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In this episode of Net Effects Podcast, co-hosts Les Ottolenghi and Mark Bavisotto interview Paul Martino, co-founder and managing partner of early-stage VC firm Bullpen Capital. The conversation dives into what makes a great investment opportunity as well as what makes a great startup founder. Martino brings his effusive knowledge to the table with plenty of anecdotes about resilience, grit, and curiosity.

Episode highlights:

  • PMBroadening your personal data set with both successes and failures. Martino shares what it was like getting fired from his own startup and how it made space and energy for him to pursue his next big thing.
  • A winning strategy for entrepreneurs: Know enough to be dangerous but not enough to be jaded. “If you know the business too well you’re never going to be receptive to the fresh idea. And if you don’t know the business at all, you won’t know where to innovate.”
  • “Blue-collar founders” is Martino’s term for individuals who – regardless of background, age, or income – are oriented towards grit, are hardworking, and encompass a determined, grounded mindset.
  • “Social good doesn’t have to be the thing that motivates you, but it’s a damn good one to motivate you to move mountains.”
  • “You can talk all the platitudes you want, but you have to show up.”

To hear more about Martino’s investing strategy and the lessons that some of the pivotal lessons that have shaped his staying power, listen to the full episode now.