“14 Points”

Scott Lenet – When a venture capital investor gets started, he is like a new dog at the dog park. The other dogs (established VCs) will sniff around and try to assess the new guy: Is he a friend? Can we play well together? Did he bring fun toys? In venture capital, the “sniffing” occurs when established VCs ask questions about your strategy. And because you don’t want to make inaccurate representations, it’s important to think about your strategy carefully and in advance. One of the worst things you can do in venture capital is to say you will do one thing and then do something different. It’s the fastest way to erode your credibility in an industry that is based on relationships and trust.

Sometimes, VCs will just ask, “what’s your strategy?” and ask you to fill in the blanks. It’s an open-ended question, but often this refers to the three pillars of venture strategy: sector, stage, and geography. But there are ten other key components of venture strategy as well, and eleven if your venture capital fund is part of a corporation or offers operating assistance to portfolio companies.

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