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8
Agree
4
Disagree

Brad Feld is a VC Rock Star

Fund: Foundry Group

Posted by Successful Entrepreneur on 2011-01-01

PUBLIC:

I have known Brad Feld since about 1990, when he was recently out of MIT and running Feld Technology. He has a deep technical background in software and IS design, and he became convinced as early as 1994 that "the Internet will take change the world."

Brad is great! Very honest and straight forward, no B.S. Foundry Group is clearly the top VC firm in Colorado.

WIth most VCs an introduction is almost a necessity. An introduction would obviously help with Brad but is much less necessary, I think. The reason is that Brad has already done a lot of pre-thinking and already knows the sectors he is interested in and the approach that he thinks people should take. So more than most VCs, he will already be up the learning curve. The downside is that you might have a great idea outside his areas of interest, and if so, I suspect he might turn you down even if it will be the next Google. So one way to approach him would be to send a one pager, revealing no confidential information. If it is an area he is not interested in, then he will turn you down very quickly and you don't have to worry about having revealed anything. On his website and the sites of Foundry Group and his partners, they talk about the themes they are interested in, so see if you fit within one of those themes. If you do not, there is still no harm in sending a one pager.

Foundry Group will invest at the seed or Series A stage, I don't think they have a preference. They say they are syndication agnostic so they will not care whether you have another VC to invest. In other words, they have no problem being the lead, I strongly suspect they prefer being the lead.

Brad is very product oriented. Rather than talking about the product, show it to him. If your site is not yet functional, show him a mockup. He likes entrepreneurs who are passionate about the product (e.g., Steve Jobs).

Brad tends to look at things from the point of view of the entrepreneur, in part because he has been one.

I suspect he is much less interested in financial projections than most VCs. I believe he will invest based on the market, the product and the team. If he likes these, he probably already has in his mind a financial model that will be more accurate than the one you have come up with.

Brad is a very active blogger (www.feld.com) and along with Fred Wilson (www.avc.com), he is one of the VC blogs you should definitely read. In particular, the series on VC term sheets he wrote with his partner should be read by every entrepreneur who is raising capital:

http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2008/...

In November 2010, he and David Cohen released their book, Do More Faster, which is definitely worth reading:

http://www.amazon.com/Do-More-Faster-...

A few quirks:

1. He does not like his time wasted. If you meet with him, spend 15 seconds on introductions and then get to the point. See:

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/...

Various posts about other VCs talk about how some VC spent 10 minutes talking about their car or their school or whatever. That will not happen with Brad, he will focus on you and your company.

2. He is not a big fan of the telephone:

http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2010/...

My only interaction with Jason Mendelson has been several emails over the past few years, but my impression of him is also quite favorable. He has become Foundry Group's internal expert on "when should a startup operate in stealth mode and when should it actively seek publicity?"

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