Interviews on TechStars, Venture Capital, and Angel Investing

I’m always happy to be “content.”  Following are a few interviews I’ve shown up in lately.

  • Q&A with Brad Feld of TechStars: This is a nice short interview in Mass High Tech that happened at the Nantucket Conference a few weeks ago.  It talks about TechStars, Boulder, and some of the magic required to build a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • All About Venture Capital: This was a long one – 55 minutes of me riffing on how entrepreneurs should think about venture capital.
  • Exit Outcomes: ACA’s John Huston: This is an interview with John Huston, the chairman of the Angel Capital Association.  Apparently I’m mentioned somewhere along the way (I have no idea if they say good or bad things about me – listen and comment!)  The topic is “Ever wanted to hear how angels think of the terms they offer and the returns they expect? And what will happen if the outcome is less than a complete success?”

I spent a day in Boise, ID last week at their annual Idavation Conference and had a great time – I’ve got a more thorough post coming on that (which is more than just a handful of links – but c’mon – the links are fun, aren’t they!)

  • i listened to everything – well worth my time.

    if i were Frank Peters i would run a software like ibm viavoice to capture the conversation so the immediate transcript could be available upon posting. it would also help his seo.

    you were quoted as advocating simple term sheets. tweak term sheets to try to compensate for (economic) issues we are dealing with now. Peters took is as you are not in the game to minimize for losses rather than swinging for fences. Huston feels that for raises at the upper end like, $3mm for 30 months, there should be stronger terms. for deals like $500k he is not as concerned.

    i am seriously appreciative how much of an effort you an other VCs make to let us entrepreneurs understand your mindset. i see the VC/Angel blog circuit and your profiles on Twitter as the most valuable resources for an entrepreneur. you literally give us your brain splattered on a screen. for that I am truly thankful.

    you are my celebrity, but i am not starstruck of who i will inevitably become.

    i am working on what i believe could become the internet version of Walmart. i am getting my executive summary, business plan, and slides together. "prototype" in the works. i hope in time i can earn time from you to discuss this internet something that isn't in your portfolio… i am your latest religious reader and will be commenting often.

    – jason nadaf

    thank you again Brad for sharing your insights. I believe each post in itself exists as preparation for aspiring entrepreneurs.

  • Faizal, Zaki

    Dear Mr. Feld,

    I know this is nothing to do with your current insight. Anyway, have you come across any partial trade sale in your years of experience in VC? Is common practice by the VCs? In what circumstance is it practical and suitable? My question will be broken down into 2 parts because your blog cannot accept long comment.

    Appreciate you kind feedback on this.


    • I’m not sure what you mean by “partial trade sale.”  Can you explain a little more?

  • Faizal, Zaki

    From my experience, the Trade Sale clause is a contractual provision between investor and the investee company (an exit clause for investor) . In the event that investor wishes to exit (either to cash out or to salvage the company as a going concern) and investor has agreed clearly that it allows partial sale (by having this partial sale under the clause), then if any of the entrepreneurs cum shareholders refuse to sell their portions, then investor will not be able to proceed with Trade Sale if no buyer wishes to take partial of the company.For eg, if the investee is in bad shape and needs to be salvaged and investor identifies the potential buyer from the same industry (could even be a competitor) BUT the shareholders refuse to sell, then they have the right to do so because the Trade Sale clause allows partial sale.


    • Ah – now I understand.  This is more complicated and will vary by deal.  It’s often negotiated as part of the initial investment – either through a drag along, tag along, or put right provision (rare).  There is also a potential for the redemption provision to be used for this, but that’s very rare.

  • Faizal, Zaki

    I think Trade Sale clause is between the investee and investor, not with potential buyers (where you may negotiate terms) and it is an exit for investor, not the entrepreneurs. It is always an investor's concern that if a buyer is identified and wants to take over the whole company, the entrepreneurs/shareholders must do so, so as not to hinder the investor's exit plan. In any event, if investor wishes to grant this option to the shareholders to sell part of the company, it is entirely a commercial decision of investor.

    Am i right to say here that a partial Trade Sale would usually be used by private equity as an exit where it normally expects to sell the company to third parties. A VC's expectations would normally be focused on IPO (which depends on liquidity). Further, if the potential buyer is interested in the business, it would normally wants to take full control of the company. If the potential buyer is another investor, then partial sale may be workable as the investor is interested in the returns.I assume Trade Sale is achievable if the company is doing well and practically difficult to achieve if the company is in bad shape or in financial difficulties.


  • Such a good article, caught my sympathy!