It is December 2020, and we are closing out the strangest, scariest, and most interesting year of our lives.

As the year comes to a close, U.S. stock markets are reaching all time highs. To top it off, we are experiencing one of the most robust IPO markets seen in years. Big names like DoorDash and Airbnb are completing long-awaited public market debuts — and doing so at record valuations. Both companies are eyeing valuations north of $40B.

Back in April of this year, I don’t think anyone would have predicted this outcome. Yet here we are.

IPO Activity is…

Few of us dig deep enough to truly understand our ecosystem

Most companies want a more engaged ecosystem. They want enthusiastic investors and loyal customers. However, most don’t understand the basics of making that happen. What value are you adding to those around you that you don’t realize, or are not even aware of? Sadly, most companies don’t know the answer. It is high time to change that.

If you want a PHD-level lesson in how to build and nurture an investor ecosystem, rewatch It’s A Wonderful Life and take note of the actions of George Bailey. …

How many times have you heard a company or a fund say: “we are out raising capital.”? Plenty of times is my guess.

The market competition for investment capital is now more crowded than it has ever been at any time in the past. More companies are raising capital. More funds are raising capital. The noise level is deafening. Capturing the attention of potential investors is harder than ever. This applies to Venture Capital funds, Private Equity funds, and any company raising investment capital, at any stage. …

I have met countless entrepreneurs, founders, and General Partner teams. They all want to know one thing: “How can we do a better job of raising capital?”

I have been involved with capital markets, private equity, venture capital, growth-stage companies and early-stage companies for over two decades. I have been an investor, I have invested on behalf of clients, I have worked with companies raising capital, and I have worked with funds raising capital. I have been fortunate enough to view ‘the game’ from every angle, in every market condition, and through years of ups and downs.

I have a…

So, you are getting ready to raise capital for your early-stage company. Well, let’s just get a few things out of the way upfront. There is a good chance that the raise will be challenging, take longer than you hope, and you are likely to be turned down way more than you appreciate.

However, that being said, I have found that following these three best practices can help make the process more effective, efficient, and less painful over time.

Understand the Needs of Your Investors

First, understand the needs of your potential investors. Most likely your round will be a…

So, you successfully raised capital for your first fund or first round. Congratulations! It was tough. My guess is that it probably took a lot longer than you expected. You were probably turned down way more than you care to admit (and that stings). And, you are not particularly looking forward to having to do it again.

However, before you know it, the time to start raising capital will be here again. If you are an emerging private equity firm, venture capital fund, or growth stage company, the move from the first to the second raise is a big one…

Staying private — fad or trend? Probably some of both. But have no doubt, it will continue because the advantages are just too great.

Companies are staying private both more frequently, and for longer periods of time. This is a real thing. I believe that it is a trend that is here to stay. Has the trend gone too far? Perhaps. To that point, we have seen some of the larger private tech companies go public over the previous few months. However, these recent IPO’s are just a drop in the bucket.

Not everyone in the industry believes that staying…

These are challenging times. If even superheroes can’t get the job done alone, what hope do we have?

Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to do project work and to collaborate with some amazing founders, entrepreneurs, and PE/VC investors here in Colorado. In general these individuals are working their tails off to grow their companies, and usually facing some pretty serious obstacles and challenges to make that happen.

I liken the experience to taking a PhD-level course in overcoming business and investing challenges. However, if one trick continually stands out, it is the importance of being…

Worried about being an introvert in business? Don’t be, it might actually help you become a better entrepreneur

I am an introvert — isn’t that great? Said no one in business ever. Introversion is generally not considered a valuable trait in business. At least that’s the message I received loud and clear during most of my career. For the last two and a half decades, I have worked in trading, investment banking and investment management. In those arenas, there are no statues erected to the great introverts of our time. Fat bonuses, accolades and promotions go to the bold —…

Reflecting on entrepreneurs and safety nets

In many ways entrepreneurs have become the new rock stars. Growing up for me it was Vedder, Slash, and Bono (and ok yes, Vince Neil). These days it’s Bezos, Musk and Zuckerberg. But if being an entrepreneur is so amazing, why are there not more of them? If it is so rewarding, why do most people still grind away in corporate America? God knows I spent the better part of two decades grinding it in big companies.

Of course, there are a lot of reasons. However, I think that there is one extremely important…

Marc Patterson

Managing Director at Bennu Partners (, an Investment Consulting firm headquartered in Colorado. Marc writes on investment topics.

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