It’s no secret that many entrepreneurs and VCs have a love-hate relationship. Neither one cannot do without the other. And yet, each one resents their dependence on the other.
I have a very different point of view on this relationship. I see it as a long-term partnership. And like any valuable and worthwhile relationship, it also needs to be based on the right foundations:
Shared vision and goals. Ideally, you should look for an investor that is not just excited about your idea but also shares your vision for the company and supports your long-term goals. For example, if you are looking to build a company, and not just a quick and profitable exit, select an investor that has a long-term investment strategy, who’s looking for a high ROI, and has the patience and commitment to see it through.
Long-term value. Don’t just go for the first VC that’s willing to invest in you. Pick an investor that can add more value than just funding. The right investor may have deep understanding and connections in your target market. Consequently, they can make introductions to key customers or partners. Furthermore, they can provide you valuable advice on how to build and lead your company. And also help you get additional funding.
Mutual trust and respect. This almost goes without saying. This is the basis of any good relationship, and this one is no different. Entrepreneurs and VCs must be able to have an open, candid, and direct dialog. This is the only way this relationship could work and create the value both sides want.
Personal Chemistry. At the end of the day, like any other relationship, it’s between people. And people prefer to work or do business with people they feel comfortable with and even like. It’s not a must, and yet it can make a big difference in the success of the relationship.
So next time you’re looking for an investor, think of it as a long-term partnership and seek the right partner. Finally, to quote the famous line in the movie Casablanca: “perhaps this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship”.