Columbia University

Technology Ventures

VC Perspectives: “How VCs Evaluate Potential CEOs” and “Understanding Equity Economics as the Startup Grows”

Presented on: May 1st, 2018 by Marc Singer and John Lee of Osage University Partners
Co-sponsored by Columbia Technology Ventures and Osage University Partners (OUP) this interactive presentation focused on a behind-the-scenes view on potential startup CEOS evaluation and the economics of University startup formation. OUP Managing Partner Marc Singer led the first half of the discussion and covered how VCs determine investment based on CEO evaluation (minute 4), mock examples of a startup scouting for a CEO (minute 6), digging deep into CEO candidate backgrounds (minute 15), what VCs look for in CEOs (minute 31), navigating growth and changes in management structure of startup (minute 35), challenges with optimizing CEO integration (minute 39), important entrepreneur characteristics (minute 43), changing CEO requirements over time (minute 47), how to properly diligence candidates (minute 48), and board of director formation (minute 59).
OUP Principal John Lee carried the second half of the presentation discussing common financial mistakes made by early stage companies (minute 67), consequences of poor equity allocation (minute 68), typical ownership breakdown through fundraising rounds (minute 71), initial cap table examples (minute 73), value of scientific founders (minute 76), importance of 'option pools' (minute 78), three phases of a startup (minute 80), recommended equity distribution (minute 82), capital needs based on industry (minute 84), best practices for examining offers from angel investors (minute 90), and best practices for valuating you company accurately (minute 93).