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Marketing Your Portfolio Companies to Other Investors

One of my most important responsibilities as a VC is recruiting appropriate co-investors and follow-on investors.  See How VCs structure a syndicate and recruit coinvestors for more on this. I’ve provided here a template for sharing profiles of [...continue reading]

How VCs Can and Should Invest in Later Rounds

You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.  So when a company in which I’m an investor is raising a later round, should we (the VC investor) keep our pro rata or get diluted?   My view is that one should always make this [...continue reading]

Seeking CEO+team for VC-backed startup: Make America Functional Again

  Looking 4 entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer 4 a network-based service.. pre-launch, BIG equity, big peeps involved--ANY TIPS?? Do you want to make America functional again? Are you thinking of applying to Y Combinator [...continue reading]

Checklist for Launching a New Venture Capital Fund

I posted a while ago my syllabus on how to manage and invest a VC fund.  As a prequel, here are some of the resources I’ve found helpful in launching a new fund: What it takes to start your own venture capital fund Strategic Considerations For [...continue reading]

Should you co-found a company with your friend? And how do you split the equity?

If you’re talking with cofounders about launching a new business, you’re fundamentally recruiting someone to take the job of partnering with you for the next decade.  I see a lot of founders who do less due diligence than I think ideal before making [...continue reading]

How universities can help students and alumni work in the tech industry

“CEO is the new Analyst.” My former Partner John Frankel of ff Venture Capital observes that 20 years ago, the defining movie of the generation was “Wall Street”.  Everyone wanted to work in finance. But now, the defining movie of today’s [...continue reading]

Are you hiring a cultural fit? Do you actually want to?

Who should you hire: the superstar with great skills who feels like a poor fit with the culture, or the person with weaker skills but who fits in culturally?  Even though I believe in hiring the stranger, cultural fit really matters. I once had an [...continue reading]

A family-friendly work environment is a powerful recruiting and retention tool

My wife and I have a lot of conversations about work-life balance, or as I usually think of it, making sure I don’t use up too many “spouse points”.  Many early-stage companies do not have these issues top of mind, because so many founders are [...continue reading]

Face-to-face meetings are important, but written collateral is mandatory for closing the deal

I’ve noticed a lot of founders raising capital prefer to have face to face meetings, as opposed to answering questions in writing.  Some don't want to share a deck in advance of a meeting. When you’re fundraising, I suggest keep in mind you are [...continue reading]

The investment committee rejected you; what does that actually mean?

One of the most common ways a venture capitalist rejects you is a variation of, “I love you, I love your company.  I brought it up to the investment committee (“IC”)....but they turned it down.” What does that actually mean? Is this the business [...continue reading]

Your startup is dying — now what?

“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” (“Man Plans, and God Laughs.”) We hope for the best, but are forced to plan for the worst.  Almost all VCs will have companies that fail. The CEO comes to us.  She has 3 months of cash left. Existing investors [...continue reading]

Startup fundraising hacks: raise more money faster

I presented last month to the Harvard in Tech Emerging Founders Program on "Startup Fundraising Hacks: Raise More Money Faster".  I have embedded the video and the slide deck below.       [...continue reading]

A message to young people from older folks: DON’T VOTE

Voter registrations close soon in many key states. Register here. And a reminder for young people: DO NOT VOTE!   [...continue reading]

Visiting Boston Oct. 3-5: Harvard, MIT, HBS, and SMA Consultancy

I hope to meet some of the local investor and founder community when I visit Boston October 3-5: At October 3 11:45am, the MIT Sloan Entrepreneurship & Innovation Club; VC/PE Club; and Fintech Club will be hosting me for a discussion on all of [...continue reading]