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Gavin Christensen and the Importance of Playing the Long Game

1/13/22 – Episode 12

As a military kid and curious adult, Gavin Christensen found himself in many places before settling back into Utah around 2007, where he had the idea of a firm that catered towards the mountain west region. After a rocky start, Kickstart is now the most active investor in Utah. On today’s episode, Gavin sits down with Emily to discuss Kickstart’s funds, why storytelling is crucial to a successful pitch deck, and the importance of playing the long game.

About Gavin Christensen:

Gavin Christenson attended BYU studying Economics, Literature and Business Management. He furthered his education at Kellog School of Management, receiving his MBA in Finance, Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Gavin started his career in investing and consulting, working at Fidelity Investments, Monitor Group and vSpring Capital (here he spent some time at Google before returning as a Principal). In 2007, Gavin was determined to create a fund focused on the mountain west region, thus Kickstart Fund was born and has grown to be a leader in Utah.

In this episode with Gavin, you’ll learn:

  • What piqued his interest in venture capital
  • How Kickstart was born during his time at Kellog School of Management in Chicago
  • Challenges starting Kickstart during the recession
  • Kickstart’s investment thesis and various facets, including Campus Founders Fund
  • The importance in getting hands-on experience
  • Why they would pass on a deal and what culture they look for in a company
  • Kickstart’s value add beyond capital
  • Gavin’s advice for founders and how to tell their story in a pitch
  • How he measures his success and why he plays a long game

Mentioned in this episode…

Companies:
Kickstart Fund
Monitor Group
vSpring Capital
Chatbooks
Robotic Skies
Lucid
Podium
SonderMind
Havenly
Pura
Nursa
TaskEasy
Salad
Trinsic
Artemis

People:
Gavin Christensen
Dalton Wright

Enjoy this episode and subscribe to Portfolio Pitch wherever you listen to your podcasts!

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