Wealth Management

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February 4, 2009

Does an experienced partner win private equity more?

The quality of your partner counts big time. In the case of entrepreneurs seeking capital from Venture Capitalists, nothing helps more than having a partner with past success.
Venture-backed firms tend to cluster in industries. Those that are most common for venture capitalists to fund are Internet and software, biotechnology, and telecommunications. SJ Gibson of Harvard Business School recently completed a study on these industries to measure who gets financing and who tends to be those who have had a successful start-up.
Here's an excerpt:
Q: Was there anything in your findings that surprised you?
A: The size of the effect of past success was surprising. We know that there was likely to be some degree of performance persistence, but the magnitude was quite striking.
Q: Given the current economic conditions, do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who are considering launching a new venture at this time?
A: Certainly one lesson that emerges from our analysis is to find an experienced (and successful) partner! Given the very difficult investment conditions, venture investors are paring back their portfolios and are hesitant to make new commitments. To get serious consideration, the more that you can do to seem like a "sure thing," the better off you are.
More generally, being as careful as you can be with resources, and flexible.

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