Align Your Needs to Your Investor’s Style

Relationships—with founders, community builders, other investors, LPs—are at the heart of venture capital. Healthy relationships with these people and others are important to a successful fund. Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with more investors.

One thing I’ve noticed is that investors interact with their investments in different ways. Some take formal roles as board members, some act as informal advisors (and therapists), and others are mostly passive. To be clear, I don’t think there is a right or wrong approach—what matters is what works best for that investor. I’ve learned that each investor has reasons for their approach.

Founders need to be aware of this when raising capital. Ideally, you should think about what you want from your investor, beyond capital, and partner with one whose style aligns with what you’re seeking. Write down what you need help with. As you speak with investors, ask how they can help you—and how they’ve helped others—in those areas. The responses can help you identify the right investor for you.