TechCrunch+ roundup: Gen Z VCs, choosing a GTM model, crypto crisis communication tips

·4 min read

I've always wondered who gets to name demographic cohorts.

My parents were pre-Baby Boomers, which made them part of the Silent Generation. (I'm Generation X, so feel free to ignore me entirely.)

Generation Z is stereotyped as being materialistic, mistrustful and extremely reliant on personal technology. And now that they are entering the ranks of venture capital, one investor says those traits are informing how deals are made.

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Tech investors born after 1996 "have raised funds, garnered social media followings and profited from the Gen Z mentality," says Andrew Chan, a senior associate at Builders VC.

However, "Gen Z, no matter how you slice it, are still a bunch of kids. Myself included," he notes in a TC+ guest post. "Good for them. I don’t want to be any part of it."

According to Chan, too many investors his age rely on "youth, group-think identification and confidence as a substitute for hard work and experience."

"It might work for now, but if that’s success for my generation of venture capitalists, then I would have rather stayed in my happy little bubble writing geochemistry code at NASA JPL."

Thanks very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

6 ways to make sure your startup is using the right GTM model

Group of adults carrying boxes; go to market gtm strategy
Group of adults carrying boxes; go to market gtm strategy

Image Credits: Klaus Vedfelt (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Years ago, I borrowed a road bicycle from an acquaintance for a day of touring. It was a mistake.

I’d never used a 10-speed bike before, so I wasted time and energy struggling to ascend hills, much like a startup with a go-to-market model that doesn't match the stage of their business.

“Before you start scaling any kind of sales model, you need a pipeline to support it,” according to Ali Mitchell and Laura Yao, partners at EQT Ventures,

Getting GTM right is more than following basic best practices: You also need to know “what to do and when to do it.”

How to communicate to your crypto community when things aren’t going well

Coffee spilled on carpet; communicating with crypto communities
Coffee spilled on carpet; communicating with crypto communities

Image Credits: Peter Dazeley (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Because it's a nascent industry that's largely unregulated, crypto companies are not generally skilled at crisis communications, and I'm being generous.

When a bank or financial services company experiences a massive security failure or a volatility shock, federal laws dictate how it must communicate with its customers. Crypto startups, however, must rely on their own best judgment.

"There’s little benefit in declaring that the sky is falling and begging your community for investment, but an overly rosy outlook won’t fool anyone either," says Tahem Verma, co-founder and CEO of Mesha.

The majority of early-stage VC deals fall apart in due diligence

Illustration of a magnifying glass examining charts with businesspeople standing in the foreground.
Illustration of a magnifying glass examining charts with businesspeople standing in the foreground.

Image Credits: z_wei (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

It's amazing how frequently investors say "no" to startup founders: If 100 early-stage entrepreneurs pitch a VC, maybe three of them will be lucky to get a second meeting.

To find out why simple due diligence is the end of the line for so many hopeful founders, Haje Jan Kamps interviewed Axel Bichara and Tyler Mincey of VC firm Baukunst.

“If you feel the need to write a script and prepare for everything to make a good impression, it’s probably not going to work,” said Bichara.

Investors detail their red (and green) flags for startups seeking venture dollars

Image of red flags against a blue sky.
Image of red flags against a blue sky.

Image Credits: David Zaitz (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

To be clear: Most investors want to say “yes.” No one becomes a venture capitalist just so they can stomp on someone’s dreams.

Reporter Rebecca Bellan spoke to several who specialize in climate tech and mobility to learn more about how their thesis has shifted in recent months, and what that means for startups seeking follow-on funding:

  • George Kellerman, head of investments and acquisitions, Woven Capital

  • Nate Jaret, general partner, Maniv Mobility

  • Alexandra Harbour, principal, Prelude Ventures

  • Cassie Bowe, partner, Energy Impact Partners

  • Andrea Walne, general partner at Manhattan Venture Partners

“Investors are homing in on their thesis discipline as the biggest driver for diligence in today’s environment,” said Walne.