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How VCs Can and Should Invest in Later Rounds

You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.  So when a company in which I’m an investor is raising a later round, should we (the VC investor) keep our pro rata or get diluted?  My view is that one should always make this decision on an individual company basis.  Almost all VC [...continue reading]

Checklist for Launching a New Venture Capital Fund

I posted a while ago my syllabus on how to manage and invest a VC fund.  As a prequel, here are some of the resources I’ve found helpful in launching a new fund:What it takes to start your own venture capital fundStrategic Considerations For Start-Up Private Equity Fund [...continue reading]

The investment committee rejected you; what does that actually mean?

One of the most common ways a venture capitalist rejects you is a variation of, “I love you, I love your company.  I brought it up to the investment committee (“IC”)....but they turned it down.” What does that actually mean? Is this the business equivalent of telling a flame, “It’s not you, it’s [...continue reading]

Startup fundraising hacks: raise more money faster

I presented last month to the Harvard in Tech Emerging Founders Program on "Startup Fundraising Hacks: Raise More Money Faster".  I have embedded the video and the slide deck below.    [...continue reading]

Syllabus: how to launch, manage, and invest a VC fund

Over the past decade, I’ve (somewhat accidentally) put together on this blog a syllabus on how to launch, manage, and invest a VC fund.  Most of my research is also relevant to private equity. I thought it would be helpful to compile my past articles in one place.  I break the process down into 10 [...continue reading]

Why venture capitalists are investing in international startups

Why are more US VCs investing in international startups?Take a look at The Fortune Unicorn List: of the top 100 most valuable unicorns in 2016, 39 are currently based outside of the United States.  While fundraising of US VCs has dropped slowly as a percentage of global limited partner [...continue reading]

#MovingForward movement: VCs and a diverse, inclusive, and harassment-free workplace

HOF Capital recently joined the #MovingForward movement of VCs committed to diverse, inclusive, and harassment-free workplaces. The movement emerged at a founders dinner a few months ago when the question, “As an entrepreneur, if I experience harassment or discrimination, where do I report it and [...continue reading]

Limited partner due diligence on VC 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 our firm to keep in line with their standards and expectations.The biggest risk for many VC and private equity funds is team [...continue reading]

How to scale a VC (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 VC

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 investment committee rejected you; what does that actually mean?

One of the most common ways a venture capitalist rejects you is a variation of, “I love you, I love your company.  I brought it up to the investment committee (“IC”)....but they turned it down.” What does that actually mean? Is this the business equivalent of telling a flame, “It’s not you, it’s [...continue reading]

What’s your VC tech stack? Results from a survey of early-stage VC funds

(written by Philipp von dem Knesebeck, Managing Partner, Blue Future Partners (bluefp.com, @bluefutureteam), and David Teten)VCs are at the forefront of technological disruption, funding many of the latest cutting edge productivity tools. But what tools are they using themselves to automate [...continue reading]

How entrepreneurs and executives can work with private equity and VC funds

I presented a few weeks ago to the American Marketing Association Executive Forum on how their members can work with and earn money from private equity and venture capital funds. I discussed all of the major engagement models: Expert Networks, Consulting, Interim Executives, Advisors, Board Members, [...continue reading]

How private equity and VC investors are eating their own dog food: Using technology as a competitive weapon

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]