One of the great things about a start-up is the opportunity to do things differently. My partners Simon, Adrian and Ash have all started their own businesses before, and while I have not, we all share an aspiration to try to improve the environment and make some small contribution to the way in which the London VC scene works.
We are doing this by introducing our most important – if slightly mysterious – partner, Frank.
Frank comes to every meeting we attend. He is generally introduced at the end of meetings. Rather rudely, we do not introduce him until you, the entrepreneur, have finished your pitch.
Who is Frank, why is his photo not (yet) on the Episode 1 website?
Frank is how we want to be. Frank is what we are going to be. If we don’t bring Frank to our meeting with you, if for example, we drag Misty along with us, we want you to tell us. Loud and Clear.
At the end of every meeting we have with an entrepreneur, we want you to know exactly where you stand with us. If we don’t like what you are doing, or if we don’t think your business fits what we are looking for, we will say so. That does not mean that you have a bad business, it is just that we have a clear idea of what we want to invest in and what characteristics we want our companies to exhibit.
You’re putting blood, sweat and tears into this thing we call a start up. You’ve spotted an opportunity, you’ve developed a product and you’ve persuaded people to part with real cash to pay for what you’re doing. We think you deserve to get honest feedback, leavened, we hope with some contacts, advice and thoughts on what you could do to make your business even more awesome than you want it to be.
Frank does one other thing that we think is important. He asks for feedback – he wants to know whether your interaction with us has been a productive one and whether you would recommend us to other entrepreneurs. If we decline the opportunity, or you decide to take investment from elsewhere, Frank will email you and ask to tell us how we did and where we could do better.
Frank likes an answer – it helps him get better. And better is what we all want to be.