What Do VCs Want?


is also nearly im­pos­si­ble to get—but maybe you’re ready BUZZY AND GLAM­OROUS, VEN­TURE FUND­ING to take on that chal­lenge. “You have to kiss a lot of frogs,” warns Steve Ka­plan, a pro­fes­sor of en­trepreneur­ship and fi­nance at the Univer­sity of Chicago’s Booth School of Busi­ness, and one of four co-au­thors of a com­pre­hen­sive April 2017 work­ing paper, “How Do Ven­ture Cap­i­tal­ists Make De­ci­sions?” The paper sur­veyed al­most 900 VCs, in­clud­ing some who in­vest solely in early-stage star­tups ( which are cash-flow neg­a­tive and are just start­ing to build their busi­ness) and some who in­vest solely in mid- to late-stage star­tups (those mak­ing rev­enue and look­ing to ex­pand). Their an­swers, ex­cerpted be­low, can help you nav­i­gate the daunt­ing and tricky path to seek­ing ven­ture money—and fig­ure out what you’re will­ing to give up in re­turn.

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