The Boost VC Podcast

Ep. 89: Inspiring Deep Tech Founders to Invest in Sales & Marketing—with Greg Castle of Anorak Ventures

Episode Summary

Today, Greg joins us to share his experience as a seed investor in Oculus, explaining how the experience inspired him to become a VC. He describes his value-add for the companies he works with in the realm of sales and marketing and discusses the importance branding that reflects the work you’ve put in on the technical side. Listen in to find out how Anorak has evolved since its inception in 2016 and learn why Greg is looking for founders who understand the ‘illogical’ nature of running a venture-backed business.

Episode Notes

CEOs in the deep tech space are deeply passionate about what they are building. But these brilliant technical minds tend to be less passionate about sales and marketing. So, how can a VC with a background in branding inspire his founders to invest in marketing material that reflects the power and beauty of what they’re building technically?

Greg Castle is the Founder and Managing Director of Anorak Ventures, a fund dedicated to early-stage, disruptive technologies like virtual reality, robotics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, computer vision and internet of things. Greg believes that the next decade will be defined by the emerging technology of today, and he is passionate about investing in teams with the right mix of intellect, experience and integrity to succeed. Prior to Anorak, Greg worked in corporate marketing and served as the cofounder of Pure Food, a UK startup of fast casual restaurants.

Today, Greg joins us to share his experience as a seed investor in Oculus, explaining how the experience inspired him to become a VC. He describes his value-add for the companies he works with in the realm of sales and marketing and discusses the importance branding that reflects the work you’ve put in on the technical side. Listen in to find out how Anorak has evolved since its inception in 2016 and learn why Greg is looking for founders who understand the ‘illogical’ nature of running a venture-backed business.

Topics Covered

Greg’s path to Anorak Ventures
Sales and marketing at Bloomberg out of college
Moved to UK to become restaurant entrepreneur
Returned to States to work in video game tech
Seed capital to Oculus, interest in investing

Greg’s value-add for the companies he works with
Background in gaming tech + Oculus experience
Inspire CEOs to invest in marketing and sales

The evolution of Anorak in the last 2½ years
Opportunities outside Bay (capital efficiency + focus)
More valuation sensitive, comfortable saying no

What Greg looks for in a founder
Repeat founders/early employees in venture-backed co.
‘Unsexy businesses’ causing disruption (e.g.: Orderful)

Connect with Greg

Anorak Ventures https://www.anorak.vc/

Anorak Ventures on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/anorak-ventures/

Greg on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregorycastle/

Greg on Twitter https://twitter.com/gpcastle12

Resources

Greg on Boost VCC EP001 https://simplecast.com/s/3a5f6c48

Oculus https://www.oculus.com/

Flexport https://www.flexport.com/

Autodesk https://www.autodesk.com/

Mass Effect https://www.masseffect.com/

‘AR Will Spark the Next Big Tech Platform—Call it Mirrorworld’ in Wired https://www.wired.com/story/mirrorworld-ar-next-big-tech-platform/

Oculus Kickstarter Campaign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game

CB Insights https://www.cbinsights.com/

Kobie Fuller https://www.linkedin.com/in/kobiefuller/

Y Combinator https://www.ycombinator.com/

Alchemist Accelerator https://alchemistaccelerator.com/

Orderful EDI Solution https://www.orderful.com/

Tekken https://tk7.tekken.com/

Connect with Boost VC

Boost VC Website https://www.boost.vc/

Boost VC on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/boostvc/

Boost VC on Twitter https://twitter.com/BoostVC