Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund on what is hustle
We spoke with Elizabeth in July of 2020 and covered her journey in leaving Google and starting LaunchBit, an ad-tech platform that she eventually sold to BuySellAds, and how she eventually made her way onto the investment side with 500 Startups. We dig into Elizabeth's time in running the 500 Startups Mountain View office and how she was able to select founders to back after reviewing over 20,000 pitch decks. Next, we discuss the reason she started Hustle fund with her partner Eric and what their mission is for the next 25 years. Finally, we ask Elizabeth to explain what hustle means to her as an early-stage investor and how she assesses hustle when meeting founders for the first and sometimes only time before deciding on backing them with a $25,000 investment.
About Elizabeth Yin:
Elizabeth is the co-founder and managing partner of Hustle Fund, an early-stage seed fund. Prior to Hustle, she was a partner at 500 Startups and ran their accelerator program. She founded LaunchBit in 2011, and started her career at Google. She completed her BS at Stanford and her MBA at Sloan/MIT.
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In this episode we discuss:
02:28 Elizabeth’s journey to becoming a founder
04:58 What lead to the acquisition of LaunchBit
07:23 How Elizabeth got to 500 Startups and what their process was like there
11:32 The economics of accelerators vs. venture capital
14:53 Hustle Fund’s mission and why they launched
17:41 How Hustle Fund defines ‘hustle’ and is there such a thing as too much hustle
20:18 The difference between hustle and multitasking
21:10 Qualities in startup teams Elizabeth looks for
23:52 How Hustle fund supports founders and encourages them to not burnout
25:54 Hustle Fund’s investment strategy
27:42 Early lessons and changes from the pandemic
The Lean Startup
Elizabeth’s words of inspiration
“Building a startup is tough, so make sure you dig deep and decide why you want to do it, besides the money, because it can really be your north star when moving through difficult times”