Raising Venture Capital: Make Sure Your VC Has Time for You

July 27, 2010

I was reading the Wall Street Journal last week and came across an article in the small business section titled “Start-Ups Grumble About Directors Too Busy Too Help” which I wanted share with you.

As a founder and/or CEO of an early or expansion stage company looking for investors to provide growth capital — to build out your management team and scale your company — there are criteria to consider beyond the capital. Things like;

  • Venture firm focus
  • Partner experience
  • Deal Terms
  • Alignment with your vision for the company

And the list goes on and on.

But one area many founders and CEOs often overlook when raising venture capital is does my potential partner really have the time to spend helping us grow a great business so you reach a successful exit. Or if things get tough, will they still be there by our side, helping us right the ship.

At OpenView not only are we committed to being engaged as a board member (we attend in person and our phones and blackberries are turned off and in our bags), but also as an active advisor to the CEO and his management team — leveraging not just our operational software industry experience, but also OpenView Labs and its business development strategies (you can check out some of there case studies here).

So remember, if you decide to raise venture capital… make sure that they bring more than money to the table and have the time to actually help you realize your dreams!

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.