Take the Money and Run! An Insider's Guide to Venture Capital

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This book is for entrepreneurs who want to realize their vision, want to build a major company, want to change the world. You‘ll need to raise money and then run like mad. Gerry Langeler's experience as a successful venture capitalist for two decades, and a very successful entrepreneur who raised venture capital from top VC firms, provides the secrets to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. More

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About Gerry Langeler

For over 20 years, Gerry has served as a Managing Director with OVP Venture Partners, the most successful venture capital firm in the Pacific Northwest. OVP is in its 30th year, having raised its seventh fund (OVP VII) at $250 million. OVP has over $750 million of capital under management and focuses on early-stage companies in clean tech, digital biology, and information technology.

Since 1983, the partnership has backed over 125 start-ups – and seen over 55 liquidity events including 25 IPOs, and over 30 others being acquired by public companies. From 1981 to 1992, Gerry was co-founder of Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) where he served as President. He helped lead Mentor to over $400M in sales and $1B in market capitalization, ranking it as one of the largest and most profitable of all U.S. companies founded in the 1980s. At now over $1B in sales, Mentor remains the second largest software company in the Pacific Northwest.

His service as a board member covers the range from energy, enterprise software, network security, and wireless communications to biotechnology.

He is the author of The Success Matrix - Winning in Business and in Life, scheduled for publication March 1, 2014 (Logos Press), as well as The Vision Trap (Harvard Business Review, 3/92), which continues to be widely used in business schools and corporate training sessions.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of CradlePoint, DataSphere, EnerG2, Novomer, Precision Demand and Serus.

Gerry served six years in the US Air Force Reserves where he was awarded the American Spirit Honor Medal. He was elected to and served as School Board Chair of the Riverdale School District. He previously chaired the Riverdale School Foundation. He served as Chair of the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) Board of Trustees, and Chair of the State of Oregon Facilities Authority – a bonding agency for not-for-profits. In 2011, the was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. In 2012, he was appointed by Oregon Governor Kitzhaber to the newly-formed Oregon Growth Board, where he serves as co-chair.

He holds a BA, Chemistry from Cornell University, and a MBA from Harvard.

Reviews

Review by: Ritchie Campbell on Oct. 12, 2011 : star star star star star
Ritchie Campbell, MBA, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance & Economics, University of Washington, Bothell WA.

New ventures have brought global-leading innovation to America and have provided more new jobs than all the large, mature corporations combined. From that perspective, if we can help new ventures succeed, we not only help entrepreneurs realize their deepest dreams, we also help create new jobs and accelerate the advancement of innovation in America.

That’s why Gerry’s excellent book is so important: it helps new ventures succeed.

As his book makes clear, the reality of new ventures is that most will not get financial backing from VCs. For every 100 companies screened by VC firms, only 1 ultimately receives funding. And out of the select few that do receive funding, half of them will fail; one-fourth will never deliver the hoped-for promise; and one-fourth will succeed (some marginally, but a very, very few might wildly succeed).

So, for a $100 million VC Fund, over the course of 5 years a VC might screen 2,500 - 5,000 promising companies, and only invest in 25 of them. And, of those 25, maybe 1 will create the success needed to make the Fund successful. Daunting odds.

As a very experienced VC who has reviewed thousands of requests for funds, and who has worked one-on-one with hundreds of entrepreneurs to strengthen their businesses over the last 20 years, Gerry explains how a new venture can greatly improve those odds.

First, Gerry helps a new venture understand how to increase the chance of receiving VC funding (Take the Money…).

And, once they get the money, through his advice on customers, sales, competitors, products, pricing, business culture, and market decisions, Gerry explains how a new venture can greatly improve their odds of succeeding(…and Run).

Whether they are as different as clean tech, cloud computing, or drug discovery, new ventures must successfully advance through a common set of business stages: Initial Planning (Product Idea/Founding Team), Prototype, Pilot Study, Market Launch, Proving Stage, Exponential Growth/Scale Stage, and private investor Liquidity Stage (IPO or acquisition).

In order to successfully advance the company through each business stage (to create progressively higher company values), CEO/Founders must identify the key milestones inherent in each business stage (finish product development, get pilot study going, fill-in executive team gaps, accelerate revenue levels…) and determine the resources they need to successfully complete each milestone.

Indeed, the essence of the daily life of any CEO is the determining, gathering and allocating of resources needed (people, money, business relationships, planning…) to consistently advance key milestones (product development, financing, sales, build business processes, stabilize technology, make company’s brand recognizable & reputable, create ways for customer feedback to link into product/service improvements…).

Entrepreneurs who want to find out more than just how to raise money from VCs—-those who want to know how to advance their new ventures through each business stage and ultimately create an IPO or other liquidity event-—should buy this book immediately.

Gerry offers indispensable advice for every stage the business is in: advice that only someone who has been in the new venture businesses for a lifetime could provide.

Congratulations Gerry, you have written a super book!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Skip Rung on Sep. 10, 2011 : star star star star star
This is the clearest, most efficient and most enjoyable treatise I have read on the subject. It is going to be highly recommended (maybe even required) reading for entrepreneurs and startup teams seeking assistance from our commercialization gap fund.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jordan Viray on Aug. 14, 2011 : star star star star star
Gerry Langeler provides an insider's perspective to the whole venture capital scene that is normally unseen by the prospective entrepreneur.

The book gets into the nitty gritty of exactly what venture capitalists do and how they perform their evaluations (as opposed to valuations). He provides loads of tips and anecdotes regarding do's and don'ts for people looking to get VC funding. It's clear that he's been doing this a while (20 years) so the advice is very practical. "Here's how a company we dealt with got what they wanted ..." "Here's are the characteristics of a loser CEO" etc. Even if you don't use a checklist method, all the advice nevertheless provides a useful framework and perspective.

It's a quick read and Langeler addresses a multitude of issues succinctly although he's a bit heavy on the analogies. The book also does not analyze startup success from a primarily quantitative perspective so it should be very accessible to all start-up hopefuls - though being familiar with the quantitative side will provide even greater benefit from his insight. As far as business books go, this has a strong emphasis on the qualitative aspects: building and managing productive relationships between the VC and entrepreneur, building a successful company, giving an effective presentation etc.

While he drives the point home that most start-ups are not a good match for Venture Capitalists; if you are among the few with the grand vision and scale that VCs are looking for, you will no doubt save a lot of time by following Langeler's advice. Even for those that aren't looking to be the next Google, there is plenty of solid advice (with a unique VC perspective) that applies to all entrepreneurs - from the guy working in a garage to the well-established company ready to negotiate for another round of VC funding.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Bill Cruise on Aug. 08, 2011 : star star star star star
Insightful, intelligent, informative with humor to boot. A great read for people who want to understand what Venture Capital is about.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Roy Jameson on Aug. 08, 2011 : star star star star star
I'm thinking about starting a business next year and this book really helped me understand how the venture capital world works. I can't comment on the second half of the book yet until I actually start the business, but it looks like it will be very useful, too.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Richard LeFaivre on Aug. 01, 2011 : star star star star star
This is a must read for every current and would-be entrepreneur!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: hoban77 on Aug. 01, 2011 : star star star star star
a must read for any entrepreneur, full of useful information about the venture capital world, but told in an easy to read style - with some light humor thrown in for good measure.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Henry Longsword on July 30, 2011 : star star star star star
Every first time entrepreneur should read this (as well as many who are not first time!). If I had before starting my company, I would have had a much easier time raising venture capital.

The author gives you the view from "behind the curtain" and uses many real examples and a healthy dose of humor to make the points hit home.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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