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Brian Pokorny: Remember that Name.

Fund: Baseline Ventures

Posted by Ken on 2007-09-10

PUBLIC:

I was at the August Capital end of summer event on Thursday, a veritable Who's Who of Silicon Valley VC movers and shakers. Some standouts:

- All the August people where great hosts. David Hornik, thumbs up.

- Robert Coneybeer from Shasta, another thumbs up.

- Avrind Purushotham from Menlo, a gentleman.

- I've posted before that I like the First Round Capital people even though they passed on my company. Still do. They were there, I was there, I took another crack at it, and they were nice enough to listen again. All of them. Still passed. Still honest. "When you're in the fox hole with someone, you want to be passionate about the deal, and we just aren't really into what you are doing." I am probably not capturing exactly how Josh put it, but he did it just exactly right so that I didn't feel like a chump and he didn't sound like he was talking down to me but rather sharing with me. I give them thumbs up and would recommend them to anyone. (Already have.)

There is however, one person who I would like to call particular attention to. All other VC's should watch this man in action, should take careful notes, and follow his every behavior. He is an entrepreneur's best friend, a man who understands that a large part of what a great VC's do is service. His name is Brian Pokorny of Baseline Ventures.

Write that down. Brian Pokorny.

Baseline is Ron Conway's quasi VC fund/diligence arm. You want to get Ron to check out your deal" Talk to Brian. I have talked with a lot of VC's over the last 10 years for numerous deals, and there are many who are great guys who are smart, friendly, have no ego, and have done a lot for me (to name a few Nate Redmond at Rustic, Peter Lee formerly of Clearstone and now at Prism, Jeff Anderson, formerly of Mellon Ventures, Mike Brown of Foundation) but Brian raises the bar to a completely different level.

To make a long story short, he heard my idea, said he really liked it, but since they really only focus on Northern California investments it would be a tough play. However, he did know a few investors who might be a good fit for us. This was at 9PM. I leave the party a few minutes later, and at 9:30 I get an e-mail on my crackberry from one of the biggest investors in the Valley saying he liked what he heard from Brian and to get in touch. ½ an hour and he's got an investor contacting me"! At 9:30 at night" Are you kidding" Talked to the investor the next day, he likes the deal, he's flying down to meet the team, learn more. Then the day after Brian sends out two more intros and I get a ping almost immediately from another huge whale of an investor.

There's nothing in this for Brian, Baseline is most likely not going to invest because of geography. But he likes the deal and he wants to help out a startup. I have had other people do introductions for me, but nothing this fast, this targeted, to people with so much juice, and all with the response of "let's talk immediately". I mentioned Brian's name to someone else and they couldn't stop talking about what a great guy he is. There is a lot more to the story, but it only just gets better and better. Smart, perceptive, on the ball, fast, fast, fast. This is the guy you want in your corner, the guy you want in the foxhole with you. My hat is off to him. You should be so lucky as to have him on your side.

(One final note. Another long story but if it wasn't for Nate Redmond at Rustic I never would have met Brian, so once again thank you Nate.)

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