Nate Lentz
01.11.2019

Rethinking Venture Debt During Periods of Economic Headwinds

I began my career at Chemical Bank (now JPMC) in New York and spent my first year going through the well-regarded credit training program. It was not too long after the early 1980s and people still remembered high inflation and high interest rates. We were trained to run financial projections on the ability of a […]

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Nate Lentz | 01.11.2019

Nate Lentz
10.02.2018

The Winding Down of Venture Investments

A certain percentage of companies that venture funds back fail. Everyone knows this. Depending on their investment strategy and success, funds lose most of their capital on 25% to 50% of portfolio companies. Of these, some percent are sold for very little value, but the sale provides a home for the technology, the customers, and […]

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Nate Lentz | 10.02.2018

Nate Lentz
08.01.2018

Turning Over Another Card Is for Poker, Not Technology Investing

I was with a co-investor recently and we were discussing our mutual investment. It is a situation where we have been frustrated with progress, both in terms of developing a scalable product and in getting early customer traction (these are certainly correlated). My colleague made the statement that if one thing or another happened, he […]

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Nate Lentz | 08.01.2018

Nate Lentz
07.18.2018

The Compounding Effect of a CEO’s Day-to-Day Decisions

A colleague of mine recently stepped away from his day-to-day role as a partner in a venture fund and into an interim six-month role as Executive Chair in one of our portfolio companies. It was a necessary move to stabilize what will likely be a very good company and it was a great move for […]

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Nate Lentz | 07.18.2018

Nate Lentz
06.12.2018

The Fallacy of the Messiah Hire

“There is no Messiah in here!  There’s a mess alright, but no Messiah.”  A memorable line spoken by Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.  The truth is, I often think of this line when CEOs speak to me of the person they just hired or the new person who just started. It is always […]

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Nate Lentz | 06.12.2018

Nate Lentz
01.05.2018

The Operational CFO – Helping Improve the Score

I used to engage in the debate about whether the right structure at a certain stage of business evolution was to bring in a COO.  The argument was that bringing in a “been there and done that” executive to run much of the day-to-day operations was the right move to allow the business to scale.  Such […]

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Nate Lentz | 01.05.2018

Nate Lentz
09.26.2017

Evolving to a Zero Trust Digital World

There is an evolving network security approach called a Zero Trust Network that when abstracted seems like a way to think about digital interactions. One definition of a Zero Trust Network is as follows: Traditional network security relies on a secure perimeter.  Anything inside the perimeter is trusted, and anything outside the perimeter is not.  […]

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Nate Lentz | 09.26.2017

Nate Lentz
07.21.2017

Beyond Talent

I was in a board meeting with a new portfolio company yesterday and they started the meeting with two slides that they use to start every meeting at the company.  The first slide was a simple values slide.  The second looked much like the picture below. This list was initially written about athletes but it […]

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Nate Lentz | 07.21.2017

Nate Lentz
06.19.2017

Seller Beware

Term sheets and letters of intent are non-binding except often for confidentiality clauses and lock-ups.  This means the buyer can walk away – for any reason.  Remember this and plan accordingly. In a venture capital situation, it is important to understand if you are receiving an early diligence term sheet or a late diligence term […]

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Nate Lentz | 06.19.2017

Sean Dowling
03.31.2017

Technology Innovation Along the Education to Employment Pathway – Part III

This is Part III of a series of posts related to how technology is enabling a re-imagination of the education to employment pathway.  Part II highlighted a few companies redefining to how skills and competencies are developed by both educational institutions and employers and discussed new delivery models for that content.  This final part of the series […]

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Sean Dowling | 03.31.2017