August 26, 2019

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Ms. Desai's interview with Total Capitalism (Part 2)



NIN Ventures (or NIN.VC) is a crowdfunded technology venture capital fund that invests in Series A and B rounds of 3D printing, the 4th industrial revolution, cloud computing, virtual reality, financial services, education software, and other disruptive technology companies. Every VC has a sweet spot when it comes to investing. NIN.VC likes to invest in disruptive technologies. Ms. Desai (President and CEO, NIN Ventures) defines disruptive technology as an innovation that changes an existing industry and also helps create a new market and value network, displacing an earlier technology or a way of doing business. 

1. If all VCs have a sweet spot, how does one choose the right VC for their start up?

Unlike popular belief all VCs firms are the same. Find a VC that sees value in you and your product. Read the partner bio and the industries they like to invest in. Pick a partner you want to work with over the firm. Generally, VCs tend to take a board seat on their investments and often lend their advice in order to maintain good governance and achieve a successful exit. Thus, pick a VC you share a good rapport with and the one that is willing to back you through thick and thin over the next few years. 

2. Do personal characteristics matter when picking a VC?

Often times VCs invest in a company because it is a “hot deal.” Avoid those investors and instead go for the one who genuinely believes in you and has a deep conviction in you, your company, your market, and your team. Startup journey is full of ups-and-downs and a VC plays a key role in lending a steady hand during those turbulent times. While it is important that your VC is upfront and direct with you, keep a look out for yellow / red flags for VC partners who are rude, have high egos, and are disrespectful.

3. What are some of the questions Entrepreneurs should ask VCs?

It is very important for an Entrepreneur to know what are some of the qualities VCs look for in an Entrepreneur or a Company. E.g. At NIN.VC, we start with an Entrepreneur. We invest in an entrepreneur because entrepreneurs build companies and not the other way round. Being an entrepreneur is the hardest job in the world and entrepreneurs face varied challenges when it comes to taking their disruptive technologies to market. The few attributes that we look for in an entrepreneur is the ability to dream big, experience and expertise in their industry, ability to communicate with the team and outside, flexibility to adapt to a fast changing environment, and certain personality traits like being focused, dedicated, disciplined, and working hard to accomplish their goals.

As long as the company has certain ingredients like a good management team, a disruptive technology, a viable product, and a revenue-generating strategy that forms a basic foundation that leads to long-term success. We at NIN.VC like to invest in companies that are going to stand the test of time. 

From a technical perspective, it is important for an Entrepreneur to know the life cycle of the fund. Will the fund be able to write them a check or back them during their next funding rounds? How many other board seats the VCs has? Will he or she be able to devote the required time and attention to your firm?, etc. 

4. How do VCs add value to a firm? What is NIN.VC’s competitive advantage?

The market is flooded with various funding options from Angels to VCs to Crowdfunding portals. Entrepreneurs now have a choice when it comes to picking the right investor for their firm. I come from an Entrepreneurial family so I can speak on their behalf. Entrepreneurs are brave and courageous bunch that are determined to change the way an existing industry functions. On that journey they need lot more than just financing. They need guidance or domain expertise, help with PR/marketing, recruiting, viable exit strategy, more often follow up financing, etc., which Crowdfunding portals are not able to support. If you need someone to add value to your business, NIN.VC or Venture Capital is the way to go. However on the other extreme, if you are an experienced or serial entrepreneur looking for capital, Crowdfunding is a good alternative as long as they can avoid a messy cap table. 

5. What is the best way to pitch you or NIN.VC?

The best way to pitch us is to submit a business plan on www.nin.vc


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