What’s the best way to sell the right amount of equity in your fundraising round?

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
Founder Showcase – Mark Suster Keynote on Vimeo

VCs want meaningful ownership. The fairway for a round of venture capital is 25-33% of your company. If you’re a better negotiator, if you’re hotter, if you have more people interested you can get it down to 18%-22%.

What’s the best way to retain employees?

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
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You need to take your employee base and categorize them as A’s, B’s and C’s. Any goodwill is already lost if they come to you and ask you for something. The golden rule of keeping employees happy is unexpected increases in compensation, role, or even just recognition.

What’s the best way to raise your seed round?

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
Revisiting Paul Graham’s “High Resolution” Financing | Bothsides of the Table

I often counsel the following: set a minimum amount of the round “X” (for example $500k) and put a clause in the term sheet that allows you to do a second closing of up to “X” + 50% ($250k in this example) in up to 90 days post closing at the same price. This gives you the ability to get the first money in the bank while giving you flexibility in size of round.