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Monday, August 8, 2011

Successful Venture Capitalists and their Views on Business Plan Essentials

Don Valentine

Don Valentine is a venture capitalist with a heavy influence in the technology industry in the United States. Don has a B.A. from Fordham University and is credited with the foundry of National and Fairchild semiconductor companies. In 1972 he founded Sequoia Capital, a venture capital investment firm in California’s Silicon Valley. He was one of the original investors in companies like Apple, Atari, Logic, Oracle, Cisco, Electronic Arts, Google, YouTube and many others. The firm is widely regarded as one of the top firms in the Silicon valley and according to an article posted on washingtonpost.com, 19% of the NASDAQ’s value is made up of firms Sequoia Capital has funded.

Don Valentine and Sequoia Capital seek business plans that target large markets and rich customers. According to sequoiacap.com a good business plan should give as much information with as few words as possible. The plan should explicitly describe a consumer problem and offer an effective and profitable solution. The plan should also give details on the business model, the team involved and a solid financial analysis.

Brad Feld

Brad Feld is the co-founder of Foundry Group. Brad has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for over 20 years. He is also active with several non-profit companies and is the current chairman of the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

In a blog entry on his web sire feld.com, Brad underscores the importance of the executive summary by saying, “While I don’t read business plans anymore (executive summaries are enough for me), I believe the business plan is a critical document for an entrepreneur to organize his thoughts around his new business.” In an interesting entry that details one of his earliest business plans he reveals that while the plan was a bit simplistic and na├»ve, it framed the business very effectively.