While interning at ff Venture Capital this summer, I had the opportunity to see the inner workings of a seed stage venture capital firm. And I think the overall experience can be summed up in one word: busy. Officially I was a legal intern, so I was responsible for reviewing the multitude of documents that accompany every round of funding. During this negotiation phase, I learned what was valuable for the success of not only closing the deal at hand, but also for the continued future health and success of the company and the investor. Unofficially, I was able to see and hear from both sides of the industry: from the venture capital firm, and from the startups and their founders. I had the opportunity to see all the various working parts that make ffVC tick: due diligence teams, public relations, engineering and IP expertise. I learned about the startups and the other side of the industry during the weekly intern lunches. During these lunches, a different CEO from a portfolio company would tell his/her story and of the challenges of getting a company off the ground. Whether I was doing my official legal duties or interacting with startup founders, I was constantly experiencing and learning new aspects that make up the startup and investing industry.
Some other noteworthy and life altering lessons I learned at ffVC are:
1. Sigmund Freud was onto something with the ol’ dinner bell triggering salivating. Just hang around at 4 o’clock on a Friday afternoon and his Freudian conclusion will be put on display.
2. If you can’t get on the top ten high scores of the arcade game Missile Command, follow these steps: 1) Accidentally unplug the game; 2) Magically all the previous high scores will be erased; 3) Play game and attempt to get the high score. I guarantee you’ll succeed or your money back.
3. Paul & Rich’s Five Day Weather Forecast is always right. Even when you look outside and think they are wrong, walk outside and they will be right. Telling the weather city by city is amateur hour; these guys can forecast the weather street by street.
4. Only the glass walls are meant to be written on, not the drywall ones.