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March 29, 2010

How to Find the RIGHT Venture Capital Firm

There are so many venture capital firms out there… Which one is right for you?

First of all, it is important to remember that venture capital firms are not monolithic, impersonal entities. They are partnerships consisting of individual partners. These partners generally take a Board of Directors seat in your firm when they invest. Each partner has unique, specific experience in the industries and businesses they have worked with. Therefore, when you select a venture capitalist, you’re also selecting a member of your Board of Directors. It is important to select the partner who has the most relevant expertise, who understands your business and value proposition the best, and who will fit with your company the best.

It is common practice for venture capital firms to make it plainly and publicly known who their partners are and what fields they are experts in. You can easily discover basic information about their background, industry and work history, education, and various other affiliations, depending on the depth of the biographies listed on the venture firm’s website. If you successfully identify the right venture capital firm partner, they can be a boon to your business in addition to providing capital.

After you’ve selected a specific partner whom you’d like to bring on-board with your startup, you need to contact them. Venture capital firms receive huge number of unsolicited business plans, and it can be difficult for them to screen all of them. For this reason, it is best to get a personal introduction or recommendation from another professional when seeking venture capital. Lawyers, accountants, previously funded entrepreneurs, company or university alumni, and any number of other connections can be useful in winning you credibility with venture capitalists. To get an introduction, oftentimes you must simply ask.

Identifying the right partner is the first step to raising venture capital; then, you must get their attention and convince them to believe in your opportunity, and finally, you must convince the remainder of the venture firm that your startup is worth their investment funding.

Click here to learn about a proven, step-by-step method for raising venture capital.

All the best,

Amir

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