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Top rated SaaS podcast for entrepreneurs and investors.
We interview top SaaS founder, leaders, investors, SaaS CEO's and SaaS marketing experts to help you in scaling your SaaS business.

We release new SaaS podcast episodes every single week by host Akeel Jabber.
Every new episode covers actionable insights from growth hacking to SaaS buyer personas and everything in between from proven SaaS founders, SaaS businesses and SaaS experts.

Saas District - Akeel Jabber | HoriZen Capital Episode 29, 5th August 2020

The Current VC Seed Stage Investment Market & Some Key Metrics to Pay Attention Post-COVID for SaaS Founders With Cindy Padnos [SDI]| Podcast #29











Cindy Padnos is an innovator and an advocate for all things entrepreneurial. She is a founder (both of a VC-backed tech startup and a VC firm), with a passion for enabling experimentation that can lead to the discovery of new business models and unique points of leverage. Cindy bleeds B2B/Enterprise Tech – gaining the moniker “Queen B2B” and a place at the table with the top institutional investors in the category.

Cindy has been working with enterprise technology startups for more than 20 years - as a founder, operating executive, adviser, or investor. She founded Illuminate Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm that invests exclusively in enterprise cloud and mobile software companies. Illuminate seeks entrepreneurs that are "re-inventing the enterprise" with products that deliver dramatic productivity and decision making improvements while leveraging better, faster, cheaper - cloud technologies and innovative business models.

Prior to her investing career, Cindy led several successful venture-backed entrepreneurial efforts. She was the founder/CEO of Vivant (now part of Oracle) an early Software as a Service (SaaS) company. She was CEO of Acumen, orchestrating a profitable M&A, and VP Marketing for Scopus, helping position this early CRM company for its successful IPO. Early in her career, Cindy served as a management consultant at Booz Allen and Arthur D Little.

Illuminate is particularly interested in companies delivering:

- B2B SaaS applications and infrastructure

- Application of AI and blockchain technologies to the Enterprise

- Enterprise mobile solutions

- Predictive and prescriptive analytics that improve business results

- Business model innovation enablers

- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)”

Cindy is also an investor at various companies, such as Jacobi, Cafe X Communications, Bedrock Analytics, Peerlyst, ChannelEyes, Pyze Inc., JetStream Software Inc. Influitive, Hoopla Software, Xoupang, Contentstack, BrightEdge, and Allocadia.

During this interview we cover:

00:00 - Intro

02:09 - Early SaaS Experience from Raising VC Capital to Acquisition

15:00 - The Decision Behind Illuminate Ventures and Transformation to what it is today (Metrics)

22:21 - Experience & Perspective on the Volatility of Deal Flow Investments with the COVID-19 Pandemic

24:10 The Value of a Dollar & Current Challenges in the COVID-19 Environment

26:18 How Founders Deal with the Slow Down in Decision to Buy or Renew Software from Customers and Some Strategies for the New Normal

31:34 What Illuminate Ventures Share with Startups Beyond Capital Support

38:46 What is a Founder Heroic & Why Any Founder Should Aim to Become One

40:54 Cindy’s Winner Startup Criteria for Investing

42:29 Cindy’s Turn Down Startup Criteria for not Investing



- Shelfware



- Jennifer Savage

- Ken Goldman

- Michael Stonebraker

- Chris Cabrera

- Gary Swart "The future of work Ep."


- Illuminate VC

- Vivant Corp.


- Oracle

- Google

- Azure

- People Soft


- Evolve

- Express Ventures

- Ariba

- Xactly

- Vista

- BrightEdge

- Hoopla

- Cafex

Get in touch with Cindy:

- Cindy’s LinkedIn Profile

- Cindy’s Twitter

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More about Akeel:

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