Armed with pedigrees and degrees, some entry-level venture capitalists are finding it's more fun and lucrative to be on the entrepreneur's side of the term sheet.
By Jill Priluck, contributor
In early 2009, Bartek Ringwelski was spending his days working at Canaan Partners, a venture capital firm in Westport, Connecticut, where he analyzed pitches and learned startup basics. But after he received 100 responses to a Craigslist post for a cleaning person, he began spending his nights and weekends on an idea: a startup that would rate one-person businesses, which account for at least 15% of the workforce.
In May of this year, after raising $50,000 from friends and family, Ringwelski launched SkillSlate, a site that organizes handymen, dogwalkers, massage therapists and other solos through profiles and ratings the same way dating sites corral singles. This fall, the company announced that it raised $1.1 million in funding from Canaan Partners, First Round and angel investor Jason Finger of SeamlessWeb, among others.
There's an old adage that venture capitalists don't make good entrepreneurs. Historically, entrepreneurs who cash out after years of hard work become VCs, rather than the other way around. But given the financial crisis and the constriction of the venture capital industry, more and more VC firms are "walking dead." The result? Junior VCs are sometimes choosing to flee their plush offices for the rough and tumble world of the startups they used to be tasked with evaluating.
"What's happening to the VC industry is what they've done to everyone else. It's being disrupted," said Chris Dixon, the VC-turned-entrepreneur who co-founded Hunch.com and the Founder Collective, which invests smaller amounts in Internet startups. "The odds of a junior person becoming partner have decreased dramatically," he said.
The CEO of Buddy Media analyzes his recent $28 million financing and offers 8 lessons for how to thrive in a fundraise.
By Michael Lazerow, contributor
The venture capital ecosystem is a hall of secrets. The rise of the venture capital blogger, notably Union Square Venture's Fred Wilson, entrepreneur-turned-VC Mark Suster and Foundry Group's Brad Feld, is a welcome first step in providing budding entrepreneurs a view into the venture world. But MOREScott Olster, editor - Dec 5, 2010 9:48 AM ET
From mass raises at Google to angels oversubscribing the latest hot startup, Silicon Valley is flush with cash, but short on talent. Believe it or not, that's mostly a good thing.
By JS Cournoyer, contributor
The world of early stage investing is changing in ways that are reminiscent to the tech bubble of 1999. As Fred Wilson points out in "Storm Clouds" that investors are behaving badly, making $5M to $15M MORENov 16, 2010 12:03 PM ET
Venture capital isn't mired in a new normal. Instead, it's on the verge of a cyclical upswing.
By Roger Ehrenberg, contributor
To most, the world of venture capital appears to be in the midst of chaos. Poor 10-year returns. Many bloated GPs. The super angel/micro VC "phenomenon" (if it can be called that). Rumors of collusion. A largely closed IPO market. Stock market uncertainty. An uncertain regulatory climate. And on and on. A crazy MOREOct 7, 2010 2:23 PM ET
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