Fundraising Cribsheet: George Zachary of Charles River Ventures Speaks To Entrepreneurs

Fundraising Cribsheet: George Zachary of Charles River Ventures Speaks To Entrepreneurs

As part of my Fundraising Cribsheet series of blogs to help entrepreneurs raise money more quickly and efficiently, I interviewed today George Zachary, a Venture Capitalist with Charles River Ventures.  CRV is very well known out here in Silicon Valley, as is George, who's been in the business for 15+ years.

Previously, I interviewed Naval Ravikant of AngelList, and interviewed Shai Goldman of Silicon Valley Bank, and I participated on a panel about the differences raising an angel round vs. a Series A round.  Before the end of 2010, I'll be writing in-depth about the 14 weeks my co-founder Sean and I spent raising $1MM for AppMakr, so subscribe to my blog (top right corner) if you'd like to get more in-depth updates as I share them.

Before I started the interview with George, I tweeted a request for questions, and Shai responded with a question about George's outlook for 2011 and any impending bubbles, which I asked George during the interview below.

In this awesome 45 minute interview, George touched on a range of topics, including:

  • The best way to pitch George an idea, including what he loves, and what he hates
  • What areas he considers hot right now, and would be willing to fund today
  • Consistent mistakes he sees entrepreneurs making in their businesses, and when pitching VCs
  • Why the Valley has a culture of giving "polite no's" and what he does differently
  • Whether an entrepreneur he has passed on should be persistent and follow up with him
  • How best to interact with investors once they've funded you
  • What the lack of exits & IPOs means for the VC landscape
  • What an entrepreneur should do to get favorable terms from VCs, and how the terms can be affected by other factors like valuations
  • Why CRV is doing small angel-type investments ($100k-range) and how it's paying off
  • What George's outlook is for 2011, and what George calls the "angel bubble"
  • How you can contact George directly, and what he likes to see when you do so

And a lot more.  Lots of great stuff in this interview, so enjoy it; I hope it's helpful.  Please post any comments in the thread below and if I get enough interest and/or interesting questions/comments, I'll follow up with him to get you answers.

And a huge thank-you to George for being such an awesome and amazing VC to our company, and to the Valley in general.  The fact that he took 45 minutes out of his day to give entrepreneurs access to the wealth of knowledge he has says a lot about him and CRV.

Here's the video: