Welcome to class.
I have learned throughout the short time I’ve spent in the world of venture capital that it is likely the most gate kept industry in the world. Finding resources online, and even in textbooks, is nearly impossible. People in the industry are reluctant to share knowledge. Universities have entire departments committed to teaching entrepreneurship, but not even a single class dedicated to the people who fund entrepreneurs. Instead, this series will act as that class.
I’ve heard time and time again that being a founder is the only way to learn about venture, but I could not disagree more. To compare it to law: just because you had your day in court does not make you qualified to be a judge. From the “soft skills” like reviewing decks and reading founders, to the “technical skills” like fund management and portfolio construction, there could not be more of a difference in the skills used by founders and VCs. Sure, having been a founder may give you some insight into what to look for in other founders and some industry knowledge, but it in no way qualifies you to have the skills necessary to make prudent investment decisions. Like all things, there is a learning curve to that.
I want to provide those interested in getting their feet wet with venture capital with the resources they need to start confidently, regardless of what experience they may have in the world of entrepreneurship. What better way to share those skills and lessons than as I learn them myself? I’m sure, like all people, I will change opinions I once held firmly, and correct myself on facts I get completely wrong. I ask for your patience — I am learning too, and I am by no means yet a master. My mission is to provide the most clear and concrete information I can, covering all aspects of raising, managing, and investing a fund. I’ll interrogate every resource available to me, and utilize every branch of my network to find the most accurate and reliable information. My goal is to do all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to.
I will be covering topics like:
- What is a venture capitalist?
- How do VCs make money?
- Important terms to know
- Signals for success in pitch decks
- Questions to ask founders in a first meeting
- How to schmooze an LP
- Portfolio construction
- The process of deal flow
- How to conduct due diligence
- The process of setting up a fund
- The best resources and tools for fund managers
- and much more.
I encourage you to follow me and subscribe here on Medium (click the two green buttons on the right side of my profile page) as well as on Twitter. I’ll be posting these resources here on Medium, and will share post updates and interesting links on Twitter.
I hope you find the coming posts helpful, and encourage you to post feedback and suggestions for topics you want to learn more about in the comments.