Venture Deals Speaking Tour Notes

Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld of the Foundry Group are on a bit of a book tour talking about their new book, Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.

The event was held at Urban Airship, a Portland startup that is making news these days.

Here are some notes from the event. I’ve seen these two speek at least a hundred times, and each time is still interesting and educational.

“I hate more than 50% of the VC’s out there” Jason

“We think most people are extremely poor at negotiation” Jason

“The term sheets created by a type writer and todays term sheets are almost the same.” Brad

“When I first started making investments in teh 90’s it was interesting how opaque the process was. The first time I did it I learned a lot, same as the 17th time. It is complicated for a relatively straight forward process.” Brad

“The last 75 times you have to proofread the book you just want to kill yourself.” Jason

“The only thing we know about your spreadsheet is that you are wrong, because if you are able to predict the future you should be betting on sports.” Jason

“In our world a mentor is someone that is helping you without an expectation of return. An advisor is someone looking for that return, they say things like I’ll help you if….” Brad

“It always makes me angry when I see a PPM, they have been taken by the investment banker who took the lawyer.“ Jason

“Boulder is great at chasing bad people away, like Andrew?” Jason

“Fuck you, Jason” Me

“There are things you should pay for, but be skeptical for those asking to make introductions or things that you can get by just emailing us.”

“You want to raise the least amount of money to have the best chance of success. Don’t let someone talk you into how much money you can raise. $2-4M is what you are raising? Pick one. Don’t raise to match the investor desire.” Brad

“Team is more important than what you are doing. I don’t care so much on track record, I actually love entrepreneurs that have failed before. Is the team quality is the big question.” Jason

It is great that first time entrepreneurs are sometimes too stupid to know what is impossible because sometimes they do just that.” Jason

“I haven’t looked at a resume in 15 years.” Brad

“I want to feel like I want to be able to have a beer with a founder I fund. There will be something that goes wrong with the company we need to be able to really talk.” Jason

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