Mark Suster is a 2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. He joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner after selling his company to Salesforce.com. He focuses on early-stage technology companies.
# Mark received a BA in Economics from the University of California, San Diego, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
# Mark was formerly the Vice President at salesforce.com. Founder & CEO at Koral (Acquired by Salesforce.com). Founder & CEO at BuildOnline (acquired by The Sword Group)
# GRP Partners is a venture capital firm that backed both of his previous start-ups.
# Mark founded Launchpad LA, a program designed to help mentor LA’s most promising first-time startup CEO’s.
# Current Investments / Boards: RingRevenue, GumGum, Adly, Burstly, Pose & TextPlus
# Angel investor in: Affordit, EagleCrest Energy, EcoMom, ExpenseCloud, Gendai Games, LaughStub and several others (including a company that is the global patent holder in resealable aluminum cans)
# Marks’ thoughts and insight on starting up:
- I think the sign of a good entrepreneur is the ability to spot your mistakes, correct quickly and not repeat the mistakes. I made plenty of mistakes.
- Many founders make mistakes in the first 12 months of business that cost them dearly as they build their companies. These mistakes revolve around intellectual property, founding team members, initial product that is built and market validation.
- You can read lots of books or blogs about being an entrepreneur but the truth is you’ll really only learn when you get out there and do it.
- Attributes of an entrepreneur: A high level of confidence in your own ideas and ability to execute.Not scared or ashamed of failure.Very decisive. A bias toward making decisions – even when only right 70% of the time – moving forward & correcting what doesn’t work.Doesn’t follow rules very well and questions authority
- If you want to do a startup I recommend get some learning for a few years and then give it a shot while you’re young and unencumbered.
- Don’t come to a VC when you need money. It’s too hard for them to assess your character in a short period of time (and vice versa) and it’s too hard for them to see how your thinking, product & traction develop over time. The best relationships in life develop over time by mutual respect & trust – VC is no different. Spending (small amounts) of time now will pay dividends later when (if) you actually do need money.
# Read more about Mark Suster’s thoughts on startups @ Both Sides of The Table