Tag: venture deals

Jun 9 2020

Venture Deals Online Course – Summer 2020 Edition

We are running the Venture Deals Online Course again this summer. But before I get to that, I want to highlight a blog post from a Black colleague. I’m getting, and reading, many of these each day. For the foreseable future, I’ll highlight and amplify one at the beginning of each post I do, in case you are interested.

Today’s post is from Ruben Porras, who is a Techstars alum (Director of Operations at CreatorBox.) He wrote Black Lives Matter. At Work. In Life.

The country, collectively, has grieved five times in 60 years. People of color have collectively grieved five times in 2 weeks. And we carry that into work, school, our relationships, and are expected to be okay— even if and when we’re not.

Well, white friends, white allies, I’m done being uncomfortable alone. If you’re a white ally in racial justice, if you’re committed to being anti-racist, if you see that our peace, our harmony, our healing, and progress are bound together, then its time for you to share in this uncomfortability.

I encourage you go to read Ruben’s post Black Lives Matter. At Work. In Life.


We are running the Venture Deals Online Course from June 28, 2020 – August 21, 2020. We usually only run it twice a year (Spring and Fall), but given the Covid crisis, we’ve had many requests to run it this summer.

We’ve now had over 20,000 people take it. The last cycle was particularly fun as several of the AMAs I did had around 1,000 people on it. Someone also set up a Slack channel for the course which I was active in and met a number of new friends.

Registration is open now. Please sign up if you want to take the Summer 2020 Venture Deals Online Course.

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Feb 18 2020

Venture Deals Online Course – Spring 2020 Registration Is Open

We are running the Venture Deals Online Course again. Registration is now open and it runs from March 8, 2020 – May 1, 2020. It’s produced by Techstars and Kauffman Fellows.

We’ve run the course six times now and have had over 25,000 people take it.

It’s free, although it’s recommended that you have a copy of our book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. The 4th Edition is out with plenty of new and improved stuff.

The course runs for seven weeks with the following syllabus.

  • Week 1 – Introduction of key players/Form or join a team
  • Week 2 – Fundraising/Finding the Right VC
  • Week 3 – Capitalization Tables/Convertible Debt
  • Week 4 – Term Sheets: Economics & Control
  • Week 5 – Term Sheets Part Two
  • Week 6 – Negotiations
  • Week 7 – Letter of Intent/Getting Acquired

If you are interested, sign up now and tell your friends who are interested in venture deals.

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Feb 5 2020

New Podcast – Funding Frequency

I do a lot of random podcasts and especially like to be an early guest on new ones to help get them started.

001 – Brad Feld

The first five episodes are with me, David Cohen, Susan Conover, Amos Schwartzfarb, and Charlie O’Donnell.

Andrew Waine is the producer. He’s currently a senior at the University of Florida finishing his Bachelor’s degree in the Summer of 2020.

He reminds me of a young Harry Stebbings of the 20 Minute VC who reached out to me early (I was on Harry’s 65th episode in 2015), hustled, and did a fun interview with me where we cover the following topics.

  • What is in the new edition of Venture Deals
  • My time as an entrepreneur and entry into venture capital
  • Advice from Jack Tankersley, an early mentor
  • The differences between raising fund I vs. fund II at a VC Firm
  • How fund sizes impact investing strategies
  • How a startup can weather the storms of an economic downturn and the characteristics of the companies that survived the 2008 recession
  • My opinion on USV founder Fred Wilson’s blog post about the importance of follow-on capital
  • Why Foundry Group invests capital into other VC funds
  • What startup accelerator Techstars looks for in its applicants
  • Some resources and advice for a young person looking to gain knowledge about VC and Startups

You will even find out where I learned that “even pigs can fly in a hurricane” around minute six.

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Jan 27 2020

What’s New In Venture Deals, 4th Edition

Jason Mendelson and I recently published the 4th Edition of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.

The book now has three forewords – one by each of Fred Wilson (USV), James Park (Fitbit), and Dick Costolo (now 01 Advisors, then Twitter).

The 1st edition had 13 chapters. We are now up to 19.

  1. The Players
  2. Preparing for Fundraising
  3. How to Raise Money
  4. Overview of the Term Sheet
  5. Economic Terms of the Term Sheet
  6. Control Terms
  7. Other Terms of the Term Sheet
  8. Convertible Debt
  9. The Capitalization Table
  10. Crowdfunding
  11. Venture Debt
  12. How Venture Capital Funds Work
  13. Negotiation Tactics
  14. Raising Money the Right Way
  15. Issues at Different Financing Stages
  16. Letters of Intent: The Other Term Sheet
  17. How to Engage an Investment Banker
  18. Why Do Term Sheets Even Exist?
  19. Legal Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

The new chapters in this edition are 11. Venture Debt (with help from SVB), and 17. How to Engage an Investment Banker (with help from Golding Partners).

We also significantly updated Chapter 2: Preparing for Fundraising and Chapter 19: Legal Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know (with help from Cooley).

As with each edition, we cleaned up stuff throughout the book.

Finally, we updated the website which is now at VentureDeals.com.

For everyone who has read the book, given us feedback, used it in a course, or recommended it to someone, thank you!

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Aug 15 2019

Venture Deals Online Course – Fall 2019

Techstars and Kauffman Fellows are once again running the Venture Deals online course that Jason Mendelson and I put together several years ago.

If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to raise capital and grow your business, this online course teaches you the basics you need to know for working with VCs. And, if you are starting off as a VC or a lawyer for venture capital deals and you want a refresher on the core issues in a term sheet, this online course is for you.

Venture Deals is a seven-week, collaborative, “learn-by-doing” online course where you will watch videos from us along with doing project work as virtual teams. The workload for the course is about four to six hours per week, includes several live video AMAs with me and Jason, and covers the following topics.

  • Week 1 – Introduction of key players/Form or join a team
  • Week 2 – Fundraising/Finding the Right VC
  • Week 3 – Capitalization Tables/Convertible Debt
  • Week 4 – Term Sheets: Economics & Control
  • Week 5 – Term Sheets Part Two
  • Week 6 – Negotiations
  • Week 7 – Letter of Intent/Getting Acquired

The course is a great accompaniment to our book, Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist, which is about to come out in a new and improved 4th Edition that will be available by the time the course starts on September 8, 2019.

It’s free, and you’ll be joining over 23,000 people have taken the course in the past. Sign up for the course here!

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Mar 10 2019

Venture Deals Online Course – Spring 2019 Registration Is Open

We are running the Venture Deals Online Course again. Registration is now open and it runs from April 7, 2019 – May 31, 2019. It’s produced by Kauffman Fellows Academy and Techstars.

We’ve run the course four times now and have had over 15,000 people take it. Both Jason and I make several guest appearances (online) and I always get lots of email (and try to respond to all of them) with questions during the course.

It’s free, although it’s recommended that you have a copy of our book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.

The course runs for seven weeks with the following syllabus.

  • Week 1 – Introduction of key players/Form or join a team
  • Week 2 – Fundraising/Finding the Right VC
  • Week 3 – Capitalization Tables/Convertible Debt
  • Week 4 – Term Sheets: Economics & Control
  • Week 5 – Term Sheets Part Two
  • Week 6 – Negotiations
  • Week 7 – Letter of Intent/Getting Acquired

If you are interested, sign up now and tell your friends who are interested in venture deals.

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Apr 24 2018

Venture Deals Online Course Starts Again On May 6th

Kauffman Fellows and Techstars are once again running the Venture Deals online course.

This time it runs from May 6th to June 26th. We’ve now had over 10,000 people take the online course and have been delighted to meet or email with a bunch of them over the past few years.

If you want to learn how to be smarter than your lawyer and your venture capitalist, sign up for Venture Deals now. Yup – it’s free!

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Mar 5 2018

Hotshot Advice on Raising Venture Capital

Raising money is hard.

Entrepreneurs need to understand what’s involved – from what to consider when picking the right venture partner and how to think about the economic and control rights at stake, to what life will be like after the deal closes. This assumes that the company is ready to raise venture money in the first place – an important consideration that not enough entrepreneurs really stop to consider.

At Foundry Group, we believe in a level playing field when it comes to knowledge. We want entrepreneurs to understand all the issues and to make the most informed decisions they can. That not only benefits them, but it benefits us as their partners and investors. That was one of the motivations for Jason and I to write Venture Deals. It’s also why Jason co-teaches the venture capital course at CU Boulder.

We believe that access to information is a good thing.

So when the founders of Hotshot, a startup that provides digital learning for lawyers, asked if they could come to Boulder and interview Jason and me for a video on raising venture capital, we happily obliged.

The video they created is called “Advice on Raising Venture Capital.” Anyone can access it for free, and we encourage you to check it out. While Hotshot’s content is aimed at lawyers and law students, this course is for entrepreneurs. In it, Jason and I discuss the different things that founders should consider when raising venture money for the first time.

We don’t have a stake in Hotshot – we just like what they’re up to and wanted to share the content.

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Nov 2 2017

Venture Deals on Audible

The third edition of Venture Deals is now available on Audible. It’s the unabridged version read by me and my partner/co-author Jason Mendelson with guest appearances by Matt Blumberg.

We’ve been getting requests for an unabridged audio version of Venture Deals since we first came out with the book in 2012. We like to think that it has now aged like a good wine.

If you are an audiobook person, you can know hear the dulcet tones of Jason’s voice alongside the scratchy whine (which has aged) of mine while learning how to be smarter than your VC and your lawyer.

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Sep 22 2017

Last Chance to Sign Up For The Fall 2017 Venture Deals Course

Kauffman Fellows and Techstars are running another cycle of the Venture Deals course with me and Jason Mendelson. Signups close tomorrow as the course runs from 9/24/17 – 11/13/17. The course is free to everyone.

The seven-week course, which is about five hours of work each week, has the following agenda.

Week 1 – Introduction of key players/Form or join a team

Week 2 – Fundraising/Finding the Right VC

Week 3 – Capitalization Tables/Convertible Debt

Week 4 – Term Sheets: Economics & Control

Week 5 – Term Sheets Part Two

Week 6 – Negotiations

Week 7 – Letter of Intent/Getting Acquired

Over 10,000 people have taken the course at this point. We’ve gotten universally strong positive reviews and have made plenty of new friends from people who have gone through the course and connected with us.

If you are interested in raising venture capital, I encourage you to sign up and take the course. I hope to see you online.

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