An antidote to the 'California No'

I am a big fan of the Venture Capital Investment Competition conducted each year by the University of North Carolina at top graduate business schools around the world.

A Honest Good Time

I recently encouraged Jon Greene of Widetronix to participate as an entrepreneur at the Harvard VCIC. The VCIC is one of the few times entrepreneurs get to hear honest feedback from real venture capitalist about your business.

Venture capitalists typically give a myriad of excuses for why they won't invest in your company. This is casually referred to at the "California No". VC's do this to keep their options open in the future. Saying "You aren't really in our investment space" is a lot easier and less risky than saying "We hate your business plan and we have no idea what your technology does". Nobody wants to piss off the next Google/Yahoo/eBay. However, it never really helps the company get better. The beauty of the VCIC is that the companies get the honest feedback, AND they get to hear how valid that feedback is. It's a great experience all the way around.

I have had the good fortune of participating as a student, a faculty adviser, and twice as an entrepreneur of a VCIC venture. If I someday attend as a venture capitalist, I'll have hit for the cycle!