Monday, April 9, 2007

Outside the Valley

I've been asked to be a blogger for Outside the Valley. OtV was formed to highlight start ups outside Silicon Valley, and also to be a resource for entrepreneurs trying to navigate the non-Valley waters. Take a look!

My first post, "The Venture Process When You’re Outside the Valley (Part I)" is up. Here's the beginning:

Given that this blog is called Outside the Valley, it is worth chatting about the venture process when you’re, well, outside the valley. So let’s tackle it: If you’re not in the valley, what role does location play when a VC is evaluating your company as a potential investment?

First of all, it goes without saying that if you are signing up users or selling product faster than you can twitter a sales update (the “train leaving the station”), a General Partner won’t think twice before hopping onto a plane. Sure, the Skype team was based in Luxembourg. But what do you think we did when we saw Skype’s user numbers?

Geography becomes more of a factor the other 98% of the time: when you are less the train leaving the station and more the train still boarding passengers and luggage. And this all has to do with a VC’s favorite word: Risk.

You can think of this in terms of 3 stages:
1. Getting your foot in the door
2. Securing an investment
3. Ongoing support

Because this post will be too long if I tackle it all at once, I’ll address the first stage in this post, and the next two stages in the second post.