Cory Klippsten is a full-time advisor for technology CEOs and venture capital firms. With deep expertise and access across tech, corporate and VC/PE, he focuses on strategy, financing, partnerships and corp dev, providing significant leverage for the CEO and board.
Klippsten has operated as a founder and C-level executive, raised many rounds of venture capital from dozens of top VCs, and worked for Google, McKinsey, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley. He holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship, Finance and International Business from the University of Chicago.
Cory grew up in San Francisco and Seattle, split 15 years between New York and Chicago, and now lives in Santa Monica with his wife and young daughter. His interests include basketball, tennis, philosophy and travel (Istanbul and Barcelona are favorites).
As many of you know, I’ve been doing early stage advising (strategy, fundraising, partnerships, corp dev) for the past two years. Less publicly, I’ve also taken on a number of special projects for later stage tech startups. I’ve noticed that they all fit the same mold: getting ready for either another funding round or helping them position for positive banker/M&A conversations. I’ve also found that I quite enjoy these projects and that the knowledge and networking are incredibly helpful for my early stage companies, so have decided to make “Readiness” an official offering of Cliffstone. If you’re an investor and you see that a lot of work needs to be done to get one of your post-A/B/C companies ready to take the next step, let’s talk.
I often hear seed stage founders complain that a VC said they’d love to write a check, but first want to see some (any) growth metric ticking up like clockwork, week over week. The argument goes that VCs have limited attention spans and see too many deals, so you need to boil it down to one number that makes the sale.
But it’s bullshit. That was a polite pass. They’re not doing your deal because they don’t care about your business. And it’s not their fault, it’s YOURS. If a seed investor says to come back when you have traction, it means you aren’t telling a good story. …