Spending The Day With Another VC Firm

A few weeks ago Hunter Walk and Satya Patel of Homebrew, a one year old seed-stage VC firm that my partners and I are investors in, came and spent the day in Boulder. This wasn’t the typical “hey – I want to come see you for a meal when I’m in town” kind of meeting that happens with a lot of VCs. In this case, the firm (Homebrew) came by, committed a full 24 hours to being in Boulder, and went deep with me and my partners.

I’ve known Hunter for a while although our relationship is mostly from a distance – email, blogs, and twitter. He went to GSB with my partner Ryan’s wife Katherine so they’ve known each other for a while and have a handful of entertaining stories from their time together at The Lobby Conference. This was the first time I recall meeting Satya Patel although I’ve also known him from a distance.

Hunter’s blog, 99% Humble, 1% Brag, is outstanding. If it’s not part of your daily reading, it should be.

Hunter, Satya, Ryan, Seth, Jason and I spent two hours in a conference room with a white board. Hunter and Satya tossed a bunch of things they wanted to discuss up on the board and we went through the topics one by one. We shared our view about how we address them, they added some of their thoughts, asked some questions, and we cycled more on the topics. We got through most of them and then went to dinner at Oak for a few more hours of discussion, this time more casual, but just as deep and wide ranging.

The next morning Hunter and Satya hung out at Techstars and did office hours with a few of the seed stage companies in Boulder.

I had a great time and learned a lot. Hunter and Satya both sent thoughtful debriefs around which caused some additional discussion on our end about a couple of topics we felt we could learn more from. And we developed a deeper relationship, outside of a specific deal context, which will help us in anything we do together going forward.

This was so much more enjoyable, satisfying, and useful than a flyby. Hunter / Satya – thanks for making the effort to come see us.

  • Brad, your post is a good reflection of what I’ve learned over the last couple of years: As a group, VCs tend to be open minded about learning from and sharing with one another, especially those Vcs in my age group. Peer learning is critical to doing well the things VCs do, such as company building and syndicate forming. I also suspect that there’s a causal positive relationship between having that open mindset and generating venture returns.

    • Yup!

    • One of the most interesting experiences I had during fundraising for Homebrew’s first fund, was finding out which other VCs were just cordial vs those who were really proactive in offering help and counsel. I was pleasantly surprised by the # in the proactive camp.

  • Joah Spearman

    That’s the makings of a dream team if you’re an early-stage founder looking for VCs.

  • +10
    VCs working with VCs is under-rated. It’s a key part of how the industry works, and it benefits entrepreneurs who are the recipients of this collaboration.