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A conversation with David Skok of Matrix Partners

Posted by Scott Kirsner  October 23, 2012 11:07 AM

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In my recent survey about Boston's go-to VCs, two investors popped to the top of the list: David Skok of Matrix Partners for enterprise software and services, and Bijan Sabet for consumer-oriented websites and mobile apps. (Last week, I published my conversation with Sabet.)

Skok is a serial software entrepreneur who joined Matrix in 2001. He's an investor in local startups like HubSpot, GrabCAD, SageCloud, and CloudBees, and he also writes the blog For Entrepreneurs.

I sat down with hm last Friday in Matrix's Kendall Square offices -- which will soon be the firm's only offices, Skok divulged -- to talk about the opportunities that Skok sees in today's tech landscape. I also asked a couple questions about how the Boston venture capital scene is changing, and the current craze for sprinkling around seed capital (generally regarded as investments under $1 million).

I spent the bulk of the interview asking Skok questions that had been submitted via Twitter. Among them:

@raj: Who's in the Matrix anti-portfolio?

@missusP: Does he see more or less opportunities for women in tech; in what ways? How many women-led companies has he funded?

@stevedupe: Ask him why east coast vc's can't remake themselves the way west coast vc's have. Andreesen is the new model.

@TheViaNetwork: Do you think Boston VCs will increase their portfolios with emerging international startups?

@Olivia_Dufour: How can the government help startups...?

@Dintersmith: How do you find time to be such a productive, helpful venture capitalist, and still win your club golf championship?

I wrapped up the interview by asking Skok about the best and worst ways an entrepreneur can approach him to discuss a potential investment. He also offered a quick demo of a mobile app from one of his portfolio companies, VideoIQ.

Entrepreneurs' Grill player.













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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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