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From Paper to Platform: Venture Capitalist Panel

ZUUM Transportation hosted the webinar, From Paper to Platform: Adopting Logistics Technology Through Collaboration & Partnerships on March 11th, 2021 where they invited industry experts, venture capitalists, executives, and founders to share their insight. Watch the full recording on-demand here.

For our VC Panel, Taylor Oliver, the Supply Chain Fund Coordinator of Plug and Play moderated a discussion between Mike Zayonc, Founder of Plug and Play Supply Chain; Justin Young, Investment Manager of Prologis Ventures; Vince Monteparte, Venture Partner of Sway Ventures; and Jim Ferry, Vice President of Volition Capital about their outlook on the state of venture capital in the supply chain industry and their approach to working with their portfolio companies.

First they deliberated whether the increase in the number of SPAC (special purpose acquisition companies) deals had some staying power. Next, each panelist shared some key characteristics they saw across successful Series A companies. Young mentioned his team focused on evaluating product-market fit and whether there is a clear implementation process to achieve ROI; he uses this assessment for all venture-backed companies. Monteparte pointed out that some of the most successful companies he worked with embodied a clear strategy from the beginning. Zayonc shared his insight on why Plug and Play has invested in ZUUM,  noting executive team dynamics and their ability to convert corporate partners into customers.

Afterwards, Oliver asked the panelists how they split their time between working with their portfolio companies and sourcing potential investments. While most mentioned they rely on the expertise of their in-house analysts, the group as a whole recognized dispersing their time among the whole ecosystems equally results in having a comprehensive understanding of the market.

To close the discussion out, our moderator gave our speakers the opportunity to pitch themselves on why startups should work with their investment firms.