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哪些科技公司是潜力股?女投资高手从创始人看起

Andrew Nusca 2017年12月05日

如果科技投资人想投成功的企业,首先得选出有潜力的创始人。

近日,在《财富》杂志在美国加州拉古纳尼格尔市举办的新一代最具影响力女性峰会创投公司上,三位女性投资人——Trinity Ventures合伙人安朱拉·阿查瑞亚、私募投资公司斐然资本合伙人利亚·巴斯克和风投基金BBG Ventures创始人妮莎·杜阿齐聚一堂,介绍了她们认为有潜力的企业家应具备哪些素质。

以下是她们分享的心得。

能给人留下深刻第一印象的创始人

“优秀的创始人总会一门心思解决问题,收到反馈后又能灵活调整方向,这种创始人就是最理想的人选,”杜阿说,“他们要有相当的自知之明。”杜阿还说,和创始人聊天或者提出反馈的时候就能看出来,“见上几次面就能大致了解某个人。”

擅长描绘创业理想的创业者

身为共享人力资源平台TaskRabbit的创始人,巴斯克认为讲好故事很重要。“创始人有没有为了抓住商机努力奋斗?看着他们的眼睛,你信不信他们能坚持下去?”她这样问。这就是创始人讲好创业理想很重要。“(要明确告诉我)坐在我对面的人是谁?他们来这想做什么?”

杜阿也同意巴斯克的看法。她说:“你问对方他是谁,实际上就是在问他们希望未来五年、十年内公司发展成什么样。”

不自以为是的创始人

阿查瑞亚说:“募资就像约会。千万不要看起来急不可待。”

杜阿认为,创始人也不能看起来太有防备。她列举了一些创始人应该避免的表现:“有些创始人,只要你一问他问题或者主动提出反馈,他就戒心很强,还有些人会遮遮掩掩。不要把公司的营业收入放在附件第60页里。有人问起经营数据时,不要因为尴尬故意转移话题。投资者希望了解你对公司的真实想法。”

目光长远的创始人

阿查瑞亚认为,找到目光长远的投资人很重要。她说:“对我帮助最大的导师是(唱片公司Interscope Records和录音设备品牌Beats Electronics的联合创始人)吉米·艾欧文。他给过我一大笔投资,一周后告诉我公司会倒闭。他说:‘对我来说,创始人要对专辑负责,不能只盯着单曲。’所以,我寻找理想的投资公司创始人时,不希望对方昙花一现。”

她接着说:“有次我虽然不相信项目能成功,但还是私下给创始人投资,目的只是和他们共同进退。老实说,后来那家公司的确垮了,但后来我和吉米合作成功不少次。他当年信任我,现在我同样信任其他创业者。投资是和创始人共赴征途,要把眼光放长远。”

女性创始人

杜阿说:“我们认为,如果女性创始人为和自己类似的消费者开发产品,还是非常值得投资的。因为大部分消费者都是女性,85%的购物决策都是由女性做出。她们是大多数社交平台上的活跃分子。我们越来越成为第一个吃螃蟹的人。现在创始人发生了很大变化,再也不只是斯坦福大学的书呆子了。女性创业大潮已经兴起。”

巴斯克也表示赞成。“投资者总是说要找搭调的人,”她说,“我就什么调都不搭。只有少数有眼光的人把握住了机会跟我合作。”

勇于承认失利的创始人

巴斯克是由创始人转型的投资人。她坦言:“我现在还觉得自己像深入敌后的人。所以我可以说:投资人不投资你的公司可以有成千上万条理由,其实和你本人没关系。”

虽败犹荣的创始人

阿查瑞亚说:“每个人内心都会有一些斗争。最优秀的创始人是纠结的。”(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审稿:夏林

Three female investors—AnjulaAcharia of Trinity Ventures, Leah Busque of FUEL Capital, and NishaDua of BBG Ventures—gathered at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif. to outline the qualities that they look for in promising entrepreneurs.

Here’s what they said.

Founders who make a great first impression

“You’re always looking for a founder that has incredible conviction in what they’re solving yet has flexibility and an ability to pivot when they receive feedback,” Dua said. “They need some level of self-awareness.” Investors can hear it when founders chat with them or respond to feedback, she added. “You can tell a lot about a person in those first few meetings.”

Founders who tell a great story

Busque, who is also the founder of TaskRabbit, the on-demand labor marketplace, said storytelling matters. “Is this founder purpose-built for the opportunity? Can you look them in the eye and believe that they’re going to persist?” she asked. That’s why the story a founder tells matters. “Who is this person sitting across from me? Why are they here?”

Dua agreed: “In asking a person who they are, you’re really asking what they want that business to be in five, 10 years.”

Founders who check their ego at the door

“Raising money is like dating,” Acharia said. “You can never look desperate.”

Nor should you look defensive, Dua said. “Founders who get defensive when you ask them questions or give them unsolicited feedback…and people who try to hide things,” she said, listing founder no-nos. “Don’t put your revenue on page 60 in the appendix. Don’t deflect when you’re asked about it because you’re embarrassed. The investor wants to know how you’ve thought about the business.”

Founders who take the long view

Acharia said that it’s worth finding investors who are in it for the long run. “My biggest mentor is Jimmy Iovine,” she said. “A week after he gave me a really big check, he told me my business would fail. He said, ‘For me, founders are about albums, not singles.’ So when I look at a founder, I don’t just look for that one hit.”

She continued: “I’ve given personal checks to founders to people whom I didn’t even believe their business plan but I want to be in business with them. And to be quite frank, my business failed, and I went on to do more things with Jimmy that were successes. That belief he had in me is now something I have in others. It’s about being on a journey with a founder and taking that long-term view.”

Founders who are women

“We think it’s a competitive advantage to invest in female founders who are building a product for consumers who look like them,” Dua said. “Women are the dominant consumer. They drive 85% of purchasing decisions. They drive most social platforms. And we’re increasingly the early adopter. The changing profile of the founder—it’s no longer the Stanford hoodie. So we’re seeing this tidal wave of female founders.”

Busque agreed. “Investors always say they’re looking to pattern-match,” she said. “I didn’t match a pattern. It was a few people who took a chance on me.”

Founders who recognize that it’s not always about them

“I still feel like I’m behind enemy lines” as a founder turned investor, Busque said, “So I’ll say this: I’ve learned that there are thousands of reasons why an investor won’t invest in your company that have nothing to do with you.”

Founders who wear failure like a badge of honor

“Everybody’s struggling with something on the inside,” Acharia said. “The best founders are struggling with something.”

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