Author Archives: Michael Pratt

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“I’ll take Select Venture Partners every time”

Category : Experience

When I was the CEO of my last company, SpydrSafe Mobile Security, the very first blog that I ever wrote was “I’ll take Sully every time” (you can read it here). It was written in response to a highly publicized and controversial comment made by Vinod Khosla, a well-known entrepreneur and founder of Khosla Ventures, who said “People under 35 are the people who make change happen. People over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas because they keep “falling back on old habits.”  Given my blog moniker Adult Supervision Guy (ASG), a pseudonym I chose because, early in my career, I was often brought in by VC’s to provide “adult supervision” to the inexperienced management teams of their portfolio companies, how could my first blog NOT be “Sully”?

Now, I’ve come full circle. I am the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Select Venture Partners, LLC, an early stage, post-seed/pre-Series A investment management firm, with an experienced team, all of whom have extensive cross-industry and cross-functional operating experience in software startups.

As I was considering what the topic of my first Select Venture Partners blog should be, I had a minor epiphany. I realized that my thoughts on the value of experience in early-stage/startup companies that I blogged about in the “Sully” blog, had carried over to how I and my partners have decided to operate Select Venture Partners. The Select team have more than 100 years of combined operating experience. We invest two crucial elements into our early stage portfolio companies – money and experience – and we are committed to use our personal resources, experience, and networks to help early stage companies succeed. We believe that the bright, young entrepreneurs who enlist the help of experienced entrepreneurs like the Select team, (who might be north of their 45th birthdays), are likely to be much more successful than ones who thinks that “Founder Knows Best”.

I would expect most airline passengers who are about to board a flight and are given a choice between a very inexperienced pilot or one with “Sully-like” experience, would say “I’ll take Sully every time”. I would also expect entrepreneurs who about to embark on the “entrepreneurial journey” and are given a choice between investors who provide resources but aren’t prepared to roll up their sleeves and work along side the entrepreneur or investors with “Select experience”, would say “I’ll take Select Venture Partners” every time.

May all of your flights have Sully in the cockpit.

ASG