Heard it from the Horses' Mouth: What Venture Capitalists Like and Don’t Like to See when Doing University Spinoffs
This is part of my ongoing series on University Entrepreneurship.
The annual University Startups Conference put on by NCET was held in Washington DC last week and was well attended by investors and university personnel alike. Through the course of multiple panels and discussions, a good cross-section of venture investors from very reputable firms weighed-in candidly on both what they like to see and what they don’t like to see when they try to spin-out companies from university tech transfer offices. Many colorful stories were exchanged to say the least.
Here are some quick bullets straight from the proverbial horses’ mouth that may be of help.
VC’s like to see:
· Platform technologies
· Great faculty “stars”, great scientists, great science
· Rich entrepreneurial culture and community throughout the university
· A "go-to person" at the tech transfer office with entrepreneurial experience
· A tech transfer office that’s “all about throughput” and getting deals done quickly
· Deal terms that are flexible because "business models change over time"
VC’s do not like to see:
· Slow-moving offices that take too long to get a deal done
· "Mismatches" in terms of respective legal counsel (turn-around time, skill, expertise)
· “Greedy” tech transfer offices with onerous deal terms
· "Big egos" at the tech transfer office that get in the way of deals
· Business plans. VC's prefer to have a short summary and decide for themselves
For Part 22 in this Series, click here