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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]

A trial balloon: How large corporates can coinvest with their employees’ angel investing

Many large corporations face three seemingly disconnected challenges; they want: -       Better returns on their balance sheet and underfunded pensions; -       Access to the innovation economy to stay on top of the early-stage companies attacking their business; and -       Unique employee [...continue reading]

How long before venture capitalists (and angel investors) get liquidity?

It’s fascinating to be an angel investor, but do most angels actually make positive returns?  And even more important, how long until they get liquidity? The theoretical returns look extremely attractive; we’ve identified 12 different studies showing annual returns of 18-54%.  But the bad news: [...continue reading]

How and why to be an angel investor

Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable Local, just published an interview with me on Linkedin, which I've included below .  (He's the #1 LinkedIn Influencer of all time in page views, ahead of Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Mark Cuban, and President Barack Obama.  Incidentally, this is a great example of [...continue reading]

HBS Alumni Angels NY accomplishments to date, and our new Chairman

 I’m happy to announce that Jason E. Klein, CEO of On Grid Ventures, will serve as the new Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater NY.  Jason is an experienced angel and company builder.  I’m shifting to “Chairman Emeritus” (an overly polysyllabic title).  I'll still be an [...continue reading]

Convertible Note or Equity? Practicing 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 you can [...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]

Helping women and minorities raise angel capital

In early 2012, my HBS Alumni Angels colleagues and I launched the Venture Capital Access Program (VCAP), an initiative to help women and minority-led businesses to raise capital from the Harvard alumni angel community.  This is a partnership between HBS Alumni Angels of Greater NY (HBSAANY) and the [...continue reading]