How to Impress A Venture Capitalist: 12 Prominent VCs Share What Gets Their Attention
Originally published: 20/02/2018 15:31
Last version published: 20/02/2018 15:52
Publication number: ELQ-58558-2
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How to Impress A Venture Capitalist: 12 Prominent VCs Share What Gets Their Attention

Know how to impress venture capitalists through the advice of 12 experts.

Introduction

Entrepreneurs seeking funding are often unsure of what they must do to get a venture capitalist's attention. So we asked 12 of them exactly what they hope to see when an entrepreneur walks through their door.

  • Step n°1 |

    Know Your Competition

    “I am impressed when someone really understands what their competition is doing. Too often people say they’re ‘the first, or the only,’ and then I do a quick Google search in front of them and turn up 10 others.”


    Howard Morgan, Partner/Co-Founder, First Round Capital, New York


    Investment Focus: Seed financings, Internet, software, mobile

    How to Impress A Venture Capitalist: 12 Prominent VCs Share What Gets Their Attention image
  • Step n°2 |

    Know Your Key Metrics

    “Know your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Effective entrepreneurs understand what their top priorities are and manage their companies by focusing their teams around a handful of critical metrics that reflect those priorities. I’m always interested when a founder can articulate her KPIs, talk intellectually about her team executing to improve them, and has a clear sense of where those metrics can be in a year or two.”


    Josh Stein, Partner at DFJ Venture, Menlo Park, Calif.


    Investment Focus: Enterprise software and services, SaaS applications, Distributed/Social Media

    How to Impress A Venture Capitalist: 12 Prominent VCs Share What Gets Their Attention image
  • Step n°3 |

    Do Five Key Things

    “It’s hard to impress most venture capitalists. They tend to be a skeptical bunch. The entrepreneurs who have impressed me the most do these five things: (1) they convince me they are dedicated , passionate, and know what needs to be done to reach their goals; (2) they show me there is a big market opportunity, that they can capture a meaningful amount of the market, and that they clearly understand their competition; (3) they understand their metrics and financials cold; (4) they demonstrate they would be good people to work with and are not afraid of risks; and (5) they convince me that we could make a kazillion dollars together and have fun doing it.”


    Patricia Splinter, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Silicon Valley


    Investment Focus: Clean tech, China, Internet

    How to Impress A Venture Capitalist: 12 Prominent VCs Share What Gets Their Attention image
  • Step n°4 |

    Prepare

    “Success is no coincidence—it is 90% preparation. Do your homework on the firm and the individual you are meeting: who they are, what they know, and what they care about.”


    Mark Leschly, Managing Partner, Rho Capital Partners, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.


    Investment Focus: Digital media, healthcare, software, Internet, mobile

    How to Impress A Venture Capitalist: 12 Prominent VCs Share What Gets Their Attention image
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