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How to Get Superior Returns in Venture Capital

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]

How to Scale Support of Portfolio Companies

As I’ve worked to build out HOF Capital’s portfolio acceleration platform, the #1 question I think about is: how do we scalably support our companies?  Large private equity funds like KKR can afford to pursue a consulting model (Capstone), typically with associated fees, but that doesn’t normally [...continue reading]

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

One of my responsibilities 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 study available for [...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 doorAs 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.)Even the best VCs and entrepreneurs have a painfully high [...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]

HBS Club of CT, Nov. 19 event: Private Equity Operating Executives Panel with Goldman Sachs, General Atlantic, CVC Capital

The Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut invites you to a Panel Discussion on It's the People: Improving Private Equity Portfolio Company Valuations by Working with Operating Executives Bush-Holley Historic Site 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT [...continue reading]

Seeking template project plan for a startup business

(jurvetson image via Flickr) I'm currently advising two startup businesses, and on their behalf my colleague Corentin Roux dit Buisson and I set out looking for a detailed template project plan for starting a new company. However, we haven't yet succeeded. Do any readers have ideas? Whilst [...continue reading]