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Friday Letter: GPs debate in new PrimeTime VC program

In a new program on YouTube, VCs from Eniac, Plexo, Supernode and Bullpen vie for random points as they discuss the relevant topics of the day.

VCs are no stranger to competition. That’s the case when they’re vying for a hot deal or battling in a game show-like setting and trying to come up with the most dazzling of comments.

While poking around on YouTube this week, I stumbled upon a VC-related program that showcases the friendly and zealous nature of VCs called PrimeTime VC.

The 30-minute program bills itself as a competitive event in which four game show contestants – in this case, four VCs – opine on various topics and are awarded random points for their knowledge, relevance and entertainment quality. Think of it like ESPN’s Around the Horn. But instead of talking trades and wins and losses, the panel of VCs bantered about TikTok, SPACs, fundraising, LPs and the impact of covid-19.

In the first episode, which was posted on August 17, the contestants were Jenny Friedman of Supernode Ventures, Nihal Mehta of Eniac Ventures, Lo Toney of Plexo Capital and Paul Martino of Bullpen Capital. Friedman right away was my favorite to win when she described herself in the intro as the “Cardi B of VC.”

It was entertaining, which was the point. But there were some insights, too, such as when Mehta discussed liquidity options and predicted that SPACs are going to be in discussion for “the next year or year-and-a-half.”

VC Lifestyle
Screenshot of PrimeTime VC on YouTube.

Toney had one of the more somber comments when he said of LPs that what he’s hearing is that as the pandemic lingers, the only funds that will get closed are re-ups. New fund managers will dry up, he said.

Spoiler alert: It was a see-saw battle, but Martino won the match, which is not surprising. I’ve moderated several panels over the years with Martino participating, and he’s always good for controversial comments and his dry humor. As champion, he was allowed to talk for 45 seconds, which he chose to use to encourage entrepreneurs not to be scared but to start something new.

PrimeTime VC is not to be confused with Primetime Partners, the newly launched venture firm founded by wellness expert Abby Miller Levy and longtime investor Alan Patricof to go after eldertech deals.

PrimeTime VC was instead created by Pitch Madness, the same organization that has put on a start-up pitch competition since January 2019. Founder Tyler Kelly told Venture Capital Journal that they’re gearing up to air episode two in early September. The idea is for it to become a weekly show.

In an email, he wouldn’t say who was booked for future editions, but Kelly said interested VCs can send an email to contact@pitchmadness.com.

If you’ve seen the show and have thoughts or want to talk to me about what you’re doing to relax while in lockdown, I would love to hear from you.

You can reach me at agoldfisher@buyoutsinsider.com and I’m open to voice and video calls.