How important will my management team be to venture capitalists?
Finance & Capital mentor Guy Kawasaki responds:
The strength of your start-up's management team is absolutely critical to your success and your ability to raise venture financing. A start-up doesn't need to have a complete team to raise venture capital, but it should, at the least, have key players on board who have the experience and the vision to make the company a success.
If you don't have strong players participating in your company, find them before you speak to investors. Venture capitalists generally will not invest in a company with a weak team. And start-ups that have great ideas but weak people don't succeed.
Venture capitalists invest in people, not just ideas on paper, and they want to make sure that your team can deliver. I think it was John Doerr, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who once said that "recruiting is the killer application of the year." The best entrepreneurs realize that. Founders often step down from management positions to make way for an executive more qualified to run the company.
Venture capitalists provide millions of dollars in funding and want the greatest return on their investment. Excellent management teams help produce higher valuations and increase the odds of a start-up's success.
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