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Publisher's Summary

What are venture capitalists saying about your startup behind closed doors? And what can you do to influence that conversation?

If Silicon Valley is the greatest wealth-generating machine in the world, Sand Hill Road is its humming engine. That's where you'll find the biggest names in venture capital, including famed VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, where lawyer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-VC Scott Kupor serves as managing partner.

Whether you're trying to get a new company off the ground or scale an existing business to the next level, you need to understand how VCs think. In Secrets of Sand Hill Road, Kupor explains exactly how VCs decide where and how much to invest, and how entrepreneurs can get the best possible deal and make the most of their relationships with VCs. Kupor explains, for instance:

  • Why most VCs typically invest in only one startup in a given business category.
  • Why the skill you need most when raising venture capital is the ability to tell a compelling story.
  • How to handle a "down round," when startups have to raise funds at a lower valuation than in the previous round.
  • What to do when VCs get too entangled in the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • Why you need to build relationships with potential acquirers long before you decide to sell.

Filled with Kupor's firsthand experiences, insider advice, and practical takeaways, Secrets of Sand Hill Road is the guide every entrepreneur needs to turn their startup into the next unicorn.

*Includes a PDF of graphs and a glossary

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Scott Kupor and Eric Ries (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Worth far more than its cover price... I wish I'd had it available to me when I was first looking for startup funding." (Eric Ries, best-selling author of The Lean Startup and The Startup Way, from the foreword)

"As someone who’s helped a small company become a huge, valuable company, I know firsthand the power of the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship. This book is the definitive book on navigating VC as part of that." (Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman and CEO of Google; technical advisor, Alphabet) 

“I’ve observed thousands of founders and thought a lot about what it takes to create something important and to achieve outlier success. Kupor’s book takes founders who want to do both through everything from how VCs raise money and evaluate deals, to how to think about term sheets and set up boards. It’s a valuable resource for any founder who wants to work with VCs.” (Sam Altman, partner and president Y Combinator; co-founder of OpenAI)  

What listeners say about Secrets of Sand Hill Road

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As a founder I can highly recommend it

We just closed our 6 month multi-million dollar seed round last month (which I led all the work on as CEO), and in the process got offers (term sheets) from a handful of VCs. Having been through the funding round process for the first time - now reading this book right after - I think it's highly recommended reading for anyone raising either angel or VC money to cover all the aspects of e.g., leading a funding round from start to finish, and how VCs think about startups in their evaluation process. I would for instance probably have saved about 30 hours speaking with our lawyers and other startup founders asking a ton of questions that are covered in this book. I can highly recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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Breaks Down Venture Capital into Manageable Ideas

Great book that gave insight into the Venture Capital process. It includes a PDF download that you can use to reference when they are discussing sample term sheets and funding scenarios.

Narrators voice allowed it to be played at a faster speed without compromising the performance.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Insights for Entrepreneurs

I enjoyed this book very much and found Scott’s analysis of startups and VC’s quite insightful. I’m a lawyer with over 30 years’ experience in business law and working with technology startups. Scott’s deep knowledge of what happens “behind the scenes” at VC firms was quite illuminating. His discussion of the typical provisions of a term sheet and their practical impact will be very helpful for entrepreneurs. It should also lead them to understand why they need to work collaboratively with an experienced business lawyer to protect their interests.

1 person found this helpful

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loved it!

Our incubated advisor recommended this book and it turned out to be every bit as good as he said. I feel much better prepared for fund raising now

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Well worth listening to, to learn foundations of VC

Great book for learning an overview of how VCs operate and are motivated, and some learnings for entrepreneurs on how to effectively use VC capital

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Technical Insights coming from deep understanding.

Technical Insights coming from deep understanding.

Nowdays Fundamental Education.

Definitely worth re- listening and note- taking!

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Must read for a new founder/entrepreneur

As a new and inexperienced founder, this book was recommended to me from a VC. It got my mind in the right direction and allowed me to dig deeper on topics I never even thought of. I even went out and bought the hard copy to have another way to consume all the information!

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Too bloated, too slow to get to the point

Overall, I found this book to be extremely bloated with useless information, too many stories and repetitive ones. I wish the book got to the point faster.

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VC Bible

Required reading if you’re interested:

- in the VC world
- working or want to work in the start-up world
- starting a business
- in learning about the difference between common & preferred shares
- in stock options
- how a board is selected in early-stage companies and how their interests may differ amongst themselves or with the founders

I wish I’d read this before working in start-ups, great book with superbly detailed material.

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Snooze fest 💤

Snooze fest 💤, not a novel but an accounting memoir. couldn't make it to the end.