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Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist is the definitive guide to venture financings. This book is for anyone who wants the insider's guide to raising money, negotiating deals, and to know what really makes venture capitalists tick. Don't believe us? Check out these recommendations:
In my entrepreneurship class at Stanford, the number one topic is venture financing -- how it works and how (or even whether) to get it. There are no two better people to coach an entrepreneur through the venture process than Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson, and next to in-person guidance this book is the next best thing. I am planning to make this required reading for my class at Stanford.

- Heidi Roizen, Fenwick and West Entrepreneurship Educator, Stanford University Technology Ventures Program
I would highly recommend .Venture Deals. to any entrepreneur, venture capitalist, student, or casual reader who wants to get the .true scoop. on how venture deals come together and what the venture capital landscape truly looks like. The authors are not only veterans of the industry, but are willing to share their unvarnished views of what venture is all about. The reader will not find the insights shared here anywhere else. And, perhaps best of all, the authors write in an easily readable, casual style that makes the book quite fun to read.

- Craig Dauchy, Cooley LLP
The adventure of starting and growing a company can exhilarating or excruciating.or both. Feld and Mendelson have done a masterful job of shedding light on what can either become one of the most helpful or dreadful experiences for entrepreneurs.accepting venture capital into their firm. This book takes the lid off the black box and helps entrepreneurs understand the economics and control provisions of working with a venture partner.

- Lesa Mitchell, Vice President, Advancing Innovation, Kauffman Foundation
I've been reading and loving Brad Feld's blog for years. He's one of my favorite venture capitalists on the planet. I'm delighted Brad and Jason have written the definitive book for entrepreneurs seeking to learn about raising and going through the venture capital process.

- Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital
Venture Deals is a must read for any entrepreneur contemplating or currently leading a venture-backed company. Brad and Jason are highly respected investors who shoot straight from the hip and tell it like it is, bringing a level of transparency to a process that is rarely well understood. Its like having a venture capitalist as a best friend who is looking out for your best interest and happy to answer all of your questions.

- Emily Mendell, Vice President of Communications, National Venture Capital Association
A must-read book for entrepreneurs. Brad and Jason demystify the overly complex world of term sheets and M&A, cutting through the legalese and focusing on what really matters. That.s a good thing not just for entrepreneurs, but also for venture capitalists, angels and lawyers. Having an educated entrepreneur on the other side of the table means you spend your time negotiating the important issues and ultimately get to the right deal faster.

- Greg Gottesman, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group
Feld and Mendelson pack a graduate level course into this energetic and accessible book. The authors. frank style and incisive insight make this a .must read. for high-growth company entrepreneurs, early stage investors, and graduate students. Start here if you want to understand venture capital deal structure and strategies. I enthusiastically recommend.

- Brad Bernthal, CU Boulder, Associate Clinical Professor of Law - Technology Policy, Entrepreneurial Law
My biggest nightmare is taking advantage of an entrepreneur without even realizing it. It happens because VCs are experts in financings and most entrepreneurs are not. Brad and Jason are out to fix that problem with Venture Deals. This book is long overdue and badly needed.

- Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures

Wenger: A Rational Internet Venture Valuations Bubble

As I sit here in Boulder watching MI-5, taking care of Amy, avoiding SXSW, and catching up on RSS and email, I came across a post from Albert Wenger (USV) that rang true. It’s titled A Rational Internet Venture Valuations Bubble and is insightful, clever, and though provoking. Easily the best VC post of the week.

March 9th, 2012 by     Categories: VC Post of the Day     Tags: , , , ,

McIntyre: Unencumbered By Reality

Ryan McIntyre, one of my partners at Foundry Group, has a delightful post up this morning with a short (4 minute) video about the founding and startup of Excite on his blog titled Ctrl+Alt+Compete Documentary. Ah yes, Excite, one of the first search engines (can you name the very first one? I’ll give you a hint – it was created at SIPB.) I love this story – it serves as Saturday morning inspiration for anyone in school thinking about starting a company. He even references Gopher which made me chuckle out loud.

My favorite phrase – “we were unencumbered by reality.”

March 3rd, 2012 by     Categories: VC Post of the Day     Tags: , ,

Be Patient – It Can Take A Long Fucking Time

I loved Bijan Sabet’s (Spark) post today titled Patience & Persistence. In it, he talks about how OMGPOP’s new game Draw Something is blowing up after nearly four years of making some, but not a ton, of progress. He starts out strong:

“When you go to a tech meetup, tech party, or read tech headlines, it’s easy to get swept away into thinking things are soaring for a number of startups. Company xyz now has a zillion users, another company just went viral, overnight sensation, etc. It’s easy to fall in love with those headlines or worse, it’s easy to be distracted. The truth of the matter is that it hardly ever goes straight up and to the right.”

Go read the post to hear the story. This is very consistent with our view at Foundry Group that it often takes up to three years for a new company to figure out where the magic is going to be. As investors, we are very patient through those first three years, keeping the burn rate low but continuing to fund by ourselves if necessary as long as we believe in the entrepreneur. One of the reasons we love working with Bijan and his partners at Spark is because they share this point of view.

Remember – it can take a long time. Be patient. And persistent.

March 1st, 2012 by     Categories: VC Post of the Day     Tags: , , , , ,

Husband And Wife VC Posts Of The Day

Fred Wilson (USV) and Joanne Wilson (Gotham Gal) have the two best posts up today. Each one involved another person.

Fred’s post - The Management Team – Guest Post By Jerry Colonna – is by – wait for it – Jerry Colonna. If you don’t know Jerry, you are missing out. Jerry was Fred’s partner at Flatiron Partners and an amazing VC in the 1990′s. I had the joy of being on several boards with Jerry and can’t think of anyone I’ve ever worked with who understands people better. Jerry’s post wraps up Fred’s MBA Monday series on the management team and is a dynamite finish to an excellent post.

Not to be outdone, Joanne Wilson has a great post up titled Caren Maio, Nest.io, Woman Entrepreneur. It’s part of Joanne’s Women Entrepreneur Monday’s series and highlights Caren Maio, CEO of Nest.io, and a member of the first TechStars New York program. Caren is spectacular and Joanne does a nice job of explaining Nest.io while shining a bright light on the awesomeness that is Caren.

February 20th, 2012 by     Categories: VC Post of the Day     Tags: , , , , ,

How Do I Get A Job In A Venture Capital Firm?

In 2008 my partner Seth Levine wrote what I think is the definitive post about how to get a job in venture capital. His post followed an insightful earlier post of his that he wrote in 2005 titled how to become a venture capitalist. Each post is required reading for anyone interested in a job at a venture capital firm.

I get asked this question at least twice a week and use Yesware to send out an automated answer that includes a link to Seth’s post. Today, I noticed a new post from Alex Taussig (Highland Capital Partners) titled 3 ways to land a job in VC. It’s a good addition to the two posts that Seth previously wrote.

I always notice that the number of inquiries I get for jobs at Foundry Group increases in February and March as all the second year business school students in the US start looking for a gig. My advice – read the three posts and start your search a lot earlier.

February 16th, 2012 by     Categories: Jobs     Tags: , , , ,

Takatkah: The Next Big Thing in VC

Today’s VC Post of the Day is from Ahmed Takatkah, a VC in Jordan titled The Next Big Thing in VC. He starts with a question and the answer he often gets.

“What’s the next big thing in VC?” Whenever I see a VC from the states or even from the region, I ask this question, but none of them gave me a satisfying answer. I will share my answer here and hope that this will stimulate others to comment with different point of view.”

He starts by explaining what he thinks has been happening: Faster Exits, Active Private Capital Markets, The Rise of Accelerators, and Changes in the VC Model and then goes on to predict (and explain) a few new ideas of what might happen: Elevators, Carry Options for Entrepreneurs, Capture Capital, and Cafe Startups.

It’s good stuff and worth reading if you wonder what “the next big thing is VC” is.

February 15th, 2012 by     Categories: Venture Capital     Tags: ,

What Should I Do When Someone Expresses Interest In Acquiring My Company?

I get asked this question many times in many different ways. Sometimes people are coy about it (“someone is expressing strategic interest – what should I do?”) other times people are clear and direct (“someone wants to acquire my company – help!”).

David Cohen, the CEO of TechStars, has encountered this many times. Before starting TechStars, he was an entrepreneur who sold his company to a public company after running it with a partner for a decade. He then started a few more companies, including one that failed and one that was acquired. Finally, he started TechStars and of the 28 companies from the first three programs (there have now been 126 companies that have gone through the program to date) 8 have been acquired. He’s also invested in a number of companies as an angel investor and I know of at least a half dozen that have been acquired.

He’s got awesome advice in a blog post titled You have acquisition interest – now what? His 10 step process is:

  1. Assess the acquirer
  2. Notify the board
  3. Set your number
  4. Engage the acquirer
  5. Ask for the ballpark offer
  6. Identify mentors
  7. Assess the ballpark offer
  8. Get to know them and answer their questions.
  9. Push for a term sheet
  10. Decide

Go read the post now. It’s excellent and I plan to refer people to it often whenever this question comes up.

February 3rd, 2012 by     Categories: Acquisitions     Tags: , ,

Wenger: Presenting Option Grants to Boards

Today’s VC post of the day is from Albert Wenger (USV) and titled Presenting Option Grants to Boards. This is feedback I give to CEOs 98% of the time after my first board meeting. While there is no standard for how to present option grants, Albert lays out a very clear set of eight pieces of data he likes to see. The first four are the the columns in the spreadsheet and each employee / option grant are the rows. The next two are footnotes for options grants that aren’t standard. And the last two are contextual data that should always be included since board members are on multiple boards and won’t remember this from company to company.

Here’s are the eight pieces of data – go read the post for more details on why all eight are necessary.

Spreadsheet data:

  • Employee name
  • Title/role at company
  • Absolute size of grant in number of underlying shares
  • Percentage size of grant fully diluted

Footnotes data (for option grants that aren’t standard)

  • Special vesting considerations that differ from the plan
  • For refresh grants: how many options does the employee already have and how far are those vested?

Context data

  • Total size of option pool and remaining available pool (absolute numbers and percentages fully diluted)
  • Grant size bands by role (if you have established those already) — if not, include existing employees in similar roles for comparison (including their start dates)
January 13th, 2012 by     Categories: Equity     Tags: , , ,

MacLeod: The Model Board Package

Today’s post of the day is from Mark MacLeod (Real Ventures) titled The Model Board Package. Mark shares my intense frustration with the structure of most board meetings and offers up some great suggestions along with a solid template for a board presentation. As some of you may know, I’m working on a book on Startup Boards with Mahendra Ramsinghani - if this is a topic that is interesting to you do us a favor and fill out our survey on startup boards.

January 11th, 2012 by     Categories: Board Meetings     Tags: , ,

Ehrenberg: Letting Go

Today’s VC post is from Roger Ehrenberg (IA Ventures) titled Letting Go. Roger makes a strong set of points about how a founder/CEO needs to learn how to let go. I have a specific nuance that I see often where I think VCs regularly screw up that I bring up in the comments. I’d encourage you to go take a look and weigh in on the comments – this is a good and important one.

There are two runner up posts - Primum Non Nocere from Fred Wilson (USV) and How to Create an Early-Stage Pitch Deck from Ryan Spoon (Polaris). Both good extra food for thought on this wild card weekend.

January 8th, 2012 by     Categories: Management     Tags: , , ,