I recently was at an alumni conference at Harvard Business School. Every four to five years, a bunch of alumni, who are VCs, get together. There was a large turnout from all around the country, and it was great to see again so many old friends and to make new ones.
For me, I left the conference with a lot of gratitude because of the people. Here are two of them:
- Professor Bill Sahlman: I took his VC course as a student, and we have kept in touch. Bill was one of the co-chairs of the conference. I’ve gone to him during key moments in my career. For example, when I was thinking about leaving my old job to start a new VC firm, he was one of two people outside of my family with whom I consulted. It was great to see him. Thank you, Bill, for being there for me!
- Jason Green, Emergence Capital: As I started to make plans for fundraising, Jason was one of the first people I called. He graciously took the call and helped me understand how challenging it is to raise an inaugural VC fund. He had some great advice. So, it was great to see Jason at the conference, to hear how well Emergence is doing, and to catch up. Thank you, Jason, for your awesome advice in 2006!
You’d think that b-school people would be arrogant and too busy to help. Honestly, I’ve never found that with fellow alumni and faculty. They’re always approachable and want to help. There is a distinct vibe to “do well and do good.”
I hope the school hosts another conference soon. It was fun and very rewarding.