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All posts by Mike Smerklo

Mike Smerklo
Mike Smerklo is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Next Coast Ventures. He has been active in the technology industry for 20 years. Prior to Next Coast, Mike was Chairman and CEO of ServiceSource (SREV). He is also Co-Founder of Nucleus Growth. Previously, he worked as an early employee at Loudcloud (Opsware) and worked at (but hated) jobs in investment banking and public accounting. Mike was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist in Northern California in 2010 and is active in YPO and various community endeavours. He received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University and a BS in Business at Miami University.
  • How entrepreneurs can think like venture capitalists

    As an entrepreneur involved with two highly successful full-stack technology businesses, I spent fifteen years curiously wondering how venture capitalists make decisions. When I wasn’t focused on delivering value to customers and employees, I focused on how I could demonstrate that value to VCs in order to raise capital. Often the process felt like it was shrouded in mystery—conjuring images of tribal gatherings, Shark Tank-like voting sessions and perhaps an Ouija board or two. Even after I secured capital with several of the best firms, I still felt like an element of luck was involved. Now that I find myself on...