Startup Grind: Melissa Krinzman

Melissa Krinzman of Venture Architects and Krillion Ventures hosted by Startup Grind today at LAB Miami. Worked for three high profile national non-profits (including one being mentored by Peter Drucker) before starting her own firm helping entrepreneurs pitch for funding in New York. Have a sense of humour, don’t surprise your investors. Know which VCs you want to pitch based on the way they present themselves. Don’t pitch to associates, they are only empowered to say no. Know they are managing other people’s money and follow a process. Be persistent with marketing your venture to potential investors. Be aware of how a potential investor acts as a board member, especially when things do not go well. As an investor Melissa now on the other side of the table, learning to say no a lot, constantly busy and sometimes slow to respond to requests. Moved back to Miami and looking to close her third local investment through Krillion Ventures. Looking for teams, not individuals, with heart, balls and swagger: integrity, grit and the ability to fake it until you make it. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is raising insufficient funding to reach the next significant milestone, stranding the venture in limbo. Early stage VC investment in Miami relatively limited until this year when AGP restarted and Scout Ventures set up offices here. New York startup scene boomed over the past fifteen years, starting with events organized by accountants and lawyers before entrepreneurs started organizing their own events. Knight Foundation a significant help in Miemi, but too soon to say how things will evolve.

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