VC in Residence: How Should Startups Approach Investors?

Talent Garden Dublin welcomes Bill Liao as he joins Ireland’s first online ‘VC in Residence’ interview on July 2nd.


According to the Irish Times, in 2020 VC funding for tech companies in Ireland has slowed down since the onset of the crisis although it hasn’t dried up completely. VC firms are helping to alleviate liquidity issues for companies and are still making new investments at a slower pace.

At Talent Garden, we want to give our members and the startup community the chance to easily access expert advice and support from experienced VCs, which is why we created Ireland’s first ever Venture Capitalist in Residence Programme. This programme is brought to life through workshops, fireside chats, advisory sessions and panel debates where attendees can gain valuable insights from top VCs from around the world.

Last year, we kicked off proceedings with a Fireside Chat with Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist and Angel Investor, Brian Caulfield, who shared his global insights and expertise on what makes a good VC investment and the unique relationship of a VC and their investor companies.

Ahead of our next Fireside Chat on July 2nd 2020 with Bill Liao, co-founder of the CoderDojo movement and of Weforest, we’re sharing Brian’s top tips for entrepreneurs looking for VC funding, to give attendees a taste of what they can expect from the programme and upcoming events.


Brian Caulfield’s Top Tips

1 | Every startup needs a strong entrepreneur that hold these traits:

  • Ability to think differently about a market
  • Integrity
  • Self awareness

2 |  A founder’s integrity and authenticity is what helps to attract amazing people and resources, whether its great team members or great customers.

3 |  It is vital for an entrepreneur to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses – if a founder is unable to see his or her flaws early on, it will only bring trouble for the company in the future.

4 | The best way to approach an investor is with a light touch. Simply ask for their insights over a coffee, instead of jumping straight to talking money – “If you want advice, ask for money and if you want money, ask for advice.”

5 | Make sure to have a clear image of the problem you are trying to solve, before bringing on a VC.

6 |  An elevator pitch must be a ‘thing of beauty.’ Ultimately, it comes down to being able to succinctly capture the gist of your business in 15 seconds or less, and to focus on selling the problem – communicating the size of it, and the value proposition you have to address it.

7 | Expect VCs to also add value in the form of acumen around fundraising, strategy, and hiring great talent – not necessarily a direct increase in sales.


Don’t miss the next VC in Residence Fireside Chat with Bill Liao, Co-founder of the CoderDojo movement and of Weforest. His career in tech and business encompasses two unicorn companies and launching the world’s first bio-tech accelerator, RebelBio. He is a general partner of SOSV, a $750m venture capital fund and founder of the upcoming SOSV Momentum Pre-accelerator program.

The Fireside Chat takes place online on July 2nd at 5pm and you can register for free here.
5 June 2019

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