All the Bad Things VCs want to do to You!

At the MassTLC Innovation UnConference in October 2009 I got a nod from Scott Kirsner, technology columnist from the Boston Globe, who included my session as one of the five best session titles.

The session is titled “All the Bad Things VCs want to do to You!”. In it I talk about many of the principles behind Venture Capital investment terms, and do so starting with the most negative view. This provides a jumping off point that the entrepreneurs can relate to (who doesn’t love to hate “vulture capitalists”?), and makes it compelling (or at least amusing). The session allows me to get into the core idea that no-one should take a VC investment unless the the deal on the table is still compelling relative to what you give up (time, ownership, control … and more!).

Back in 2009 the session went very well. At the end, one of the participants introduced himself as a lawyer working with start-ups and told me he had come to the session to make sure I really was going to be honest about VC behavior. He confirmed, indeed, I was.

Since then I have repeated the session in various incubator, business school and conference settings. Each session is different, based on the questions and interests of the audience, although I always start with the same theme: “VCs just want four things from you: your ideas, your time, lots of ownership in your company and control!”

My most recent presentation was at MassChallenge, a large scale accelerator program for start-ups here in Boston. The session seemed to go well … if you are interested, you can see the video of the last half-hour of Q&A.

If you would like me to present “All the Bad Things VCs want to do to You!” at your event or program just let me know.


Gregg Stern said...

Love seeing the VC side of the VC on this blog!

Brad Feld said...

Great post Richard. I put you up as the VC Post of the Day on