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Formative Ventures

No New Investments Warning:
Members have submitted information that the following organization(s) may not be making investments into new portfolio companies. This warning can be contested by submitting proof of a completed investment in a new portfolio company within the last four weeks here.

Firm Rating:

Rated 2.7 / 5.0 by 10
Track
Record
2.3
Operating
Competence
2.6
Pitching
Efficiency
3.7
Favorable
Deal Terms
2.9
Execution
Assistance
2.3

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 2000 based out of Menlo Park, United States (US West)

TEAM MEMBERS: Brian Connors, Clint Chao, Dino Vendetti, Don Herman,

0
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1
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Honest Feedback, Helpful Advice

Fund: Formative Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-05

PUBLIC:

We pitched to Brian Connors recently. Formative Ventures was not investing in our space, so we knew going in that it would be a bit of a long shot. Brian took the time to listen to our pitch, and then spent about as much time explaining afterwards where we could improve, what proof points we'd need to have. There wasn't any illusions - he said we would be a pass for him at the end of the meeting, but nonetheless still offered to give us advice on how to be more attractive to other firms in the future.

PRIVATE: Members Only

1
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3
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Approach Clint

Fund: Formative Ventures

Posted by Penniless on 2008-02-06

PUBLIC:

Clint Chao is a great person, very helpful and insightful. He's open tonew things and not affraid to follow his gut. I get the impression he is the alpha dog there.

PRIVATE: Members Only (521 Characters)

2
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3
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More Thoughts about formative Ventures

Fund: Formative Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-11

PUBLIC:

The basic facts about Formative Ventures go a long way to describe the advantages and disadvantages of working with them. The firm was formed in 2000 and their current fund started in 2005. They have three general partners.

There are a couple important advantages due to Formative's age and size.

First, they are extremely energetic, have an incredible work ethic and will bend over backwards to make sure the entrepreneur succeeds. Because they are working on their first large fund, they are hungry to prove themselves. Combine this energy with their collective real world experiences in product design, sales, marketing, operations and finance, and they will provide you with the all the assistance and guidance you need.

A second advantage of their simple org chart is that you don't have to deal with a gauntlet of associates and EIRs to get to a real decision-maker. All three of the partners are very responsive and hands-on, and return phone calls and emails.

The downside of the firm's "youthfulness" and size is that their personal relationships in a range of industries are not as wide and deep as those one would find at an older, larger firm with deeper roots. With age comes wisdom. (Don't get me wrong, these guys are really smart and insightful. But 5 years from now they will be even smarter and more insightful.) In the right situation, Formative would be an excellent syndicate partner with a larger established firm so you get the benefit of both.

Is Formative right for you" If you think so, ask them. The good thing is they will listen carefully and then give you an honest answer.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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3
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Good People, Breadth of Talent, Good Support

Fund: Formative Ventures

Posted by anonymous on 2007-10-26

PUBLIC:

I work mostly with Brian and Clint.

Brian, being a proven former VP of Sales in tech firms, brings a no-nonsense perspective to sales execution and provides insights into improving the customer relation process (asks tough but insightful questions, with suggestions on how to better sell). It's in his NDA. Brian regularly introduces us to potential customers, execs from his personal network. Another interesting point: Brian brings to my attention news on our market and competitors in near real time (he must subscribe to lots of "alerts"!)

Clint's contributions were greatest in the area of marketing (messaging, positioning, clarity, vision, simplification). His enthusiasm and positive tone are refreshing and contagious.

I know Dino less well, but have found that he's pragmatic and experienced, and complements the team well.

My recommendation is to talk to these guys if you have a good story and a credible path for execution.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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3
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Caution Regarding This Fund

Fund: Formative Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-26

PUBLIC:

I have raised capital from 7 vc firms. My relationships have generally been positive even during challenging times. Several partners from earlier deals are friends. My candid advise re Formative is to exercise caution. My big lesson learned is to be very careful in taking funds from an unproven fund. In addition be careful about first round lead investors who do not know your space. None of the partners have real operating experience and yet they readily offer opinions they expect you to follow. In my own experience they offer very little constructive support, conduct themselves very negatively, and because they are a new and unproven fund - their reputation is a hurdle in raising funds from other vc's. On the plus side, my initial impressions of Brian and Clint were positive and outside the deal situation I am sure they are enjoyable to be with.

PRIVATE: Members Only (489 Characters)

6
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New Guys on the Block

Fund: Formative Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-18

PUBLIC:

Just raised their fund from some top-tier LPs.

PRIVATE: Members Only (208 Characters)