Pergunte ao VC – 1 – Quais os 3 atributos que um VC olha em uma startup?


Pessoal,

estou tentando fazer um teste. Muita gente diz que nao consegue fazer perguntas aos VCs, então resolvi tentar responde-las online.

Para mandar a sua pergunta, use o formulário: Questionario

É anônimo e vou tentando responder as perguntas mais comuns.

Como isso é um teste mande, também, comentários e feedbacks!

Se curtir, compartilhe!

A primeira pergunta que vou responder é:

Quais os 3 atributos que um VC olha em uma startup?

 

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You and your VC – The dating game


Often entrepreneurs walk into the office, pitch and expect a check.  What they fail to realize is that developing the relationship with your VC is as close to a serious dating relationship as it gets. I know, VCs sometimes act as the prettiest girl in the room but still, they are desirable.

The beginning:  As with dating, odds of getting some serious attention go way up if some mutual friend makes the introduction. If this matchmaker also does the pre-selling, than it is much more likely that you will want to take them back to you house/office  😉

Of course you can go to single bars (meetups) and web dating sites (direct site contact) but this is less effective and demand a long time and effort in order to develop intimacy.

Either way, being passionate, upbeat and a good salesmen will earn you points but it is your idea (looks) that will make the first impression.

BUT More often than not, people will never pass this stage and will be qualified as “one night stands” . This happens either because they are jerks ( not that common) or simply because the chemistry wasn’t there.

Next Step :The whole dating thing is about getting to know each other. We want to know that besides your striking idea, you can also evolve and charm me in other ways.

Some entrepreneurs come in, pitch and when we call them back sometime later, in order to check something, they haven’t advanced at all.  Most exciting entrepreneurs I met, always had something new happening… always had advanced on something and would be willing to talk about it. It was also super effective when they would call me just to say hi (update me on a major advancement). This kept me thinking of them and excited about advancement.

At this stage, I also want to know that although you are and optimist and gorgeous, you also know your shortcomings and have plans on how to deal with it. Denial or stubbornness, will not get you points.

If we decide that we better meet your family (due diligence), please beware that I’ll go deep. I’ll talk to you mother, father and your co-workers.  Although I don’t really want to find anything that lets me down, I’d rather have it come out before we get too serious.

The parallel discussion about the relationship ground rules (term-sheet) is key. You have to be comfortable with the rules that will shape our relationship. These rules should be equitable and both sides should understand them.

While getting used to the other and the rules of the relationship is difficult, this discussions should be done in a way that keeps the relationship unharmed. These negotiations are not to be combative as you are both trying to build a longer term relationship

When you do finally decide to get married,  it is going to be a great moment for both sides. You will both celebrate and make it public. You will start then a honeymoon. Enjoy it!

Passed the honeymoon, demands will start and you will have good days and bad days together. Maintaining respect and working together to solve the problems is the only way the two of you will be happy.  As some companies will get funded by many VCs, this ends up being a polygamy and, therefore, much more complex.

Probably the hardest decision you will have to make together is when to have a baby (exit). And as with a relationship, you 2 will have very different perspectives. While the VC needs to guarantee X times their investment, the entrepreneur needs an absolute value to satisfy himself.  As with a kid, talking about this ahead of time, makes the relationship easier.

At last, once you’ve done it once, it is much easier to do a second time around.

To NDA or not to NDA?


9,99 of  every 10 entrepreneurs that pitch me ask me for an NDA…. the other day even my brother asked me for one… that made me think, specially since I’m super careful about it.  Entrepreneurs that have met me have probably been asked if a part of their information, or even their names,  could be shared with either a partner or a co-investor.

I clearly understand their desire to keep they ideas safe but cant really bring myself to agree with the request. As per my previous post, Brazilian entrepreneurs have to learn to share their ideas. Part of it will demand that they develop a trusting relationship with their advisors.

But more than that, they have to understand that it is not my business to do a startup… my business is to invest in one and help it grow. Therefore, I will never take their idea and try to set a company up myself.   If they are concerned that I will share their ideas with portifolio companies, that is slightly more reasonable, but i wouldnt risk my reputation and career over it.  If their idea is so AWESOME, I will probably want them to develop it and invest in them.

Also surprising to me is that the thing that they are most secretive about is not their business model, product or delivery method. They are more concerned about their financials. Don’t they realize that this is likely to be the least valuable part? First, it is probably way out of whack. Second, even if it is right, I will know that you will make a lot of money but that is no good to me if I  don’t know how .

Entrepreneurs, please understand our side:

1 We do look at many companies in the same space and virtually anything that you present to us, we will probably also see from someone else in the same space.

2 we are very concerned that non invested, disgruntled entrepreneurs will claim breach of agreement at anything an invested company does.

3 you can always destroy our reputation with or without an NDA if a VC breaches your confidentiality

4 if you don’t trust us, you probably shouldn’t pitch us