/ Guest post / How VC’s and startups should love each other

How VC’s and startups should love each other

One of the less exciting tasks of a VC is to reject a startup that applied for funding. The large majority of all startups that apply for venture capital do not receive funding, I would say well north of 95 percent. As such, most VCs spend a significant amount of their time on rejections.

By Jan Andriessen

One thing almost all entrepreneurs have in common is that the company they started is their baby, their way to realizing their dreams, and probably much more. Essentially telling someone immensely passionate that you have doubts about his or her object of affection, rejection often seem to lead to disappointment and other negative emotions.

Yet I do not think it should be perceived as painful per se if we start looking at the opportunities beyond the most typical VC–startup relationship.

Diverse relationships

The typical VC-startup relationship – as most people see it – is one where the startup receives money and expertise, and the VC receives an equity stake in return. You could compare this very intense type of relationship to marriage and the discussions and negotiations that lead to it to the process of dating.

Following this analogy I could say that in my personal life I need a more diverse range of social interactions and relationships than just the one with my wife (girlfriend). I have the same thoughts on the possibility of having different relationships between startups and VCs. Yet in my experience, when I reject a startup’s funding proposal, the three most common types of responses leave room for only one type of relationship besides the marriage equivalent. The three most common types of reply:

There are different kinds of love beyond marriage and pure altruism

The only additional relationship beyond the VC-startup marriage that I detect in the above implies that a VC becomes a charitable altruist who donates his or her time and expertise for nothing in return. I disagree that these can be the only two alternatives and believe there are different kinds of love beyond marriage and pure altruism. I would personally love to spend time on entrepreneurs who need help with:

In return, I would expect an entrepreneur to occasionally help me with:

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