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Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms
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Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,305 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Entrepreneurs who dream of building the next Amazon, Facebook, or Google have the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most powerful economic engines the world has ever known: venture capital. To do that, you need to woo, impress, and persuade venture capitalists to back your endeavor. That task alone is a challenge. But finding and choosing the right investor can b ...more
Capa dura, 256 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Portfolio (first published April 29th 2010)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  1,305 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Jun 26, 2010 rated it liked it
I was hoping to learn something here and I found it interesting. Apparently if you didn't go to MIT, Stanford, or Harvard you are screwed. (Unless you're super passionate, connected, and killer innovative/smart/creative). ...more
Pascal Wagner
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Pascal by: Saba Karim
Had I read this book before I set on the path for a financing round, then I would have enjoyed this book much more. Now, after having completed two financing rounds I felt as though the book was more of a review of what I already knew than learning something new. With that said, I highly recommend this book to anyone about to set out to raise money from VC's.

Remember, you don't run these companies; you invest in great people to run these companies. If you think they work
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Solid intro to the VC industry.
Backed by personal experience.

Not technical at all, doesn't go into "why" or "how", only "what".
The industry is now much more diverse (accelerators, corporate venture, etc.) and the book doesn't go into them.

Comes off as self promotional, not objective.
Vinayak Hegde
A concise well-written book on the various aspects of the VC business. The book covers the fundraising, term sheets, and their nuances, the VC-founder dynamics during the growth phase of the company, and pitching to VCs (and how to select the right VC partners). I also liked the last section on the views of VCs across different markets (the notable missing market was India).

The actual operational stories from the various portfolio companies and beyond provide a realistic picture of the ups and d
Ahmed Abdelhamid
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
The book is stacked with VC and startup stories. I find the parts where he shares motives and common drama scenarios very insightful.
He does highlight the importance of some topics in the termsheet... may be three routes or drivers to IPO but not much detailed.

As the book comes close to the end, I feel a bit of rush and random thoughts. The book to its middle is rather organized and gives general sense about what to expect: starting valuation, time between rounds, time to IPO,... and common F!!!
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well summarized basic info.
Johann Gross
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book, it's straight to the point and very insightful.

At first I thought the book would be a little out of date, since it was published back in 2010. But it's still very relevant and helpful.

I like the fact that it's not all just theory, but actually quite practical with many examples and stories.

Highly recommend it to both entrepreneurs and investors trying to have a better perspective on what goes on inside the VC world. Really appreciate the effort Jeff Bussgang put into collecting tho
Kumar Ishan
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A book you must read before even thinking to raise capital

The book starts with the importance of an entrepreneurial itch and walks through pitching successfully and then talks about the relation of an entrepreneur and VCs. Jeffrey lays out an exciting but tough journey an entrepreneur has to take. And how he can build a fruitful relation with VC by understanding them. There are many insights from successful entrepreneurs like LinkedIn's founder Reid Hoffman and Venture Capitalists alike....

Adam Zivo
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a well-structured book that gave me a clearer sense of the start-up journey. I particularly appreciated its insights on the VC-entrepreneur personal dynamic, which were illuminating for me, speaking as someone who is interested in raising capital but is more experienced with public sector and non-profit funding mechanisms. I also appreciated Bussgang's explanations on ways in which entrepreneurs and VCs can become misaligned. The book's wide scope and chronological storytelling approach ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book if you are fascinated with the venture capital business

Jeff dies am excellent job off explaining in concise detail with many personal anecdotes his experience in the venture capital business. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this world.
Ahmed Lahlou
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read about the VC industry

This book was very informative, full of inspiring and interesting stories about the success of venture-backed companies all over the world.

It really gives you great insight about the kind of relationship a VC has with the founders of a company, and wether you’re one or the other, you will learn a great deal in this book.
David Philpott
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
A quick and easy ready for someone with little knowledge of the industry and wants a crash course. My only piece of criticism would be that the book is dated. The references to are to companies in the early 2010s. As I read it I found myself thinking that a lot must have changed in the last decade. Still recommended it though.
Ritvik Raj
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book will help you layout the groudwork by explaining the VC lingo like Term Sheet, Liquidation Preference, Pre Money, Post Money, etc. It also contains accounts of Entrepreneurs that had great exits for the VC funds.

Biggest Takeaway: if you didn’t go to a prestigious school in the states, you can kiss the VC dream a goodbye.
Manas Saloi
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good intro to VC. Lots of stories and profiles of folks in the industry. It is not as technically detailed as Brad Feld's book though which covers most of the legal aspects as well as financial aspects. ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-18
Compared to some of the other VC books I have read, this is heavier on the war stories and lighter on the details. The underlying principle are there, but I'd see this more as a lighter introduction to many of the issues rather than a detailed discussion. ...more
Md. Al-Beruni
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gives a basic understanding of the VC structure and step by step description of funding startups. The book is designed for general people, lacking technical details. A concise, easy to read and articulated write up backed by real life experience of a VC practitioner.
Otavio Furlan
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books on the relationship between venture capital and entrepreneurs. The author really delves into the industry and details all the nuances and behind the scenes of tough negotiations and how to onboarding a new investor in your startup. Worth reading!
João Magalhães
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting book to learn about the VC industry basic concepts. Contains a lot of anecdotes. I wouldn't recommend if you want greater detail about the subject matter. ...more
Lauren F.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent overview of how a VC fits in to your startup with good insight into the deal from the perspective of the VC.
Peter B.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Easy and entertaining read. Insiders perspective. Hard to get this type of info. Thanks for writing it. Live well
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business-read
Excellent book from someone who has been both an entrepreneur and a VC.

I'd highly recommend this as a must read for any entrepreneur
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy to read. Has good insights. To get the most out of this book and be able to grasp lessons learned, one should already understand basic concepts and mechanics of venture capital fund raising.
Joe Richardson
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Some important info in here. I can't say that what every book ...more
Nelson Pigossi
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just a great book, help us a lot with our business

This work is just great, giving us the inner working of a VC, theory and experience combined. Hope to see many new editions.
Sujay Malik
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very informative book. Pretty much recommended if you are keen to know the intricacies of venture capital and the business of start ups.
Gergo Kalcsics
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy and essential read on how VCs and startups financed by then work.
Cesar Zurita
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clear structure, shares enough quality-intirmation without getting too detailed. It achieves its goal of giving an overview of the VC world. Great book for entrepreneurs thinking about funding.
Fredrik Storflor
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Easy book with few really good strategies and insights within VC game. Only 30% of the book covered essential strategies and insights
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it and some good tangible tips and insights. Overall it wasn’t mind blowing. But don’t regret reading it.
Alan Heppenstall
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book for anecdotes and thinking from a VC perspective. Not as detailed or practical as Venture Deals but a perfect complement to it. Easy to read and full of useful thoughts.
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