I just got back from a digital media summit that was one of the best demonstrations of value add and entrepreneur can hope for
As an entrepreneur, you are supposed to be looking for at least two things when you seek venture capital:
- the capital itself;
- the added value their experience brings to your company.
But while every early stage VC makes that claim, it is really hard to distinguish one from the other in many cases. The really good ones, (who are usually very successful), have a network that they can tap to answer key questions around recruiting, product development and business development.
The problem is often that the network is dispersed and accessed via 1 on 1 conversations that the entrepreneur must piece together to form an answer. This task becomes especially challenging when one area (business development) can have significant impact product development. What the entrepreneur would really like would be to have the BD experts in the same room with the product experts to hash out the differences of opinion.
But I just encountered a tremendous solution to this vexing problem of sorting out opposing answers to key business questions.
The digital media summit was hosted by one of my backers this last weekend . I had deep suspicions about coming in to it. Was going to be a boondoggle with a lot of happy talk and backslapping, or was I going to be able to put forward and get answers to some challenging questions my new startup is facing.
I got my answers at this conference because both networks (advertising giants, and social network experts) were in the room at the same time and challenged each other over my questions and many others from other portfolio companies.
So I got not just business cards, but real answers to challenging questions that make my decision-making much, much easier.
So when a VC says that they are value add, remember to see if they make it really easy for you to get your answers or just send you a bunch of email addresses to ping. Summits like the one I attended really do help.
And there was incredible powder on the slopes. 🙂