A Deep Dive into What Has Really Changed in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve heard a lot of people question whether there is too much money in venture capital chasing too few great deals. “We’re Others believe that new business models are emerging that could replace venture capital all together.

Venture Capital Q&A Session

Both Sides of the Table

We received so much positive feedback from our This Week in Venture Capital show walking through valuation calculations & term sheets that we decided to do a Q&A show this week to address topics that entrepreneurs want to learn about. Are the write ups worth doing or not?

Why I Look for High Conviction, not Consensus, in Venture Capital Decisions

Both Sides of the Table

One of the least understood parts of the venture capital industry and venture capital firms is how investment decisions actually get made. But once your feet are firmly under the desk, I believe the job of a VC is actually to make the harder bets. VC Industry

Why We Must Have Zero Tolerance for Sexual Misconduct in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

I titled this post “We Must Have Zero Tolerance in Venture Capital” but of course I could just say “zero tolerance anywhere” because that’s true. As a VC let me specifically just speak out for our industry. Yet when it’s in tech or VC we seem much slower to speak up.

This Week in Venture Capital – Episode 3

Both Sides of the Table

In writing anything positive about any of the companies I’m not suggesting that it means that I prefer them to any of their competitors. Also, some of the deals I write about I have actually seen as part of their fund raising process. OK, it’s official!

Why Venture Capital is So Much More Compelling Now

Both Sides of the Table

It’s not hard to find people willing to write the narrative that “venture capital is not an asset class” or “venture capital has performed terribly.” That’s a shame because many of these people missed out on what will be a few great VC vintages. I wrote about this in a blog post last year titled “ It’s Morning in VC ” but I never made the full deck available until now.

What Do LPs Think of the Venture Capital Markets for 2016?

Both Sides of the Table

At the Upfront Summit in early February, we had a chance to have many off-the-record conversations with Limited Partners (LPs) who fund Venture Capital (VC) funds about their views of the market. LPs Still Believe Strongly in Venture Capital as a Diverse Source of Returns.

The Changing Structure of the VC Industry

Both Sides of the Table

There has been much discussion in the past few years of the changing structure of the venture capital industry. The rise of alternative sources of capital (crowd funding and the like). The VC market has right-sized (returned back to mid 90′s levels & less competition).

Stephanie Spong – Venture Capital Executive Interview

Startup Professionals Musings

Last week at an angel investor forum I was privileged to meet Stephanie Spong, who is a Principal with EPIC Ventures, an increasingly rare early stage VC firm. Stephanie: I am a venture capitalist currently based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with EPIC Ventures.

Last Exit Wall Street: 7 Considerations When Raising Venture Capital

From the Venture Trenches

The recent firing of Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason is a cautionary tale of the increased scrutiny and heightened expectations that come from accessing increasingly larger amounts of investment capital. Is outside capital really required?

Why Has Seed Investing Declined? And What Does this Mean for the Future?

Both Sides of the Table

Over the past month a colleague ( Chang Xu ) and I sifted through data on the venture capital industry (as we do every year) and made a bunch of calls to VCs and LPs to confirm our hypotheses. So What Impact Did the Drop in Tech Founding Costs Have on VC?

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Fred Wilson and Andy Weissman Talk with Lindel Eakman about Transitioning Leadership at a VC Fund

Both Sides of the Table

Union Square Ventures (USV) has been one of the most successful venture capital firms of the past 10–15 years and continues to be a leader in our industry. Lindel is no stranger to thorny venture capital issues — he was arguably amongst the most successful LPs of his generation.

Does the Size of a VC Fund Matter?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my series on Understanding Venture Capital. I’m writing this series because if you better understand how VC firms work you can better target which firms make sense for you to speak with. What is a VC fund?

How Many Investors Should You Talk to in a VC Fund Raise? And How Do You Prioritize?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series of advice for founders who need to raise money from venture capitalists. I always tell founders … “An investors job is to deploy capital and make a return. Same with VC. How Do You Know if a VC is Engaged? If a VC “ghosts you” (i.e.

What I Would Look for When Choosing a VC – Knowing What I Know Now?

Both Sides of the Table

Picking a VC is hard. I had an enjoyable conversation this morning with a young team straight out of college this morning and they were calling to ask advice on how to approach fund raising (angels vs. VCs, how to select a VC, etc.) And so is venture capital.

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How To Become a VC


One the most frequent questions asked of me by entrepreneurs is, "How can I become a Venture Capitalist?" The inquiry is common because being a VC is (to an entrepreneur, at least) a sexy job. In contrast, an Angel Investor is someone who invests their own capital.

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What Do Industry Insiders Think Will Happen in VC in 2016?

Both Sides of the Table

” There are a lot of data points that one can observer to get a sense of the venture capital markets – both LP fundings into venture and VC financings of startups. times the dollars went into venture-backed startups as went the money that poured into venture.

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Retro: My Favorite Blog Post on Raising VC

Both Sides of the Table

I had previously raised VC in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005. I had seen many cycles and decided that since I was going to do it all over again I should write about it. In case VC’s haven’t figured this out yet, shit rolls downhill. I decided to write about my experience and to be blunt. My blog linked to Brad Feld’s blog because I was so grateful for his series on term sheets and he was one of the biggest reasons that as a VC I felt compelled to blog.

Some Reflections on VC Investment Decisions

Both Sides of the Table

I was having dinner with a friend last night and we were chatting about venture capital and a bit about what I’ve learned. I know I can’t be in every deal and I know that the easy part of being a VC is writing the first check in a deal. If an accelerator is writing you they’re also writing 25 other VCs. ” Along these lines … in bull tech markets like we’re in you often find non-venture investors entering our market.

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Why it’s Critical That you Reference Check Your VC

Both Sides of the Table

They had received a term sheet from a VC and were wondering whether to work with this firm. This experience made me want to dig into my archives, re-write & publish this piece. I often tell people that raising venture capital is more difficult than getting married.

How to Handle a VC Presentation with No Deck

Both Sides of the Table

I recently filmed a show for This Week in Venture Capital in which I talked about how to prepare for a VC meeting: whom you’ll meet, who should attend from your side, what materials you should bring and how you should run the meeting. But take prompts from the VC.

WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “Pitching a VC&# – the outline is here. You’ve pitched several angels and VC’s. Your friends and advisers tell you that this means you need revenue because in this economy VC’s will only fund businesses with revenue. Traction really is about building a relationship with a VC over time and showing them that you can move the ball forward. And most VC’s wouldn’t fund the first time we meet you.

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This Week in VC with Rick Smith of Crosscut Ventures

Both Sides of the Table

We started this week’s show with a Q&A session where I answered viewer questions about fund raising and the VC industry. Heck, stick around and watch me discuss the seed funding debate that is going on right now and what is happening in the VC industry overall.

Want to Know How VC’s Calculate Valuation Differently from Founders?

Both Sides of the Table

Back in 1999 when I first raised venture capital I had zero knowledge of what a fair term sheet looked like or how to value my company. I just want to figure out what a fair valuation is.&# I figured all the VC’s talked so we should.

Want to Work in VC? Here’s How

Both Sides of the Table

I’m often asked by people, “how do I get into VC?&# Well, I know 3-4 VC jobs that are publicly available. Every time I do recruiting I get somebody who says, “I’m willing to take a step back in my career to work in VC.&# This isn’t likely to appeal to us.

This Week in VC with Mo Koyfman of Spark Capital

Both Sides of the Table

We had a special edition of This Week in Venture Capital this week shooting out of the Next New Networks offices in New York. Our guest was Mo Koyfman of Spark Capital. Topics we discussed in the first 45 minutes of the video include: What is VC like in NY?

Understanding a VC’s Seed Funding Policy is Critical

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve written about it myself (Is VC Seed Funding Dead?) and (Is There Really a Signaling Problem with VC Seed Funding?). If you don’t understand the concept of “signaling&# please read the blog post I wrote on Understanding VC signaling.

The Importance of Proprietary Deal Flow in Early-Stage VC

Both Sides of the Table

When I was new at Venture Capital I was trying to figure out the business. As a VC you want to feel like you have “proprietary sources” of deal flow. They are venture bankers not investment bankers. The process of raising capital IS part of running a business.

Third-Quarter Report Shows Slowdown in VC Activity, & Top 10 Deals


Venture capital activity is gradually easing from last year’s peak, according to a new quarterly report put together by Seattle-based PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. VC firms invested $14.99 deals (1,796 companies) during the third quarter that ended September 30, according to the inaugural “Venture Monitor” report released today. billion that venture firms invested in 2015, according to PitchBook records that began in 2000.

My Life as a CEO (and VC): Chief Psychologist

Both Sides of the Table

My primary role was “chief psychologist&# and as I’ve learned over the past few years the same has been true as a VC. I finally got around to writing it having read Fred Wilson’s post about what a CEO does.

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How to Talk About Valuation When a VC Asks

Both Sides of the Table

VC firms see thousands of deals and have a refined sense of how the market is valuing deals because they get price signals across all of these deals. What was the post money on your last round (and how much capital have you raised)? So why does a VC ask you?

Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC?

Both Sides of the Table

He writes with a great perspective and is well worth reading. I came across this blog post about getting a computer science degree as the best degree for getting into venture capital or working at a VC-backed start up.

The Venture Capital Industry: The Current State of Affairs

Jason Nazar

There has been a lot of conjecture about how the Venture community will respond to the economic downturn. Erick Schonfeld writes about the current state of affairs in his TechCrunch post: “ The End of Venture Capital as We Know It &#.

What The Heck Does “Traction” Really Mean To A VC?


However, when uttered by most Venture Capitalists (VCs) it conveys a desire to obtain validation of your venture's value proposition from dispassionate, objective third parties. However, not all ventures are mature enough to generate paying customers.

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What Should You Send a VC Before Your Meeting?

Both Sides of the Table

As a VC and former entrepreneur let me offer you some advice. Remember that the goal of an email to a VC or an introduction from a trusted mutual connection is simply to get you the meeting. The VC will smile, thank you, and later pass.

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