Seven: My First Encounter with a Venture Capitalist

Many years ago, I began researching about capital fundraising, Angel investing, and bootstrapping. I had several stereotypes in my head. Mainly, I thought Angel Investors were, Angelic …

And from what I read briefly about Venture Capitalists, this was my image:

And I confused a Bootstrapper with

A strapping young man.

Like I said, this was many years ago.

Now I know better. And last night, at the MassChallenge Texas meeting, I learned about what avenues to pursue after graduating from an accelerator bootcamp, including bootstrapping, venture capital, and other options.

It was a great discussion, and the panelists were very open and honest about what it took for each of them to succeed in their specific industry.

Once things wrapped up, I spoke briefly with the Venture Capital panelist. I did my best 30 second elevator pitch. She was nice and seemed interested in my idea.

When I left, I recalled my first encounter with a Venture Capitalist some time ago.

Here’s a photo and GIF representation of what happened:

I was nervous as I waited in line to give my elevator pitch.
He seemed interested in my idea. He then said something I mistook for a joke.
I thought it was funny.
It didn’t end well for me.

This experience is what I would call a “Fast Fail”.

No, I didn’t meet a similar fate of Paul Allen’s character from American Psycho. That horrible first encounter with a VC was actually a blessing in disguise. I decided that I wouldn’t be so unprepared the next time I attended a networking event. I did flub many times in other meetings, but eventually, I got to the point where I could relax and enjoy my surroundings.

Hope you enjoyed my awkward, wistful memories. Let me know what you think!

Quick Update – My Visit to Newchip

I visited the Austin office of Newchip this afternoon. Every Tuesday in July, the office will have a free co-working event, and so I decided to stop by and say hello.

Newchip, according to their page, is about focusing on product development, as well as ” … fundraising, negotiating, partnerships, and scaling revenue …”. I’ve done a bit of research on firms such as Newchip, and it is one of the few I’ve found that has such an extensive accelerator program for startups, and the only one I’ve found so far in Austin.

This appears to be a great place for startups that are just beginning their venture. There is a general work space open regular business hours Monday through Friday. There are also dedicated desks and small offices that are open extended hours.

Kim, the receptionist, was kind enough to offer me a quick tour of the place. I liked that it was a “lean” working environment without it feeling spartan.

Next week, I have a short telephone meeting with a Newchip representative. We’ll go over the various accelerator programs they provide and see if my company is a good fit. I’ll keep you updated!