17 Quotes from Marc Andreessen & Ron Conway on How To Raise Money

From How to Start a Startup — Lecture 9

From Stanford’s CS183B Course How to Start a Startup — Lecture 9

The quotes below are all 140 characters or less, so please feel free to share as you see fit. In case I’ve missed any quotes or you find any errors, please leave me a comment and I will be sure to update the post.

From Marc Andreessen:

  1. “The venture capital business is a 100% game of outliers- it’s extreme exceptions.”
  2. “…on the order of 4000 ‘fundable’ companies a year, that want to raise venture capital.”
  3. “…about 200 of those will get funded by what’s considered a ’top tier VC’; about 15 of those will someday get to a 100M in revenue…”
  4. “…and those 15 from that year, will generate something on the order of 97% of all the returns for the entire category of VC in that year.”
  5. “Another thing to highlight that we think a lot about internally is, we have this concept” invest in strength vs lack of weakness.”
  6. “The companies that have the really extreme strengths, often have serious flaws.”
  7. “One of the cautionary lessons of VC is, if you don’t invest on the basis of serious flaws, you don’t invest in most of the big winners.”
  8. “What we aspire to do is, invest in the startups that have really really extreme strength in a long and important dimension.”
  9. “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” from Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up
  10. “If you come in with a theory, and a plan and no data, and you’re 1 of the next 1000, it’s going to be far far harder to raise money.”
  11. “You’re almost always better off making your business better than your pitch better.”
  12. “Raising venture capital is the easiest thing a startup founder is ever going to do.”
  13. “It’s often said, raising money is not actually a success, it’s not actually a milestone for a company and I think that’s true”
  14. “…running a startup is also the way I think about raising money — it’s a process of peeling away layers of risk as you go.”
  15. “…to get the best introductions to the A stage venture firms is to work through the seed investors or to go through something like YC.”
  16. “One of the ways you convey the operational excellency is in the quality of the plan.”
  17. “…particular investors who are going to be on the board for the company, are just as important as who you get married to.”

From Ron Conway:

  1. “When you’re talking to me in the first minute, I’m thinking — is this person a leader?”
  2. “Usually the first question I ask is, what inspired you to invent this product?”
  3. “I’m hoping that it’s based on a personal problem that founder had, and this product is the solution to that personal problem.”
  4. “If you’re going to be a leader, and hire a team- assuming your product is successful, you’ve got to be a really good communicator.”
  5. “When you first meet an investor, you’ve got to be able to say in one compelling sentence what your product does.”
  6. “You have to be decisive. The only way to make progress is make decisions.”
  7. “Procrastination is the devil in startups. So no matter what you do, you gotta keep that ship moving.”
  8. “Bootstrap for as long as you can.”
  9. “For sure, don’t ask people to sign an NDA.”
  10. “For some reason founders get their ego involved in fundraising where it’s a personal victory. It is the tiniest step on the way…”
  11. “We at SV Angel end up investing in 1 company for every 30 that we look at.”
  12. “The group actually votes on- do we make a phone call, that’s how important time is in this process.”
  13. “If SV angel asks you for a meeting, we are well on our way to investing.”
  14. “I think it’s important for the founder to say to themselves in the beginning, at what point does my ownership start to demotivate me?”
  15. “When you start a company, you have to go find somebody as good or better than you to be the co-founder.”
  16. “At SV Angel, our attitude is when we invest in an entrepreneur, we are investing for life.”
  17. “If we made the right decision, we’re going to invest in every company they start.”

You can also watch the entire lecture for yourself here:http://startupclass.samaltman.com/courses/lec09/

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Image Credits: Marc Andreessen — By Joi Ito & Ron Conway and Kristopher Tate (edited) — By Thomas Hawk

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