What a VC thinks: Thoughts behind an early stage tech investment (infographic)

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jeff clavier SoftTech VCTech investor Jeff Clavier sums up his investing philosophy with his quirky “three asses rule” — that a startup must have a smart-ass team, build a kick-ass product and serve a big-ass market.

But what considerations go into those three qualities? Anna Vital from Funders and Founders sat down with Clavier to map out what he thinks about when evaluating and making an investment, and created an infographic that gives entrepreneurs a glimpse into the mind of an investor.

Clavier is the founder and managing partner of SoftTech VC, a seed-stage investor that’s backed Mint (acquired by Intuit in 2009), Fitbit, Bit.ly and Eventbrite, to name a few. In fact, SoftTech VC has funded 140 companies —  30 of which have been acquired, 85 that are still working and 25 that have bit the dust.

The team trumps all in Clavier’s thought process, with the ideal executive team made up of a developer, a designer and a business expert. But the team should have an alpha product ready when seeking seed funding.


And when it comes to deal breakers, Clavier names three: Lack of a clear vision of the product, no clear vision of how to acquire users and a founder who says, “In five years, Google will buy us.”

Check out the infographic below:


 [Photo from SoftTech VC]

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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