Thoughts on picking your VC

Jeff Nolan has a comprehensive post on choosing your VC. I totally agree with Jeff's view that not only should entrepreneurs do their diligence when choosing a VC to invest in their company, but VCs should also do reference checks on their new partners. This includes understanding potential board dynamics and making sure investor interests are aligned. Put it this way, a bad board with bad dynamics rife with egos and competing interests can bring a company down quickly. Some areas to explore include understanding the size of fund, the amount of dry powder, the appetite for risk, the view on the existing business plan, team, and management gaps to fill. As an example, a smaller fund with less dry powder may want to grow less agressively than a larger fund with more capital to invest. Not that the situation above can't work, but it is incumbent upon the entrepreneur and existing VC to understand the potential areas for conflict and make sure they get comfortable with them. This means that the entrepreneur and existing investor should spend the appropriate time to get to know their potential partner (if they do not already know them) in addition to doing the right reference checks (see Jeff's post for areas to dig).

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