David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

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Our Investment in One Jackson: Fresh, Yet Familiar

One Jackson is a new online children’s clothing retailer which is surprisingly fresh – all of its designs were created by independent designers and then curated with love from its community of parents.  The results are high-quality fashionable creations at an affordable pricepoint – which look great and are uniquely different from mass clothing brands.  Today […]


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Signaling Pricing Expectations Early in Seed Investment Discussions

As more transparency to seed-round funding transaction details have emerged, especially with the advent of Angelist and accelerator programs (which both educate and even sometimes set terms & structure for graduating companies), I’ve noticed an increasing number of entrepreneurs signal pricing expectations much earlier in the seed fundraising process.  By communicating pricing expectations with potential […]


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VC Paradox: The Best of Times & Worst of Times (Part I)

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen extremely positive headlines about the surge in VC fundings like “Venture Capital Hits Highest Level Since Dot-Com Bubble.”  It must be the best of times for the industry with $8.1B invested in startups during the second quarter of 2012 (the highest in a decade!) along “…with seed-round venture […]


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On Personal Networking: Ask For and Be Specific

Personal networking is a key business skill.  And as a VC, I get plenty of practice doing it.  As one of my former high school coaches used to put it, “Practice doesn’t make perfect.  Practice makes better.”  While I guess you could develop a “strategy” to networking successfully (… with many a book written about […]


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How to Evaluate Firms for a Seed VC Syndicate

There are essentially two distinct basic strategies for startup entrepreneurs to raise a seed round of capital: Subscription approach – An entrepreneur sets a structure (usually a convertible note) and recruits individual angel investors who subscribe to the round, all without a term-driving lead investor. Term-driving investor approach – An entrepreneur finds a lead (quasi-)institutional […]


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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 […]


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To Leave or Not to Leave as Your Startup Grows

A few weeks ago, a very good friend who works at a growing startup emailed me with the following question (in which I’ve masked just a few of the identifying details): What does it mean when almost all of a startup’s early employees have left the company? By almost any measure, [our company] is doing […]


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Deciphering the Code of Your VC Conversation Location

A lot has been written about a formal “VC Pitch” meeting with advice about how to handle those interactions with venture capitalists.  But not all conversations with venture capitalists are formal pitches, nor are they expected to be.  And sometimes it’s unclear if it’s a pitch meeting or not. Of course it’s productive to follow […]


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Are you an Inventor or a Founder?

As a VC, I end up meeting some amazing people of many different backgrounds and profiles.  But there are two categories of people which are tightly correlated, but distinctly different.  The difference between what I’d call an “Inventor,” someone who has many ideas for businesses to start, and a “Founder,” an entrepreneur who starts a […]


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The Startup Offsite

When was the last time all of your startup’s management team came together to take a step back from day-to-day minutiae and think big picture?  I think it’s actually incredibly valuable for startups to occasionally, and regularly, have offsite planning sessions.  Unlike at “big companies,” a startup offsite isn’t about a boondoggle, it’s not about […]


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