The way venture firms onboard portfolio companies varies firm to firm, partner to partner. Some have a formal process, other’s don’t. Yesterday, we formally onboarded another company to OurCrowd’s family of startups. Throughout the past year, we’ve experimented with a few different onboarding models and have learned a lot.
Here are a few lessons we’ve learned along the way.
Set Expectations Upfront
If you walk away with one piece of information, it’s this. Not every VC can help with everything. That’s ok. Pretending you’re the answer to the company’s prayers is where problems begin. As a VC, you should find your superpowers (talent, BD, operations, etc.) and be open and honest about what you can and can’t help with. Be clear about what your value-add is, how founders can extract value, and what kind of communication they should expect moving forward.
Define The Lead
At some firms, the partner that led the investment takes the board seat and leads all communications with the company. In other firms, the platform team handles the post investment processes. And in many firms, it’s all ad-hoc. It’s important for your founders that you communicate who they should be in touch with when they need help.
Meet On Their Turf
As often as you can, meet at the offices of your portfolio companies. This boosts culture and morale for the founders and their teams. Show that your the type of VC that’s willing to make the trek to them. Seeing investors in the office imbues a sense of confidence and validation, and it helps VCs see the people who are hustling to help their investment grow.
Too often, these meetings become pitch sessions. If you find yourself talking about the market size or competitive analysis, you’ve missed the point. This is your time to define strategic goals and to brainstorm how investors can leverage their expertise and network to bring you to your next milestone.
Hi! I’m Jordan, and I work for a global VC based in Israel. There’s a lot happening in the VC/startup scene and I figured I’d post my observations here. All opinions are my own. Feel free to follow and get in touch on Twitter @jordanodinsky.