investor stories

4 hot takeaways for investors from Camp Hustle 2024

What happens when 150 investors, angels, VCs, LPs, emerging fund managers, and family offices convene in the great outdoors? Insight and inspiration galore.

In May this year, Camp Hustle and its amazing speakers tackled topics such as the key strategies of raising a fund, how to leverage AI, the secondaries landscape for investors, and lots more.

Below are key takeaways from some of our sessions for you to chew on.

How to spot great pitches and founders

Investors meet a lot of founders and hear a lot of pitches. How do you tell the good apart from the…less good.

Lisa Muccio, Co-founder of the Pitch Podcast, and Peter Liu, Scout at the Pitch Podcast, spoke about what makes a successful founder pitch, what they see in great founders, and how learning about a founder’s personal story adds value to their due diligence process.

Branded the “antithesis of Shark Tank”, the Pitch is full of real conversations and real questions for the founders, minus the reality TV drama.

Key takeaways from the conversation:

  1. Great founders can look like anyone and come from anywhere. Investors should be open-minded when hearing pitches from founders of all backgrounds as this can be a huge opportunity for investing in great companies at reasonable prices.

  2. It’s important to find humble founders. These are the ones that will come to you when things aren’t going well and give you an opportunity to work through problems together. Founders who are too prideful usually never tell their investors about things going wrong until it’s too late.

  3. Ask the founder, “Why do people not buy?” Founders should understand their customers so well that they can tell you their top reasons for objection and then work through answers to those reasons.

How to run an angel syndicate

Syndicates are hard to build. You have the complexity of investor relations, presenting and storytelling with each new deal, SPV administration, and more.

“Only start if you’re willing to put in the work,” says Brian Nichols, Co-founder of Angel Squad.

Known as the “alumni syndicate guy,” Brian first founded the Lyft Alumni Syndicate, before starting Angel Squad, a global angel investing community with thousands of members.

With a syndicate, you’re selling the idea of the investment opportunity. This means understanding your audience and what deals they’d be interested in investing in.

Picking the right deals starts with your own interest. Do you think the company has strong potential and the deal is at the right price? If you answer yes to these questions, then it’s time to think about your syndicate LPs.

“Find deals that not only you like as an investor, but people in the syndicate will also be excited to invest in,” Brian says. “This typically means the company has some meaningful traction ($500k+ ARR) and/or high-signal co-investors.”

How to differentiate your fund to LPs

Today, there are more VC funds than ever, and LPs hear pitches multiple times a day. In a sea of new and incumbent fund managers, how do you really stand out?

In one of the most anticipated Bonfire Sessions for emerging managers, Eric Bahn, Co-founder and General Partner of Hustle Fund led a discussion on strategies to differentiate your fund.

“Don’t flex differentiated access to deal flow…hardly any deal flow is truly proprietary, so if you're a GP raising, consider stripping this from your deck,” Eric notes.

It’s also super important to be pitching LPs that make sense for your fund strategy. Don’t waste time trying to get meetings with LPs that simply won’t invest in your fund.

“Make sure the LP is a fit for your fund size, number, and strategy. Too many first-time fund managers raising tiny funds try to go after large institutions. Largely that won't work, as fund size and risk doesn't make sense for an established institution. Consider high net worth individuals and family offices instead.”

How investors can use AI to work smarter

Everyone’s talking about AI startups. But how can investors and VCs leverage AI to improve their own operations and workflows?

Our AI Coffee Chat conversation welcomed Jiquan Ngiam, Co-founder and CEO of Lutra AI. Jiquan walked through a demo of Lutra AI to show us how we can leverage AI agents to automate workflows across multiple apps and the internet, turning any type of unstructured data into structured formats.

Lutra can synthesize and process data from apps like Airtable, Google Drive, Hubspot, Slack, and others. A user provides commands in natural language, and then Lutra figures out how to create the workflow and present it to you in a structured, cohesive format.

For large syndicates and VCs managing thousands of investors, Lutra can dramatically reduce the time that GPs spend on data collection and other repetitive tasks during their fundraising process. Even day to day, for example, you could say, "Summarize all the deals that have been sent to me by person X, by theme," and save the countless hours you would have spent going through emails and newsletters. How's that for upleveling?

Squirming from FOMO? Don’t worry

Feel like you missed out? Never fear! Our second Camp Hustle event of the year—Camp Hustle Asia—is happening September 15th-17th, and this time, we’re headed to Bali. There will be all the same magic from Camp Hustle with the same caliber of insane speakers, but this time on a beautiful beach-front resort. 🌴

Grab your tickets in advance before the event reaches capacity.

See you there,


This article was written by Tucker McKay. Tucker is the founder of Ikaria Labs, a content marketing agency for funds, fintechs, and financial services companies.