Written By
Max Brown


SBT On Forbes: 6 Lessons For VCs, Entrepreneurs

Every day we work with entrepreneurs with dreams of making a significant, positive impact in the world. Sometimes, entrepreneurs and the investors funding them learn lessons as they try to bring those dreams to fruition. Recently, Kara Nortman, a partner at LA-based Upfront Ventures, shared some of the most important lessons for investors and entrepreneurs with my colleague Marissa Peretz.

Look For VCs Who Provide A ‘Safe Place’

One of the earliest lessons she learned is that “new ideas are born from big challenges, strong guardrails and hard work.” VCs can provide the guardrails.

Entrepreneurs should choose partners who make them feel safe and supported when something goes wrong, otherwise they will always feel alone and be thinking unclearly. “If a VC helps an entrepreneur feel safe in a partnership, the entrepreneur can do their best work, creating room for failure instead of making you feel worse,” Nortman says. “Being kind and being tough are not mutually exclusive.”

Work With People Who Share Your Values

Nortman considers the people she invests with as family, and she believes the funding process should be steeped in respect. “Because I’ve been in the position myself, I know how terrible long maybes and false hopes can be,” she says. “It doesn’t help anyone to pretend, so I believe in fast yeses and fast noes.”

For the full article, read Marissa Peretz’ latest article on Forbes.