I had the pleasure of participating on a panel with three smart venture capitalists at the GSV Pioneer Summit a few weeks ago. My fellow panelists and I, all hailing from very diverse backgrounds, shared our views on the current state of venture and the big opportunities we’re seeing for startups.
In the last two decades as a venture capitalist, I’ve seen three primary styles of VCs working with startup founders. I found that one of them works best for me, and want to share the alternatives:
1. Mentor: This is a classic “old school” venture capital model. Think John Doerr and Michael Moritz working with Larry Page and Sergei Brin in the early days of Google. The VC is often older, sometimes a repeat entrepreneur, sometimes not. The VC provides lots of hands-on advice and coaching. The interactions between the VC and founder are frequent, and the VC spends much time regularly at the company.