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#118 Steve Hoffman

investor, author, entrepreneur

CEO - Founders Space

Surviving Start Ups

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Steve Hoffman, or Captain Hoff as he’s called in Silicon Valley, is the Chairman & CEO of Founders Space, one of the world’s leading incubators and accelerators. He’s also an angel investor, limited partner at August Capital, serial entrepreneur, and author of several award-winning books. These include Make Elephants Fly published by Hachette and Surviving a Startup published by HarperCollins.

Hoffman was the Founder and Chairman of the Producers Guild Silicon Valley Chapter, Board of Governors of the New Media Council, and founding member of the Academy of Television’s Interactive Media Group.

While in Hollywood, Hoffman worked as a TV development executive at Fries Entertainment, known for producing over a hundred TV shows, acquired by MGM. He went on to pioneer interactive television with his venture-funded startup Spiderdance, which produced interactive TV shows with NBC, MTV, Turner, Warner Brothers, History Channel, Game Show Network, and others.

In Silicon Valley, Hoffman founded two more venture-backed startups, in the areas of games and entertainment, and worked as Mobile Studio Head for Infospace, with such hit mobile games as Tetris, Wheel of Fortune, Tomb Raider, Thief, Hitman, Skee-Ball, and X-Files.

Hoffman went on to launch Founders Space, with the mission to educate and accelerate entrepreneurs. Founders Space has become one of the top startup accelerators in the world. Hoffman has trained hundreds of startup founders and corporate executives in the art of innovation and provided consulting to many of the world’s largest corporations, including Qualcomm, Huawei, Bosch, Intel, Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC, Gulf Oil, Siemens, and Viacom.

Talking Points:

  • discussing how to continue trading during a downturn - "if you believe your business is sound - you should not abandon it" 


  • "go and ask you customers what they want - there are always opportunities whenever the economy shifts this radically there are people who need things now that they did not need before"


  • an enormous amount of when start ups fail is that they are self inflicted - discussing why entrepreneurs fail


  • question everything and test - "we assume things can not be changed, that thing can be changed, and changed a lot, you just don't know it and have never tried it" 


  • talking about the innate qualities of successful entrepreneurs - have they faced with really hard challenges in life or work


"you have to commit to solving a problem"


  • the difference between starts up which succeed and fail - discussing their model, Founders Space is a global operation, find local partners, 


"put 90% of your effot into the top 10% of everything, products, ideas, workers, customers - give us the best 10% (31)


  • discussing the current investment climate - early stage start ups are going to get hurt - who wins now 


  • his story in Hollywood - and gaming in Japan, his first game Lava Mind (35)


  • how technology is impacting Hollywood, 


  • discussing AI - in post production, and script writing, analysing scripts, Netflix, they have so much data - produce content for their users, employing data to make decisions about content customising the content per person (41)


  • if your audience really loves you they want to see the real you, authentic human to human relationships, it may your deep fake of yourself while you are on the beach — reality or avatar


  • the future of entertainment and media, leveraging your brand to everyone 


  • anything that is digital can be scaled and personalisedcan you bring the cost down, does it scale easily and is there massive demand for it... 


  • discussing robotics and wearable exoskeletons in health care in construction and logistics (51)

To contact Steve click on the links below:



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