The panel discussions were moderated by Scott Kirsner, Innovation Economy columnist for the Boston Globe.
Venture Capital Panelists
- Bijan Sabet, General Partner, Spark Capital
- Neil Sequiera, Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners
- Michael Greeley, General Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners
It was interesting to hear that the consensus answer was not the business plan (so they have Excel and perhaps thought about expenses, so what!) or the product (if they have a prototype, I definitely want to see and play with it) but the people. The people that comprise the start up team is all critical. I think it was Neil who said that the where a funded start-up failed it was due to an flaw in the team that was not revealed during the discovery or in the operations in time to correct it.
So hold that thought, people matter.
We move on to the second panel of entrepreneurs, rather successful folks who in some cases were long-brewing overnight sensations. Yes, they had the patience and persistence to stick it out, change their direction as necessary along the way, and ultimately be successful.
- Mike Dornbrook, COO, Harmonix Music Systems (makers of "Rock Band")
- Helen Greiner, co-founder of iRobot Corp. and founder of The Droid Works
- Ellen Rubin, Founder & VP/Product of CloudSwitch
- Brian Halligan, social media expert and CEO of HubSpot
- Tim Healy, CEO of EnerNOC
4 of the 5 specifically stated in the first words of their answer, passion. The fifth got to passion along the way. Depending upon the stage of the start-up, they may be looking for specific skill sets or they may be looking for a jack-of-all-trades type person but in either case, passion was the most significant factor.
On the venture side, it was the people.
On the entrepreneur side, it was the passion.
How do we translate that to our job search?
Should we spend less time on our resume and more time out in the social world connecting with people?
If your skill and passion can be presented in words on a page successfully, I would say go for it.
Otherwise, it seems like getting face to face with someone to share your passion and skill set would be the best thing to do.