Long Term Relationships for Long Term Growth

Our team is most successful when we have the opportunity to build long-term relationships with outstanding entrepreneurs. We build to last, not to flip, understand the importance of making the right decisions for the long run, and appreciate the spadework of strategic choices, tactical positioning, and development of key relationships that must occur long before an entrepreneur considers an exit.

We bring an ownership mindset and personal passion to the company that is similar to an entrepreneur’s. We spend the time to understand things we don’t know and share our counsel honestly. Our relationship with the entrepreneur over the long term matters to us at a deep, personal level.

Sometimes that relationship starts early – months or even years in advance of an investment. We know how great entrepreneurs think, and like hearing about their dream at every stage of the journey from founding to IPO. So even if your company is too early stage for us now or doesn’t fit us today for other reasons, we don’t want it to be the end of the conversation.

You will spend a great deal of time, effort, and money together with a new partner, so the chemistry in the partnership needs to be more than effective. It should also be enjoyable.

That chemistry ought to do more than help the company navigate challenges and exploit opportunities; it should also add a camaraderie that adds conviviality in the good times and takes the edge off the bad times.

You will spend a great deal of time, effort, and money together with a new partner, so the chemistry ought to be productive and enjoyable. It should add conviviality in the good times and take the edge off the bad times.

Getting this chemistry right isn’t about control or board seats or formal systems. It’s about trust, playing to each other’s strengths, and making the concessions and adjustments that a given situation demands.

Everyone on the team develops a high level of confidence in the relationship, and over time you each learn when to take your shot and when to pass the ball.

You don’t have to like everything about your partner – outside of integrity and honesty – but you should be able to tune out the little things over the long haul.  You’re patient with their schtick because they’re patient with yours, and that becomes a big part of sustaining a great relationship once the honeymoon is over.  You should also have some hearty laughs and fun along the way because the journey is too long without them.

“It’s easier to remember the importance of being honest when everyone involved in a relationship can observe how decisions are being made – both the inputs and the outcomes. The key is open communication in real time.”

When Business Promotes Honesty – June 16, 2010

“How you react to the creative tensions of building a business together will define the relationship.  It’s likely to be a long term relationship, so over time you each learn when to take your shot and when to pass the ball.”

The fate of control – December 2, 2009

“Properly understood, integrity transcends ‘honesty’ and permeates everything about your business from product quality to user experience:  the reliability of FEDEX, the consistent taste of a Hershey bar, etc.  Whether you’re a chocolatier or financier, your durability will depend on how true a partner you are.”

Integrity is more than a virtue – May 10, 2012

“The willingness to challenge one another’s assumptions and beliefs – a virtuous coupling of tension and mutual esteem – may be the most important characteristic of a great partnership, indicating bonds strong enough to withstand clashing viewpoints and then decide on the right path.”

When boards work well – November 3, 2009

“Choppy seas are inevitable for any rapidly growing company, but a strong entrepreneur-investor partnership relies on a shared understanding of how to best navigate them.  It’s crucial to stay focused on long term objectives and not let the inevitable setbacks in the business turn into personal failures that strain the partnership.”

Does success always start with failure? – May 20, 2011

The BPV Difference

Entrepreneurs choose us for many of the tangible benefits described below, but the overriding reason is “fit” – a shared vision of the future and a belief that together we will forge a successful long-term partnership.

Reputation and Credibility

BPV has a strong reputation as a capable and trusted partner for rapidly growing companies. But so do many venture firms. That’s why it’s essential to dig deeper and verify with your own due diligence that a firm’s character matches its reputation.

We encourage entrepreneurs to do their homework on us, and do everything we can to make it easy for them to confirm that we are who we say we are.

It is important to find independent sources on your own who weren’t provided as references but know us and the industry, and then ask them the right types of questions.

What are we really like to work with? How do we deal with adversity and unpleasant surprises? How do we resolve conflicts? Where have we added value beyond our capital? Are communications open and largely free of clashing egos? Do you have access to the entire investment team?

Team Approach

BPV works as a team, so the resources and network of the entire firm, and not just one investment professional, are available to our entrepreneur partners as they work to build world-class companies.

We encourage our entrepreneurs to get to know the entire BPV team. Each of our professionals will be knowledgeable about your company and think proactively about how we can help you build your business.

We have a consensus-driven culture that is a natural outgrowth of our team approach to investing, so we all participate in due diligence, investment decisions and working with our portfolio companies after an investment is closed.

Financial Acumen

According to numerous surveys, the top self-identified strength of entrepreneurs is “Vision” while the number one self-identified weakness is “Financial Strategies.”

We can help you formulate the best capital structure and financial control systems that enable you to manage rapid growth, maximize value, and facilitate smooth and successful transactions in the future.

Your management style may be informal, but our experience tells us that having the proper capital structure and formal reporting and measurement systems are critical to managing profitable long term growth.

There may be times an unexpected opportunity for growth appears –  it could be a new market vertical or an attractive acquisition. We can fund such opportunities quickly and efficiently, either from our own additional resources or via our network of lending relationships and other equity partners.

Having a strong financial partner will increase both the likelihood and magnitude of your success.

A Network Both Broad and Deep

As one of the largest venture capital firms in the Southeast, we have an expansive network of entrepreneurs, industry experts, service providers, and Limited Partners who are smart on your industry and with the needs of high-growth companies.

Our network is also unique in that it includes access to the resources and extended network of one of the largest financial services institutions in the Southeast – Raymond James Financial. Many of RJ’s executives, investment bankers, and research analysts are investors in BPV, and so have “skin in the game” and are committed to helping our portfolio companies succeed.

We can provide you with unparalleled “been there, done that” advice, informed perspective on how particular industry segments are developing, and key introductions to industry players or potential partners.

We can also provide proprietary advice on company positioning and valuation, assist with mergers and sales transactions, or help prepare your company for an eventual exit, either through a sale or a public offering.

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