What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Levensohn Venture Partners VC Jeff Karras offers up tips and advice on getting funded

Investor interview by Reena A Jadhav
June 30, 2010
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So you want to raise some venture funding? Before you do, keep in mind this one very big mistake entrepreneurs make: They try to raise money too early from venture capitalists.

That's according to Jeff Karras, a VC at Levensohn Venture Partners (LVP), based in San Francisco. Before they go out to VCs, entrepreneurs should build a product, build a team and get some traction to demonstrate what they're doing. "Put your story together and show some proof points," said Jeff.

What are questions entrepreneurs should ask investors? I asked.

Ask them how much they know about your business, pain point and industry, Jeff suggested. In fact, you might go as far as talking to CEOs of companies the VCs have invested in. "It's a marriage and you want to do your homework before entering that marriage."

What are the common traits that all successful entrepreneurs have?

Passion. "You see a passionate entrepreneur and they'll run through walls to make things successful," Jeff explained. That passion allows an entrepreneur to recruit a great team, and sell the vision. 

This interview was conducted in May during Vator's Vator Splash event.


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Bio: Reena Jadhav is a 4 time entrepreneur (, Conduit, JobFlash, Riiwards), now working on, start-up Advisor...