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Limited Partner Due Diligence on Venture Capital 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 HOF Capital to keep in line with their standards and expectations.The biggest risk for many VC and private equity funds is [...continue reading]

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]

Fundraising Hacks for Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds

Historically, the process of winning capital from limited partners has been opaque.  However, in the last few years a few have started to use social media and become more transparent.  I particularly like OpenLP.com, Origins, and the Raise blog, all of which include content from multiple LPs.  A [...continue reading]

How Star Wars Will Help You Raise Capital for Your Company

When you’re raising money, you’re telling a story.  So who are some of the best stories and storytellers?   Greek mythology, the Bible, and in modern times, George Lucas and the Wachowski siblings.Star Wars and the Matrix are both modeled on Joseph Campbell’s wildly influential book, The Hero [...continue reading]

Please Don’t Pitch A Venture Capitalist Without This Checklist

I’m surprised at how many funding pitches I get which lack some of the basic information which investors require before funding.  I think this stems from two causes:1) Lack of basic knowledge of the information investors require.  But I would hope that a reasonably competent founder could easily [...continue reading]

Raise Capital With The Skin You’re In: Blunt Truth from Don Charlton, Founder, JazzHR

How do you raise capital for your company when you’re not in the traditional social circles of the money people?  In particular, the VC industry is 76% white male and overwhelmingly straight; what if you do not fit into that bucket?I’m speaking on a panel this afternoon on fundraising for [...continue reading]

How To Pitch An Entrepreneur And Persuade Her To Take Your Cash

With the rise of a trillion-dollar crowdfunding market, angel investors bundling their investment offerings, and family offices doing more direct investments, venture capitalists are no longer the only available source for entrepreneurs seeking funding.Now that anyone can benefit from the global [...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]

How to Judge an Investment Proposal (especially at Pitch Contests)

I periodically serve as a judge at pitch events for companies raising funding. In every case, I'm assessing each company against our 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 our firm, 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]

Teach your computer to read your mind

InteraXon, a leader in thought controlled computing and a ffVC portfolio company, launched an Indiegogo campaign today to support production of Muse, a multi-sensor brainwave measuring headband. For the last year, InteraXon has been deep in development of Muse, which will allow users to see how [...continue reading]

Why We Chose Salesforce CRM Over Zoho

I finally did it: I've moved my contact database over to the web.  After extensive research of different CRM solutions (thanks BestVendor), we're working with Salesforce.com.  We also used Salesforce heavily at one of my prior companies, Circle of Experts.I've been a loyal Act user for my [...continue reading]

More Cash for Entrepreneurs, Crowdfunding, and Indiegogo

As Steve Case has said, it’s ridiculous that anyone can gamble and be guaranteed to lose money, but there are strict regulations around who can invest in early-stage private companies and earn (in some cases) a 27% IRR on their capital. *The Entrepreneurs Access to Capital Act helps to redress [...continue reading]