Vinit Nijhawan (from BU) is a friend and a respected colleague. He had the following to say on an article about the arrogance of venture capitalists that appeared in Xconomy. He might be spot on, and hence sharing here….click on link below for original article.
I have been both an entrepreneur and a VC and now I am teaching entrepreneurs how to deal with VCs at Boston University. In the end raising money from VC is a sales process not unlike selling a product/service to a customer. You first have to establish the need: 1 is the VC partner interested in making an investment in the space you are in and 2 how many boards are they on, the fewer, the more likely they need to make another investment. Next you have to identify the targets: this is much harder since VCs needs are dynamic, sometimes as dynamic as what they read in WSJ that morning about a space. Then you have to make the sale: my experience is that VC partners make their mind up to promote your investment within 15 minutes of seeing your pitch–move on if the body language is not totally supportive of you. Lastly and the most difficult is the close: without real or perceived competition it is not in the VC’s interest to close quickly–their risk goes down over time as your company/idea matures. Net net it is a difficult sales process for most entrepreneurs, especially first time entrepreneurs and it is time consuming. Finally it is crucial to manage the post-sales process effectively: my recommendation to VC-backed CEOs is that they have to allocate 15% of their time to “investor relations”. It feels like overhead, but it is crucial to manage your VC investors in good times so that they are supportive in bad times.