Steve Streit — “Powering Disruption” at SWS Venture Capital


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Steve Streit is a born disruptor. He took a then-revolutionary concept — the pre-paid debit card that finally advanced right into a financial institution holding firm, Green Dot — from his small condo’s kitchen desk to the ground of the New York Stock Exchange. He just isn’t accomplished but. We spoke with Streit just lately about his newest challenge, SWS Venture Capital.

What impressed you to start out SWS Venture Capital?

I used to be extraordinarily lucky to have the ability to take a enterprise concept [Green Dot] from pre-revenue all the way in which to being a public firm with over $1 billion in income.

As one may think, there have been a number of twists and turns and plenty of studying alongside the way in which. With SWS, I needed to have the ability to use that have to establish doubtlessly nice startup investments and supply no matter help I can to assist right now’s entrepreneurs discover their success.

What are the methods SWS Venture Capital differs from different enterprise capital corporations?

Our boutique measurement permits SWS to speculate opportunistically throughout industries and phases with out the constraints {that a} bigger VC may need. We deal with constructing out a diversified portfolio of high-potential firms led by nice entrepreneurs.

Your web site slogan is “Powering Disruption.” Can you inform us extra about what meaning to SWS and the businesses it really works with?

SWS appears to be like for firms which have strong plans to both create merchandise which might be new to customers or create merchandise which have the chance to exchange or disrupt present merchandise or enterprise fashions. As the founding father of Green Dot Corporation/Green Dot Bank [which challenged legacy banks and helped spark the fintech boom], I do know the worth that may be created when disrupting legacy industries.

What recommendation do you will have for younger professionals seeking to break into VC and entrepreneurship?

Nothing occurs till somebody does one thing. All too usually, I’ll speak with somebody who says, “I had the thought to do such and such, however I by no means did it.”

Of course, each potential entrepreneur has his or her personal set of non-public and household dangers to think about earlier than launching a enterprise from scratch. However, as soon as a choice has been made to launch, it’s a must to launch and provides all of it you bought. Doing one thing gained’t assure success, however doing nothing will definitely assure failure.

How is the financial downturn affecting startup fundraising?

There is not any query that the majority VCs and angel buyers are actually being way more selective in selecting the businesses by which they make investments. They’re additionally being extra conservative in how they worth these firms.

This implies that for firms searching for follow-on rounds proper now, profitability — or a path to profitability — and the flexibility to reinforce gross margins over time will seemingly be way more necessary in securing that new funding. Investors will at all times need to put money into good firms, however danger administration will make the fundraising course of longer and extra arduous for all however essentially the most profitable younger firms.

How have these turbulent occasions affected your funding technique?

SWS maintains a long-term method to investing and our thesis stays the identical. We encourage our present portfolio firms to tighten up, elevate money whereas doable, and execute with self-discipline.

In addition, SWS continues to make investments in disruptive applied sciences powered by bold founders. If excited about sharing your corporation or product with us, please attain out to or fill out our net type at

The submit Steve Streit — “Powering Disruption” at SWS Venture Capital appeared first on Home Business Magazine.


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