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Brian R. Smith

Partner Rating:

Rated 3.3 / 5.0 by 6

Partner Information:

Title:     Managing Director

Location:  Austin, US Central

Blog:      Brian R. Smith

Firm Rating:

Rated 4.4 / 5.0 by 13

Firm Information:

Company:   S3 Ventures

Type:      Medium Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: IT

FIRM DESCRIPTION: S3 Ventures believes that by partnering with entrepreneurs and operating executives in early stage companies, valuable enterprises can be built across technology sectors and services. We are entrepreneurs ourselves, with past roles as CEOs or operating executives of successful technology ventures. Today we help put talented entrepreneurs, technology and markets together to form valuable businesses. We invest primarily in early stage ventures around the Southwest with a focus on Texas.

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Very Transparent, Easy Pitch

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by zerp on 2014-08-07

PUBLIC:

Not going forward with firm but amazing professionalism. Rajiv Bala is a top notch player. I can't comment on an operating arrangement but they seem to really be head and shoulders above many of the other Austin firms.

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Very Good Investment Group

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by df355 on 2012-06-01

PUBLIC:

S3 Ventures is a very professional firm with a good track record. Their process was very clear, decisions made quickly, and the investment process was smooth. very positive experience. After the investment, they have been extremely positive to work with and have added value at the board level, and as an investor. Very positive overall experience.

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Legal Threat Warning Probably Not Meaningful

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by Rudy Prince on 2011-01-04

PUBLIC:

I'm not positive where the legal threat warning regarding S3 came from, but it may be due to a frivolous legal action taken against S3 by the former attorney of a company that sold its assets to Callvine, an S3 portfolio company. It had nothing to do with S3 and has since been settled.

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Very Quick Rejection.

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by visionofficer on 2010-07-25

PUBLIC:

The Executive Summary and third-party financial analysis were submitted on one day, and the one-sentence curt rejection was received the next day. It appears that they are not making investments in electric vehicle technology.

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Receptive and Pro Active with Advice and Assistance

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-18

PUBLIC:

Pitched a seed stage deal to Brian with a couple of follow-up meetings as a part of due diligence. In the end, they didn't do the deal due to concerns from one of their LPs, but the interaction was valuable and helped with the materials that enabled us to close with our other VC potentials.
Even though they were unable to close the deal, Brian has continued to provide references and contacts and I feel would provide assistance if called upon. The doors remain open, which is good.

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Good Investor, Analytic Team

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by e4r5t on 2010-03-22

PUBLIC:

My company raised money from S3 and I worked directly with Brian Smith on our board through an acquisition exit. Brian is very analytical and likes to deal with facts. What was best about him is that as a CEO I never had to guess where he stood on an issue. He was clear and to the point, which I appreciated. It made it easier to interact and to know what needed my attention and what didn't. Brian is a strong negotiator and will deal with hard data. Have your numbers prepared and be able to explain decisions with information, not just opinion or conjecture. Brian helped us push for the best deal possible during our exit. He never let up and it was of value during the process. Good early stage investor. Tough negotiator. Added great value to the growing of our business.

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Fast Moving, Well Connected with Deep Pockets

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by Callvine CEO on 2010-03-08

PUBLIC:

I found S3 to be quick to offer feedback and very hands-on in a helpful way once they've decided they like the market and the company. They are not a big organization, so they are fairly picky and the deal must hit one of their sweet spots, but they are a quick study and I found their direct communications and straight-shooter style to be far superior to many other VC's. They are not just another small Austin fund that piggybacks on other VC fundings as they have strong operational experience, deep connections and access to serious capital resources without the hidden agendas or committee decision making that often come with larger funds.

I would strongly suggest technology and medical entrepreneurs looking for capital in the region approach S3 in addition to others.

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Receptive

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-07

PUBLIC:

They are a receptive bunch and respond quickly. Although I think things in Texas just move a little slower. Give good advice on presentation.

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Disappointed

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by Lead Maverick on 2008-10-29

PUBLIC:

First I was suprised to get Brian on the phone. We had a good conversation and he encouraged us to send in the Exec Sum.

I was also suprised when we did not receive any returns to our messages or emails. Given the fact that our Exec Sum had opened other doors with VCs we where disappointed that they could not at least fire back an email.

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Great Experience with This Venture Investor

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by mkl4547 on 2008-08-25

PUBLIC:

The entire financing process with S3 Ventures from beginning to end exceeded my expectations. In particular, working with Brian and Steve has been a pleasure and has helped make us a better company. Although our deal was not a particularly large deal in terms of amount, it was somewhat complex for other reasons, and these guys really hung in there with us as we worked through some of the more detailed points. They are both very sophisticated and also very honest and straightforward.

I will avoid echoing some of the other posts (I agree with everything) but would make one additional point. It was very impressive how Brian made it a point to get up to speed on our space. Toward the end of the diligence process, he made a trip to a convention with management, and it truly felt like he was a "part of the team" during several of the meetings. He contributed often and always in an insightful, value-additive way. Although he does not come from the medical world with his operating background, I can attest to the fact that this point has made little difference to us ... I have found that in a short time, he has become very sophisticated with regard to our industry.

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Excellent Venture Partner

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by Invodo CEO on 2008-03-29

PUBLIC:

Closed Series A/Seed round with S3 in January 2008. Brian Smith is on our board, and as the other postings mention, Brian is a very helpful and valuable contributor to the team with excellent operations knowledge. I found the Due Diligence process with S3 to very straight forward and Brian specifically to be very open and honest (refreshing experience compared to other venture groups I had spoken to throughout the year).

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Active and Helpful Board Member

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by RayBurgess on 2007-10-03

PUBLIC:

Working with Brian Smith has been a pleasure. He is the most active of our Board members, helping to bridge investor differences and keep the focus on helping the business be successful. He has operating experience which makes him a great ally in navigating the challenges of growing a young business.

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Great Partner/Seasoned Investing and Operating Experience

Fund: S3 Ventures

Posted by CEO - SIQ on 2007-09-28

PUBLIC:

It was a pleasant experience dealing with S3. The most compelling advantage was that the Partners come from a hands-on operating background and avoid all of the annoying VC hyperbole, delay tactics, hand-offs, soft insults and other generalizations. They can speak from their experiences. Brian/Steve are quick to say yes or no. Many other VCs seem to be more concerned about which VCs have you have talked to and who said yes and who said no as if they can't reach conclusion on their own. S3 made the decisions based on the company, market, team and experience and didn't wait for other VC validation. They do their own work including attending an industry conference to validate their conclusions before funding. Finally, as a refreshing change, the whole process was as quick as I have seen it done.

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