Serena Williams On Acing Venture After Pro Tennis | Summary and Q&A

5.3K views
â€ĸ
October 19, 2022
by
TechCrunch
YouTube video player
Serena Williams On Acing Venture After Pro Tennis

TL;DR

Serena Williams talks about her transition from professional tennis to focusing on her business venture, Serena Ventures.

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts

Key Insights

  • đŸ’Ļ Serena Williams brings her experience as a competitive athlete to her approach in venture capitalism, emphasizing the importance of hard work, dedication, and patience.
  • 🧔‍♀ī¸ Serena Ventures focuses on investing in companies that serve underrepresented communities, particularly women and people of color.
  • 👨‍đŸ’ŧ Williams and her business partner, Alison Rappaport, prioritize building a diverse portfolio and ensuring that their LPs (limited partners) reflect their goals of inclusivity.
  • 👾 Serena Ventures is interested in exploring opportunities in the cryptocurrency and web three space, with a focus on maintaining inclusivity and leveling the playing field.
  • đŸĢ  Serena Williams and Alison Rappaport have a complementary partnership, with Williams's strengths lying in reading people and brand building, while Rappaport excels in operational and strategic aspects of venture capital.
  • ↩ī¸ Serena Williams has turned down investments in companies due to a lack of infrastructure or the timing not being right, highlighting the importance of being prepared and making strategic decisions.

Transcript

I'M EXCITED. WE'RE ALL EXCITED. LET'S GET POSITIONS, POSITIONS, PLEASE. OKAY. I'M VERY, VERY EXCITED TO BRING UP OUR NEXT GUESTS. ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST ATHLETES OF ALL TIME. AND HER BUSINESS PARTNER ALISON RAPPAPORT, SERENA WILLIAMS FROM SERENA VENTURES AND I'LL BE MODERATING. LET'S GET THEM UP HERE. LET'S GO. COME ON. [ APPLAUSE ] >> O... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How has Serena Williams been adjusting to life after retiring from professional tennis?

Williams has been busy with her business venture, Serena Ventures, and has jumped right into meetings and working with her team. While she hasn't thought about retirement yet, she did mention feeling weird not playing for a competition for the first time in her life.

Q: How does Serena Ventures choose which companies to invest in?

Serena Ventures focuses on investing in companies that make everyday lives better and solve problems that disproportionately affect women and people of color. They prioritize founders who have a personal connection to the problem they are addressing and spend a lot of time in consumer-based technology.

Q: How does Serena Williams approach the competitive nature of venture capitalism?

Williams acknowledges that venture capitalism involves a lot of ups and downs, and not all investments will be winners. However, she and her team at Serena Ventures remain dedicated to supporting their founders and finding ways to make a positive impact.

Q: How does Serena Williams balance her personal life and her venture capital endeavors?

Williams believes in putting herself first and emphasizes the importance of planning. She acknowledges that as women, it can be challenging to prioritize themselves, but she wants to set an example for her daughter and family while still enjoying her new chapter outside of tennis.

Summary

This video features an interview with Serena Williams and her business partner, Alison Rappaport, discussing their venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, and their focus on investing in companies that improve everyday lives and address issues affecting women and people of color. They also talk about their approach to diversity and mentorship, as well as Serena's transition from being a professional tennis player to a VC.

Questions & Answers

Q: How has Serena spent the first few weeks after her last U.S. Open tournament?

Serena jumped right into her company, Serena Ventures, and had numerous meetings. She realized for the first time in her life that she wasn't playing for a competition, which felt weird. She is still trying to find balance in her new life.

Q: How does Serena think about the choice between tennis and family or other pursuits?

Serena believes in putting yourself first and planning as a vital aspect of achieving a balance. She acknowledges that as women, it can be challenging to prioritize oneself, especially if there is a family involved.

Q: What kind of companies does Serena Ventures want to invest in?

Serena Ventures aims to invest in companies that make everyday lives better for everyone while seeking to solve problems that disproportionately affect women and people of color. They focus on areas like financial services, health and wellness, and gender and racial equity within the healthcare system.

Q: What is Serena's take on Web 3.0 and its potential impact?

Serena acknowledges the importance of having a presence in the Web 3.0 space but wants to be thoughtful about investing in it. She recognizes the original intent of Web 3.0 to create opportunities but wants to ensure it doesn't exclude or separate people further. Serena Ventures is interested in investing in Web 3.0 companies that improve everyday lives.

Q: How does Serena Ventures approach diversity from the LP side?

Serena Ventures prioritizes diversity by making a conscious effort to include women and people of color as limited partners (LPs). They worked hard to ensure 40% of their LPs are women or people of color. Serena and Alison wanted to open doors and provide opportunities for everyone, which took extra time during the fundraising process.

Q: How does Serena deal with the expectation of winning in the VC industry?

Serena acknowledges that not every investment will be a winner and that it takes time for companies to succeed. While she is naturally competitive, she understands that investing in early-stage companies means not every investment will be successful. She wants to focus on helping their invested companies succeed while still aiming for as many wins as possible.

Q: How does Serena's intense personality as a tennis player translate to her role as a VC?

Serena describes herself as being calm and serene in her role as a VC, in contrast to her intense on-court persona. She brings a calm and clear-headed approach to the ups and downs of the industry. While she may be intense and competitive on the tennis court, she takes a more measured approach in the boardroom.

Q: How does Serena differentiate her personal brand from Serena Ventures?

Serena and Alison aim to keep Serena Ventures as the brand front and center and focus on supporting and investing in founders. While they may naturally talk about their portfolio companies, they don't want the brand to be solely about Serena Williams. Their goal is to create value and bring opportunities to the entrepreneurs they work with.

Q: How does Serena pick the founders she decides to invest in?

Serena looks for founders with experience and a personal connection to the problem they are solving. She asks about their learning experiences and examines their passion and dedication to the cause. She believes that founders who are passionate about their ideas have a better chance of success.

Q: How do Serena and Alison balance the strengths and weaknesses in their partnership?

Serena believes Alison is a great leader who brings brilliance and commitment to the team. Alison praises Serena's ability to read people and make insightful decisions in early meetings with founders. Serena focuses on branding, marketing, and brings her experience as an athlete to help founders deal with challenges and failures.

Q: Do Serena and Alison mentor each other, and how do they keep their personal and professional lives separate?

Serena and Alison keep their personal and professional lives separate, and Serena doesn't seek mentorship from her husband, Alexis Ohanian. They have separate lanes and don't bring work-related discussions into their personal relationship.

Q: How do Serena and Alison use Serena's brand in their investing?

Serena Ventures focuses on supporting founders and creating value rather than leveraging Serena's personal brand for promotion. While Serena's brand and connections can help open doors, what matters most to them is the impact and value they can bring to their portfolio companies.

Q: What were Serena and Alison's most regrettable investment decisions?

Serena mentioned an amazing company related to ride-sharing in France that she could have invested in but didn't have the infrastructure or time to pursue. Alison thought Instacart would have been a great investment but it was too late for them to get involved.

Q: What are the chances of seeing Serena play tennis again?

Serena confidently stated that the chances of her playing tennis again are very high. She invited the interviewer to come play with her and assured them that they would love to return to the sport.

Q: In response to a tweet where 84% of amateur men thought they could beat Serena in tennis, what would Serena say to those guys?

Serena challenged those men to come play against her one at a time, assuring them she would take them down and prove them wrong.

Takeaways

In this interview, Serena Williams and Alison Rappaport discuss their venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, and its focus on investing in companies that improve everyday lives and address issues affecting women and people of color. They emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusivity in both their portfolio and their limited partners. Serena's transition from being a professional tennis player to a VC has been smooth, and she brings a calm and measured approach to the VC industry. Their partnership is a balance of Serena's insights and Alison's operational expertise. They prioritize adding value to their invested companies and maintaining authenticity in their brand. Serena's intense competitiveness on the tennis court doesn't directly translate to her role as a VC but influences her strategic and planning mindset. Overall, they are committed to making a positive impact in the world through their investments.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Serena Williams reflects on her retirement from tennis and the challenges of transitioning to a new chapter in her life.

  • She discusses her business venture, Serena Ventures, and its focus on investing in companies that improve everyday lives and address issues faced by women and people of color.

  • Williams emphasizes the importance of planning and putting oneself first, especially for women who often prioritize others over themselves.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from TechCrunch 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: