Meet ‘The Twenty Minute VC’ that has shaped the industry since his teens

Harry Stebbings has managed to crack into the world of venture capital and create the field’s biggest podcast, ‘The Twenty Minute VC’, at just 23-years-old.

You may not have heard of Harry Stebbings, but he’s a big deal in the world of venture capital.

At 18 years old he set up his own podcast titled ‘The Twenty Minute VC’, a short form interview series with leading venture capital figures and CEOs. Each episode offers tips and advice for small start-ups looking for investment, and has proved to be wildly popular, pushing Stebbings to the forefront of the industry. He’s since extended his skills outside of podcasting, setting up his own venture capital firm in 2018 called Stride.VC.

If you’re wondering what exactly a venture capitalist is, allow me to explain. A venture capitalist is usually a very wealthy business owner or CEO who’s interested in funding smaller start-up businesses in exchange for a percentage of profits further down the line. They’re also likely to have creative control over certain aspects of the company, as it’s their money on the line if things go south. This type of business is risky but can lead to huge rewards later on – making it a win for everyone involved.

Ever seen Dragon’s Den? It’s like that, sort of, except there are less cameras and investors probably don’t turn up to meetings with giant wads of cash next to them. I can’t confirm that doesn’t happen, though.

Harry frequently talks to the top venture capitalists who are dishing out money, giving start-ups pointers on how to secure investment. It’s a must listen for anyone interested in entering venture capitalism in the future, or looking to jump into the world of start-ups and emerging companies. Check out on of his interviews with iCIMS CEO Steve Lucas below.

What is ‘The Twenty Minute VC’?

In a nutshell, Harry’s show ‘The Twenty Minute VC’ is exactly what it sounds like. Each episode is a twenty minute interview with an emerging or established venture capitalist, asking about their experiences, strategies, and advice for aspiring students eager to learn.

In an interview with WIRED, Harry explained that his main introduction to venture capital was through the film ‘The Social Network’, which follows Facebook’s journey from small start-up to global industry titan. Since then he’s studied everything there is to know about venture capital and began ‘The Twenty Minute VC’ show at age 18.

Today, the podcast is a huge global hit, and has made Harry one of the biggest promoters and connectors in venture capital. According to WIRED, the show garners over 300,000 downloads an episode and boasts over 100 million total downloads globally. He’s had over 200 guests and was featured in Forbes’ ’30 Under 30’ finance list in 2019. Not bad, eh?

What else is Harry working on?

You might be surprised to learn that Harry’s own investment in venture capital happened long after the start of his podcast.

He is the co-founder of Stride.VC, a venture capital firm that targets seed stage start-ups in the UK and France, though it’s still a relatively young company having only been founded in 2018. Last year it managed to raise over £50 million in cash to invest in small stage businesses, with a team ethos that ‘embraces the chaos’ of early start-ups.

Stride.VC wants to sign bigger cheques than many other venture capital firms but is harder to impress. Put simply, Harry’s technique is to be smart about where cash goes, rather than investing small amounts into a wide range of companies. There’s no throwing at the wall and seeing what sticks here – it’s all strategic.

Where Harry takes his entrepreneurial knack next is currently anybody’s guess, but having made such a huge impact in venture capital at only 23, don’t be surprised if you see his name crop up in top business over the next few decades. He’s made his teenage dreams a reality, and it’s an inspiration to see.

Maybe it’s time to re-watch ‘The Social Network’…

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