At the seed stage particularly, there is often a wide dispersion of how “actively” involved different investors get. Some investors will chip in with small checks and basically be pretty passive investors in startups.
When we describe NextView’s model as “hands on” and “high conviction” we mean that we typically are the lead or co-lead investor of a seed stage company. At the investment stage that means we are often the largest investor, we work closely with founders to pull together the rest of the round with other syndicate investment partners, and we typically take a board seat for the first few years a startup post-seed.
Post investment we obviously participate in board meetings, but our help goes beyond just that. We strive to be helpful to startups with the four things most founders care about: building great teams, building great products, customer acquisition, and not running out of money. We have a full-time head of platform and also other outside resources that we bring to bear to help entrepreneurs in these areas.
Additionally we take a team approach at NextView. For many VC firms, founders will only interact with the partner who led the investment. We like to say working with NextView is a buy 1 get 4 free proposition, since founders are encouraged to reach out to and interact with anyone on the NextView team if they think that person can be helpful to their business.
At the end of the day, founders are the ones building startups day to day. We want to be respectful of that, and strive to be the invited guest at the entrepreneur’s table (as Greylock describes one of their core operating principles) not an overbearing investor. But we find that the hands on approach we take, particularly in the first couple years post seed, has been an effective way to help founders.