Before Christmas I posted about VC value add.  A couple of days ago author and social networking expert Thom Singer left a great comment that I’m repeating here in full.  This is a topic which needs third party comment – I haven’t met Thom before, but on this topic at least I think his analysis is spot on.

Thom wrote:

I think that VC’s are extra successful when they are a conduit for networking for the companies they work with. The ones I know who talk up their portfolio and make strategic introductions are the ones entrepreneurs speak highly about in the community.

I think all VC’s think they bring value because of their business experience and the number of companies they have seen, and I am not doubting that. But some go beyond this and work to make introductions and mine their networks to help companies find clients, advisors, strategic partners, press contacts, etc… I think all VC’s THINK they do this, but not all actually execute on being that hub of a network as well as they believe.

  • I think it’s a good point that the best VCs ‘network’ their companies. What astounds me is the way in which many VCs are incredibly cagey about the companies they have invested in. Usually they wait for the PR firms to mop up afterwards, not realising that tech firms are already being talked about online. Why hang around? (Equity Kicker excepted of course). I even wonder why they bother being secretive about some companies they are just interested in – by opening up more they might get more useful insight – and I might get more useful information for TechCrunch!

  • I think it’s a good point that the best VCs ‘network’ their companies. What astounds me is the way in which many VCs are incredibly cagey about the companies they have invested in. Usually they wait for the PR firms to mop up afterwards, not realising that tech firms are already being talked about online. Why hang around? (Equity Kicker excepted of course). I even wonder why they bother being secretive about some companies they are just interested in – by opening up more they might get more useful insight – and I might get more useful information for TechCrunch!

  • nic

    I agree Mike. I’m not a big fan of stealth mode.

  • nic

    I agree Mike. I’m not a big fan of stealth mode.

  • Good point Nic (and Thom). This is the number one reason why VCs tend to be so busy- they are acting as VP of Business Development for multiple companies simultaneously…Another great trait is VCs that eat their own (portfolio) dog food.

  • Good point Nic (and Thom). This is the number one reason why VCs tend to be so busy- they are acting as VP of Business Development for multiple companies simultaneously…Another great trait is VCs that eat their own (portfolio) dog food.