She Heard No 133 Times. Now Ann Winblad Runs One of Silicon Valley’s Top VC Firms

Monday, November 19, 2018

By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire 

Ann Winblad is a former entrepreneur turned legendary venture capitalist, heading up Hummer-Winblad Venture Partners—a leading firm focused on software investing—as a co-founder and managing director.

On this episode of “The Grow Wire Podcast,” Jason Maynard sat down with Winblad who takes us on her journey from founding her own software company at the age of 24 to partnering with John Hummer and starting the first venture firm focused on software in 1989.

Winblad recalls her first trip into what she describes as a “valley of defeat.” She heard 133 noes when searching for limited partners to get her VC up and running, only to get a yes that would change her career forever on her 134th meeting. She reveals why she kept going and what she’s most proud of today, 29 years later. 

Winblad discusses her investment criteria, the one quality she looks for in a CEO as well as some of the biggest mistakes she’s seen startups make. She also reveals her thoughts on AI, the future of the software market and where she’s placing her bets.

For all of this and more, listen to the full podcast episode on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and YouTube, and as always, don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe. 

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