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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.

Draper Richards  CERTIFIED

No New Investments Warning:
Members have submitted information that the following organization(s) may not be making investments into new portfolio companies. This warning can be contested by submitting proof of a completed investment in a new portfolio company within the last four weeks here.

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.4 / 5.0 by 19
Track
Record
3.8
Operating
Competence
3.1
Pitching
Efficiency
3.4
Favorable
Deal Terms
3.2
Execution
Assistance
3.3

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Small Private VC founded in 1994 based out of San Francisco, USA (US West)

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.

TEAM MEMBERS: Cynthia Lam, Robin Richards Donohoe, William H. Draper III,

3
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1
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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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

7
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1
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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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

11
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2
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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.

PRIVATE: Members Only

8
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1
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Howard Asked Right Questions and Offered Great Ideas to Enhance Our Value Prop

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

Howard was the first in the VC community that I showed my latest stealth venture to and my experience was very positive. He was really honest and professional. He offered many good ideas to improve the product. In fact our team was so excited about one of his suggestions that they started working on it right away. He also offered to help spread the word about the site, once we are ready for Beta.

I think Howard is the real entrepreneur's VC. He knows how we think and work.

If someone holds a gun and asks me to find anything negative at all, the only things comes to mind is that maybe he's become a bit too content because of Skype success. But hey, he deserves it and I have no problems with it.

PRIVATE: Members Only (197 Characters)

11
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1
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Had a Great Meeting with Howard

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

Had a great meeting with Howard some time ago after an intro from another Angel-firm.

We spoke the same language and his question where sharp and direct. His experience is of great relevance for us and he seems to have the mindset to understand disruptive technologies and how they affect markets. Also, he gives the impression of beeing well-connected and understanding what kind of experience that would be useful for us.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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Howard is the Best VC Out There.

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by alecpeters on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

Howard is the first VC I went to after a bad experience with Crosslink Capital in my last company. Having been the victim of a VC (Jim Feuille) who was more interested in taking over the company than doing what was right for ALL the shareholders, Howard is one VC who is genuinely interested in the entrepreneur and who will give you the best feedback he can. He actually DOES add value and always returns my calls. While Howard didn't invest in my company (Bill wasn't keen on fantasy sports), he agreed to serve on my board and he has already driven more value to my company than I could have hoped. He is the man!

Howard has a good sense of humor. I can see how some people might take it the wrong way, but lighten up! Howard is a good guy who really cares.

I took a company I am on the board of here in Atlanta out to see a few VCs and get their input. Howard told them to change their focus radically. Some might have been offended, but these guys took Howard's advice and they keep telling me how pivitol that was and what great advice it wound up being.

So I give Howard a huge thumbs up!

PRIVATE: Members Only

13
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1
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Howard's a Straight Shooter and More....

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by neal24 on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

As an entrepreneur who has pitched to Howard before and been turned down, the only thing I can say is that I have a lot of respect for Howard. He is really sharp, and insightful. He was upfront with us and told us exactly how we felt about our business, what metrics/goals he would like to see in order to get him interested in the deal.

Then he jumped to the whiteboard and actually helped us think through our pitch!!! He gave us pointers as to how we could make it more compelling. Last, he forwarded us to a couple of people he thought who could help us out.

I am surprised that some people have had such a bad experience with him. Based on the responses at the Funded, it has to be his upfront, honest feedback that might put people off.

All in all my meeting with Howard was the best one that I had out of all the VCs and angels I met. I would actually recommend entrepreneurs to get on his calendar before scheduling any meetings with other VCs.

PRIVATE: Members Only

8
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We Had a Positive Experience

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Cory on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

We had a meeting with Howard this week and found him to be really straight forward. He ultimately passed on our deal, but he told us that he was taking a pass before we even left the table. It was one of the most kind and honest conversations that I have had in some time.

I see that there are some negative opinions here but that has not been my experience at all.

PRIVATE: Members Only

12
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Great Experience in Pitch and Board

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

Howard and Bill sized up our company and opportunity faster than anyone we pitched (over 12 VC's). The feedback was honest, the timeline to close was clear, and they moved quickly. The integrity of Bill in particular was shocking - he shook our hands, promised a close in X days, and when the lawyers dragged, he wired the money anyway. What VC has ever stuck to his word" It's crazy. Since then Howard joined our Board and has worked harder than any VC I've worked with. He's like a free VP, Biz Dev. I've worked with KPCB, Benchmark, Sequoia, and others on 8 start-ups. Believe me, he's operationally top notch. And I just met the guy for the first time in my pitch.

It's surprising to me to read this other feedback here, for that doesn't seem like Howard at all. I wouldn't hestitate to say those kinds of things about other VC's - there are tons of nut jobs on Sand Hill, and would go as far to say that a majority of them should be selling insurance instead. We went with Howard and Bill because their integrity was a breath of fresh air.

PRIVATE: Members Only (225 Characters)

12
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Howard is an Observer on My Board

Fund: Draper Richards

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

Howard is no-bullshit, no sitting on the fence investor. He likes it or he doesn't like it. The strategy is good or it's not. As an entrepreneur, it's refreshing to get black and white from an investor. The roldex is healthy and always open. Board level value-add comes in the form of concise, on-topic and insightful observations/recommendations.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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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

13
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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.

PRIVATE: Members Only (251 Characters)