There are two ways to improve the performance of a venture portfolio. The first is to invest in better companies. The second is to make the companies in the portfolio better.
We made our name in the former – writing detailed private market diligence for non-traditional investors. As our firm grew, we couldn’t avoid the obvious value-creation opportunity in the latter – using the talent on our team to mentor and train portfolio CEOs.
If you look at the “I am a Founder” section of this website, you’ll see a suite of management consulting services built to work for early-stage startup founders. These are not long runway-sapping engagements, but rather decisive goal-oriented interventions, each engineered and guaranteed to leave the portfolio with more value than it had beforehand.
We start by taking a look at the existing portfolio, and the direction of your investment activities. What’s the right mix of diligence to acceleration given the investment frequency? What are the CEOs’ strengths? Where has performance historically fallen short? Are there any consistent blind spots we can take advantage of? Based upon existing company performance and team composition, we can start to get a sense for where the acceleration opportunities exist.
Once we have an overhead view of the portfolio and understand your goals as an investor, we can start identifying the specific interventions that’ll have the biggest effect on total performance. Whether it’s IP strategy to boost assets ahead of a raise or data strategy to optimize conversion for revenue, we use the 80/20 principle to bite off the chunks that create disproportionate value.
3. Track & Optimize
As each engagement comes to a close, we track the impact on their key metrics and their value as the portfolio matures. There should be clear and measurable ROI for the individual companies and for the cohort as a whole. Over time, we’re able to refine which interventions have the greatest effect on your exits, IRR, internal raise multiples, and other important venture criteria.
Jourdan has an old man’s wisdom alongside a young man’s energy. Though he is much younger, I often turn to Jourdan for the benefit of his clear thinking and his shockingly deep knowledge on many topics. I’m surrounded by smart people, but Jourdan is a singularity.
Mike Edelhardt, General Partner, Social Starts VC & Joyance Partners | $85M funds under mgmt
Jourdan and his team brought rigor to our diligence process. As a result of their work, we were able to make smart passes on a few initially tantalizing machine learning opportunities. We later contracted with Brandt & Co. to conduct product workshops with 2 portfolio companies, which were fruitful and well received.