Want a Successful Exit… Remember the Boy Scouts Motto… Be Prepared!

March 14, 2011

At OpenView Partners, an expansion stage venture capital firm in Boston that invests growth capital in software companies, I wrote a blog about the 3 roles we play during the life of our relationships with our portfolio companies.

  • Investors
  • Board Members
  • Advisors

We consider ourselves long term investors. If it takes 4, 5, or 6 years or longer before a shareholder liquidity event occurs, we are OK with that. We never try to predict an exit or timing because frankly we would be wrong.

We believe that if we invest in the right companies and management teams, work with them to define their strategies, stay focused on the right market segments and help them operationally scale their businesses, that in the end we will all have built a great business. The longer you are engaged with great businesses before an exit, the greater the value for the founders, management teams and investors. The exit will be the exit when it is the right time.

That said, as advisors to the founders or CEO’s and management teams of expansion stage software companies, we still have the responsibility to make sure that the companies are prepared for a shareholder liquidity event when the right moment occurs. To that end, it is up to us as advisors and board members to make sure that the company has;

  • A complete and credible management in place including a CFO
  • The right Board composition for their current needs and stage
  • Guidance on proper business development strategies for their market
  • The proper financial reporting processes in place including annual audited financials
  • Been introduced to appropriate bankers for their space

We do this because in addition to all of the other operational value added things we do… it is the right thing to do!

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.