Grotech Ventures Don Rainey

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Don Rainey, a former Intersouth Partners venture capitalist now investing for DC-based Grotech Ventures, has a few questions to answer before he'll put money in an early stage company.

First, he needs to know if a product should exist, does it already and/or why it hasn't existed before. Second, has this entrepreneur or startup team accomplished something that Rainey wouldn't have expected. To prepare to answer those questions, preparation around marketing, storytelling and data collection is critical for entrepreneurs.

This information is important to Triangle startups raising money.

Grotech invests east of the Rockies and has put funds into Raleigh companies 6fusion and Royalty Exchange (which was sold last year)—Rainey spends a good deal of time in the Triangle region due to his seven years at Intersouth. Grotech is also raising a ninth fund, aimed at $200 million, which it'll put in about 30 companies. Rainey says he's actively looking for deals in the Carolinas. And that's despite a recent bubble burst and capital crunch, he says. 

Rainey talked about his firm's plans and gave some helpful pitch tips to entrepreneurs gathered at American Underground last month. Watch the video for these and more insights from an investor with deep experience in the field:

Credit: ExitEvent