NCV Collection: Our Advice for Leadership, Fundraising, Sales + More

October 20, 2022
October 20, 2022

Entrepreneurship is nothing if not a challenge. Ask us, and it’s truly the ultimate challenge, one that requires unparalleled levels of strength, creativity, flexibility and conviction – often all at the same time, multiple times a day for years on end. Contrary to what many sources of entrepreneurial advice will tell you, there is no formula to success. You can try to reverse engineer another founder’s playbook or execute another company’s road map, but the reality is that your company’s trajectory is unique.

That’s a huge part of why we’re devoted to providing Next Coast Ventures portfolio founders with one-on-one support, guidance and resources through our firm’s platform function. As a firm made up of former entrepreneurs and operators, we know how crucial it is to have a source to tap for help. In fact, it can be everything when you’re building a company from the ground up. 

With that in mind, we created this guide for all founders looking for insight, answers, wisdom and new ideas as they grow and scale. It includes some of our most-read articles over the years to provide you with a well-rounded view on our best advice.


Board Management Advice for Entrepreneurs: As the CEO of your company, you’re steeped in all kinds of information about your company that your board may not be up-to-date on. Here’s how to get the most out of your next board meeting. 

Board Management Wisdom from Silicon Valley Legends: What Mike Smerklo learned from Bruce Dunlevie, Bill Campbell, Marc Andreessen and Al Davis about creating, building and managing a world-class board of directors.

When Board Meetings Don’t Go Perfectly: If your most recent board meeting left you feeling less than perfect, here are reasons you may actually be doing things exactly right.

Time Management for CEOs: How will you use your most precious resource wisely as you build your company? Read on for time management lessons learned from Mike Smerklo’s time at the helm.

A Simple Matrix for Solving Time Management Struggles: Use this 2X2 matrix strategy for quick improvements to your time management challenges.

How to Make Decisions as an Entrepreneur (part 1, part 2, part 3): With hundreds – if not thousands – of decisions cropping up every day, founders need a strategy to cut through the noise and make choices quickly.

Avoid These Common Career-Sabotaging Pitfalls: Want a long, healthy and productive career? Here are five things to avoid at all costs. 


Think Like a Venture Capitalist: Dig into this post for seven steps entrepreneurs can take to significantly increase their chances of raising capital.

Choosing a Great Capital Partner: All investment is not created equal. Strategies for finding and landing the venture capital relationships that are right for you.

Investors are from Mars, Entrepreneurs are from Venus: Before you can fundraise, you need to understand who you’re talking to. Read on for insights into the minds – and priorities – of the people on the other side of the table.

Executive Coaching & Mentorship 

Founder Insights: The Power of an Executive Coach: Five things to know about executive coaching as a startup founder.

Mentorship And The Monster Under The Bed: Five lessons on how mentors can help you keep moving forward on your entrepreneurial journey.

To Avoid An Entrepreneur's Biggest Dealbreaker, Find A Mentor: Why finding a mentor is crucial to entrepreneurial success. 

Entrepreneurial Mindset & Mental Wellness

Being Done and Being Okay With It: Done right, entrepreneurs can feel good both about being done with a current startup or role and how the decision was made. 

Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help: It’s not easy to persist through unprecedented leadership challenges (without losing your mind in the process). The key? Asking for help.

Sales, Growth & Marketing

Steps to Hiring a Successful Sales Leader: It’s time for you, dear founder, to hire a sales leader and step aside. Here’s how to do it right.

5 Things Every Company Must Do Right Now for Customer Retention: Actionable strategies drawn directly from our Portfolio-only event featuring Gainsight CEO Nck Mehta in conversation with Next Coast Ventures Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Mike Smerklo.

Who Should Customer Success Report To? Here’s an argument for setting up your org chart so Customer Success reports directly to the CEO.

Entrepreneurship and the False Positives of Early Sales: How to think about your company’s first big sales win and what it means for your future performance.

Is Your Brand Hard to Find Online? Tips for up-leveling your marketing with quick, simple steps.

The Role of Transparency in Building a Brand: How one Next Coast Ventures portfolio company leveraged transparency to create a trusted brand.

The Dos and Dont’s of Working with the Media: All press is good press…or is it? Important things to keep in mind for startups considering their next PR push.


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