How to Build a Strong Founder-VC Relationship

by time news

2023-08-24 10:59:24

You had the idea, you created the company and you got financing. Now, you have a venture capital firm (or several) backing you and waiting to see a return. This can be a lot of pressure, but it’s also an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with your investors and gain insight and guidance along the way.

Next, we’ll look at how founders can better communicate with their investors for more successful and productive partnerships.

Ask for help

While many venture capitalists have processes in place to communicate with startups, checking in regularly can help both parties.

Don’t be shy about asking venture capitalists for help: once you’ve secured an investment, it’s because they deeply believe in the value of your mission and you should harness that support to get the most out of it.

Provide regular updates

In addition to asking questions and asking for help, be prepared to provide thorough and transparent updates. You can keep updates on one page and follow this structure:

Summary. Thanks. Operations update. Key wins, key challenges. Help needed.

The “Help Needed” section in particular is useful for investors, as they may have your company in mind and have your biggest challenges in writing.

These updates are a quick way for you, as a founder, to take a periodic step back to reflect on the progress you’re making, what’s going well and what’s not.

The most useful updates include not only key metrics, but also progress against milestones, community engagement initiatives, any significant developments or challenges, and questions.

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be transparent

Getting a startup off the ground can be a bumpy road, and not everything goes according to plan. That’s to be expected, but transparency and clear communication with investors is the best way to get through tough times.

A common area where transparency is lacking is in startup revenue. Be honest with your investors. Honesty is a priority and in difficult times you must be communicative and transparent.

Involving investors early on allows them to help your startup more effectively and gives you a broader support network to come up with solutions and contingency plans.

Communicate

Sometimes founders and investors may have different opinions when it comes to the best direction for the business.

While this can be uncomfortable, it can also lead to constructive conversations when done respectfully and with an open mind.

Present your fundamentals using data and market insights. You can then have conversations around those metrics to find common ground and collaborate.

Startups belong to the founders, but it’s important to remember that venture capitalists have a lot of experience and knowledge, have worked with many startups, and may know something you don’t.

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