I've been working with startups now for over 30 years in three different modes: (1) as their lawyer representing them in VC financings (among other transactions), (2) as a partner in a VC fund, investing in them and, now, (3) as a "Sherpa" (advisor) to them, in substantial part, helping startups navigate the perilous shoals of VC financing.
In phases (1) and (3), I've been on the opposite side of the table from the VC, and come to understand how opaque the VC financing process is to the entrepreneur, certainly the first-time entrepreneur. In phase (2), I came, reluctantly, to believe that there is no advantage to the VC to have the process be opaque.
Accordingly, over the next few months, I'm going to post some insights that I've gleaned from my experience on (stealing from my friend, Mark Suster) "Both Sides of the Table'. Hopefully, it'll illuminate the VC process to the advantage of the entrepreneur -- and the VC.
As a kick-off, I thought readers, especially new readers, might want to check out a series of (old) posts on this topic (not exhaustively, I hope) several years ago under the heading: "10 Commandments for Entrepreneurs" (as you can see, there are, actually, more than 10):
- Ten Commandments for Entrepreneurs
- Be On Time
- Tease, Don't Overwhelm
- Know Your Audience
- Create the 'Aha' Early
- Explain Your New Idea by Analogy To, or Contrast With, Old Ideas
- Limit Yourself to the Baker's Dozen
- Know What You Don't Know -- and Admit It
- Be Like Goldilocks
- Control the Meeting (But be Smart About It)
- Managing Your Board of Directors
- Some Tough Questions You Should Ask
- More on "Tough Questions"
- The Problem of the "Forgotten Founder"
- Size Matters