HQQA016 What value, besides capital, would you hope to see our firm provide your startup?

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What they mean

This is a different variation of the question we just went through. The investor is basically wondering whether or not the founder has considered fit or are they pitching blindly to anyone with a chequebook?

Of course, they’re fishing for a compliment too (needy bastards).

If you do groundwork, researching every investor before you reach out to them and before you have a meeting, this will be easy. If you haven’t done your homework you are going to have to think fast on your feet.

The main value-add you can get from a firm and a partner are:pitch deck

  • Partner is a sparring partner to challenge you
  • Network access for business development purposes
  • Network access for recruiting new staff and help close top talent
  • They have teams on staff to support startups. a16z focuses on super tech companies so offer marketing and bus dev etc to compensate for the suckiness in everything non-tech
  • The credibility the brand name of the investor offers when you are talking to people, be it staff, partners and the like
  • If you are really rich then you would want an investor on board to keep you focused and honest so the money you put in really makes sense (Yes, this is a thing)
  • Finally, the investor may be able to provide support in getting you an exit

What you need to say

Trade capital as a commodity. It’s pick up 101.
Look David, we think we have a compelling value proposition in our startup, so capital is a commodity to us.

There’re lots of investors who are expressing strong interest to proceed. We are in a fortunate position to have a choice. We know that at the end the day, it is us the team that is going to execute and makes things happen, but a great investor can help make more good things happen when they have something fantastic to sell.

Having been in the industry for so long, you have the most amazing Rolodex. You have also seen many companies succeed and fail and have a perspective that we don’t. We like your opinionated views on things.

With you on our board, we think great things can happen.


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