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!
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.
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.
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.
The Audible version of Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job, 2nd Edition is available for pre-order and will be on out on 9/19. My co-author, Sean Wise, read it using his deliciously dulcet voice.
Jason and I also finished the Audible recording of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist, 3rd Edition and expect to see it up on Audible in 60 days. More when it’s out.
It’s a lot of fun to read your own audio book like I did for Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with and Entrepreneur, the book I wrote with Amy.
The Venture Deals Online Course for this spring starts this Sunday May 14, 2017 and runs through July 3, 2017. The Kauffman Fellows Academy and Techstars are co-hosting the course. It’s free – all you need to do is sign up.
This is the fifth time we are running the course. So far more than 5,000 people around the globe have done it and we’ve gotten to meet and collaborate with entrepreneurs from six continents.
While our book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist is the basis for the course, we have extensive exercises, additional content, and a highly engaged community to answer questions. Jason and I make regular visits, both in the online discussion sections as well as periodic AMAs. In addition, the team from Techstars is also engaging throughout the program.
If you are interested in entrepreneurship and how startup deals work, here’s a great chance to go deep on this with me, Jason, Kauffman Fellows, and Techstars.
If you have purchased the hardcopy edition of Venture Deals 3rd Edition, you can now buy the Kindle version also for $2.99 via the Amazon Kindle Matchbook program.
Jason and I have been asking our publisher (Wiley) for this for a while and we are psyched they’ve agreed to it. It came about after a number of you asked us if we were going to do this, so thanks to y’all for pushing us on it.
If you are looking for a last minute holiday gift for your favorite entrepreneur (or lawyer, VC, or angel investor), we’ve got you covered.
Jason and I wrote the first edition of Venture Deals in 2011. When we were updating it for v3, I read every single word several times. It’s pretty cool how much it has held up over the last five years and we are delighted that it continues to be at the top of the Amazon bestseller list for Venture Capital books.
We added some new things in v3 and fixed a few things that were either unclear or wrong. This includes:
Jason and I finally sprung for the VentureDeals.com domain and moved all the old AskTheVC posts over. We’ve got a lot of cleanup and updating to do on the site – that’ll happen over the next month. Then, around the end of January we’ll start rolling out the teaching guide to Venture Deals on the site along with a bunch of ancillary materials for this.
For everyone who has supported us along the way, either by purchasing a book, giving us feedback, or just helping us get smarter about doing deals, thank you.
The third edition of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist is going to print and pre-orders are up on Amazon. For everyone who has purchased, read, or reviewed our previous editions, thank you! While it’s difficult to know exactly how many copies have been sold (the joy of publisher metrics), it’s around 100,000 to date, which blows our mind since we had no expectations around this when we wrote the book in 2011.
We’ve added a lot to the third edition. In addition to fixing some lingering errors, lousy grammar, and poor word choices, we found a few more places to insert Oxford commas so Amy and Ryan would be happy.
There are two new forewords – one from Fred Wilson at USV (the VC perspective) and one from James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit (the entrepreneur perspective). Dick Costolo’s foreword from the previous editions is preserved – it’s now an endword.
We addressed our gender problem. In the previous editions, we used only the male gender and explained our rationalization in the introduction. This rationalization felt silly and more like an excuse this time around, so we did the work to vary the use of female and male pronouns throughout the book.
We added more information on convertible debt including a section on new financial instruments like the safe.
There are two entirely new chapters. The first, on crowdfunding, covers both product and equity crowdfunding, and has an analysis on the good, bad, and scary around crowdfunding. The second, on why term sheets even exist, came out of our realization that many of the investments we’ve made in the past few years were done with handshakes and email outline of terms, rather than term sheets.
We added a section on Corporate Venture Capital, as there has been a Cambrian explosion of CVCs over the past few years, even though the concept of a CVC is not a new one.
We freshened up some of the examples. For example, the reference to FarmVille now is a reference to Pokémon GO. It is 2016 after all.
We have new back cover blurbs and a new dedication to some special people in our lives. We like to spread the love around.
Finally, the old website AskTheVC.com is now VentureDeals.com. As part of this, we’ll be releasing a teaching guide, lots of ancillaries, and other fun stuff that adds to the book. Yeah – we’ve got some work to do to freshen up the site and get all of this stuff out, but that’s what November is for. And yes, we’ll start blogging on it again.
Thanks to everyone for all their help, support, and interest in Venture Deals over the years. Most of all, thank you Jason for being an awesome collaborator and partner.