Most venture capitalists never say â€œnoâ€� outright. However, none ever say â€œyes” outright either. The reason for this is that the longer a venture capitalist can delay having to invest, the less risky is their investment. In fact, every day that they can delay cutting a check is another day that you the entrepreneur are building, acquiring customers and refining your business model.
So what can an entrepreneur do?
Unfortunately, entrepreneurs do not have much leverage with venture folk, except for the threat of a missed opportunity. Therefore once you can get one group to commit, the fun begins. As soon as you can reasonably and mostly honestly start to apply the pressure, the faster you will cut through the red tape and get to what you ordered. Also never be afraid to let a VC think you will walk away â€“ in fact, maybe you should.
Bill Burnham has a nice post for what to do once you have a term sheet in hand.