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What VCs look for in founders:

Stashed in: Founders, 106 Miles, Funding, @fredwilson, 10,000 Hours, @ripemp, Funding

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Last week Fred Wilson said,

“There’s two times as much capital in the venture capital business today than we, the professional investors who make up the venture business, can actually put to work intelligently.”

A new book Venture Capitalists at Work (Amazon) explores what VC's seek.

Rip Empson summarizes that VC's look for startups with big, bold ideas:

There are way too many entrepreneurs today who get caught up in the drive to make money, to become the next Instagram, lusting after that billion-dollar valuation. But that’s not what turns on venture capitalists.

“The key characteristic is the desire to solve a problem for the customer. That is the driving passion, not ‘I think this is going to be a billion-dollar company and I want to hop in because I can get rich,’” says Roelof Botha. “We’re looking for people whose ideas get floated around. People who fight over the chance to work on solving a problem rather than passing the buck.”

Venture capitalists also look for authenticity, integrity, and motivation -- and a product view informed by Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule.

Most successful co-founding teams have a similar anatomy in the first dozen hires: Early employees must hit the ground running.


Still interested? You can find more in this set of 48 slideshare slides.

"No idea is worth a billion dollars so listen to the data and the market." [slide 19]

"You need both great market and great entrepreneur to build a billion dollar startup." [slide 24]

Much like humor, billion dollar success stories also ALWAYS center on another factor...







Timing is to startup success as location is to restaurant success.

"Teams copy the personality traits of their leaders." [slide 31]

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

That's a good line. 

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