What A VC Orders for Breakfast Says

One of the things that surprised me most about venture capital when I got into the business is how much VCs seem to like to meet for breakfast. VCs usually typically reserve dinners for portfolio companies’ CEOs and board members. And “doing lunch” doesn’t happen that often because VCs don’t like going out of the office mid-day much. But breakfast for venture capitalists is an open free-for-all for all sorts of networking meetings and conversations.

Along the way, I’ve noticed that there’s a pattern to what VCs order which shows what kind of VC he is. Like my previous post about what the founder’s email address says about your startup, I thought I’d turn the tables a bit with a light-hearted look at what a VC orders at breakfast says about him or her:

  • Full breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns, & toast – newly minted post-MBA Associate just getting into the business… (you can’t eat that big of a breakfast three or more days a week for long).
  • Bowl of oatmeal – standard VC breakfast for those who schedules a morning networking meal almost every day of the week; this guy just follows the herd and isn’t going to pay attention as he eats.
  • Bowl of oatmeal but he barely touches it – he eats a networking breakfast every day of the week, but the oatmeal is really just a prop as he’s really engaged with what the other person has to say.
  • Eggs Benedict – VC partner who just had a monster exit and is in the mood to celebrate.
  • Veggie omelet with egg beaters one yolk no onions double tomatoes – overly-detailed nit-picking VC who will pick apart an entrepreneur’s pitch and board deck without seeing the big picture; tough guy to deal with on the board.
  • “Breakfast” brought into the office – overscheduled VC who doesn’t even have time to meet in a diner; on dozen+ boards and doesn’t have time for his portfolio companies.
  • Yogurt fruit parfait – Venture guy who doesn’t care what others think about him; leads new off-the-beaten-path investments with conviction and without following the herd.
  • Nothing – uber-networker who is already on his second breakfast meeting of the day; is a huge help to his portfolio companies with recruiting and BD intros for his portfolio companies.
  • Just coffee – jittery VC who is on the fundraising trail struggling to close their next fund.
  • Triple order of bacon and nothing else – signals “I am the king of my firm and I don’t give a sh*t.”

What else am I missing?

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.

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