The VC Platform Community Conference in 5
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to attend the VC Global Platform Community Conference in New York City. Below we share our top five takeaways from the conference. We hope this is helpful for VCs considering expanding their platform team, for platform professionals wondering how to be impactful, and for founders wanting to engage them.
- Platform as the differentiator. With more managers (and funding) than ever, VCs need a clear and differentiated platform to be competitive in deals where many other investors are clamoring to participate. Founders want VCs who follow-through on promises, and well-thought out platforms can help deliver (and scale) meaningful value post-investment.
- Sometimes the best things are the hardest to see. It takes time to build a brand and community. The horizon is longer and the success metrics aren’t always obvious. However, the best firms have created an identity, reputation and culture that extends beyond individuals — one that not just reinforces but amplifies market awareness and differentiation.
- Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’. While it might be the right move for some firms to create a DAO, this isn’t the right strategy for many (if not most). Platforms should be value-aligned, strategically coherent, and unique to each VC firm.
- Applying a product mindset to platform strategy. Applying a more iterative, product-like approach to a platform makes for a faster, more effective suite of tools. The keywords are: listen, iterate, build, pivot. We can translate this perspective into building stronger founder feedback mechanisms, biasing towards MVPs, and continually adjusting based on the feedback mechanisms you put in place.
- Platforms start and grow with the founder. Often founders don’t know what resources they can access from their investors. Platform professionals should clarify and simplify the onboarding checklist for new investments and operate as the connective tissue between the firm’s resources and the startups looking to best utilize these tools.
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