The Last Word: Dialexa’s Scott Harper on Founders Who Can’t Handle the Truth

“If someone can’t handle feedback, that’s a great sign you made the right call.”

Scott Harper
Co-Founder and CEO
.…commenting on LinkedIn about founders who can’t handle the truth from potential investors.

Mizzen+Main Founder and Chairman Kevin Lavelle caused a bit of a stir on LinkedIn recently when he wrote candidly about the need for venture capitalists to provide feedback to founders—especially when they’re passing on a pitch. 

Lavelle was responding to a post from a London-based VC who apparently stopped giving feedback five years ago after a turned-down founder became “the angriest man” the VC had ever seen.

Kevin Lavalle

Lavelle, an SMU grad who’s currently “building something new,” revealed his own at times frustrating experiences in pitching his stealth venture with little feedback from investors, and expressed scorn for the London VC. 

“Respectfully, this is just silly,” Lavelle wrote. “One jerk founder was rude and really hurt Gian’s feelings, so now as a VC, he will no longer provide feedback.”

“The worst part of talking to 100+ venture capital firms over the last few months was the firms who would look at my DocSend, share it with multiple people in their firm, but never respond or acknowledge us in any way,” Lavelled said on LinkedIn.

The second worst? The “half-hearted ‘it doesn’t seem like the right time’ … I was so very grateful when an investor would tell me a real reason why they were passing, especially if it was basically “don’t bother following up” at your next round. Great! Time saved! Thank you!” he said.

Commenting on Lavelle’s post, Scott Harper chimed in with, “Agree with you 100%. Too many cowards on both sides of the table.”

The good news: Lavelle said in another thread that his angel round is “oversubscribed.”

“Such an awesome feeling to have people immediately throw their hat in the ring,” Lavelle wrote. “Grateful for the new partners in our journey. This is the most difficult fundraising environment since 2008—not my opinion, the reality from every investor and entrepreneur I talk to. Very glad to get back to building something transformational.”

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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