Category Archives: business

Dating a Venture Capitalist Before You Get Married

I was reading the AlwaysOn Winter 2007 Magazine on the subway this afternoon and came across the “VC Deal Pitchâ€? by Simeon Simeonov, a technology partner at Polaris Venture Partners. Before Simeon joined Polaris, he was the Chief Architect at Allaire and Macromedia. The article that he has penned for the magazine talks about a new way to date a venture capitalist before you get married, or in realistic terms, a new way to work together with a venture capitalist before they invest into your company.

Essentially, Simeon talks about how the founding team and would-be investors should work together, on the same side of the table, for a good amount of time to improve the business plan and test the market. This whole dating process only really works in the early stage funding realm and allows you to vet out a venture capital partner who does not share the same vision, culture, and operational expectations that you may have.

This process would only work if it was monogamous, says Simeon. As a founder, you do not want your VC partner to be flirting with other companies in your space. They ultimately will learn quite a bit about your business and have deep insight into your team, so keep it monogamous. Even though both parties will share lots of insight, Simeon also mentions that there should be “no strings attached.â€? If the relationship isn’t working for either party, it should be able to be terminated without any monetary compensation or consideration.

This is an interesting concept that Simeon proposes. As an entrepreneur, I can see how valuable it would be from an early stage perspective (maybe after seed funding?) but may not work for all startups due to time constraints, multiple VC’s, or other various reasons. What are your thoughts?