Talking near monkhood, the Midwest & the Wild West of private market investing

Key Takeaways:

  1. Don’t follow in anybody’s footsteps. Build a thesis and venture capital firm that is authentic to you, your passions, and your experience, not just what you see in the market


Talking secret clearance, Twitter, and diamonds in the rough

Mac Conwell of RareBreed Ventures
Mac Conwell of RareBreed Ventures
https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2020/10/19/investor-from-tedco-launches-early-stage-vc-fund.html

I had the pleasure of meeting Mac through Twitter then over Zoom last October. Over the holidays, I sat down with Mac Conwell to chat about his journey as an emerging manager, launching RareBreed VC, his investment philosophy, and his advice for those who want to follow in his footsteps.

McKeever “Mac” Conwell II is a software engineer by trade and was a former DOD contractor with “top-secret clearance doing a lot of cool stuff I can never talk about.” Mac spoke candidly about the highs and lows of his early career that ultimately led him to VC. He was…


Part 4: Managing Your First Fund as a Business and Building Fund II, III and Beyond

Keys:

  1. 95% of VC funds fail. In addition to your passion and commitment, bring operational experience to juggle investing, fundraising, and running your small business.


A Guide For Emerging Managers

Part 3 of 4: Pursuing Leads & Getting to Yes

Keys:

  1. Tap into your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree network to cast a wide net when looking for potential investors to build support before your search becomes more targeted.

Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your first fund — building your network, identifying your secret sauce and motivation, developing your thesis, and modeling your fund — how do you move forward?

I…


Investment management tool and feature essentials

For years, many VCs have used a mix of spreadsheets and email to manage their investments. Despite the fact that technology represents 78% of venture capital investments, VCs themselves are stuck in the dark ages. The future of investing involves greater deal flow and requires better real-time tools to help private market investors make better deal flow decisions.

Here are 5️⃣ must-have tools and features for private equity investors:

1. Source High-Quality Deal Flow

VCs need a tool to help bring high-quality deals into their deal flow funnel. Deal flow is usually not quantified and based solely on your network & friends.

This is great…


Are they worth it?

Photo by Shengjun Shi on Unsplash

Venture capitalists see hundreds of deals every year — whether you’re an angel investor, emerging manager, or veteran managing partner. The question is, how do you manage all of this deal flow without losing track of the deal, investment economics, and post-investment milestones? Who sent it to you, and who you shared it with? Who has the deal and what are the economics?

Even further, you need to keep track of where all those companies are in your investment process. Through the diligence process, the huge mass of deals gets gradually whittled down to just a small percentage of companies…


and where the missing link is for investors

Photo by Charles Forerunner on Unsplash

Over the last few years, SaaS has become a very profitable investment for venture capital firms. In 2019, $136.5B was invested in SaaS companies in the US alone. More and more SaaS companies have entered the market, disrupting current practices and helping customers streamline their businesses and eliminate manual processes.

First, SaaS businesses provide predictable, recurring revenue, a draw for any VC firm. The SaaS model also allows startups to grow their customer base for the same costs, more or less. In this way, SaaS startups are incredibly capital efficient.


for angel investors, fund managers, and limited partners

Over the years, I have simultaneously been a managing director with Silicon Valley Bank, a limited partner, an advisor, and a mentor. When I was with an operator in a fund, we were trying to manage it all with a combination of spreadsheets, Affinity, Google products, AngelList, Trello, and email, but things started falling through the cracks.

We started missing deals, missing economics that fit our thesis, and dropping the ball with helping founders — the core of our mission.

And it’s no wonder. Proper portfolio management has so many moving pieces.

Including:

  1. Due diligence on not just individual companies, but…


A Guide for Emerging Managers

Part 2: Fund, Thesis & Pitch Deck

Keys:

  1. There are about 900 micro VCs in the market representing demand for ~$20 billion in capital commitments every 2–3 years. Set yourself apart with 1) thesis-driven conviction and alignment 2) differentiated deal flow and access to founder communities, and 3) added value beyond the check.


A guide for emerging managers

Part 1: Ecosystem, Network & Team

Keys:

  1. Leverage your reputation and network to show early investors that you know enough people in the industry and have access to strong, proprietary deal flow.

Theron McCollough

The Founder VC; founder/CEO at fiifi.co; past Managing Director @SVB_Financial #startups, Investor at Acceleprise

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