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Why True Entrepreneurs
are Hard to Find
by Brady Bohrmann
Partner at Avalon Ventures
About Brady Bohrmann
Brady has over 20 years of experience as a venture capitalist and
operating executive in both information technology and biotech. His
focus is on early-stage investments and backing talented entrepreneurs.
Throughout his venture capital career, he has worked with over 75
companies. He currently is a director or observer of many Avalon
portfolio companies, including Backupify, Chart.io, Cloudant, Inc., Conjur,
Indix, Juliet Marine Systems, Kaltura, Kinvey, Memrise, Nanigans, Pingup,
Redbooth, Selectable Media, Simulmedia, The Happy Cloud, Twinstrata
and Vook.
Entrepreneurs are truly
incredible people.
They are a rare breed of resilience
and passion who press on even when
there’s only one reason to keep on and
nine to stop.
These entrepreneurs
are hard to find.
They must be able to sell the vision,
execute the vision and manage others.
For a VC, it takes time, and maybe
even a missed opportunity or two,
to recognized genius when you
come across it.
How to Find a True
Entrepreneur
1.They Are Hard to Spot,
Harder to Work With
As with many extremely talented
people, highly talented entrepreneurs
can have big flaws, overlook things
that are obvious to others, or are
generally difficult to work with.
Just think of a few of the most successful
recent entrepreneurs:
• Steve Jobs
• Mark Zuckerberg
• Steve Bezos
Each of them carry a cocktail party anecdote of
eccentricity, impatience, obsessiveness or all
of the above.
Hard to Spot,
Harder to Work With
Part of this comes from the
loneliness of being a leader and
being the one to make the tough
decisions.
Part of it also just comes with the
territory of genius. You think
differently.
Hard to Spot,
Harder to Work With
2.They Need the Right
Motive
Not everyone is right for
entrepreneurship. It starts
with the right motive.
The right idea at the wrong time or for the wrong
reasons is the wrong investment.
It is why we are deeply interested in an
entrepreneur’s story and their team’s story than we
are in the product itself.
They Need the Right Motive
Your idea is not as important as your ability to execute.
They Need the Right Motive
An example
We’ve invested in ideas and problems before they
even had a name because we believed in the team.
This is true with our portfolio company, Cloudant.
We need to see a personal drive, connection and
commitment to the business they’ve founded.
They Need the Right Motive
There is much more beyond the superficial —
there is substance and something special.
They Need the Right Motive
A recent example:
Skycatch in Nepal
Our portfolio company, Skycatch, exhibits the quality
of people we are proud to work with.
Last week, Skycatch developed and deployed a fleet
of UAVs and two of their very own engineers to Nepal
for earthquake relief.
A recent example:
Skycatch in Nepal
Working in conjunction with UNESCO World Heritage
and other organizations, Skycatch drones are on the
ground producing high-resolution 2D and 3D maps of
sites to aid rescue and recovery efforts.
We are proud of Skycatch as they aid in this
humanitarian effort.
3. People Matter
We don’t invest in a group of people who
throw ideas at a white board and choose
the most likely to succeed.
We invest in incredibly talented people
who have come to a point in their
story where their passion has collided
with something the world needs and
they are here to bring that into being.
People Matter
The Takeaway
• While Skycatch is a recent
example, all of our founders are
truly incredible people building
companies of tremendous value.
• We are proud to partner with each
and every one of them.
Learn more!
Visit http://avalon-ventures.com/blog for more actionable advice
on early stage startups, VC funding and other entrepreneurial tips.

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Why True Entrepreneurs Are Hard to Find

  • 1. Why True Entrepreneurs are Hard to Find by Brady Bohrmann Partner at Avalon Ventures
  • 2. About Brady Bohrmann Brady has over 20 years of experience as a venture capitalist and operating executive in both information technology and biotech. His focus is on early-stage investments and backing talented entrepreneurs. Throughout his venture capital career, he has worked with over 75 companies. He currently is a director or observer of many Avalon portfolio companies, including Backupify, Chart.io, Cloudant, Inc., Conjur, Indix, Juliet Marine Systems, Kaltura, Kinvey, Memrise, Nanigans, Pingup, Redbooth, Selectable Media, Simulmedia, The Happy Cloud, Twinstrata and Vook.
  • 4. They are a rare breed of resilience and passion who press on even when there’s only one reason to keep on and nine to stop.
  • 6. They must be able to sell the vision, execute the vision and manage others.
  • 7. For a VC, it takes time, and maybe even a missed opportunity or two, to recognized genius when you come across it.
  • 8. How to Find a True Entrepreneur
  • 9. 1.They Are Hard to Spot, Harder to Work With As with many extremely talented people, highly talented entrepreneurs can have big flaws, overlook things that are obvious to others, or are generally difficult to work with.
  • 10. Just think of a few of the most successful recent entrepreneurs: • Steve Jobs • Mark Zuckerberg • Steve Bezos Each of them carry a cocktail party anecdote of eccentricity, impatience, obsessiveness or all of the above. Hard to Spot, Harder to Work With
  • 11. Part of this comes from the loneliness of being a leader and being the one to make the tough decisions. Part of it also just comes with the territory of genius. You think differently. Hard to Spot, Harder to Work With
  • 12. 2.They Need the Right Motive Not everyone is right for entrepreneurship. It starts with the right motive.
  • 13. The right idea at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons is the wrong investment. It is why we are deeply interested in an entrepreneur’s story and their team’s story than we are in the product itself. They Need the Right Motive
  • 14. Your idea is not as important as your ability to execute. They Need the Right Motive
  • 15. An example We’ve invested in ideas and problems before they even had a name because we believed in the team. This is true with our portfolio company, Cloudant.
  • 16. We need to see a personal drive, connection and commitment to the business they’ve founded. They Need the Right Motive
  • 17. There is much more beyond the superficial — there is substance and something special. They Need the Right Motive
  • 18. A recent example: Skycatch in Nepal Our portfolio company, Skycatch, exhibits the quality of people we are proud to work with. Last week, Skycatch developed and deployed a fleet of UAVs and two of their very own engineers to Nepal for earthquake relief.
  • 19. A recent example: Skycatch in Nepal Working in conjunction with UNESCO World Heritage and other organizations, Skycatch drones are on the ground producing high-resolution 2D and 3D maps of sites to aid rescue and recovery efforts. We are proud of Skycatch as they aid in this humanitarian effort.
  • 20. 3. People Matter We don’t invest in a group of people who throw ideas at a white board and choose the most likely to succeed.
  • 21. We invest in incredibly talented people who have come to a point in their story where their passion has collided with something the world needs and they are here to bring that into being. People Matter
  • 22. The Takeaway • While Skycatch is a recent example, all of our founders are truly incredible people building companies of tremendous value. • We are proud to partner with each and every one of them.
  • 23. Learn more! Visit http://avalon-ventures.com/blog for more actionable advice on early stage startups, VC funding and other entrepreneurial tips.