Venture capital · Fundraising

What is the top thing Venture Capitalists look for in a Venture?

Seabrook Barnett NodeJS, C# Web Developer / Trend Forecaster - Over $30 Billion Successfully Forecasted

September 25th, 2015

What is the top thing Venture Capitalists look for in a Venture? In an Entrepreneur?

Craig Conlee

September 25th, 2015

Its very simple and it's not academic. Its an idea that solves a real problem. 
Then money. Money is execution and execution means money. Team is important, but Timing is everything. 

Nothing has changed people. ...Nothing. Sites like FD is one big dead horse that people like to beat over and over again. LOL! 

On the opposite end, the only thing I do know is, nobody knows anything. Wait, and one more thing.... you have to be human, because 100% of billionaires are human. Oddly enough, it seems to be true.  

nilay singh looking for opportunity in tech startup

September 25th, 2015

Seabrook I  am talking about India almost every company is founded by an IIT alumuni 

Craig Conlee

September 25th, 2015

They look for a Business Person, not an entrepreneur. If they are looking for an "serial entrepreneur" type, run! 

Dwayne Johnson Social Alchemist - I build equitable, prosperous, sustainable smart cities and regions.

September 25th, 2015

By "VC" I'll assume you mean an investment fund of some sort (Angels, Private Equity, Venture Capitalists, etc.) who'd typically invest in some stage in the life of a rapidly growing company. 

People is always #1. 

A good individual can convert a good idea into a successful business. The reverse is rarely true.

Does one of the founders have domain expertise in areas most critical to business success? If you're a bike enthusiast developing new wheels for mountain bikers, yes. If you've never been on a bike and you thought this up while watching extreme cycling on TV? Not as much.

Can the individual/team execute? Have a track record? Known or have good references? Come prepared? Persistent? Coachable?

In many ways an investment is like a marriage. After signing the deal you may be stuck with each other a while so it helps if you like each other, know what you're signing up for, and are in it for the long haul.

#2 Is there and invest-able BUSINESS here? (i.e. am I the investor going to make the amount of money I need in the time I need it)

It never fails to surprise me that some people act like they don't understand that investors want a return on their investment. If you want to make an investor smile, show them that you've thought about how they're going to get a return on investment. Show that you treat the investment like a precious good to be managed and used when needed. If you don't know how to manage a budget; get the skills and/or find someone who does. Giving money to someone who doesn't know how to manage money is a sure way to loose it.  

Fred Rehhausser Owner, High Street Consultants and Marketing and Business Consultant

September 27th, 2015

There are three critical areas that the VC is looking for in no particular order

1. A first rate team with actual experience in having done it before

2. A disruptive idea that can take hold of a market

3. A working protoype with actual customers and generating revenue.

That is all and that is enough

Seabrook Barnett NodeJS, C# Web Developer / Trend Forecaster - Over $30 Billion Successfully Forecasted

September 25th, 2015

I find that last post very interesting.  I feel "Business Person" takes on a more serious connotation than "Entrepreneur."  Is there anything else to consider?

Mike Whitfield Sr. Software Engineer, EPAM, Google

September 25th, 2015

If I may attempt to confer my second-hand knowledge (based on conversations, I don't have leverage or sway over these people to truly "know").

VC's are more subject to FOMO than the average consumer.  They not only suffer from FOMO, but they are incentivized to get-in quick for a better deal and they want a tangible get-out strategy.  Beyond that, it's individual.  VC's don't care about your startup *at all* prior to a signed and dotted relationship.  Your secondary job as a startup is to make the VC empowered with unique knowledge about the market they wouldn't otherwise know (it might help inform another position in their portfolio, a good portfolio is cohesive *and* diverse).  It is within their market "right" to shop around, so I think the strategy is convey value with your knowledge but be likeable and believable that you can "do it".

There are literally like 10 or 20 players doing *exactly* what I do, and it's PhD specific.  Some of them probably have more traction, more self-funded capital, more time in the software profession.  Why on earth would an investor choose me?  The buckets of rationale are probably some proprietary mix of a) motivation b) presentation c) skill d) experience e) wisdom f) infrastructure g) existing resources h) alignment i) convenience/proximity j) focus k) reputation

Seed == team, vision quest
Series A == numbers, longevity, market share and feasibility

Happy to form a mindshare group on this or be looped into an existing one lol (tired of sounding so right, would like to execute in a group setting)

Philip Architect Design + Funding Support for Luxury Projects

September 25th, 2015

when a project or business has a strong seed (cause) it bears fruits (effects) for a long time. Investors want to see the potential of fertility of the core seed.

Seabrook Barnett NodeJS, C# Web Developer / Trend Forecaster - Over $30 Billion Successfully Forecasted

September 25th, 2015

Nilay, that seems to be true but irrational seeing that 75% of Tech Billionaires under the age of 40 dropped out of college.


September 25th, 2015

Let's rephrase that..."What is the top thing that Ventures should look for in Venture Capitalists?" 

The task of the innovator-entrepreneur is to inspire and convince others with the resources to bring their vision to fruition to invest. If you're working hard to convince the wrong group or person, you'll just burn yourself out.  Food for thought...