What Makes For A Backable Team?

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This Friday I’m joining my good friend Jim Chung over at GW for a talk on “what makes a venture backable team?” As I prepared for the event I thought I would share some general thoughts on the topic in this blog post. I hope it’s useful to you if you are considering starting a business and putting your execution team together.
The first point I want to emphatically make is that I would not focus on putting a team together for attracting Venture Capital; I would focus on building a team to grow a businesses. If a business can be grown, and the team has the skills to grow it, then in my experience capital will find that business. Put another way – good entrepreneurs, and good teams, find a way to win.  A great idea in the wrong hands is nothing more than an idea. A great idea in the hands of a strong team is likely to become a business.
Therefore, when I look at a team I am focused on whether this is a group that can succeed together. I want a team that has many, if not all of the attributes below. But, most of all, I am looking for teams that believe that they will succeed and have the depth and chops to do it.

Also, my thoughts below are focused on the attributes of the initial team – the one that is going to take a business from concept to the first $1,000,000 in revenues. Teams and leadership for businesses that have more than 20 employees, or more than $1,000,000 in revenues, need some distinctively different attributes from a start up team. The same team can do both, but there are differences. The largest differences center around organizational development and management. Most entrepreneurial businesses won’t scale without skills in those areas, but that is a story for another blog post.

With that in mind, here are the characteristics that I believe are essential for a good start up team:

Read entire blog post from November 12, 2010.

 

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