Acquisition International Magazine recently named Nin Desai the "2015 CEO Of The Year--Illinois". While it is extremely rare for a woman to run and win this award in the venture capital and private equity area, it's not surprising given all the other awards won in 2015 by her firm (including the Best Crowdfunded Technology Venture Capital Fund in the US). I recently spoke with Nin Desai and asked her about what she looks for in an entrepreneur before deciding to invest between $1 million and $5 million dollars in their company. Here are the 5 qualities her firm looks to validate before investing.
While not specifically a quality that most VC firms seek out, it helps to have a Socially Responsible Businesses. Doing well by doing good is just good business . Long-term, you need a business model that's applicable to the industry you serve, but it helps to have a positive impact on the world. "Zynga, for example, struggled because at its core it's about playing games," Ms. Desai explained. "While playing games are fun, the lack of tying to do something greater than themselves caused them to struggle. Groupon is another example. Are coupons and discounts all there is? How do you build your community? How do you make things better?" Great questions. There are many examples of companies that have survived and thrived by making the world a better place. It's nice to know that this also counts when being considered for venture funding.