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Branding and Venture Capital:
Key Findings from BIG:VC
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BIG: VC
The Brand Influence Guide:
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The BIG Question
Does branding matter for venture capital firms?
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Like it or not, you already have a brand.
Are you controlling your brand?
Does your brand accurately represent who ...
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Overarching questions we set out to answer.
§  What are the challenges in building an authentic and differentiated...
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Our 360 Degree Approach
Compare and contrast views across stakeholders
Communicate
findings to
members
CEOs
Venture...
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The Players
§  DeSantis Breindel
§  Rooney & Associates
§  National Venture Capital Association
NVCA Advisory Bo...
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Methodology
Online quantitative surveys sent out through Qualtrics
Qualitative interviews with select LPs
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Who Responded
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Who Responded
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Who Responded
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The 6 BIG Findings
The 6 BIG Findings
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Brand Impacts Deal Flow1
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CEOs believe a strong brand can help VCs attract entrepreneurs.
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AWAY
TAKE
/
For CEOs, picking a VC firm is about
more than money – it’s an emotional
decision.
Your ability to tel...
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2
/ The VC-CEO Brand Gap
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There is a disconnect between those attributes that CEOs deem
most important – and the attributes that VC firms em...
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LPs understand what CEOs are looking for.
“Trust and collaboration are critical.
Entrepreneurs are looking for som...
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VC firms underestimate the importance of gender.
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2/3 of female CEOs say gender make-up matters.
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Proximity matters more than reach.
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AWAY
TAKE
/
VC mindsets are not always aligned with CEO
expectations.
CEOs want to work with VC firms that are
ent...
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3
/The Entrepreneur-Friendly Firm
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CEOs want to work with entrepreneur-friendly firms.
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The value that a VC firm adds beyond funding is almost as
important to CEOs as the firm’s reputation.
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Creating a community of portfolio executives trumps all else.
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BIG Takeaway
AWAY
TAKE
/
It’s not enough to say you’re entrepreneur-
friendly…you have to show it.
Build a brand a...
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Channels of Influence4
/4. Channels of Influence
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WOM rules.
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LP and VC recommendations are less influential than peers
recommendations.
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Don’t underestimate others in the ecosystem…
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There’s a disparity between the channels CEOs find influential and
the channels you believe best deliver your mess...
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BIG Takeaway
AWAY
TAKE
/
Your brand runs deeper than what you say…
it’s what your most important audiences say
abo...
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The Individual Reputation vs.
the Firm Brand.
5
/
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VC firms believe the reputation of their partners and portfolio
companies are equal drivers of brand.
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CEOs feel strongly: Your brand is driven mostly by your partners.
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LPs focus on reputation of the overall firm.
“We have a bias against firms with a person’s name on the door.”
“A V...
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BIG Takeaway
AWAY
TAKE
/
Venture investing is a personal business –
but it can’t be too personal.
CEOs care more a...
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What CEOs want:
Life Science vs. IT
6
/
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IT and life science CEOs vary in the qualities they value when
evaluating VC firms.
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When they have a preference, IT prefer smaller VC firms.
Life science has no preference.
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Age of VC partners matters more to life science CEOs.
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Compared to life science CEOs, partner reputation matters more
to IT CEOs.
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Compared to life science CEOs, IT CEOs are more influenced by
digital media.
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Life science CEOs are more influenced by third parties.
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BIG Takeaway
AWAY
TAKE
/
VC brands must resonate with their target
market.
VC brands for life sciences should emph...
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The 6 Findings Summarized
1.  Brand impacts a firm’s ability to attract deal flow.
2.  There is a gap between what...
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How can you leverage what we’ve learned
to build your firm’s brand?
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A brand isn’t what YOU say.
It’s what THEY say.
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WHERE TO START
/
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Conduct a reputation audit, through internal and external interviews
to find the gaps in perception
Compare your b...
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Learn more at:
BIG-VC.com
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Brand Impacts Deal Flow1
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Published in: Business, Economy & Finance

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