Thursday, 18 July 2013

Insiders Guide to what Venture Capitalists are looking for...




As part of my research into high-tech startups for the Startupbootcamp HighTechXL program this November, I've been looking at the public resources out there. It turns out that Europe needs to do a lot more to explain why it is great choice for high-tech startups. The reasons are there, but not the stories. There are plenty of videos out there that give you an insight into events that you just missed. But, especially the Universities across Europe are slow to realise the power of publishing their mentor briefings. They should take a leaf out the on-line "books" being written by the US institutions like MIT and Stanford University. When it comes to the latter,  it turns out there are some real gems amongst the 1855 videos posted by that University.

Unfortunately, they are poorly labelled. That may be deliberate because they form part of paid college course. But if you're a startup, do spend the hour watching this excellent video from Howard Hartenbaum, who is a partner at August Capital. He explains why most startups don't need to even think about talking to Venture Capitalists....unless your company is going to be worth 4-5 billion dollars by 2020. In other words you have to prove that your company is capable of scaling fast...He also explains the different types of funding that is open to you - and why family and friends is never a good idea if you value those relationships. Part of a useful series.