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Moritz Offers a Challenge

Fund: Sequoia Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11

PUBLIC:

Mike got his backside toasted a bit in the final moments of Kawasaki's Revenue Bootcamp today by a conference attendee. But he rose to the challenge, offering to read and respond to most any pitch emailed to him from the 200+ (predominately baby boomer) audience.

Mike was on the last panel of the conference with Paul Graham of yCombinator moderated by Guy. Early in the hour long discussion, both Mike and Paul admitted that one of the optimal characteristics of entrepreneurs they fund is youth, specifically those under 30 years old. They gave sound justifications, which probably rang hollow with the audience.

The confrontation stemmed from a final question an attendee asked that was blatantly dismissed by Moritz. The question seemed authentic enough. The attendee sought the panel's advice for "older" founders / entrepreneurs when approaching VC's for funding.

Paul didn't get a word in before Mike just flipped his response to a series of off-hand remarks and jokes. Guy tried to pursue, but Mike wasn't interested in dealing directly with the question, and that's when the fun started.

Someone in the audience challenged Mike to answer the question, and asked the audience to raise their hands if any were entrepreneurs over 30. Needless to say, at least 85% of the audience raised their hands. The whole auditorium erupted into applause when Mike was challenged by the provoker to "answer the question!"

To Mike's credit, he said he was willing to take on this challenge, and would consider and respond to any well articulated pitch that was emailed to him, no matter how old the founder was.

I know I'm up for this challenge. How about the rest of you?

Leading up to this final question, Guy had moderated an hour discussion with both Mike and Paul Graham of Ycombinator. Kawasaki was quick to note that both Sequoia and Ycombinator seemed to focus on young entrepreneurs, less than 30 years old. One of from the audience. where a "older founder"

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