Venture capital investors with a difference; how Presidio Advisors utilises mentoring skills to support better outcomes and impacts for entrepreneurs.

Venture capital investors with a difference - Blog Image

The role of VCs or venture capital investors is changing. It is evolving to more than just providing startups with funding but working with startups to secure better outcomes and a bigger impact.

About 1% of startups evolve into unicorn startups, like Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Stripe, and Docker. CBInsights

Venture capitalists are increasingly becoming business partners with founders and taking an active interest in the success of their portfolio companies. They want to help them build a great business, not just earn a profit by selling their equity stake in it.

Venture capital firms are now looking for ways to open up new markets and create new opportunities for growth that will make more money for all stakeholders involved—especially the investors themselves! This shift in mindset means they are investing in innovative ideas that may not have been possible five years ago when VCs primarily focused on protecting their investments at all costs.

What do venture capitalists typically look for?

Venture capital investors typically look for startups that have a clear vision, a solid business plan, and founding or leadership teams who can lead the company to success.

To be successful, a venture capital investor is going to make sure that the startup has a clear vision and goals for the future. They will want to know the company’s long-term goals and how they plan to achieve them. It’s also important for the startup to have a strong business plan in place so that they know exactly what needs to be done to get there. The investor will want to see that the founders have experience running companies before or are at least knowledgeable about how businesses work.

When it comes down to deciding whether or not they’ll invest in your company, venture capital investors are going to look at how qualified your team members are and if they’ll be able to lead your company into success. They’re looking for serial entrepreneurs and teams of people who have had prior experience in founding roles and have successfully worked together in the past.

How is Presidio different from other venture capitalists?

Presidio Advisors is a venture capital investment firm that focuses on investment in founders who are pioneering start-ups focused on making the world a better and more sustainable place.

10% of startups fail within the first year. Failory

At Presidio, we believe that the future of business lies in the hands of entrepreneurs. That’s why, when we invest in a company, we’re investing not just in their product or service, but also in their leadership. We know that startups are risky investments because they have such a high failure rate, but we also know that if anyone has what it takes to make a startup work, it’s the entrepreneur.

The same things that VCs look for when they invest in a start-up—a solid product with a great team—are important to us as well, but we take it one step further: we look for leaders who are not only capable but resilient. We want to ensure that if things go wrong, our founders will be able to face those challenges head-on and find solutions rather than give up. We believe that start-ups can have an even bigger impact when they’re led by true leaders who are resilient, compassionate, and courageous. We invest in their start-ups’ ideas and leadership because we know that these qualities will lead to better outcomes for them, their customers, and their communities.

23% of startups fail because of a weak founding team CBInsights
23% of startups mentioned that team issues as a contributor to failure. Entrepreneur
Founders who have failed previously have a 20% chance of success while first-time founders have an 18% chance of success. Skill vs. Luck in Entrepreneurship and VC

As someone who’s been there myself, I know how empowering it is to have a mentor to support your journey in business. That’s why we support entrepreneurs with the same kind of mentoring—we want them to succeed not just because it will bring them revenue or fame, but because they’re doing good work that makes a difference in people’s lives. This is why Presidio looks out for start-up leadership teams with strong support anchors as well: so that our portfolio companies can grow faster and stronger than ever before! Entrepreneurs that Presidio invests in have a higher likelihood of return on investment because we look for startup leaders who have a support system behind them. These entrepreneurs tend to have a more significant impact and better outcomes.

We seek out entrepreneurs who are passionate about their work and enjoy the process of building something new, but also understand that they can’t achieve their goals alone. We look for individuals who have mentors or advisors to bounce ideas off of and ask for advice from, as well as employees who are willing to challenge them when necessary.

Experience alone does not make a team successful — soft skills such as “entrepreneurial passion” and “shared strategic vision” are required as well. Harvard Business Review

The key difference between these kinds of entrepreneurs and others is that they’re able to maintain a balance between what they want to accomplish and what’s best for the business as a whole. They know how important it is to stay focused on their vision while also being open to input from their team members, which helps them make better decisions regarding the direction of the company.

How mentor training improved my leadership and advisor role as a VC

I am always looking for ways to improve myself, and Mowgli Mentoring’s Become an Effective Mentor (BEM) programme is one of the many programmes that stood out for me and helped me grow in my roles as a mentor, manager, leader, advisor and member of the Mowgli Mentoring board (strategy and finance focus).  This programme, at the time, was open to the Mowgli Mentoring leadership team.

The Become an Effective Mentor (BEM) programme taught me how to manage relationships with my entrepreneurs in a way that helps them grow and develop their own strengths. As a mentor, it is important for me to understand what makes each entrepreneur tick and what they need from me so that I can be an effective mentor for them. BEM provided me with the framework needed for this process and now every time I interact with an entrepreneur, I am able to apply what I learned from BEM and ensure that it helps them grow.

The value of mentoring

Mentoring is an important part of leadership, entrepreneurship and management. Every leader should have a mentor who can help them clarify their ambition and goals, challenge assumptions, identify the challenges ahead and navigate the unknown, tap into their resourcefulness and spot opportunities that they might not have seen on their own.

The number one reason startups fail is misreading market demand — this is found in 42% of cases. CBInsights

Mentoring skills are also important for VCs investing in entrepreneurs, especially considering the changing role of VCs. It helps them build a better relationship with their funded entrepreneurs, resulting in better understanding, alignment, relationships, trust and consequently better results.

I would recommend the BEM training to anyone who wants to be a better leader or manager. Mentoring will help you learn how to spot opportunities before they happen and prepare yourself for what’s coming next. You’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities more quickly than if you weren’t mentored.

Author: Jourdan Younis | Director, Senior Advisor – Presidio Advisors | Mowgli Mentoring board member (Strategy and Finance focus)