By Clint Korver

This column appeared in the Venture Capital Journal in June 2017

Venture capitalists worldwide make more than $100 billion in investments annually, but rather than making those choices by following a rigorous, analytic process, the average professional looking to finance the next Facebook or Uber relies more on the magic of gut instinct.

That’s not just an informed opinion by a venture capitalist who invests in early-stage companies, but the finding of a recent Harvard Business School paper by Paul Gompers et al titled “How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Most professionals in other areas of the…


By Clint Korver

Venture capitalists worldwide make more than $100 billion in investments annually, but rather than making those choices by following a rigorous, analytic process, the average professional looking to finance the next Facebook or Uber relies more on the magic of gut instinct.

That’s not just an informed opinion by a venture capitalist who invests in early-stage companies, but the finding of a recent Harvard Business School paper by Paul Gompers et al titled “How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Most professionals in other areas of the financial world — from hedge funds to real estate investors —…


Doubling down on your winners doesn’t always make sense

by Clint Korver Ulu Ventures

(This article first appeared as a guest column in the Venture Capital Journal March 2017)

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

When AppDynamics was acquired by Cisco just before its planned initial public offering, reports credited early investor Greylock Partners with a return of 100x on its investment in the San Francisco-based enterprise software company. That report was soon amended to reflect that Greylock’s overall return was closer to 25x, returning an impressive $590 million on a $23 million investment made during six capital raising series.

The disparity between the two accounts…


by Clint Korver

This guest column first appeared in Venture Capital Journal September 2017)

When Lightspeed Venture Partners became the first outside investor in Snap, putting in $485,000 and then investing in subsequent rounds, it produced a return of $2 billion and instantly became the stuff of legend.

The deal marked Lightspeed’s third exit in quick succession, following the Nutanix IPO and Cisco’s purchase of AppDynamics, making it a giant among venture firms and reinforcing the widely held belief that great VCs can pick winners.

The Power Law argues otherwise. Returns in venture capital are distributed according to a Power…


Not being in alignment with your board can cause troubles even founders can’t manage

(This guest column first appeared in Entrepreneur August 2017)

It’s a sad reality, but many chief executives and company founders get fired. Even the great ones like Apple’s Steve Jobs and JetBlue’s David Neeleman get pushed out. However, for any founder who wants to beat the odds and keep his or her position through the initial public offering and beyond, the best route to success is having a strong relationship with their board of directors.

It’s tough for any chief executive to enjoy an extended tenure…


Making the decision making process transparent for founders

with Miriam Rivera & Somik Raha

Have you ever wondered how a VC firm evaluates a first meeting with an entrepreneur to decide if they should have a second one? If only they would tell you before your meeting, perhaps you could design your conversation to better speak to their needs. Well, you are in luck; that’s exactly what we at Ulu Ventures are going to share.

Evaluating companies using our rubric

Ulu’s Investment Decision Making Process

The sketch below shows the key steps in Ulu’s investment decision-making process. It also shows Ulu’s criteria for moving companies forward at each step. …


Such partnerships can work for investors as well as the couple

(This guest column appeared in the Venture Capital Journal November 2017)

Married couples obviously love each other, but ask them if they want to work together and you’ll get an eye roll from a lot of them. It’s tough enough to agree on where to have dinner, let alone where to take your jointly owned business. We have managed to cultivate a strong marriage and a healthy partnership while leading our own venture firm. We are a mixed-race couple, of Dutch and Latina heritage, raised Protestant and Catholic, with…

Clint Korver

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