved in a speaking career are super tough. My friends on the speaking circuit that do it "for real" are doing 50 events a year. Ultimately that doesn't work for me, so for me it's just something I do a little bit of, if it's a cool event in a place I want to visit, or a great cause, or something. 3. I'm all about femtech! A. Check out Femtech Insider for a really thorough rundown of the latest. B. Also my friend Sophia Bendz who I'm writing our new book on female founders and funders with is one of the goddesses of femtech investing, so mostly I just try to learn from her! https://twitter.com/ravikikan/status/1347096790386950144/photo/1 Sophia is invested in Moody, and the awesome Amy Thomson at Moody has a new book coming out that I'd recommend: https://www.amazon.com/Moody-Womans-21st-Century-Hormone-Guide-ebook/dp/B08835P1DQC. One more idea in Femtech is the awesome Trish Costello's fund, Portfolia, has a new FemTech fund open for LPs. I'd highly recommend and can answer Qs about Portfolia for anyone who has them. https://www.portfolia.co/funds-overview
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Hi, ClaireAmazing profile and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! My question would be: how did you start being an investor? And what advice would you give for someone who wants to start investing? Also, I'm really excited about the angel collective you're setting up!I am a founder based in Bucharest, Romania, working on Craft Product School (https://craftproductschool.xyz) and Omniversity VR (https://omniversity.app) Thank you for your time! 💙
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Yay Romania!!!! SO so cool! Quick things:1. Make sure to put https://www.sie.ventures/ on your radar! Triin is awesome!!! https://www.linkedin.com/in/triinlinamagi/2. Also, for omniversity check out https://flickplay.co/, one of my portfolio companies at Magma / Brava. Happy to connect if useful! https://latamlist.com/why-3d-immersive-will-be-key-for-getting-out-of-covid/If you want to start investing, I'd say start as a 1. small LP in a fund like Sie Ventures or 2. in a syndicate like that of Unconventional VC: https://www.unconventional.vc/ or Backstage Crowd (https://backstagecrowd.com/). These will give you exposure to deals and also show you how things work. Another good option is https://www.portfolia.co/funds-overview, but it's a bit more $. Those are the easiest ways to get a fast education in angel investing! If you tell me what you'd like to invest in and your ticket size I can likely send stuff your way;)
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Ohh, these are super helpful Claire! Thanks so much
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So nice to see you here, I read your “Social Media Success for Every Brand” and like it a lot. My question may be off topic, apologize in advance.What’s the best way to be known and be involved in the startup community with my skills (branding and design), something I feel that startups don’t care much about. I’m a graphic designer turned brand strategist. I’m pivoting from a publication design studio to become a branding consultancy for femtech startups. I always love startups but I’m completely new to the community. I’m posting on LinkedIn. But it seems that startup founders are busy and I don’t see them very active on social media. Many thanks~
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Hi!GET ON TWITTER IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY. Twitter is an incredible networking tool for founders and funders. Watching what women like Amanda Goetz and Janine Sickmeyer have done to build their twitter communities in just a year is incredible! Follow that model, but for design-based insight. Also, immediately offer design services pro-bono to a couple female founders who are active on Twitter!
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This is great! I will definitely do that =D
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Also, if you're available for pro-bono or discounted work for exposure, send me an email as I have a femtech that might be interested: claire@magmapartners.com
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Not my post, but I am looking to get my foot in the door with founders/startups as well. I audit customer experience practices and can create actionable steps on improving the problem or even establishing one! Great idea on offering probono work on Twitter ....
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Wonderful, I will email you! Have a wonderful weekend~
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And thanks so much for reading!!!
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It was great, it taught me a lot of the fundamentals that I need to know. Thank you!
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Hi from a fellow Anthro major! Did you face any pushback when entering tech because of your field of study, and how did you respond?
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Love that you are offering Office Hours on Elpha ❤️❤️. Would love to get and advise from you on my startup. I saw you had a contact email on your site so I will reach out directly. Thx a million, Iza.
I'm so impressed with how much you do/how productive you are with 3 kids. 128 books! Wow! Can you tell us more about how you work/structure your days?
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OMG I used to be such a productivity hound before I had kids. Here is one of the books I wrote that is honestly one of my faves: https://www.amazon.com/Design-Your-Day-Productive-Purpose/dp/0802412947Fun fact: Sarah Blakely Instagrammed about it twice in different years showing it on her reading stack! (why it has appeared in two different years is obviously...confusing...but let's just assume she is very busy and didn't get around to finishing it the first time)And then here is my online productivity conference that 20,000 peeps have gone through: http://workbydesignsummit.com/That said, I'm coming off of a year stuck at home w three kids in a pandemic so basically the only thing that has saved my life is that I recently got a tiny office house built in my backyard bc I had been working on my 6 year-old's bed for the entire year: https://twitter.com/Claire/status/1336741912703856640So, SPACE!!!!VIRGINIA WOOLF WAS RIGHT
Thank you! Will make sure to check those out! :)
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Hi Claire,Why did you decide to enter full time investment? What do you think makes the best investors?
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Hi! I had a great experience learning to angel invest, and then brought together some other women investors in a collective to invest in female founders across borders (I'm very bullish on non-Silicon Valley geos!) http://angelcollective.co/. That was so much fun that I realized that I wanted to be a VC, and so spent a year talking to a ton of firms in LatAm, where I'm based. I spent MONTHS writing this article for TC looking at the landscape for female founders in the region, and that helped me really clarify my vision and mission. https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/06/latin-america-takes-the-global-lead-in-vc-directed-to-female-co-founders/Ultimately, I joined a seed fund called Magma Partners (https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/07/adding-claire-diaz-ortiz-to-its-partnership-magma-partners-launches-initiative-to-invest-in-female-founders-in-latam/?tpcc=ECTW2020) that wanted to push forward investment into female founders, which we've done through the first initiative of its kind in LatAm. We've invested in 9 female founders so far, 11 more to go!https://brava.magmapartners.com/
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AWESOME. Curious as to your thoughts on Puerto Rico as a hub for LATAM tech? I travelled there a couple of years ago and absolutely fell in love with it - I have been reading a bit about how it could emerge as a hub/connection between LATAM world and US...
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Yes!!!! You must check out Paralell18 if you're interested, a cool program for startups there: https://www.parallel18.com/ At @p18startups, they have a really vibrant cohort of international mentors also. Very cool.
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wow this is so cool! I will definitely check this out and get involved. thank you so much, and a very happy new year :)
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they are so cool!!! lmk if you need a connect founder
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Hi Claire!I’m an iOS engineer and I have a product that I’m building ( it’s a game) I’m not sure if I should turn it into a company and get investing. Any thoughts?Thanks,Valerie
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What kind of a game? I wish I could hand you a copy of my new book on female founders and funders but hey -- it's not published yet! In the interim i would pick up a book like The Hard thing About Hard Things or Secrets of Sandhill Road to try and understand venture a bit and get a feel for if raising money is what you want to do at all. Are you trying to build a venture-backed biz or are you trying to do something cool as a side hustle (that maybe should just stay that way?)...
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I'm actually trying to simply make a film. I'm an artist at heart. During the day I'm in legal dying a slow death. Yet usually when I build something it becomes its own living thing. My concept is to use emerging artists, sprinkled with expertise in the field. What I naturally do. A self contained mentoring platform that produces films that entertain, educate and inspire. Not Hallmark Channel. More like Marvel meets Joy Luck Club. Or Pixar meetings Steel Magnolias. I'm just starting. Websites almost done. Pitch deck is almost done. Had 300+ actors submit for the auditions. I wrote the script but now I'm the project manager to get its on its feet. Anyways, enough about me. Want to hear your tips, Claire. Many of us do. Its like Japanese calligraphy art (Shodo). We need a role model to copy and imitate until we have mastered it. I personally need to hone my craft and produce someone that is in good taste and commercially viable. Claire, your input would be highly appreciated!!!!
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Hi Valerie,I'm producing a film and was looking for a game builder to cross-partner with. Unfortunately, I totally unfunded but if you are all interested in cross-promoting in any way please let me know. Thanks for all you do and happy new year!!Mari
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@clairediazortiz Thank you for taking questions. How do you get "15K people have been reading some really random stuff for 15 years."? How do you keep them coming back? Thank you!
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@SilvanoMari, let me tell you as one of those people who have been reading Claire for about 9 years so far. She writes engaging posts. You can find a hundred random things in there and still go back to them. For example, she has a review of yearly planners about a few years ago. I still go back to that email and look at what she has liked. They are worth keeping, sounds impossible to believe right? Claire doesn't just create marketing content. She literally creates content that is valuable!
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WOW! Thanks so much!!!
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YOU ARE SO KIND!!!!! I will pay you all the money now!!!
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I love writing. What I do is write regularly, but do it in a way that shows my personality while still providing something of value. I get really bored by boring newsletters, even when they do give me value, so I see being YOU and having YOU shine through as really essential.
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I'd love to hear more about how you grew to this number. Marketing/growth strategies?
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Three big things.- When I became a LinkedIn influencer and started getting massive traction on blog posts there, I made sure to bring people from those posts to my personal blog via signups for free content. (Ebooks on creating a morning routine, for example.) See post here, although that ebook is no longer available: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130301011147-52397036-why-you-should-try-to-be-a-morning-person/- I hosted two massive online summits. One did really well and was on a topic people love: productivity. 20,000 peeps have now gone through it: http://workbydesignsummit.com/ (Summits are massive work, so not for faint of heart!)- I tried random other experiments. This online summit I did when my book with Ken Blanchard (my mentor and management guru) came out was a ton of work and didn't do nearly as well but still taught me a lot: https://successmentorsummit.com/- I doubled down on a few posts that deliver on SEO. This post still gets me lots of traffic: https://clairediazortiz.com/50-ways-to-say-no/ (I haven't read it in awhile so excuse me if it's awful)- I wrote mostly regularly to my newsletter except when I was having babies or watching them grow up in the NICU or having general mental breakdowns. - I started blogging in 2006. So, it's been a while!
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Thank you for the informative and insightful tip. I really appreciate it very much!!
SamanthaP1313's profile thumbnail
I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about the role of legal counsel in fintech and the internet of things in general...and how best to network from one’s living room...Thanks for any insight you might have.
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In terms of legal counsel the big big thing is going to be country-specific regulations. I'm a VC in LatAm at Magma Partners and the big thing we see in LatAm is what happens when you've got a bunch of countries, and a fintech wants to be in multiple places. One size does not fit all. US based legal experts won't get this. Euro, LatAm, Asian or African ones will.
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Networking from one's living room is an easy one: Elpha is MADE for networking. Every social media platform works differently for different things, but if you want to network, combine a vertical social network like Elpha with Twitter (that's the ubiquitous one that is best for networking). Gold!
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Hi Claire, how did you start in soft tech with a background in more on the social science side of things? I mean, I know that your background speaks for itself but what else?And how do you even get work done with 3 little ones? :) Sometimes even hard to get things done with one! :)
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I DONT GET ANYTHING DONE WHEN THEY ARE AROUND. NOTHING. NADA. NONE.i'm highly sensitive and literally it is impossible for me to work when they are around. also, they are tiny and loud and two of them are twin toddler boys so YEAH good luck with that. when i read all those articles about women managing zoom schooling and their own calls I fundamentally can't imagine it bc I just couldn't. I had to quit first grade like one week in. So, yeah? all that to say the pandemic has been a HUGE blow for me in terms of productivity. just recently I finally got a tiny office built in my backyard which has been LIFE CHANGING and i feel SO GRATEFUL, since it doesn't seem like i'll be going back to an office anytime soon...https://twitter.com/Claire/status/1336741912703856640