When an entrepreneur sets foot in Gemini, they know that there is a well defined path leading to a potential investment, which includes meetings with the general partners, and of course a thorough due diligence process, with additional conversations/meetings with potential customers, partners, analysts, HR, etc., etc. We’re often asked how long does this take, which is an answer that varies greatly according to the company. We try and keep this process as transparent as possible, so that the entrepreneur knows exactly where they stand, what happens next, and what is the feedback that we are getting. It’s definitely an intense and iterative process involving us and the company. In addition to understanding the company and its business, we learn how to work together.
We always suggest to the entrepreneurs that they do thorough due diligence on us as well. The relationship between a VC and an entrepreneur is literally “until death do us part”.
Last week, for the first time in my VC career (now 13+ years), I received a request from an entrepreneur for my personal references, if I was to join the board. He was very specific about what he was interested in:
- One from a company that had experienced difficulties while I was on their board
- Another from a non-managerial board member of a company
I have to say, I was impressed. At the same time, I was surprised that never before had somebody outright asked me for such information.
To the entrepreneurial community out there – knowing who is your VC partner is so important, I can hardly put enough ! marks on this statement!!! What’s good for one entrepreneur, may not work for another and vice versa. So my recommendation – do your work and hopefully, you can get the partner that is the best fit for your company on board.