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London Calling! 2 VC panel & networking events: Brexit & CVC

ShareRubicon Venture Capital together with Baker Botts is organizing two VC events open to the public. September 27th: http://BrexitVC.eventbrite.com September 29th: http://CVCLondon.eventbrite.com Join us for dinner, drinks and networking September 29th for Investor All Stars 2016 now in its 14th year and the most exclusive gathering of VCs in London. We will head over directly following our CVC event the 29th. Please join us for one or both events. All of our events focus on a cool topic with an all-star VC panel with plenty of time for networking, drinks and canapés. Nothing better than a room filled with elite entrepreneurs and VCs pitching each other over drinks and food. Everyone attending the CVC event will get a copy of my new CVC book – Masters of Corporate Venture Capital. We have already registered over 50 VCs and active angel investors for these events including all star VC panelists. Rubicon General Partners Andrew Romans and Joshua Siegel will be taking private meetings September 26 – Oct 1 meeting with LP investors (HNWI / angel investors, family offices, corporate LPs & institutional investors). See you in London!...

My new book on Corporate Venture Capital is finished

ShareAfter nearly two years of research, 100+ interviews and countless hours of work, my new book on Corporate Venture Capital is finished…not to mention my own experience of raising CVC funding when I was an entrepreneur. You can find it on: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it,Amazon.es. The book is being converted for Kindle now and should be available on Kindle within a month. It should appear in book stores and libraries in a few weeks. Check it out here and please leave me a review if you like it. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1530088690 The first event will be in London where we are hosing a CVC panel and networking event with all the trimmings! If you are a CVC in London, SF or NYC pls get in touch to join the panel. http://CVCLondon.eventbrite.com Rubicon is also hosting a second event that week in London with VCs discussing the changes with Brexit. http://BrexitVC.eventbrite.com. We are also taking meetings with corporates, family offices, HNWI angel investors and institutional LPs. We are still finalizing dates and venues for the same event in SF and NYC. Please contact me if you want to host or sponsor a similar event anywhere worldwide. Our typical format is networking, VC panel, quick talk sharing findings of my research and then plenty of time for networking, food and drinks bringing together entrepreneurs, angels, VCs, family offices and corporates. Hope to see you in London, SF or New York this fall! I’m also doing a lot of traveling to Asia and the Middle East; so get in touch! We work in a very complex ecosystem and this book captures stories that bring the complexity to life with...

VCs & Entrepreneurs in China: my experience

ShareWow! I had an amazing experience in China as an American VC. I made a photobucket photo file which I understand can be viewed in China. Please check it out and the captions. That’s my blog post this time – the comments / captions of the photos. Forget this blog post and check out this link here! http://s613.photobucket.com/user/Andrew_Romans/library/ China is a huge opportunity for every entrepreneur and VC. To ignore it would be insanity. They have a totally different way of thinking which works well. I look forward to working with all of you 🙂 And I look forward to helping our portfolio companies take off in China. Get my blog story here: http://s613.photobucket.com/user/Andrew_Romans/library/ Basically most of our companies should be manufacturing or making software in China. Those those that do not want to do that should probably be selling their products and services in China. I view it as my job as the VC to help our portfolio companies do both with safe partners they can trust. We are ready to be the fiber optic cable and help our companies be successful in China quickly. This is a game of speed and trust. Andrew...

Free M&A chapter from my book “Which Way to the Exit?”

ShareI’ve added this post so I could put a link to this chapter from my last book into my new book: Masters of Corporate Venture Capital, which should be available any day now. Please download a free copy of chapter 8 “Which Way to the Exit?” from my book – THE ENTREPRENEURIAL BIBLE TO VENTURE CAPITAL: Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game (McGraw Hill 2013 hardcover & all e-book formats) Again, download this chapter HERE. Contributors to this chapter include: • Gary Johnson, director of corporate development, Facebook • Jackie Reses, executive vice president of people and development at Yahoo! (interestingly in charge of both M&A and HR) • Parag Patel, Vice-President of Worldwide Sales, Software-Defined Storage at VMware formally VP of global strategic alliances at VMware • Dave Berkus, author and business angel • Nic Brisbourne, partner at Forward Ventures, former partner at DFJ-Esprit • Russ Fradin, CEO and cofounder of Dynamic Signal and former CEO and cofounder of Adify sold for $300m • Antoine Papiernik, partner at Sofinnova Partners • Benjamin D. Kern, partner at McGuireWoods • Additional contributions from directors of corporate development from some of the most acquisitive companies in Silicon Valley I’ll start you off here with my opening to the chapter: “WHICH WAY TO THE EXIT?” “I made most of my money selling too early.” – J.P. Morgan Merger and acquisition (M&A) is the most likely positive outcome for most angel- or VC-backed technology startups and therefore worth understanding from the first moment you begin to conceive your new venture or as you move along the journey to exit. For acquirers...

Understanding the Changing Geography of Silicon Valley and San Francisco

Share As many folks move to the Silicon Valley and choose where to dock their office and home I think this topic is worth some understanding. It is key to be physically close to where the action is and be ready to take a breakfast or dinner meeting in San Francisco or Palo Alto and not get caught in horrible Bay Area traffic which rivals L.A., Moscow and Shanghai. We’ve got the most evolved and complex ecosystem for startups, venture capital, tech titan corporates, etc. There is no point to being here if you are not meeting the right people and going to the right events. Choosing to live or commute to the wrong place will have negative consequences. Things are always changing in Silicon Valley and I have had friends from around the world ask me about this; so I thought to share my views with everyone. I used to strictly think of Silicon Valley as the area of land south of San Francisco and all of the Peninsula and inclusive of the South Bay cities and towns of San Jose, Cupertino and even a bit stretching towards Santa Cruz such as Los Gatos. I used to not think of San Francisco as technically part of the Silicon Valley, because it was not really the physical Valley that is between the Santa Cruz mountain range and the SF Bay of water. I always thought that San Jose was kind of cheating to be in Silicon Valley and the East Bay is really more part of the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The truth is anyone in the San...

The Best Way to Email a VC or CVC When Seeking Funding

ShareI am editing the final version of my book on CVC and thought this worth sharing with anyone raising capital from VCs or CVCs… Everyone will tell you the best way to approach a VC or angel is through a warm intro. Beyond the obvious, contacting their portfolio CEOs is a smart way to get the warm intro and do some DD on the VC to see if their existing CEOs like them. That said some of our CEOs are much harder for you to get through to than many busy VCs. The key thing to understand is that VCs get a high volume of deal flow via email and they often have very little time to spend looking at email on a daily basis. VCs schedule a lot of pitch calls with founders and book their days and evenings with dinners and events. So when you send a VC your pitch via email I think it is critical to understand that the VC is most likely triaging deal flow email as if it’s the emergency room tent in a war zone. The VC is trying to as quickly as possible figure out if this is an investment opportunity she should spend time on, forward to someone else on the team for more analysis or expert review or save the team time and pass on it quickly. For me personally I hate it when the CEO sends a lot of information, but hides the stage the company is at. It is hard for me to review a long text cover email in big block paragraphs and a long slide...

Secondaries: how founders and early investors can sell shares before the liquidity event of the startup

ShareVCs and angels invest in companies early stage with the plan of getting to an IPO or M&A event exiting their investment at a much higher valuation than the one they invested at. You win some and lose some, but net net you make money. At least that’s the plan for venture capital and angel investing. In the past few years it has become possible for founders and early investors to sell some or all of their position prior to the definitive liquidity event of the company. Smart investors should take advantage of this or at a minimum understand this and possibly sell some of their position when there is a huge uptick in the valuation of the startup they invested in. If Peter Thiel sold some of his shares in Facebook prior to the IPO I think you can get in line and do the same. Experienced investors have invested into deals and watched their unrealized gain go up and up and up, but before the actual exit the valuation collapses. There are actually a million ways to lose everything. For some investors selling something prior to the big exit makes sense. This is simply experience talking to you. Understanding secondaries is a part of the puzzle every angel and VC should understand. I used to operate in this space and I have a vast amount of experience in the ever changing secondary market for tech venture capital. My experience in this area drives some of the strategy at Rubicon Venture Capital. With the permission of McGraw Hill, publisher of my first book, I can share with you...

Creating A Win-Win-Win Among Corporates, Startups & VCs

ShareI gave a keynote address on corporate venture capital interviewed by Duncan Logan at Rocketspace’s Innovation Collective Summit today and thought it appropriate to share this article I wrote for the NVCA CVC magazine a few weeks ago. I am nearing the final stages of finishing my second book on the topic of venture capital –MASTERS OF CORPORATE VENTURE CAPITAL: Collective Wisdom from 50 VCs on How to Get Funded & the Playbook for Corporate Venturing to Access Startup Innovation, Create Winning CVCs & Avoid the Classic Mistakes (May 2016). I was partly motivated to finish this book now, because I have also been advising a large Chinese corporate on the formation of their corporate venturing program. I first organized my own ideas for a comprehensive book on the topic into 10 chapters with detailed sub-headings. I then embarked on taking over 50 meetings and phone interviews with top corporate venture capital (CVC) practitioners including Intel Capital, IBM Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Teléfonica Ventures and many other usual suspects both old and new to the CVC scene. To be honest, before taking any of these interviews I foolishly felt as if I could just sit down and fill in each chapter based on my own experience of being a founder that raised over $27m in CVC funding for my own venture and then a decade of being an active angel and advisor helping 20+ startups raise VC funding and then running an angel group and finally my own VC fund – Rubicon Venture Capital. What I learned from these interviews was entirely humbling and enlightening. Many of the interviews began the...

Understanding VC Target Ownership Percentages

ShareVCs often have target ownership percentages that are driven by two things: 1) ability for each investment to return 100%, 50% or 25% of their entire VC fund and 2) a VC can only be effective on so many boards; so may as well join the board of the companies where they own a meaningful amount of equity. Many VCs have a minimum ownership percentage they target when making investments. Depending on the stage the VC invests at and their strategy it is often seeking to own at least 20% of the company when leading a Series A investment, buying 10% of the company in a Series B when the A investors want half of the B round and maybe 5% of the company when joining a syndicate of a few different investors in a Series C. Many VCs will want to take 20% regardless of stage and walk away from an A, B or C round if they can not buy at least 20% or 15% of the company at that time. In ancient times (80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s) these numbers were a bit bigger with VCs seeking to own 33% minimum and even lifting that up to 45%. With the power in recent years moving from the investor to the entrepreneur the amount a startup is willing to sell in a single round has gravitated downwards to 20% and goes up a bit to make room for many elbowing VCs trying to get in. With the macro economy cooling things off we may see startups moving back to selling a third in a single financing again...