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Where are the Deals? How VCs Identify the Next Generation of Winning Companies

You’ve probably read dozens of articles about how to raise capital from venture capitalists. However, as a VC, we have the opposite problem: how do we find companies in which to invest? It might appear that origination is becoming much easier because of new tools like AngelList and the SEC moving [...continue reading]

Asset Management Is a Peculiar Industry Ripe for Disruption

Since I became an institutional investor, my #1 learning is: this is a highly unusual and somewhat baffling industry.  Asset management shows the traditional earmarks of an industry ripe for disruption -- most obviously, unhappy customers and extremely profitable incumbents.  Despite this, it’s [...continue reading]

How to Judge an Investment Proposal

I periodically serve as a judge at pitch events for companies raising funding. In every case, I'm assessing each company against ffVC's standard criteria for investing. You can see a video of a recent pitch contest where I served as a judge here. For some of the new employees at ffVC, I put [...continue reading]

ff Venture Capital Is First VC Fund To Raise Capital Under The JOBS Act

ff Venture Capital has consistently generated a gross IRR on invested capital in excess of 30%, in a world where the average ten-year returns for venture capital firms are in the single digits.   But, historically we couldn’t say that it in a public setting.  Now we can. Software is eating every [...continue reading]

A VC Just Cold-Called You; Now What?

One of our founders called me.  “An analyst just called me.  He works for a VC fund tied to an investment bank.  He’s interested in our company and is keen to know more. How much information should I share? “ CEOs need to know what they’re getting into when they talk with VCs, particularly if [...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]

Turning the Tables: How to Make Venture Capitalists Pitch You

I’m returning to Capital on Stage this fall in New York. Last year, 19 other VC fund Partners and I pitched to 170 attendees; this year the conference organizers expect a similar turnout. You can see online my own pitch and all the other VCs pitching last year in NY  . To attend, apply via the [...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]

Private Equity and Social Media

I’m giving a talk next month on “How Private Equity Funds Raise Capital and Source Deals with Social Media” at Terrapinn’s Private Equity Latin America & Real Estate Latin America conference in Miami.  I discuss this topic in more depth in an earlier article I wrote. Here's my draft [...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]

High Returns On A Small Fund Challenge Low Returns On A Big Fund

I previously posted this on Techcrunch. Let’s say you decide to invest in a VC fund.  Congratulations: you’re now supporting the least unpopular part of the investing industry.  That said, how do you avoid suffering the poor median returns the industry is known for? Assuming you have a large [...continue reading]

This Friday at NYU-Annual Stern Private Equity Conference

The Stern Private Equity Club will host its 8th Annual Stern Private Equity Conference on Friday, March 1st, 2013.   Keynote Speakers are Andrea Bonomi (Chairman of Investindustrial), Mark Dzialga (Managing Director and Chairman of the Investment Committee at General Atlantic) & me.  In [...continue reading]

A Closer Look At The Quality Of Angel Returns Data

I previously published this at Techcrunch.    The good news for Techcrunch readers: Every major study conducted to date has placed angel investors’ IRR between 18 and 54 percent, as summarized by my Partner John Frankel and Professor Robert Wiltbank in prior Techcrunch articles.  The bad news: [...continue reading]