How Investors Add Value Beyond the Check

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Scout investors who will also be your mentors and indispensable partners.

By Poornima Vijayashanker (Founder, BizeeBee & Femgineer)

This post originally appeared on Femgineer.

If you’ve been following along with FemgineerTV, you’ll have learned what the investor-founder dynamic is like from the viewpoint of an entrepreneur. In the last episode, I sat down with the CEO & co-founder of StyleSeat, Melody McCloskey, to understand what it takes to raise capital at the various stages of a startup, from Seed to Series A and beyond.

In today’s episode, we’re going to get the opposite perspective by diving into an investor’s mindset. We’ll try to understand what compels them to write a check and, more importantly, how they add value beyond a check.

(That’s right, they’re not just a source of capital; they can be an indispensable partner!)

I’ve invited Shruti Gandhi to chat with us. Shruti is the founding and managing partner at Array VC, a fund that invests in early stage startups. She began her career as software engineer. Since then, she has been a startup founder and an investor in five funds; now, she has started her own.

Having been in many roles, Shruti understands the importance of capital, but she also knows firsthand that founders need help beyond the check.

During our conversation, you’ll learn:

  • How investors can help you accelerate your company’s sales
  • How investors test a founder’s commitment to their product and company
  • How to work with different types of investors: corporate, institutional and angels
  • Why investors look for founders who have been an early employee at a startup before striking out on their own
  • How to dig into an investor’s thesis to find out if they are a right fit for you

What I found most refreshing about this episode is how Shruti shares learnings from both successful and “failed” experiences. The failures have taught her the importance of investors who are helpful to founders in a variety of functions.

This willingness and ability to help is something we should all be looking for in the people we choose to partner with!

So if you’re an early employee at a startup or a founder, watch today’s episode and learn how to scout the investors who are going to add value to your company beyond the check.

After you’ve watched the video, let us know what your favorite part was in the blog comments.

In the show we mention a deck that Shruti has put together to help founders who are getting ready to pitch investors check it out: Pitch Ready: Getting into the Mind of a Venture Capitalist.

Stay tuned for the next of FemgineerTV in November. I’ll be hosting Danielle Morrill, the Co-Founder and CEO of Mattermark. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to know when it’s out!


About the guest blogger: Poornima Vijayashanker is the founder of BizeeBee, a platform that helps membership based business drive growth. Before acquisition she was the founding engineer at Mint.com, has launched Femgineer, a company that helps tech professionals and entrepreneurs level up their careers and has been one of Inc Magazine's '10 Women to Watch' in tech.