Neil Katz, of Arctaris Impact Fund, On Why Zirtual Is The Real Deal
What crucial elements does a lead need to have for you to commit to chasing the deal? Each of our Funds has a defined set of criteria that includes both financial and non-financial measures that are structured with the types of capital that we provide and the impact that we hope to achieve in the communities we invest in (typically centered around job creation in underbanked and underserved areas). If a target has characteristics that fall within our specifications, then the chase begins! If we aren’t the correct partner, then we aim to provide feedback to the target and, if helpful, make introductions to other capital providers in our network that may be a better fit.
Could you elaborate on the challenges of lead-sourcing?
Leads come in from a variety of different sources, at various stages of the deal continuum, and with various expectations on timing (though typically urgent!). Managing these leads is an important and time-sensitive process, and our failure to treat it as such can result in less leads coming in which makes our investment process more challenging. In other words, we take lead-sourcing very seriously.
The deal-flow is an elaborate process that can often hamper a VC’s job. How do you simplify it so that your attention is where it needs to be?
We use a variety of different tools to help us automate and manage our pipeline and to maximize our deal funnel. However, no tool is perfect and business development remains at the forefront of what we do. As such, having value added service providers, like Zirtual, help to bridge the gap between our current resources and processes, and to ensure a robust pipeline and success rate.
What made you choose Zirtual for help with your administrative woes?
We were seeking flexible and quality help with our administrative function, though we realized we did not yet have the need for a full time hire. As such, Zirtual’s various hourly packages helped serve as a step between a full time hire and a part time contractor. Even after adding fulltime resources, the flexibility and value offered by our Zirtual Assistant were persuasive enough to stay engaged with Zirtual.
How has your Zirtual Assistant Lace helped with the overall process?
Lace has helped our overall process in several ways. She has been both flexible and versatile enough to take on a varied set of tasks, and her proactive approach to her work flows helped identify gaps in processes before any issues arose.
Is there anything specific that comes to mind?
Lace helps to manage our pipeline tools so that our business development team can focus more on meetings and less on data input and reporting.
Why should other VCs choose Zirtual for deal-flow assistance?
In general, a Zirtual Assistant can help translate work flows between imperfect tools and a team that is often times too busy to make them perfect, especially in the resource conscious environment that most funds operate in.
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