Aftermath of internal investment meeting whiteboarding.

The billion-dollar questions we are often asked:
From founders, “What do you look for in a startup?”
From investors, “How do you identify investments from the 1000+ companies you encounter each year?”

The answer is ‘Size, Risk, Go’

The answer to those questions lies in the image above. It shows the graphical depiction of our ‘Size, Risk, Go’ model, scribbled on a whiteboard in a recent internal investment meeting. Of course, a complete answer would also detail things such as how we leverage the expertise of our angel group when looking at cases, how we conduct due diligence, or the…


Discussion at TechBBQ regarding what it takes for new funds to enter the market.

It’s well known how network effects play a key role in building and scaling great companies. They establish moats by creating barriers to exit for existing customers and barriers to entry for potential competition, and are most clearly seen in defining winner-takes-all markets.

But network effects are not uniquely significant to software companies or marketplaces, they are also a success factor for Venture Capital funds and can be seen to play a key role in defining who wins and who loses. While VC is not quite winner-takes-all, the extremely skewed nature of the market does mean that a few winners…


Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

I recently read this very good (and nicely short) article by Hunter Walk from Homebrew VC about how important it is for founders to ask VCs about the risks they are willing to take as investors that perhaps other investors are not as comfortable with. And equally how important it is for VCs to be able to clearly communicate the risks they are more or less comfortable with and prepared to take on. …


Getting started

You spend so much time thinking about it. Imagining how happy and free you will feel in the future if you just take the right steps now and move forward. For years the vision of what you could build has been becoming ever clearer. The world needs this! The timing is right! It’s an exciting proposition. It essentially feels like your true purpose. But it’s easy not to do it, you’re comfortable, and most people around you have chosen to remain in their comfort zones. Why should you take such a risk?

But this time it’s different. For whatever reason…


At the end of 2016, we were delighted when DHS Venture Partners was able to take a lead as one of the first investors in Formulate. One year on, I’d like to take the opportunity to explain what excited us then, and why we continue to back this team and be thrilled for the future.

The big picture

Trade promotions — the method of increasing demand for products in retail stores through special pricing, bonuses, and more — represents the biggest marketing line item in the retail industry. In fact, almost half (46%) of total marketing spending in sectors such as consumer packaged…

Emmet King

Early stage investor | Entrepreneur | Always curious and (hopefully) always learning | www.j12ventures.com

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