If you are a venture capitalist, then it’s probably because that’s your dream job. The odds of becoming one without actively pursuing it are astronomical, but like any job, there are always new things to learn and ways to improve, we hope our suggestions send you on that path.
Learn to love people – even more
Does that sound hokie? Don’t worry about that. Many highly successful VC’s and angel investors tell how deciding on where to place the money they have to invest is all about the people they meet and the story they tell. Chris Burch, both VC and angel investor, said, “I’m wide open to people; I love helping them in any way I possibly can. But for me to invest, a business has to have a lot of creative scale; it has to be unique.” The second half of that quote is more about Burch’s personality than investing, but he’s also been known to talk about why he invested in various entities – and he has to first be sold on the person in charge before he is willing to look deeper. That takes a bit of time getting to know the person usually.
Know what interests you
If you are the one with the stamp of approval, you’ll also be the one explaining it to the investors if something goes wrong. There will be many things out of your control, but you don’t want boredom to be part of the equation. You also want to know that you can spot a problem early on, and if it’s in a field you have no knowledge or interest in, you’ll be lost and unable to see issues early on – let alone know how to divert them.
Be selective and be helpful
As Richard Branson has said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” Don’t panic if you don’t have something lined up immediately. Wait to find the right fit. Venture capital has risk involved already. Jumping in with both feet when the business is not the right fit for your fund is not the right choice.
That doesn’t mean you still can’t offer assistance, though. Put them in touch with a mentor who knows about their field, tell them what they need to change before making their next pitch, and point out what they’ve done right so far. The world is filled with too much negatively. Taking just a few extra minutes to help them on their way should earn you a little good karma, which could translate into your next investment being even better than you imagined.