Raising venture capital money sounds like something from the Dark Arts, but it really isn’t all that complicated. Different approaches and different styles work, but there are some rules of thumb that seem to work well over and over. I thought I’d write a Friday series on raising money from VCs. I am thinking of
New Nest smart thermostat (part 1)
I’ve been on the waiting list for the new Nest thermostat. I just got an email saying that they have some new product. My techie Inner Self is pretty excited about it. The Nest is the “smart” thermostat developed by the folks who designed the first iPods. I completely fell for the marketing pitch. It
Traits of successful founders (and what would you do with $5 million?)
I recently connected with one of the founders in our portfolio. A company where he worked two start-ups ago was sold. He got his check last year. His personal take, which he humbly whispered to me, was $5 million. I asked him what he did with the money. I expected to hear about a new
A Harvard B School lesson for start-ups
I don’t think there’s a lot that business school can teach start-up founders. But, there is one particular lesson I think is valuable: managing culture and conflict. Here’s what I mean. When I arrived at Harvard Business School, my classmates and I were automatically assigned to one of nine “Sections” (I was in Section F).
Thank you, Kepha investors
One day, our investors did something unusual. Let me explain. Our first fund was $50 million and closed in 2007. A year later, we were thinking of raising more money. One of our investors quickly offered a big check. Other existing investors did the same, and so, our fund was slated to grow to $100 million (we decided to
How are VCs paid?
[4.7.12 Addendum: Many of the management company details are now available on a SEC web site. More details here.] Here’s how VC firms are paid. When VCs raise funds, they are paid in two ways. First, they get a commission on gains they produce for the fund, which is usually 20 percent and is called