147: Austin Woods (Lewis and Clark Ventures)

Austin Woods on Innovation City

“Venture capital and funding is definitely a game of relationships.” — Austin Woods

Welcome to Season 3 of Innovation City, a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Austin Woods, Analyst at Lewis and Clark Ventures. Early into his career, Austin knew he wanted to leave behind academia to pursue a less conventional life as a venture analyst. He made the segue with a desire to build business models that would help improve educational and social outcomes. The possibilities for better economic approaches in different social systems is what inspires his work. In this episode, Tyler and Leigh-Ann sit down with Austin to explore his approach to “getting the boots on the ground” when it comes to solving problems, finding more interesting ways to meet the needs of ventures, producing quality publications, and much more!

They discuss:

  • Getting to really know founders and understand what they are capable of
  • Creating business models that increase academic and social outcomes
  • The economics of crime and better approaches to policing and legal systems that support
  • Publishing more efficient economic reports that are numbers heavy and highlight top takeaways
  • Accelerating smart early stage funding for regions that typically don’t see them
  • How between-the-coasts businesses perform better and have more thoughtful and realistic business models
  • Helping founders be smart about how they use funding
  • Creating relationships that help underrepresented founders foster needed social connections
  • Educating underprivileged groups
  • Checking unfair behaviors and practices by refusing business
  • Lowering funding thresholds in smart ways

Lightning Round:

  • What are you working towards that you could use help with right now?
    • My Between The Coasts newsletter
  • What question would you ask a fortune teller?
    • What will the economy look like in 12 years?
  • What do you spend too much time doing?
    • Playing Animal Crossing on Nintendo
  • What random act of kindness could you perform right now?
    • Help someone with making a connection or listen to someone’s pitch deck
  • What risk are you happy that you took?
    • Leaving academia