Not all venture capitalists are created equal. Indeed, some are so awful you may not even want to take their money.
Mark MacLeod, the Startup CFO (who today left Montreal's Real Ventures to join Toronto's FreshBooks), listed types of VCs you want to steer clear of on his blog recently. A couple are below; for his full list, and some great comments from readers with additional insight, visit his blog here.
"Someone with zero operating experience: You’ve probably met those Ivy league banker types. I’m sure they can rock a spreadsheet and know the secret handshake at a lot of places but they haven’t lived in your shoes and can’t add much value as a result."
THE NAME DROPPER
"You want your VC to be connected. In fact one of the primary value adds we bring is making connections. But unless a potential investor is listing people he plans to intro you to, you shouldn’t be hearing names."
"This is the person who shares insider knowledge gained from other companies she’s looked at. While that might be useful info for you, you can’t trust her. You have to assume she’ll be sharing your info far and wide. Loose lips sink ships."
If you meet a VC who does software, clean tech, biotech and every other kind of tech, run. She will add no value whatsoever. We live in a specialized world. Only work with VCs who get your space.
Ashton Kutcher seems to have a good eye for angel investing. Still, I wouldn’t want his money. It creates too much hype. If you do take celebrity money, don’t do it with any expectation of value add.