Venture Evolved
Published in

Venture Evolved

Resources for those interested in venture capital and private equity

PE and VC resources

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Email Newsletters and Blogs:

PE and VC:

PE

VC

  • A VC: Blog of Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures in NYC.
  • StrictlyVC: Regular newsletter covering VC industry and deals.
  • Kauffman Fellows Journal: Content from Kauffman Fellows. Has a tilt toward LP content packaged for VCs.
  • Feld’s Thoughts: Brad Feld of Foundry Group and Techstars. One of the authors of Venture Deals, so if you like that style, you’ll like this blog.
  • Venture Evolved: Professor Heltzer’s blog on touching on getting a job in VC and the VC business and startups from the perspective of a former software engineer. And guides to hiking national parks.
  • Accelerated: Newsletter produced by twins who are recent Stanford grads and invest at CRV.
  • Oper8r: micro-VC and early VC fund Substack from LPs’ perspective.
  • Techcrunch: Covers technology companies, including startups and venture firms.
  • Crunchbase Daily: Daily roundup of VC deals.
  • Both sides of the table: Blog by LA-based entrepreneur turned VC, Mark Suster (Booth grad).
  • Startup Digest. Published by the Kauffman Foundation. Good event calendars in major entrepreneurial hubs. Regular newsletter on startups based on geography.
  • Ensemble VC: This newsletter, written by one of the former authors of the Kauffman Startup Digest, unpacks interesting data and stories on VC and tech markets
  • Venturebeat: Similar to Techcrunch.
  • Venture Capital Journal (Thompson Reuters).
  • Pando Daily. Paid site. Self-proclaimed “the site of record for Silicon Valley”.

Twitter

PE

  • PE Resources (various news resources covering PE)
  • PE Firms (official twitter feeds for esteemed PE firms)

VC

  • VC Resources (various news resources covering VC and emerging technology)
  • VC People (personal twitter accounts for esteemed VC’s)
  • VC Firms (official twitter feeds for esteemed VC firms)
  • Entrepreneurs (personal twitter accounts of esteemed entrepreneurs)

Podcasts

  • Startup: Podcast about an entrepreneur starting a podcast company (so meta). Totally behind the scenes and unfiltered. It’s fabulous and a must for entrepreneurs and those interested in VC.
  • Masters of Scale: Podcast by Reid Hoffman, Linkedin Co-founder and partner at Greylock. Interviews Silicon Valley founders/execs.
  • How I Built This: Podcast that features founders walking through the history of their high-profile companies.
  • 20 Minute VC: Host Harry Stebbings interviews prominent VCs and founders.
  • Acquired: Features prominent startup founders/CEOs and investors.
  • The Pitch: A realistic Shark Tank format with real companies and real VCs.
  • This Week in Startups: Hosted by Jason Calacanis, Founder and CEO of Mahalo and former EIR at Sequoia. Longer format.
  • A16z:Published by Andreessen Horowitz. Covers wide range of topics mostly focused on various industry trends
  • Private Equity Funcast: one of the rare podcasts focused on later stage investing, it’s hosted by the PE firm Parker Gale.
  • Private Equity Fast Pitch: PE fund managers explain their funds’ strategy.
  • Origins: A rare podcast from the LPs’ perspective.
  • Running Through Walls: Venrock’s podcast.
  • Starting Greatness: From Floodgate’s Mike Maples, Jr.
  • Stratechery: Longer form blog content on various tech companies/topics.
  • The Full Ratchet: Devoted to angel and VC investing, with interviews with prominent VCs, tech companies on how deals got put together, why companies started, etc.
  • How to Start a Startup: Series of lectures (videos) from CS 183b at Stanford. Includes luminaries like Peter Thiel, Sam Altman, Ben Horowitz and others. Useful advice for entrepreneurs and VCs who want to better understand how to build a company.
  • Recode Decode: Podcast hosted by Kara Swisher, a fixture in tech journalism for the last several decades. Not 100% tech, includes politics, Hollywood and other topics.
  • 52 Founders: Interviews with founders with host Crissy Costa (former Booth student)
  • Invest Like the Best: Covers a very broad range of investors and CEOs, including VC and PE

Glossary

  • Half the work in learning the venture capital business is learning the lingo. I created this glossary with help from my Origin Ventures colleagues and TAs at Chicago Booth to help bring clarity to commonly used terminology in the industry.

Real Time Audio Chat

  • Clubhouse: Clubhouse is a mobile app that allows candid conversations to be conducted real time. You can drop in and listen, ask questions, or host talks yourself. Clubhouse is teeming with VCs and founders who host interesting (and sometimes not interesting) discussions. With all the activity, it’s like attending the world’s largest conference. You’ll need an invite to join and it’s only available for iOS phones (as of 3/2021).
  • Twitter Spaces is a copycat of Clubhouse and available in twitter.

Trade Associations/Industry Data

  • American Investment Council. Industry association for PE.
  • National Venture Capital Association. Industry association for VC. Publishes VERY helpful yearbook each year.
  • Prequin. Company focused on data and intelligence for the alternatives assets industry. Tends to focus on PE and not VC. Frequently publishes useful free data/reports as marketing pieces.
  • Moneytree Survey. Reports on VC investing and fundraising each quarter.
  • Pitchbook. Company also focused on PE data. Free reports in the Library (most done with McGladrey) can be useful.
  • Hamilton Lane. Consulting firm advising large investors regarding investment in alternatives.

Get Started on Your Own as an Angel

  • Angelist is the most prolific platform for angel investments. It’s pushed the envelope on democratizing angel investing and bringing down the cost and complexity of building a fund/track record.
  • Republic is another angel investing platform that generally has lower minimum investments.
  • Ourcrowd is yet another that also has its own committed funds and a network of scouts around the world that screen investments.

Fund Strategy

Due Diligence

  • Crunchbase: crowdsourced database of venture backed companies, venture financings and VC firms.
  • Wayback Machine: shows websites as of a given time in the past. Great to see how management team, messaging, customers, and a lot more has changed over time.
  • Patent Search: USPTO Patent search.
  • HireRight: Inexpensive, pay as you go, background checks.
  • Capital IQ. Great for information about funds and their portfolios.
  • Prequin. Includes information about LPs.
  • Pitchbook. Good for information about portfolio companies and funds’ portfolios. One of the few that has valuation data/estimates.
  • Mattermark. Tailored to venture firms
  • Datafox. Newer company focused on intelligence and data on businesses, primarily for prospecting
  • Bloomberg
  • D&B Hoovers. Good to get competitors and industry financial data.
  • Investment bank research. Usually requires that you get to know analysts and show some credibility in the industry. Great for comps and competitive data.
  • VentureSource
  • SecondMeasure. Provides extrapolated data on consumer spending on credit cards. Great to get a sense of revenue of B2C companies.

Background Reading and Videos:

How to Raise Venture Capital:

  • How to Raise Money. Incredibly detailed and sage advice for entrepreneurs on how to raise venture money by super angel Paul Graham. However it is also extremely useful for aspiring VCs as it points out what makes a VC attractive or unattractive. It exposes some venture capitalists’ strategies on negotiation and getting into deals. Long post but worth the time to read it.

How to Raise a Fund:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • AllRaise: Aims to increase the amount of startup funding going to women. Includes a large number of female VCs.
  • BLCK VC: Aims to increase the number of Black VC investors.
  • Chicago:Blend: Aims to increase diversity in the Chicago VC and tech ecosystem. It also has a list of great resources related to DEI in this sweet Airtable.
  • First Close Partners: Fund of funds LP backing underrepresented VC fund managers.
  • HBCU.vc: An effort from historically Black colleges and universities to provide fellowships and mentorship to increase the number of Black venture capital investors.
  • The Board List: List of diverse talent prepared to serve on boards of directors.
  • Techrise: A Chicago-based fund that invests in the earliest stages in companies with underrepresented founders.
  • LatinX VC: An association of LatinX venture investors.
  • Venture Inclusion Network: Venture Inclusion Network provides a list of service providers that can assist companies or funds in building out their own D&I strategies, as well as retaining and growing diverse talent.
  • Dear Investors: So You Want to Take Diversity Seriously: A series of blog posts by the Kapor Institute about how to take diversity seriously as VCs.
  • PEWIN: Private Equity Women’s Investor Network is for women in senior positions in private equity.
  • WAVE: Women’s Association of Venture and Equity was founded in 2003 and is focused on the advancement of women in VC and PE careers.

Business Models:

Books:

Documentaries:

  • General Magic. Chronicles the startup General Magic, started by the Apple Macintosh team which conceived of the smart phone in the early 1990s.
  • Something Ventured. Stories from the original VCs in Silicon Valley.
  • The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley. Documents the trials and tribulations of the biotech startup Theranos, which is accused of a wide-scale fraud.
  • Fyre. Follows the development and catastrophic launch of an ambitious music festival.
  • Startup.com. A look into the dot-com era by following a startup’s progress.

Recruiting Advice:

Deals and Terms:

  • Example deal memos: Bessemer has made public its internal investment memos on Pinterest, Shopify, Yelp and others. They give insight on how to build an argument to an investment committee and how Bessemer weighed upside and downside.
  • Venture Dealr Dilution Illustrated: A great visual example of the effect of dilution over time
  • Cooley deal trends: an interactive graph of current deal terms. Excellent resource to know “what’s market”
  • Fenwick and West VC Terms market survey: also a good source for “Market” for venture terms.
  • Y-Combinator Startup documents. More founder-friendly and “lighter” and more common in seed deals.
  • NVCA model legal documents. If you are familiar with termsheets, consider reading through these legal documents to see how termsheets get fleshed out and get a deep understanding of mechanics of deals and capital structures. Updated Feb 2018.
  • Letter of Intent Series. Series of blog entries that go into depth on various terms in an LOI. Told from the seller’s perspective but very useful for buyers.

Fundraising/LPs:

Fund Operations:

Reporting:

  • ILPA reporting guidelines. Consider this a wish list from LPs. Also includes several helpful templates.
  • FAS 157 (as amended). Full rules regarding Financial Accounting Standard 157: Fair Value Measurements. Not for the faint of heart.
  • SBIC form 468. Annual report form which must be submitted by SBICs to the SBA each year.
  • Form ADV. SEC form required for exempt funds and those funds subject to full reporting requirements.
  • Form PF. SEC form required for larger funds.

Geographic-specific Resources:

  • Built in NYC: Job platform and event listing aggregator for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New York
  • AlleyWatch: newspaper that publishes mostly New York specific startup funding news and interviews with VC along with a daily newsletter
  • This is going to be Big: weekly newsletter of NYC tech events and commentary
  • SiliconANGLE: news website focused on enterprise and emerging tech
  • SF Business Journal: Silicon Valley tech focused content
  • BuiltInSF: a site focused on covering technology ecosystems, and a good place to find and post jobs.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jason Heltzer

Dad, venture capitalist at @OriginVentures, @chicagobooth professor, Chicagoan. I was a nerd before it was cool to be a nerd.