Ann Winblad is the co-founder and a Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Her background & over 30 years of experience in the software industry have been chronicled in many national business & trade publications. Prior to co-founding Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Ann served as a strategy consultant for prestigious clients such as IBM, Microsoft, Price Waterhouse, & numerous start-ups. In addition, Ann has co-authored the book Object-Oriented Software. Ann has served as a Director of numerous start-up and public companies & currently serves as a director of Ace Metrix, Karmasphere, MuleSoft, Sonatype, Star Analytics & Voltage Security. Ann is also
co-chair of SV Forum.
co-chair of SV Forum.
"When entrepreneurs talk about a product, they really need to talk about why there wasn't a product like this before."
"I encourage entrepreneurs to look at how you add web-based pieces to existing pieces."
"Many venture capitalists never say no, so your deal is in this salad spinner of a VC firm and you never know if you're going to get out of there."
"For an SaaS company today, the starting line is easy to get to. The challenge now is building and growing."
"We call the marketplace and we hope we find euphoria out there. Occasionally, the potential customers say 'we'd never buy that."
"Don't get sucked into the tactics...keep your eye on the horizon and the market that you're really going to claim."
"Look for investors that will provide an unfair competitive advantage."
"You should go into this process believing you get a choice. You can choose not only the firm, but the partner that you're going to work with at the firm."
"If you go out and meet a dozen venture capitalists - they're at board meetings together, they socialize together - pretty soon they're all talking about your deal."
"Venture Capitalists, for the most part, are pattern matchers."
"Constructing the deal is still part of due diligence. There's not a term sheet yet until there is a term sheet."
"Many entrepreneurs spend time giving me excruciating details about their products, about how they're going to operate but they don't really tell a great story."
If an entrepreneur comes in and has a slide with an exit strategy we give them an immediate no.
If you haven't spoken to your customers then you can only talk like a product builder.
Which wallet is going to open up for me? --Not which feature is going to open up the wallet.
What noise is out there that is obscuring you from view? What will be in between you and a wallet?
"Every company is different in the magic ingredients that they need."
If you go out and meet a dozen venture capitalists we're at board meetings together, we socialize together pretty soon they're all talking about your deal.
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