Episode #33 - Lucas Pols, Founder of Spark xyz
Lucas is Managing Partner of Amplite Capital, Founder & CEO of Spark xyz, and on the executive committee of Tech Coast Angels
In his previous career at ADP he successfully helped roll out two technology driven national pilots, while additionally winning District Manager of the Year and Sales Executive of the year. More recently he helped launch the Quake Capital Accelerator here in Los Angeles successfully building out their program and advising the startups on business development, leadership, and fundraising.
He received his Master’s in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. While at USC, Lucas was the case protagonist of professor Noam Wasserman’s case study, which focused on his venture, Spark xyz, and hybrid entrepreneurship.
Lucas also currently writes for Forbes and does speaking engagements around Los Angeles.
In this episode of the Just Go Grind Podcast, Lucas tells us the tough but fulfilling work of a hybrid entrepreneur – providing insights on both entrepreneurship and venture capital.
Some of the Topics Covered in this Episode
- Hybrid entrepreneurship and Lucas’ experience with it
- The challenges of being a hybrid entrepreneur, but also why it has so many benefits
- Starting a company while at your current job, and NOT leaving till your business has traction
- His experience trying to grow a photography business
- What convinced Lucas to earn a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California
- How Lucas launched and grew Spark xyz and why the research phase of this was so vital
- How Lucas met his technical co-founder
- The importance of open communication for companies
- How Lucas managed to put together Quake Capital’s West Coast Challenge
- Why traction is one of the most important things Quake Capital looks for in companies
- What Quake Capital looks for in potential companies to invest in and how they narrow down the 1,500 applications for their accelerator to the final 15
Links from the Episode
- Entrepreneurship Guide by Lucas Pols
- Venture Deals
- Being Wrong
- The Founder’s Dilemma
- Quake Capital West Coast Challenge
- Plug and Play
- Quake Capital
- Business Model Generation
Listen to all Episodes of the Just Go Grind Podcast
About the Just Go Grind Podcast
Just Go Grind is a podcast started and hosted by Justin Gordon, a USC MBA in the class of 2020, that exists to help you launch and grow your business, supporting you along your entrepreneurial journey with new episodes each week featuring entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other go-getters.
On the show we discuss:
- How the entrepreneur started their company
- What strategies were used to get the initial customers
- How the entrepreneur built their team
- The best marketing and growth strategies for different businesses
- The biggest challenges the entrepreneur had to overcome
- Short term vs. long term thinking in a business
- The first things someone should think about before starting a business
- How the entrepreneur manages their time day-to-day
- The biggest lessons from their entrepreneurial journey
- And much, much more!