How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions?
VCs said that deal flow, deal selection, and VC value-add are all important contributors to value creation. They consid-ered deal selection most important.
In How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions? (NBER Working Paper No. 22587), Paul Gompers, William Gornall, Steven N. Kaplan, and Ilya A. Strebulaev report on the results of a survey of 885 institutional venture capitalists (VCs) conducted between November 2015 and March 2016. The survey asked detailed questions covering business practices. Most respondents were graduates of top MBA programs or Kauffman Fellows. Some were recruited from a list of individual members of the National Venture Capital Association and the VentureSource database. Eighty-two percent of respondents were partners in their firms.
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The researchers found that deal flow, deal selection, and VC value-add are all important contributors to value creation. Among these, deal selection was considered the most important. VCs view the quality of the management team as more important than the business model, product, or market, both in selecting deals and in deal success. Managerial ability, industry experience, and passion were prized qualities for management team selection.
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