VCs expect founders to have mentors!


If you are raising money from VCs now or even plan to then I highly recommend the article Deal Breakers, Part 1: A Red Flag List from Top VCs by Jason Shuman. It’s a very long and detailed list of reasons why a VC may not invest in your venture. Having been turned down numerous times attempting to raise money from VCs, I can tell you it’s very hard to find out why you got turned down. You usually get something like “great idea, but not a fit for our investment strategy” or “come back to use when you’ve got more customer traction.” Ah huh.

Studying Jason’s list and making sure you don’t commit any of these deal breakers can really help you land a VC deal. Since this blog is about mentoring, this deal breaker really got my attention:

Having no mentors — Almost guaranteed, the most successful people in the world have all had mentors. Most of these mentors are people that they speak to regularly and usually it’s for specific reasons. When shit hits the fan in your startup, which it will, VCs want to know that you have a list of people who you will call. If they’re good VCs they’ll want to be added to that list as well.

So if you don’t have a group of mentors already, get going on building this group, they just won’t help you with VCs they also will be there for you when, as Jason say, “the shit hits the fan.”


Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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