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Both Sides of the Table, VC Funding Season Ends Next Week

by Mark Suster on November 8, 2009
This is part of my series on Raising Venture Capital.

I’m sure I’ll spark the ire of some VC’s for saying so, but there is certainly such a thing as black-out days in venture capital. It’s worth you knowing this so you don’t waste your time. It’s also very important to understand so that you can properly plan when you raise money.

Let me first tell you the black-out periods and then I’ll explain why. It is very difficult to raising venture capital between November 15 – January 7th. It is also very hard to raise VC from July 15 – September 7th. (you need to have had your first meeting even earlier.) If you’re thinking about raising VC and have not yet started the process, you’ve probably already missed the boat for 2009.

If you’ve had your first partner meeting but haven’t had the full partner meeting then you had better schedule it for Monday, November 23rd. Full partner meetings are almost always on Mondays and if it isn’t already booked yet for Monday, November 16th (e.g. this coming Monday) obviously that’s not going to happen. If your VC is reluctant to schedule the partner meeting by the 23rd it’s a clear signal that they want to wait until the new year (or they aren’t committed to your deal).

So why is Funding Season over for the rest of the year? The VC process is almost universal in how it works across firms. You meet an initial person from a firm – an associate, a principal or a partner. If it’s one of the first two you’ll probably meet a single partner before coming into a full partner meeting where (by definition) all of the partners will be in attendance.

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