More than 200 new VCs were created in Europe in the past years, I heard at the Latitude59 conference in Tallinn (Estonia) this year. Waw. That should give a great boost to the EU start-up and scale-up community.
Of course, I would love to see one of my ideas turned into a venture, with the support of one (or more) of those VCs. My biggest question however is: which of those 200 VCs’ ambitions are in line with my vision, and search for purpose? Are they going to support the impact I would like to create on the planet? Or are they only in for a huge exit?
If they are not in for the impact, how would it ever be possible to explain the DNA, culture, drive, and passion of the projects that I am about to create … and make them love and support me all along the road to impact — including the difficult times that are part of any venture?
Reducing cost for profit, or investing for impact?
It is about money – of course – business is business, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s also about where to spend the money. And that’s where it gets interesting. Now tell me, how could a VC that does not align with the purpose of my venture, could ever agree with certain costs and investments, that might not immediately lead to the biggest margin on the short term, but might be much better for the impact – and hence for the company value on the mid and long term?
I believe now, that they would have to agree with the desired impact first, if they would ever want to join me on my venture towards creating that specific impact – or otherwise we will always live in a very tense relationship.
No one will profit of such a situation. And the planet will be the biggest loser.
Building a passionate team would be difficult…
Same story with the attraction of people and the building of teams. Just suppose my biggest investors are only in for the money? How could they ever understand that I am not going to attract the best-skilled sales or the best-trained project manager? How will they understand that one of the freaks I might hire, is just the right person in the right team, that will get the right impact?
For each of my projects, I am looking for people that can complement their future team(s), in order for each of the teams to create impact as a team. Finding gaps in the team is therefore only based on finding what is missing to impact. Often that has nothing to do with expertise. Or with talent. Or with being the best.
On the lookout for impact-driven VCs
As I feel it now, and as I see a lot of the articles and blog posts about the start-up and scale-up community, investors that want to create impact first, are still a rare species.
Do you know investors that are into purpose and impact? Please get them in touch with me for a chat or a meeting.