Nate Lentz
April 2, 2020

Investing in a Time of Near Complete Uncertainty

People have begun speaking about the new normal that will exist after the Covid-19 period subsides and how many things will change – how will we recover and take care of the people affected directly and indirectly, how we will work, how we will educate, how medicine will be delivered, how much we will or […]

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Nate Lentz
September 11, 2019

Broad Option Distribution? No Debate – the Answer is Yes!

There is a debate that often happens among investors, management, and other board members about the value of options for non-executive employees in start-ups.  Sometimes investors worry about the dilutive effect and ask the question.  Other times it is founders who see the impact of additional refreshes of the option pool on their ownership.  I […]

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Nate Lentz
July 1, 2019

Two Great Reads and Three Trends to Drive Innovation

Two things I have read recently have stayed with me and lingered in my mind.  The first is Ed Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, which focuses on the history of urban development, the impact of regulation and industry structure on urban success, and the future for cities.  Glaeser outlines several trends that suggest that in […]

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Nate Lentz
May 14, 2019

PACT Enterprise Awards:  Proud of Philly, Proud of our Collective Grit, Proud of our Companies

The 2019 Enterprise Awards were held last night at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.  True to the resurgence of Philadelphia, this event has returned to Center City over the last five years after being held for several years in the hotel and casino landscape of City Avenue and King of Prussia.  This black-tie event does […]

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Nate Lentz
January 11, 2019

Rethinking Venture Debt During Periods of Economic Headwinds

I began my career at Chemical Bank (now JPMC) in New York and spent my first year going through the well-regarded credit training program. It was not too long after the early 1980s and people still remembered high inflation and high interest rates. We were trained to run financial projections on the ability of a […]

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Nate Lentz
October 2, 2018

The Winding Down of Venture Investments

A certain percentage of companies that venture funds back fail. Everyone knows this. Depending on their investment strategy and success, funds lose most of their capital on 25% to 50% of portfolio companies. Of these, some percent are sold for very little value, but the sale provides a home for the technology, the customers, and […]

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Nate Lentz
August 1, 2018

Turning Over Another Card Is for Poker, Not Technology Investing

I was with a co-investor recently and we were discussing our mutual investment. It is a situation where we have been frustrated with progress, both in terms of developing a scalable product and in getting early customer traction (these are certainly correlated). My colleague made the statement that if one thing or another happened, he […]

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Nate Lentz
July 18, 2018

The Compounding Effect of a CEO’s Day-to-Day Decisions

A colleague of mine recently stepped away from his day-to-day role as a partner in a venture fund and into an interim six-month role as Executive Chair in one of our portfolio companies. It was a necessary move to stabilize what will likely be a very good company and it was a great move for […]

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Nate Lentz
June 12, 2018

The Fallacy of the Messiah Hire

“There is no Messiah in here!  There’s a mess alright, but no Messiah.”  A memorable line spoken by Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.  The truth is, I often think of this line when CEOs speak to me of the person they just hired or the new person who just started. It is always […]

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Nate Lentz
January 5, 2018

The Operational CFO – Helping Improve the Score

I used to engage in the debate about whether the right structure at a certain stage of business evolution was to bring in a COO.  The argument was that bringing in a “been there and done that” executive to run much of the day-to-day operations was the right move to allow the business to scale.  Such […]

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