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Seeking CEO+team for VC-backed startup: Make America Functional Again

  Looking 4 entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer 4 a network-based service.. pre-launch, BIG equity, big peeps involved--ANY TIPS?? Do you want to make America functional again? Are you thinking of applying to Y Combinator [...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 fund Strategic Considerations For [...continue reading]

Should you co-found a company with your friend? And how do you split the equity?

If you’re talking with cofounders about launching a new business, you’re fundamentally recruiting someone to take the job of partnering with you for the next decade.  I see a lot of founders who do less due diligence than I think ideal before making [...continue reading]

How universities can help students and alumni work in the tech industry

“CEO is the new Analyst.” My former Partner John Frankel of ff Venture Capital observes that 20 years ago, the defining movie of the generation was “Wall Street”.  Everyone wanted to work in finance. But now, the defining movie of today’s [...continue reading]

Are you hiring a cultural fit? Do you actually want to?

Who should you hire: the superstar with great skills who feels like a poor fit with the culture, or the person with weaker skills but who fits in culturally?  Even though I believe in hiring the stranger, cultural fit really matters. I once had an [...continue reading]

A family-friendly work environment is a powerful recruiting and retention tool

My wife and I have a lot of conversations about work-life balance, or as I usually think of it, making sure I don’t use up too many “spouse points”.  Many early-stage companies do not have these issues top of mind, because so many founders are [...continue reading]

Face-to-face meetings are important, but written collateral is mandatory for closing the deal

I’ve noticed a lot of founders raising capital prefer to have face to face meetings, as opposed to answering questions in writing.  Some don't want to share a deck in advance of a meeting. When you’re fundraising, I suggest keep in mind you are [...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 [...continue reading]

Your startup is dying — now what?

“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” (“Man Plans, and God Laughs.”) We hope for the best, but are forced to plan for the worst.  Almost all VCs will have companies that fail. The CEO comes to us.  She has 3 months of cash left. Existing investors [...continue reading]

A message to young people from older folks: DON’T VOTE

Voter registrations close soon in many key states. Register here. And a reminder for young people: DO NOT VOTE!   [...continue reading]

Looking for a true enterprise entrepreneur in residence

I’m researching an idea for how large enterprises which are not technology companies can promote innovation in their areas of interest.  My proposal: hire a true Enterprise Entrepreneur in Residence, whose defined KPI is: Quit my job. (No, that’s not [...continue reading]

Industrial psychology for CEOs

I’ve personally been a past client of Ben Dattner, an executive coach and organizational development consultant, and head of Dattner Consulting.  Ben has an unusually well-developed website, well worth reviewing when you are thinking through [...continue reading]

How to ensure everyone agrees on the contract you just signed

When we negotiate a deal, the paperwork is intended to document the deal.  If necessary, the paperwork is supposed to ensure that all parties keep their commitments. But I admit it: I’m paranoid.  How do I ensure enforceability?  We are investing [...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 [...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 [...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 [...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 [...continue reading]

How to organize a conference (and panels) that add value

Some thoughts on how to organize a conference that creates value: CB Insights’ Conference Rant How to Run a Tech Conference How to Keep the People Attending Your Conference Alive And some thoughtful resources on how to organize and [...continue reading]