Building Bullet-Proof Investor-Founder Relationships with Josh Krammes


To learn more about building bullet-proof investor-founder relationships, click here to watch Josh Krammes’ global keynote.

Josh Krammes is co-founder and COO of Hatchet Ventures where he is on a mission to ensure underestimated entrepreneurs get a shot at breaking into the coveted circle of startup success. The group leverages its experience as operators and founders of venture and private equity-backed startups – representing billions of dollars in M&A, exits, and IPOs – to support founders along their startup journey.

On September 20, Josh will lead a global keynote to provide insight into how his team is cracking the code to champion women, people of color, immigrants, members of the LGTBQIA+ community, military veterans, and the greater network of underestimated startup founders. His talk will detail the lessons he’s learned as a startup founder and how mentorship has been his unsuspecting key to success.

During Josh’s global keynote, he will share his model for bullet-proof investor-founder relationships, in addition to covering:

  • How to pick the right business advisors
  • How to vet equity investment offers
  • Mistakes to avoid for first-time founders
  • A proven model for mentoring underestimated founders

Betting On The Underdog

It is no secret that the investment landscape has work to do when it comes to achieving equity.

According to CrunchBase, Black and Latinx founders have raised just 2.4 percent of total venture capital invested since 2015. This ‘trillion-dollar blind spot’ also finds that women and minority founders experience 80 percent less business capitalization than businesses as a whole.

While it’s easy to point out the opportunity for improvement, even funders with the best intentions have struggled to break down these capital access walls.

Hatchet Ventures is one of the latest advisory firms to make a pledge to tackle the startup funding gap. To get it right, their hands-on approach begins with pairing founders with mentors who have faced the same challenges as them to guide them along the startup journey. It’s a model that was developed, in part, by Josh’s own learnings as a first-time founder.

“I had no advisors when I started my first company. I had mentors that I considered helpful, but I was young and a first-time founder and I didn’t know the importance of securing the right advisors,” he says.

Becoming Trusted Advisors

Hatchet Ventures understands the importance of strong investor-founder relationships. Their advisory model is proof of what is possible when a startup engages its advisors correctly.

“We just launched in October last year, and we already have 20 startups in our portfolio. Of those 20, we’ve helped close seed rounds for five of them and then two more of our portfolio companies should close theirs this month,” says Josh. “We have more than 40 startups that we’re working through to see if we mutually want to work together. I anticipate another half of those being signed up by the end of Q1 this year.”

Hatchet Ventures organizes its 50+ person advisory group to leverage its individual networks to make new connections. The group works with underestimated founders by surrounding them with a team and a group and a community of advisors who are all former builders. Most of this network is their core demographic.

“If you look at our advisory group of more than 50 people, there are only ten who identify as straight white males. So we’re sort of flipping the switch on this sort of DEI motion and saying that we’re going to build this with successful people who have done this before that represent the community we’re trying to help,” says Josh.

When founders work with the Hatchet Ventures team they are paired with CROs, CTOs, and go-to-market experts to help them best solve any problem they are facing.

We don’t approach Hatchet as charity. We approach hatchet as sort of exactly what it sounds like. It’s a hatchet and we’re going to use it to bust down the doors for our clients,” he says.

Pick Your Team Wisely

Outside of Josh’s fervor to expand his model of working to support more entrepreneurs, he offers one core piece of advice for both founders and investors: Pick your team wisely.

“The most important thing about our model is having been afforded the invitation to be an advisor to startups in the past. If anything sticks from our model at Hatchet, I hope it’s that if you’re going to make the decision to give an advisor equity, you remember that it’s perpetual. And that that advisor now works for you,” he says.

Josh wants founders to take control of their equity relationships by ensuring that they come with a mutual return. His belief is that founders should be in communication with their investors every month. As a founder, if you are not seeing this, Josh encourages you to re-think your approach to investor-founder relationships.

“If you’re an advisor with equity, I feel that it’s your responsibility to work for that founder,” says Josh.

To learn more about building bullet-proof investor-founder relationships, click here to watch Josh Krammes’ global keynote.

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