There has already been a few amazing experiences since I joined InSITE a month ago but this one tops it all. It was time for 2010 fellows including me to be wow’ed. We were going to see a term sheet negotiation mock up played by some of the most highly regarded players in NYC. Bartek Ringwelski (playing the VC), Jason Finger (playing the startup CEO ) Adam Dinow (Wilson Sonsini lawyer acting as counsel to the startup), and Sacha Ross (Wilson Sonsini lawyer acting as counsel to the VC) had generously taken out time for us. Bartek (former VC at Canaan Partners) has recently launched his startup SkillSlate that grabbed a $1.1M seed round funding. Jason, coincidentally, is one of the angel investor at SkillSlate and is most well-known for being a founder of SeamlessWeb.com.
The hour and half long session consisted of a pithy negotiation simulation and discussion of the subtleties including:
1. Importance of overall valuation but caveat of focusing solely on it
2. Protective clauses for the VC that may be unfavorable to founder’s
future in the company
3. Importance of board members
Fellows got a chance to ask questions that spurred our guests to narrate their real-world experiences of engaging in a term sheet negotiation. My most important takeaway was getting a sense of what makes for a fruitful startup-investor relation and some of the points made it clear to me why some VCs are so loved by their startups.
As the fellows prepare for a career in startups and VC sector, I am confident that this session has laid a valuable foundation. I highly recommend this session to future InSITE fellows and look forward to the next speaker event hosting Jeff Bussgang!
A special thanks to Mike DiBenedetto for organizing this event.
-Nistha – Stern 2012