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Convertible Note or Equity? Practising Law Institute Webinar

 The Practising Law Institute hosted Dror Futter of SorinRand and me for a webinar last week on “Before Series A – Convertible Note and Series Seed Funding for Startups”.  I’ve embedded the slide deck below, and you can listen to the webinar ($129) here. (Dror is a lawyer and I’m not, so [...continue reading]

Why Are Venture Capitalists (76% White Men) Ignoring The Future?

Why do so many venture capitalists ignore the single best predictor of the future: demographics? Paul Graham, cofounder of Y Combinator, observes, “Many suspect that venture capital firms are biased against female founders. This would be easy to detect: among their portfolio companies, do startups [...continue reading]

Startup Grind Interview (with Vertical Pushup)

Last month I did an on-stage interview with Peter Crysdale of Startup Grind. You can read a summary at AlleyWatch. For fun, I did an on-stage vertical pushup at the end of the interview (skip to 44:00). [...continue reading]

Why Some Investors Are Happy with Lousy Returns

My recent post on “Asset Management is a Peculiar Industry Ripe for Disruption” got one of the most interesting reactions I’ve received.  Among the more thoughtful respondents was Terri Chernick, Chief Investment Officer, The Koffler Group.  We had an email conversation about the rationality, or [...continue reading]

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]