112: Startup Survival Advice from Zoom’s First Investor

In this episode of Silicon Valley Insider, Keith Koo’s guest is 4-time unicorn angel investor Dan Scheinman. Dan ran corporate development for Cisco Systems before becoming a private investor using his own capital to fund unicorns such as Arista Networks, SentinelOne, CyCognito, and of course, Zoom.

In the early part of the show, Dan and Keith reminisce about their Cisco days when Dan was general counsel and then ran Corporate Development (Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Alliances, Investments) and Keith was working on M&A Integration and technology deals for what at the time was the most valuable company in the world.

Dan also shares what it has been like for Zoom since writing Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom his first “check” to be the most successful IPO of 2019 and how the company is now addressing security concerns related to their rapid growth. Dan also gives the backstory on the question – why didn’t Cisco – Webex build Zoom when Eric was still a senior engineer there?

On this week’s Cyber-Tip gives a deeper dive on what “Contact Tracing” is and how it works considering Apple and Google’s announcement that they are partnering to share their contact tracing databases.

Later in the show, Dan discusses the 2020 Major League Baseball Season (Dan is a minority owner in the San Francisco Giants) and gives great advice to startups on how to survive and thrive during the pandemic including how to set the right expectations with their potential investors.

On the Pivot, Dan talks about being a “Technology Optimist” about the future and what technologies and industries he thinks will grow in a post-pandemic world. Find out why Dan thinks this might actually be the best time to find the right opportunity to invest.

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