Last year, OpenTable founder and all-around great guy, Chuck Templeton, asked me to put together a talk on negotiating termsheets for participants in his Impact Engine program. Although Chuck thought he was asking a favor of me, I found the process of organizing my thoughts on negotiating termsheets (and in general) a personally useful exercise. Below is a digest of the talk including some of my tips.
In June, I made the difficult decision to leave one of the Midwest’s finest venture capital firms, OCA Ventures. I began my career in venture capital at OCA in 2001, when I started as an intern. I will be forever grateful to the mentors, partners, support staff, founders, management teams and friends that made working at OCA and working with its portfolio companies such a rewarding and formative experience over the last 13 years. I will continue to serve on the board of Base CRM and have responsibilities for OCA’s investment in Alert Logic. I will still be rooting hard for OCA and its portfolio companies as an investor in the funds.
I am excited to announce that I joined Origin Ventures at the beginning of September. Origin is a venture capital firm in Chicago that invests primarily in series A rounds of technology companies and highly-salable services businesses. Our specialties include e-commerce, SaaS, digital media and advertising technology. Origin is perhaps best known for being the first investor in Grubhub, IfByPhone, Whittl and many other great businesses. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Origin and its partners over the last 10 years in various capacities- as a co-investor, board member and in the thicket negotiating deals. We’ve had the chance to see one another react to significant challenges, navigate through negotiations, perform cap table calisthenics, seize opportunities and work alongside entrepreneurs. Working in a small partnership is different than other jobs I’ve had. You are electing to intertwine your financial, professional, personal and every other aspect of your life together. Consequently, there is a lot of comfort working with people who you know and when you’ve already been tested together.