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Please take a moment and make a financial contribution to TheFunded. If we have helped you, help us with resources to further grow the both the site and our entrepreneur training program, The Founder Institute.

William H. Draper III

Partner Rating:

Rated 4.0 / 5.0 by 2

Partner Information:

Title:     General Partner

Location:  San Francisco, US West

Blog:      

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.4 / 5.0 by 19

Firm Information:

Company:   Draper Richards

Type:      Small Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: None.

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Draper Richards is an active investor, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs achieve their maximum potential through contacts, advice, and support. We provide portfolio companies assistance in the areas of strategy, executive team recruiting, and raising capital.

6
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Very Refreshing!

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-23

PUBLIC:

I recently reached out to Howard and Robin regarding funding a venture in Florida. Although they are not making investments in Florida, they responded quickly and provided a direct referral to a Florida-based VC, with whom they have co-investing experience. This is how pros behave. Very refreshing!

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Howard's the Man!

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-15

PUBLIC:

Raising capital is quite the experience - and a different one at that for each investor you speak to. Meeting with a diverse group of venture investors, I've found that no one is exactly quite like Howard. At a period when he wasn't really interested in our business, he still took the time to provide us with real guidance and feedback on how we could improve our business model and product. Not like many VC's, which simply want you to hear their point of view and break down your whole business model before you are even out of the gate. Howard is experienced, logical, and responsive.

As our business model evolved and became more refined, in large part due to Howard's guidance and recommendations, our product offering has become more focused and our market credibility has significantly increased.

Most importantly, Howard takes the time to brainstorm with you for the best direction for your Company, and was even willing to help direct us to other firms which he felt would be strategic. Overall, he is someone with integrity and intelligence, willing to provide candid feedback that doesn't come across in the wrong way. Howard has yet to fund our Company, but he is definitely on the short list of VC's I would like to work with and bring on as a stratgic partner. Howard did not ask me to write this, but I felt it was important to share my experience for others.

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Very Different Experience if He's an Investor...

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-23

PUBLIC:

We were introduced to Howard by another fund (top-tier), he asked a lot of good questions and moved quickly into the A round. Sure he's blunt (sometimes very), but so what: he's extremely helpful on the bizdev front, available, quick to respond, and thinks out-of-the-box. His prior life as an entrepreneur hasn't hurt either, and I'd work with him again on the next one.

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Howard is Human

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-23

PUBLIC:

Howard Hartenbaum likes entrepreneurs, treats them with respect, and does what he does very well. He is a pleasure to pitch, and a supportive and productive board participant. One of the good guys.

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Very Impressed with Howard

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by abeson on 2007-08-01

PUBLIC:

I've met with Howard both to collaborate on investment projects as well as to solicit feedback on my own company and have been extremely impressed each time. He always adds great insight and goes to great lengths to solicit others to help. And rare in the Bay Area, he is always prompt and attentive.

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Howard is the Best.....

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Ajax on 2007-07-20

PUBLIC:

Ok, I have known Howard for 4 years, and in all that time Howard has always been supportive, honest, insightful and a great guy to get along with. He doesn't have time to coddle you, but he returns calls promptly, gives you well thought out and reasoned advice, and is just about the only guy in the valley I really trust to look out for me as an entrepreneur.

Last year I took a company I am on the board of out to meet Howard. he gave them straight forward advice that meant they had to change a LOT. A year later they did it all and Howard got them 5 meetings in a week. Howard got nothing out of this, but did it because he is a good guy who likes to see entrepreneurs succeed.

Howard is the man.

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Howard is Great

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by bhl211 on 2007-07-10

PUBLIC:

I think that Howard is very insightful and very straight forward. Some people may be put off by this approach but it helps, in my opinion, to cut to the chase and through the b/s

PRIVATE: Members Only (51 Characters)

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Bill and Howard

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by SG on 2007-06-21

PUBLIC:

I've worked with Draper Richards twice now. Each time I've found them to be good investors and partners. They have a unique approach to VC, but it works well for them and they've had some great wins. Bill and Howard use different approaches, but both bring a lot to the table. Bill is the epitome of old school VC - he's a gentleman that invests in people first and technology second. Howard is the new school - smart and aggressive. He likely understands your market better than you do. It's his job to find and/or qualify deals - and he's good at this. However this requires a certain amount of pessimism and critical thinking. I can see how some folks might have trouble with this - everyone wants (needs) to believe that their idea is extraordinary. It's Howard's job to make sure that it really is - and that it will be a successful investment. Once you're past this process and these guys invest in your company, Howard will be an ardent supporter and do everything possible to help you succeed.

PRIVATE: Members Only (878 Characters)

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My Experiences

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-14

PUBLIC:

I've met Howard a few times over the last 6 months and continue to have contact with him over email. I am at a loss to understand some of the negative feedback that people have about him. My experience with him has been very pleasant, educational, and fruitful.

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CEO

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-09

PUBLIC:

Howard and Bill are a unique team. Bill has been in the VC game since the beginning and brings the kind of insight and advice and wisdom that is rare. Bill's advice is valuable even on those rare times when he is not 100% on target. He is the kind of mentor and board member that every board and CEO would be blessed to find.

Howard is like a younger Bill. He gets the technology, the business proposition and your company instantly. If you're having trouble with Howard it is usually a sign that you are off your game or you're just taking too much time to explain something. He is like a race car - response is instant.

These guys are terrific.

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Howard is Different

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-05

PUBLIC:

I had a meeting with DFJ people and, to my surprise, Howard had "invited himself" (as he said) to the meeting. I must confess that I didn't know much about him or Draper Richards beforehand, but it turned out that he had experimented with our service, got our story immediately, and gave direct, but constructive feedback that sometimes was opposite to the views of all the other investors we have met.
A first meeting with a VC could not have been much better or nicer.

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CEO

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-09

PUBLIC:

Bill is a very nice and helpful person. He's a VC because he likes being around entrepreneurs, not because he's driven by making more money (though I'm sure he enjoys it--though I think he gives most of it to the Symphony and other places). Howard is a sharp guy and a straight-shooter. I've seen him really keep the interests of entrepreneurs in mind.

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Thoughtful and Open Minded

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by newmkt on 2007-09-08

PUBLIC:

We pitched Howard on our consumer product business. Our market is outside their stated focus on technology, yet Howard was open to learning about out company, and immediately able to give good feedback. Rhonda Stinson also contributed to the conversation, and was great to have involved. If she's available, I recommend having her join your meeting. She's very smart and is influential within the team. Bill stepped into the meeting as well, and seemed to be very personable, and similarly open-minded. I have not had the opportunity to meet Robin.

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A Pleasure

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-16

PUBLIC:

I met with Bill and Howard in late 2003 to pitch my business (at Buck's in Woodside no less!) and I was impressed with their enthusiasm and energy.

Within hours, both Bill and Howard are calling contacts to both vet us and make useful intros. I spent some time chatting with Bill one-on-one and was impressed at how genuine and personable he was. Howard was particularly inciteful in his analyses of business and markets in our industry. I liked the way he was thinking & the fact that he didn't fear thinking out loud.

They decided to pass, but they so helpful and gracious.

Truly a couple of gems in this industry.

Meet or pitch 'em if you ever get the chance.

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Howard and Bill

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by joescout on 2007-07-02

PUBLIC:

I met Howard Hartenbaum and Bill Draper 3 weeks ago through a referral from another VC. We had just 2 days earlier closed a small seed round with a small VC and a group of angels. They gave great feedback, asked great questions, and followed through with an investment exactly as promised.

Howard and Bill scheduled around me and agreed to meet me first thing in the AM - I showed up 10 minutes early and we started right away. Both asked great on point questions as they had prepared in advance and obviously read the ppt and executive summary I had provided them a day before the meeting. It was also clear by their questions, they had done some phone calls to learn more about me and the business already.

I only showed one slide (the business model) as the questions and answer discussion was on track and covering the key items I wanted to cover. 50 minutes into the meeting - Bill turned to Howard and they talked about what they thought to each other (in front of me). They then agreed to fund the same amount on the same terms as the original VC and add to our just closed round. They agreed to make it happen in a week subject to them checking 2 references on me. 7 days later they sent their signature pages and wire as agreed.

Summary - I have not worked with Howard and Bill before - but based on their great questions, track record, and doing what they said they would so far - I am super excited to have them involved.

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Try to Get Howard

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by khatibda on 2007-06-04

PUBLIC:

if you can get a meeting with howard, take it. it's different from the standard pitch and grin meetings in the valley. he brainstorms with you and tries to engage in debate and solve problems. and don't mistake this for someone telling you how to run your biz - he's giving you a frank glimpse into what a working relationship would be like. that's both rare and valuable. we didn't get funded, but we left HH and DR impressed.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Howard Get's It; He's Direct, Helpful,

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-24

PUBLIC:

* Howard took just one meeting to decide that he was going to back us.

* He gave us direct -ve feedback about UI when he didn't like it. Sent us a congratulatory note when the UI was redesigned.

* Consistently urged us to build a "great product" before spending money on marketing. He helped convince other board members that this is the right approach to take.

* Saved us money with introductions to lawyers, valuation experts, PR agencies.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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A Straight Shooter

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by dufficy on 2007-05-06

PUBLIC:

Our start-up recently had the pleasure of pitching our company to Howard Hartenbaum at Draper Richards.

Howard gave us his undivided attention, was very thorough in his questions, and brought up key points that showed a shrewed analytical ability sometime lacking with VC's.

He is honest and forthright, and not in the phony way many VC's are as they try to lower your valuation out the gate. He genuinely tries to understand the business model, core strategies and market dynamics - and does not simply focus on the "financials" which is so annoying to entrepreneurs whose goal is to first make sure the person across the tables understands your vision.

All in all, a very positive experience.

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Experience with Howard Hartenbaum

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-26

PUBLIC:

I've been reading the negative feedback and comments for Howard. I find these comments disturbing and amazing. My experience in pitching Howard was extremely positive.

Last week we pitched Howard. He was extremely attentive, courteous and pleasant. He gave us invaluable thoughts, comments and feedback. He also asked very thoughtful and insightful questions.

He then volunteered to introduce us to several companies and to people who he thought could help us - and he followed up on his commitments afterwards; this was very generous and considerate of him.

About a week afterwards, Howard he sent me an email stating that he ran our pitch by the partners and they decided not to invest. I'm not happy with this result but at least he didn't leave me 'hanging' in limbo! (I've pitched other VCs and and I've never heard from them again!).

Overall my experience with Howard was extremely positive.

--IG 04/25/2007

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Pitched, Turned Down, and Love Howard

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-02

PUBLIC:

Yup, he turned us down, but then kept helping us.

Unlike his peers at DFJ, Howard delivers when he offers to help. DFJ folk seem to just want volume, and don't care for you. Howard is different and I suspect the part of the ego that offends others as reviewed above, is probably a way Howard establishes whether it's worth to help them going forward. If you are weak skinned, why bother, since the vc world is going to be tough"

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Howard and Bill Care

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-07

PUBLIC:

Our experience with Bill and Howard was extremely positive. They were highly engaged during the pitch and provided thoughtful feedback. Bill focused on the team and Howard on the business model. Although they did not invest they went out of their way to help by providing introductions to potential investors. They followed up immediately; Bill even called one investor while we were meeting.

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Bill and Howard are Fantastic

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by auren on 2007-07-17

PUBLIC:

while i have never pitched Bill or Howard, plenty of the companies i have been an angel investor in have. Bill and Howard are both great guys and they are the "good guys" in the venture world. they have both been extremely helpful to me over the years with lots of helpful advice, contacts, and insights. they are definitely a go-to stop for an entrepreneur.

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Sharp as a Tack

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-08

PUBLIC:

We had some interesting meetings with Draper Richards, most of them worthwhile and enlightening. Howard is smart and he knows it, but the BS factor is substantially less than in most other firms, which I appreciated. I'm definitely one of those entrepreneurs who likes direct feedback. He was open with us about his concerns, but also was open about the fact the he liked our space, our product, and our management team. Bill Draper was a bit of a wild card in the meetings --- you can never predict what kind of question he's going to ask (relevant or not), or even if he'll attend the entire meeting. That said, he's a stand-up guy, and I felt much better about his involvement after meeting him at his home to finalize terms. During negotiations, there's a bit of a good cop/bad cop routine going on between Howard and Bill, but in general I appreciated the fact that they pushed it toward closing, though with more legal back and forth than I would have liked. Overall, we're extremely fired up to be working with Bill and Howard, and Draper Richards is highly recommended.

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Draper Richards Pros Across the Board

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by andrewl on 2007-05-07

PUBLIC:

I've been working with Haward and Bill for a over two years and I've been constantly impressed with their professionalism and support. They know everyone and are more than happy to open their network and have made some great introductions.

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CEO

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by astirrup on 2007-05-06

PUBLIC:

Howard is definitely an entrepreneur's VC. I have worked with Howard for over two years. He was great to work with prior to the investement and after. He gives great advice, he listens and he knows from first hand experience what it is like to be a CEO. I consider him a friend and a partner.

Howard is always one of the first people I recommend if one of my friends is looking for an investor.

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