Ask the VC

Ask the VC is similar in concept to Founders Space, except that, instead of tapping into a broad network of advisors, the answers are provided by two individuals: Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.  Basically, you ask them questions, and they provide answers from a VC’s perspective.  The thing that makes this site work is that they are two smart venture capitalists.   Jason is not only a VC, but also a lawyer, so Ask the VC includes legal advice too.  We see this as a good resource for founders.

Background on Brad & Jason:

Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson are the co-authors of AsktheVC. Brad and Jason have been working together since 2000 when Jason joined Mobius Venture Capital, a venture capital firm that Brad co-founded. They started writing together on Brad’s Feld Thoughts blog in 2005 with their Term Sheet series. After several other series about issues facing venture capital backed companies, Jason and Brad decided to start AsktheVC. Brad and Jason, along with three other partners have recently founded a new venture firm, the Foundry Group located in Boulder, Colorado.

Why This Blog?

We’ve started this blog to discuss relevant issues in the venture capital and entrepreneurial ecosystem. As you may know, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past three years writing about venture capital and entrepreneurship on Feld Thoughts. We’ve had great feedback regarding our regular posts on matters that effect people in our industry, as well as our blog series on topics such as term sheets, letters of intent, and 409A. We’ve also had a lot of fun and learned a lot from the questions that people have asked us.

We’ve decided to put more focused effort into regularly addressing these questions. Brad will still blog about venture capital and entrepreneurship, and we’ll occasionally cross-post between blogs, but we’ll begin to use AsktheVC to address the steady stream of questions we are now getting on a daily basis from entrepreneurs around the world.

You can expect the same thoughtful and honest opinions that we’ve always had. We will also tackle bigger issues in a larger format than a single post. Our goal is that this blog becomes a broadly used informational source on venture capital and entrepreneurship. To achieve this, we welcome (and encourage) questions from anyone reading this and hope that “meaty” questions lead to better and more relevant content for our readers.

Following are Brad and Jason’s official bios.

Brad Feld

Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over twenty years. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures, a company that helped launch and operate software companies and later became a venture affiliate of the predecessor to Mobius Venture Capital.

Brad currently serves on the board of directors of Gist, Gnip, Oblong, Standing Cloud, and Zynga for Foundry Group. Previously, Brad served as chief technology officer of AmeriData Technologies. AmeriData acquired Feld Technologies, a firm he founded in 1987 that specialized in custom software applications. Brad had grown Feld Technologies into one of Boston’s leading software consulting firms prior to the acquisition. He also directed the diversification into software consulting at AmeriData, a $1.5 billion publicly-traded company which was acquired by GE Capital in 1995.

In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chairman of the National Center for Women & Information Technology and co-chairman of the Colorado Governor’s Innovation Council.  Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes widely read and well respected blogs at www.feld.com and www.askthevc.com.

Notable companies that Brad has invested in and/or sat on the boards of include Abuzz (acq. NYT), Anyday.com (acq. PALM), Critical Path (CPTH), Cyanea (acq. IBM), Dante Group (acq. WEBM), DataPower (acq. IBM), FeedBurner (acq. by GOOG), Feld Group (acq. by EDS), Harmonix (acq. VIA), NetGenesis (IPO), ServiceMagic (acq. IACI), and ServiceMetrics (acq. EXDS).

Brad holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brad is also an avid art collector and long-distance runner. He has completed fourteen marathons as part of his mission to run a marathon in each of the fifty states.

Jason Mendelson

Jason has over a decade of experience in the venture capital and technology industries in a multitude of investing, operational and engineering roles. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, Jason was a Managing Director and General Counsel for Mobius Venture Capital, where he also acted as its chief administrative partner overseeing all operations of the firm.

While at Mobius Venture Capital, Jason has been actively involved in serving on boards of portfolio companies and the negotiations and structuring of all financings, mergers and exits in the portfolio. He has also gained valuable experience as a restructuring expert during the challenging “Internet bubble” time period.

He currently serves on the board of directors or as an observer of a number of private companies, including Accelergy, eCast, Perpetual Entertainment, Reactrix and Stratify.

Prior to his involvement with Mobius Venture Capital, Jason was an attorney with Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, where he practiced corporate and securities law with an emphasis on representation of emerging companies in private and public financings, mergers and acquisitions. As an attorney, Jason has consummated over $2 billion of venture capital investments, $5 billion in mergers and has extensive experience in fund formation, employment law and general litigation, serving as an expert witness in these related fields.

Jason previously was a senior consultant and software engineer at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) where he focused on financial institution re-engineering engagements. While at Accenture, Jason supervised programming teams up to 40 people in size and was responsible for managing deliverables in multi-billion dollar engagements.

As one of the first full-time, in-house general counsels at a venture capital firm, Jason has been on the forefront of thought leadership and has co-chaired the National Venture Capital Association’s General Counsel group and is an active participant on the NVCA’s Chief Financial Officer group. He was one of the key draftspersons for the NVCA model document task force which created the industry’s first set of standardized venture capital financing documents, which has greatly aided in the efficiency of completing these types of deals.

Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with distinction and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude from the University of Michigan. He is an active musician playing drums and bass guitar in several band and enjoys home remodeling and travel.

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