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Should You Co-Found Your Company With a Software Development Shop (2 of 2)?

You've got a great idea and domain expertise, but limited money and insufficient technology resources.  Should you co-found your company with a software development shop?  I wrote a summary of my thoughts in Part 1 of this series; I've written below in more detail what some industry players [...continue reading]

Should You Co-Found Your Company With a Software Development Shop (1 of 2)?

You’ve got an amazing idea. You’ve got everything it takes to bring a start-up from nothing to something that really makes a dent in the universe. … and if you’re like most of today’s startups -- you need to get an app in the hands of customers. Once customers love your app and you show [...continue reading]

How to Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs (Who Don’t Take Orders)

I spoke at Womensphere a few weeks ago, a conference centered around empowering women and girls. I discussed my family’s approach to raising entrepreneurial kids, and some parallels to ffVC’s approach to supporting our portfolio entrepreneurs. One of the issues I talked about was our track record [...continue reading]

Free Copy of The Lower-Risk Startup: How Venture Capitalists Increase the Odds of Startup Success

One of my responsibilities at ff Venture Capital is helping to accelerate value creation in our portfolio companies. I published the first research study on this topic in the Journal of Private Equity, peHub, Betabeat, and Techcrunch. The Journal of Private Equity has now (temporarily) made our full [...continue reading]

How an Indiana Accelerator Helps Its Companies to Succeed

I met some time ago with Brad Wisler, co-Founder of SproutBox, and shared with him our research on portfolio value creation by venture capitalists.  He wrote a thoughtful note, which I’ve shared below, with permission: David, Thanks for sharing this paper with me. I love the title, which [...continue reading]

Helping Startups Hit a Home Run, VC Style

  Lots of venture capitalists claim to add value to the companies in which they invest.  But how do they do it?  And does it really produce better returns for their investors?   My coauthors and I just published in the Journal of Private Equity the first-ever research study on [...continue reading]

3 Ways Proven Executives Get Paid To Work With Early-Stage Companies

Drew Hansen recently posted in Forbes a summary of my presentation (included below) on Career Opportunities with Private Equity and Venture Capital Portfolio Companies. His article is here.     [...continue reading]

How VCs Deploy Operating Talent To Build Better Companies

Drew Hansen just posted a very interesting piece on Forbes on, “How VCs Deploy Operating Talent To Build Better Startups”.  He draws on the research study my coauthors and I are about to publish on best practices in how venture capitalists increase the odds of company success through operational [...continue reading]

Washington, DC May 24: HBS Angels/VCs and Creating Portfolio Company Value

I hope you can join me in Washington, DC, on Thursday, May 24, 2012, 5:30 PM To 8:30 PM for a talk and event sponsored by the HBS Club of Washington, DC.  RSVP required; No money can be taken at door As I've previously blogged, I will soon publish the first formal study of best practices of VCs [...continue reading]

How Venture Capitalists Can Accelerate Portfolio Company Returns

(This post co-written with Koen Bremer, Gyorgy Buslig, and Adham Hussein. Koen, Gyorgy, and Adham are all Columbia Business School MBA 2012 students and former consultants with McKinsey and BCG.  I've also posted this at Betabeat.) Best Practices in Venture Capital Portfolio Company Value [...continue reading]

How to Work with Private Equity and Venture Capital Portfolio Companies

I'm delivering a webinar next Tuesday for Harvard Business School Career Services on "How to Work with Private Equity and Venture Capital Portfolio Companies".  Among the topics I'm covering: - Raise capital from a venture capital fund to found a company - Partner with a private equity fund to [...continue reading]

How to Scale Early-Stage Investing

Before making the decision to join ff Venture Capital, I did some research on early-stage tech investing as an asset class and how it’s evolving. What was striking was what an attractive asset class it was. Although any given early-stage company is quite risky, when aggregated across a large [...continue reading]

Private equity portfolio monitoring and operating partners

Private Equity Manager magazine has a special edition on portfolio monitoring, with some helpful coverage of how private equity operating partners' roles have evolved. I was particularly interested in their coverage of PEOPEN, the private equity operating partner network. The group was first [...continue reading]

How Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds Grow the Value of Portfolio Companies

One of the major themes of the evolution of the private equity industry for the past decade has been the growth of internal groups focused on enhancing the value of portfolio companies. Twenty years ago, the great majority of the people working in private equity came out of investment banking, i.e., [...continue reading]