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Startup investors: coaching vs undermining?

For any entrepreneur receiving an investment from a sophisticated investor, especially a VC, there will come the time where you need to receive some guidance on how to execute due to lack of experience which may be one of the skills that such VCs investing would add to the table. IN this process, what are the difference between coaching the entrepreneur and undermining him or her?

2 Replies

Martin Omansky
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Why would a VC undermine a portfolio company? Wouldn't that be against its own interest? Perhaps you are referring to "undermining" an individual entrepreneur. That is a horse of a different garage. It is not uncommon for VC's to try to change managers often for good reasons. Sent from my iPhone
Alexius Moore
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Alexius Moore Entrepreneur
Supply Chain Solutions Consultant

It is very important to establish this during contract negotiations. The VC is playing a vital role however it is up to the company to establish how involved they want the VC to be involved. If the VC is on the board they have some say so. If they are simply there in a mentorship capacity it is very important that the company have creative control but within reason maybe the VC saw that same vison fail and they can offer some insight on a different approach. Stating that decisions are being undermined carries such a negative connotation it needs to stay out of business. This is a trust issue in business you need to be able to iron out different' s or you have to find other partners, investors, VC's etc.

We all see that building strong relationships is vital to the survival of a company you can only stand united. If the leaders are not in agreement what does that say about a collaboration of the company itself? Make sure you are in agreement once you leave a meeting. If you feel it did not go your way maybe address the issue in a non combative way to make sure you have the right fit so you can keep moving forward. Often it is simply a misunderstanding of intent get it crystal clear so the word undermine does not have to be felt or ever said within your company.

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