I spent yesterday morning at Seedcamp, listening to a wide range of pitches from a great group of entrepreneurs and a great talk by Richard Reed of Innocent Drinks fame and now of Jamjar investments (I’d encourage any early stage consumer entrepreneur to go to meet with Jamjar, they would be a great partner for your business). I then spent the afternoon trying to be helpful at the mentoring sessions.
It was a long day, which ended over a beer with Simon Murdoch. Simon had been at another event the previous evening and talked to an entrepreneur about his experience with another VC, slightly later stage than Episode 1. Lots of interesting feedback from the entrepreneur, but the thing he said that left an impression with this founder was that the VC made a point of emailing every referee whom they spoke with during due diligence to say thank you.
I think that is great – and I am ashamed I have never thought of doing it.
Post beer, I jumped on my bike back to Episode 1 Towers in Holborn and found on my desk a handwritten envelope with a card inside. It was from Laura Fisher, co-founder of Treepress, thanking me for a 30 minute session the previous week. I am not sure how much I had really helped her, other than recommending The Hard Thing About Hard Things, but what an end to the week. Talk about reinforcing the lesson I had just learnt.
I’ve made loads of diligence calls, probably hundreds during my investment career, and I always make a point of saying thank you to the person on the other end of the call before I ask my first question, and at the end, but I have never ever sent an email to someone afterwards. That changes today.