The Notation Annual Meeting

Publishing our 2018 annual Year in Review deck, and looking forward to 2019.

Tl;dr — Check out the Notation 2018 Annual Meeting Deck, as well as some of our learnings below.

Each year, Alex and I do an annual review and planning session. In most years past, we‘ve done this just the two of us, and then publish our results and learnings, and get feedback from the community at large, including Notation 1Yr In, Notation in 2016, and our Notation II pitch deck.

This past October, we decided to run our first proper Annual Notation Meeting — and we’re publishing our deck HERE. We started small — a half day in SF with our five largest LPs, which also included our LPAC (effectively our board). It was really one of the first times we’ve had all of our largest investors in the same room, providing a forum for honest review, discussion, and feedback. We learned a lot, both from a strategic perspective for the firm, and also a logistics perspective on how to plan and run a more formal annual meeting.

Note that the deck was last updated in October of 2018, and we’ve redacted a bit of company sensitive information, but for the most part that’s it in it’s full glory ;-) We hope this may be helpful to other VCs that are thinking about running annual meetings for the first time (it was hard to find good examples of decks), and most importantly we hope this may be useful for founders that are considering working with us and want to understand the latest iterations in our strategy.

Our plan is indeed to make the Notation annual meeting just that, and to share it publicly with our community at large going forward. A few things we learned about the annual meeting itself and some iterations we’ll make in 2019:

  • Host locally— Maybe more than anything, these gatherings are supposed to be a reflection of the partners and the firm. This is best done on home turf! This year we tried our meeting in SF, but our home is in Brooklyn, NY, and that’s where we’ll host next year ;-)
  • All about the companies — We’ll plan to spend more time going deep on a few select companies next year and ask the founders to be part of the conversation. Ultimately, VCs are measured by the companies they invest in, and there’s no one better to tell those stories than the founders themselves.
  • More data — We could have probably done another deeper data-driven level of analysis to back up our assumptions and thesis, including inside our portfolio, at a portfolio construction level, as well as the NYC ecosystem more broadly. We intentionally did not do much analysis beyond NYC, as we just came from the Cendana Capital summit, and they do a great job presenting the overall state of the early-stage venture market.
  • (Maybe) expand the group — We really enjoyed the intimate and candid conversation with our largest LPs, but we have all sorts of interesting perspectives in our LP base, from large institutions to special individuals and founders. Next year, we’d like to find a way to include the larger Notation community, even if it’s just for part of the day.
  • (Maybe) work with a designer to provide a little more polish on the deck?!

We’re fired up for 2019. See y’all out there :-)

Nick + Alex