Is it founder friendly or not?
Increasingly so. I think we’re not perfect yet, but we are definitely on the right track. A number of new funds have committed to investing on founder friendly terms and this pushes the entire ecosystem in that direction.There are some interesting dynamics in the VC world, and the power of FOMO or positive peer pressure shouldn’t be underestimated. They can be, and are being, applied to improve conditions for founders all around.
How do you understand ‘founder friendly’ in relation to investments?
For me ‘founder friendliness’ consists of every interaction we have with startups, whether we invest in them or not. Being a ‘founder friendly’ investor not only means a good term sheet, but to support the team throughout the investment process. Most importantly, we as VCs should be as transparent as possible on matters such as the status of the deal at any given point, what kind of terms we are considering, and give the founders feedback on our main concerns if we end up passing on the opportunity.
According to you, what do we need to do in Denmark, if we want to keep the successful start-ups here?
For companies to thrive here, at least two things are needed: access to investments and access to talent. We need to make sure that people who have been successful in the past are willing to re-invest their money into local startups. I think it’s really important for the early-stage startup ecosystem to have a vibrant pay-it-forward culture where successful entrepreneurs help the next generation of founders.
Secondly, we need to make it as easy as possible for Danish companies to attract talent from everywhere. The global competition for talent is fierce, and the amount of talented people in Denmark alone is not enough, currently forcing companies to move abroad.