Blue Sky VC Elaine Stead on why startups shouldn’t raise venture capital

Most of you do not need, nor are cut out for, nor should want, venture capital.

On a panel and Q&A session we had a great discussion about when or if you should take venture capital. As someone who has been on both sides of the table, I feel I can offer a view that at least attempts to be balanced and so I’ve come up with a checklist of 10 things you need to be genuinely okay with, if it happens (read: comfortable with the trade-off), before you even consider raising venture:

  1. Getting fired from your own company;
  2. Letting someone else have a genuine vote over the future and decisions of your company;
  3. Losing control of your company;
  4. Reporting to someone or something else;
  5. Having to still go through the fundraising process, and justify your existence and strategy, in the future;
  6. Losing peoples hard earned life savings and having to face those people directly to explain why;
  7. Becoming more interesting to the public and your failures or missteps becoming news or public (and immortalised on the internet forever);
  8. Being expected to deliver on expectations that may be greater than your own or on timelines that are not of your own making;
  9. Entering into a marriage that you cannot seek a divorce from without consent; and
  10. That you’ll be able to handle any of the above with grace and dignity so that your reputation and relationships will remain intact so that you can do it all over again when you come up with the next idea (which you will because you are a hard-wired entrepreneur).

Read more

Elaine Stead – Smart Company – 24 Nov 2017