How do I prevent venture capitalists from stealing my idea?
BY Kate Neville
Internet in Business mentor Bradley Feld answers the following question from an inc.com user: I'm shopping my business idea to as many VCs as I can. I'veheard stories of unscrupulous VCs who turn down business ideas but thenpursue them on their own -- effectively stealing them. How do I prevent thisfrom happening to me? What kind of information do I need to divulge, without divulging too much?
Brad Feld responds: The best way to deal with that question is to do your due diligence onthe venture capital firms before approaching them. Most VC firms are ethical and don't "steal" businessplans. However, recognize that VCs review a number of similar business plans andideas and often fund only one of them, so it may appear as though theVC is stealing your idea -- but that's not what's happening.
In my experience, VCS rarely sign nondisclosure agreements. They simply see too many similar business plans to do so.
When youare pitching to VCs, you need to capture their attention immediately andforcefully. The best way to do that is to convince them that not only do youhave a fantastic idea, but you also have the ability and/or the team to make ithappen.