Even though Jaime now is working on the VC side of the table, he assured me that he doesn’t wear a suit every day.

There’s not a lot of information in English about the Spanish startup ecosystem out there, but there is one person that has dedicated half a decade to covering tech and startups in Spain and that’s Jaime Novoa.

He recently went from writing stories about startups to writing checks as a part of the K Fund team.

Even though he’s not chasing breaking tech news anymore, he’s still doing a lot of the same work:

When I was a journalist I tried to find interesting companies before anyone knew about them, and that’s something I still do today at K Fund.

But there’s also a lot of obvious differences:

The biggest change is the amount of information that startups share with me now, compared to before. When you’re a journalist companies doesn’t share much with you, and they often don’t tell you the truth. But as a potential investor, they have to open their books and show you everything, and that’s pretty amazing.

Surprising

Even though Jaime has been known as a well-informed person in tech circles, being a VC opened his eyes to a different kind of information flow:

As a VC I was surprised to know how little I knew about the companies I was covering as a journalist.

And that makes him respect the journalists writing about startups and technology ever more than before:

I usually defend journalists writing critical articles about startups, because from the outside it’s very hard to know what’s the truth and have good data points. That’s why so many publications only write about funding rounds because that’s the one thing both investors and companies actually share.

A failed business

Even though Jaime succeeded in making Novobrief into one of the main sources of breaking startups news in Spain, creating a sustainable company was harder than he though:

I totally failed with making Novobrief into a business, but I see now that I should have been monetizing from day one. My idea was to build a brand first, and then make money, but that was my biggest mistake.

He adds that the blog is actually making him more money today, than back when he was doing it full-time.

The world of venture capital is new, but not rocket science according to Jaime, which explains that the things he needed to learn were the different stages of how an investment work, certain metrics and legal issues.

It’s a great time to be in venture capital in Spain, and that’s because it’s a great time for startups in general in the country. The ecosystem is growing tremendously and will continue to change and grow the next years for sure.

He always envisioned himself continuing to work as a journalist.

I never ever thought that I would be working in a VC firm, neither to work for a startup, I always thought that I would go on to work as a journalist. But Iñaki Arrola approached me and said they were looking for someone with my profile for K Fund, and for me, it was plainly the right time to do something different.

Bullshit detector

Many say journalists make good VC’s because they’re good at asking the right questions and seeing through founders attempt to paint a better picture of their company than what’s the truth. Jaime agrees:

I think journalists build up a bullshit detector, and that is helpful also as a VC.

These days he sees between 5–10 companies per week, mostly in Spain, but also outside the country.

Looking back to when he started writing around 6–7 years ago, he can with certainty say that the community of founders and tech companies has matured a lot.

There are so many things going on these days, in the whole country, not only in Madrid and Barcelona. These days Barcelona has the most momentum, but that can change overnight. I don’t spend time thinking about which city performs best, I think it’s a childish mindset.

B2B SaaS

What Jaime however does think about is young tech companies, and even though he doesn’t like trying to guess what kind of verticals or industries that will do well the next years, he has his thoughts:

I really like the B2B SaaS vertical and although I’m not a good at predicting, I think that Spain will foster more of these great B2B SaaS companies going forward.

And if you’re missing breaking startup news from Novobrief, Jaime is not here to comfort you:

I’m not planning on working as a journalist anytime soon. I have my full focus on K Fund and I have so much left to learn in this industry.

But there’s one thing he does miss about his old career:

There’s something special about the adrenaline you get by breaking news before anyone else, I do miss that thrill sometimes. If journalism is in your blood, you’ll write some way or another, and I’m happy to be able to write on the K Fund blog these days.

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E.

Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs & Tech Lovers

Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to. 

Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre
Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre

« Masters of Scale » 

with Reid Hoffman

The host: Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host. 

About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube

The Team: Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff and Jai Punjabi

« Rocket » 

with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu

The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is  Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress. 

About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it.  No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« This week in Startups »

with Jason Calacanis

The host: Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival. 

About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Youtube, SoundCloud and RSS Feed

You can also subscribe to their newsletter in order to receive episodes directly. 

The Team: Jason Calacanis, Jacqui Deegan, and Tony Agapiou

« Recode / Decode » 

with Kara Swisher

The host: Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode. 

About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn

« K Fund PodKast »

with Jaime Novoa

The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter. 

About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud

« Clockwise »

with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent

The hosts: Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv. 

About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« Itnig Podcast»

with Bernat Farrero

The host: Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast. 

About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).

Listen to the podcast: Youtube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Ivoox, and Google Podcasts

You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday. 

Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.