The Accelerator Group says no thanks to newbies Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I was a little shocked to read the following comment from Robin Klein on The Accelerator Group's (TAG) blog today
"Funding business plans from first time entrepreneurs just won't happen anymore!"
As I commented in response, I'm assuming this just means TAG. Otherwise, if applied universally, then entrepreneurs will soon be an extinct species given that people cannot move between zero and two/three ventures. Of course, Robin may be including folks who've tagged along in management roles with founders in his eligible for funding category.
I can understand why TAG might use this filter, but entrepreneurs repeating previous success is also not a given. Whilst second time round entrepreneurs may have learnt lessons [from failure or success], you can also buy-in experience in support of a great proposition.
TAG have done incredibly well with their formula and have great relationships with the larger VCs, as well as having invested time in community initiatives. However this sends a dispiriting message to new entrepreneurs and undermines efforts of groups like Seedcamp, Y-Combinator etc who advocate that good ideas from quality people can get funding.
UPDATE : Robin responded
"sorry. Wasn't clear enough. My point was that just funding a 'business plan' ie a powerpoint plan with a 3year blue-sky financial model won't happen. Of course, first time entrepreneurs who bootstrap and build something, demonstrate consumer or trade engagement are always going to be of great interest."
That makes more sense.