study on VC-backed company leadership today. The study includes data from interviews and from a survey of NVCA members on their attitudes regarding the CEOs who run their companies.Consulting firm Spencer Stuart and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) released the results of a
The survey is a follow-up to a similar one conducted in 2001 and points to some of the trends regarding VC backing over the past decade. In both the 2001 and 2010 studies, for example, VCs listed the strength of the management team as the most important factor when deciding whether or not to fund a company. The market sector, a proprietary product, and the business model trail in significance in that order, the study finds.
Vision and fundraising skills are more important skills for CEOs today than they were a decade ago. While vision ranks fourth among important CEO skills in 2010, it was only seventh in the 2001 study. The study's authors suggest that these results "reflect shifting priorities in an environment where both raising funds and the path to liquidity have become more challenging for VC-backed companies."
Other key findings from the study include:
"As they strive to build their next generation of game-changing companies, VCs are starting to take a more scientific approach to recruiting and assessing CEOs and directors," said Spencer Stuart consultant and study contributor Ben Holzemer. "As they face mounting challenges, firms also have a tremendous opportunity to become more successful in selecting the innovative, entrepreneurial leaders who can guide the industry profitably into the future."