Who better to learn about what VC’s look for than from 3 young, successful NYC venture capitalists? That’s exactly what Alley’s meetup, “VC Insider: The Ins & Outs of Raising Money with VCs” is all about. Recently, the event series’ panel consisted of Joshua Nussbaum of Metamorphic Ventures, Ganesh Kumar VC principal of HOF Capital, and Travis Skelly of FinTech Collective. Though relatively young, these three VCs have all had their own successful startup ventures. Set in a small, intimate setting where no microphones were really needed, the three panelists discussed with attendees and Keenan Williams, the events moderator, about what it truly means to work with a VC firm and what they look for in potential investments.
For starters, “first impressions count.” This is one point all three VCs firmly agreed on. Second of all, these guys aren’t afraid of venturing out and taking a risk with lesser-known founders if they believe in that founder’s capabilities and what they’re doing. That’s something that sets these guys apart from a lot of other “more traditional” venture capitalists. Travis Skelly said “you don’t always have to be ‘known’ or meet a VC through the network. If you’re passionate and you put in the work, you can get an investment.”
Joshua Nussbaum said that him and his team at Metamorphic Ventures choose investors that “are resourceful, have a combination of tech and entrepreneurial skills” and that the market they’re trying to get in isn’t overly saturated.
Since the three of them all invest in the fintech space, there was a lot interest and talk about block-chain techonologies and insurance tech. Yes, they are interested in new, emerging technologies but at the end of the day, what these 3 VCs want to see most out of potential investments is that they “solve an actual business problem”, “do their homework” and have “unique insight into a problem that they don’t have.” They also stressed the importance of VC-to-startup fit. Ganesh said that “a VC firm has to be a valuable asset to a company.”
Their top 5 slots in a deck are:
- Why now? (Timing)
- Knowing your competition.
While these young, successful VCs may not need to meet you through the network to invest in your company, a lot of the same truths hold true for them as for more traditionalist VCs but, with a slightly better chance of getting a meeting.