Venture-Capital Clubs

Joseph W. Bartlett, Special Counsel, McCarter & English LLP, Co-Founder of VCExperts

McCarter & English LLP


One often-tried gambit for raising cash is to make a presentation at a forum organized by a "venture-capital club," referring to an idea first popularized by Thomas Murphy. Venture-capital clubs consist of an organizer and a mailing list of individuals and entities in a given region that have demonstrated some interest in venture capital. There are about seven dozen such groups in the United States; they meet monthly over breakfast or lunch. They usually rely on word of mouth for attendance, as they don't ordinarily advertise. The most important part of a typical meeting is the "Five-Minute Forum," in which anyone can speak about his venture for a limit of one to five minutes. The purported purpose of attending these meetings is for people to make "contacts," not offers.

As the number of venture-capital clubs has increased, so too have the number of schools and associations aimed at helping entrepreneurs in all aspects of starting and running a business. Moreover, some of the venture-capital conferences, such as those sponsored by the American Electronics Association and the celebrated trade shows, provide promising venues for entrepreneurs to meet investors.


Introduction to Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance