May 22 2008 by Brad

Do VCs Fund Entrepreneurs Who Have Failed At Previous Ventures

Q: Are you aware of any VC’s that have funded founders that have failed at their previous ventures?

A: (Brad) Absolutely.  Me!  Any many other VCs.  Failure is a normal part of entrepreneurship which I’ve written about extensively in the Failure section on Feld Thoughts.

My favorite entrepreneurs to fund are those that have had at least one success and one failure.  While it is a cliche, failure teaches the big lessons.  Most importantly, entrepreneurs that have some failure under their belt have humility and perspective that I think is deeply useful in the creation of the company.

There is a perspective – promoted by some people – that the best serial entrepreneurs have never been unsuccessful.  This is a myth – the vast majority of successful entrepreneurs who I know have a long string of failures in their past.

This applies to VCs and angel investors also.  If someone tells you they have never lost money on an investment or have never been involved in a venture that didn’t work, you should give them a very skeptical look.