Investing in the Midwest

Bread and Butter Investors, Mary Grove, On Her Three Areas of Investing Focus

Kick off the second week of Maggie Kenefake's (KF Class 25) miniseries with Mary Grove, Managing Partner at Bread and Butter Investments, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Minnesota. Together they discuss the differences between investing in the Midwest vs the coasts, the perks of being the underdog, and the importance of aligning your investment thesis with your region’s strengths.

Listen to the full episode above on Spotify or over on iTunes.

On investing with the “Minnesota home-field advantage”

“Minnesota nice” doesn’t preclude innovation and opportunity, Mary said.

On what’s different about investing in the Midwest

Access to capital, Mary said, is much more limited than on the East and West coasts. That hurdle has forced entrepreneurs to adapt.

On her company’s driving focus in food tech, health tech, and enterprise

Aligning Bread and Butter’s investing focus with regional strengths has been crucial for the strategic vision of the company.

On what she’s learned to become a better investor

In some ways, Mary’s background at Google has stayed with her as she’s grown in her career and relocated away from Silicon Valley.

On what she’s thankful for doing when she started investing

Though her company is focused on tech and investing, her work with founders requires that she prioritize people.

Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta on the Future of Work

Maggie Kenefake (KF Class 25) welcomes Roy Bahat of Bloomberg Beta to share how he predicts AI will positively and negatively impact the future of work, how machine intelligence will impact routine worker positions, and how the pandemic’s dispersion of talent benefits the midwest.

Listen to the full episode above on Spotify or over on iTunes.

The single most important technology trend today

It’s no surprise that Roy considers artificial intelligence the most crucial tech trend today. AI will obviously be multifaceted in its impacts and will both advance and disrupt society.

On how machine intelligence impacts routine worker positions

The employment outlook for low-skilled workers is not bright, as Roy predicts that a lot of that routine work will become unnecessary in the future.

On the pandemic dispersing startup expertise

The startup universe has been primarily focused on tech hubs for the last couple of decades, but the pandemic helped to disperse that expertise to other areas of the country, including the Midwest.

On what makes a great VC

Roy noted that different companies need different VCs depending on where on the startup journey the company is, and he doesn’t see a common skill set among all VCs.

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