At the center of the venture capital playing field is the venture capitalist. The practical knowledge needed by both investors and aspiring entrepreneurs begins with a general understanding of this strange and extremely small population of individuals.
This chapter will get into a general description of our unique breed. Chapters 4 and 8 will then get into the distinguishing characteristics that investors and entrepreneurs, respectively, should consider in deciding which ones to invest with or to seek out for funding.
There are many ways to think about the venture capitalist. One is to liken him or her to a marriage broker. At its most basic level, the venture capitalist's reason for being is to bring together investors' dollars with entrepreneurs who need their money. Of course, the investor has to want to invest in that entrepreneur's venture, and the entrepreneur has to be willing to accept the investor's terms. The venture capitalist as marriage broker needs to sell both sides.
The venture capitalist is also like a marriage counselor. The “VC” helps the two sides—investors and entrepreneur—communicate with one another, often counseling the entrepreneur to enhance his or her venture's success odds. After all, the venture's continued progress and potential for ultimate success along with its attendant rewards are what will keep the relationship between investor and entrepreneur together.
Of course, one could describe the ...