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How to Make Sure Everyone Agrees on the Contract You Just Signed

When we negotiate a deal, the paperwork is intended to document the deal.  If necessary, the paperwork is supposed to ensure that all parties keep their commitments.But I admit it: I’m paranoid.  How do I ensure enforceability?  We are investing millions of dollars based on a few pieces of [...continue reading]

Limited Partner Due Diligence on Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds

As a VC, I have a standard due diligence list for companies I’m reviewing.  Similarly, our limited partner investors have their own due diligence standards, and we manage HOF Capital to keep in line with their standards and expectations.The biggest risk for many VC and private equity funds is [...continue reading]

How to Scale a Venture Capital (or Private Equity) Fund

Managers of VC funds typically want to grow their business aggressively, just like the founders we back.  But, we normally have a clear ceiling on how high we can grow AUM, before hitting practical limits to deploying capital within the traditional VC model.  My Partners at HOF Capital are [...continue reading]

How to Get Superior Returns in Venture Capital

A friend of mine interviewed for a job with massively successful hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen.  My friend sat in the conference room, and Cohen walked in. He looked at his resume, and asked just one question: “What’s your edge?”  My friend got the job because his answer was differentiated, [...continue reading]

The 9 Steps of Using Technology to Improve Investing in Private Companies: How Private Equity and Venture Capital Investors Are Eating Their Own Dogfood

Private equity and venture capital investors are copying our sisters in the hedge fund and mutual fund world: we’re trying to automate more of our job.  But we’re doing it slowly.VCs tout themselves as frontier technology investors, but most are using the same infrastructure tools they have used [...continue reading]

How to Negotiate a Partner Role at a Venture Capital or Private Equity Firm

It’s hard enough to get a job at a venture capital or private equity firm; it’s even more complex to join as a Partner.  I thought it would be helpful to put together some notes on market norms and issues to consider in negotiating a partnership at an institutional investment firm.  These are many [...continue reading]

With So Many Options for Marketing Your Business, What Content Should You Promote Where?

Your company typically has seven layers of content marketing. Here are tips for each layer.What content do you use in marketing your firm? And what content should go in which place?Your company (or your fund, if you’re a VC) typically has a 7-layer stack of marketing content. In descending [...continue reading]

First-ever Survey of VC Tech Stacks

We think one of the industries with the greatest room for improved use of technology is venture capital itself.   Blue Future Partners, a fund of funds, and PEVCTech.com are now running what we believe is the first-ever large-scale survey of VC firms’ technology stacks.Filling out this survey [...continue reading]

Ready to Join a New Management Team? Here’s How to Do Your Due Diligence First

I get emails every week from mid-level and senior executives who want to join a growth company. You’re going to be spending 40+ hours/week with your new colleagues, which is more time than most of us spend with our spouses. So I put together some notes on how to due diligence a management team, from [...continue reading]

How to Scale Support of Portfolio Companies

As I’ve worked to build out HOF Capital’s portfolio acceleration platform, the #1 question I think about is: how do we scalably support our companies?  Large private equity funds like KKR can afford to pursue a consulting model (Capstone), typically with associated fees, but that doesn’t normally [...continue reading]

How VCs Structure a Syndicate and Recruit Coinvestors

When I meet with other VCs, family offices, and other institutional investors, the most common question I get is: “What are the highest-potential companies in your portfolio which are raising now?”  I thought it might be helpful to provide transparency on how we and many of our VC peers think about [...continue reading]

How to Identify Technology Trends for Macro Investors

I recently spent time with a hedge fund manager who asked for counsel on how he could identify macro trends (especially technology macro trends) which he could use to generate investment ideas.  The deck below summarizes my recommendations.  This overlaps with my research on origination for private [...continue reading]

Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services

I’ve presented at a few conferences lately on AI in financial services, particularly on how investors are using AI.  I’ve posted here an expanded version of my slides.  I provide an overview of why AI is a tool that so many people are exploring; what I think increases the odds of success for [...continue reading]

Microcredentials for the Effective Venture Capital or Private Equity Investor

Historically VC has been an apprenticeship business.  That said, I’ve identified quite a few microcredentials, conferences, and other learning opportunities which will help train you to be a better investor.  I’ve also published research here on private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and [...continue reading]