Founder of Resonant Venture Partners (VC firm) - my 4th attempt in the startup realm (had 2 previous companies fail and 1 turn into a cash cow).
It took my partner and me 3+ years to raise a $10M venture fund fresh out of business school, so I'm quite familiar with how brutal the process can be! Since then, our fund's portfolio companies have gone on to raise over $35M from some of the most respected firms in the business.
Would be glad to provide some honest feedback about your fundraising strategy without the typical VC BS.
Used to give presentations for a living as a business development manager at Intel. Now I'm sitting on the other side of the table as a VC and have heard hundreds of pitches from entrepreneurs. There is an art to crafting a story in a pitch deck compelling enough to get the next meeting or cause someone to break out their checkbook.
Would be glad to review your deck and provide tips on how to tighten up your story.
Jason is a detailed-oriented, analytical, and presentation genius. We have worked on several projects together and each has turned out very successful. I would highly recommend Jason for any complex or difficult situation, and to have him present in-front of high level executives at any given meeting. He has a talent for communication and negotiation and has mastered the art of persuasion; he is a great person to be around.
After experiencing the growth of the Resonant Fund from its early stages first hand, I can confidently attest to Jason's magnetism to success. His trip to the top, however, was from an accident. Like any other lean start-up, success is grown from work, and Jason has made the 80-hour work week look laughable compared to the time he has put in to see Resonant succeed. Regarding his business acumen, Jason's understanding of early stage investing is impressive, especially in the tech industry. Moving forward I expect nothing but success from whatever Jason lays his hands on.
Jason was part of a "financing research commercialization" class, which teamed up business and engineering students to craft a business plan and investor pitch for a local startup company. My role in the class was to assist the team as an outside mentor. Jason immediately took charge and owned the project, as if it was his own company. The passion he demonstrated for what could be considered a "class project" was extremely effective at motivating his team to perform well. The semester ended with presentations to a panel of investors. Hands down, Jason gave one of the most compelling pitches I have seen while mentoring this class. His leadership skills and presentation abilities will be a welcome asset to any organization
I worked with Jason on several teams while in business school. Yes, he is a great presenter. Yes, he has a good sense of humor. Yes, he is a hard worker. However, I think Jason's strongest attribute is much less noticeable. Jason is exceptional at bringing people together and getting them to perform really well. Jason is the best peacemaker that I've ever worked with on any team (personal, professional, or academic) -- *ever*. Any challenging situation that has the potential for a conflict can benefit greatly from having Jason around.
I've had the pleasure of working with Jason during the time he was an MBA student. During this time he has been able to advance every project he has taken on. I attribute this to his consistently high energy level and deep commitment to his interests. His loyalty and concern for his teammates has raised the performance of every team he has joined.
As an individual, his listening and communication skills make him a pleasure to be around and his sense of humor makes just about every meeting enjoyable. This guy will be contribute to success for his own company and every firm he takes an interest in.
Jason was one of the student co-managing directors of the Wolverine Venture Fund. We worked very closely on this Fund. Jason is an idea guy. However, that alone does not earn my recommendation. His execution intelligence is what sets him apart. Bottom line is he can get anything done he sets his mind to and he can get more done, in a given period of time, than almost anyone I know. Launching a successful venture fund directly out of business school is an incredibly difficult undertaking, but if anyone will succeed, it will be Jason and my bet is he will.
Jason is an excellent leader, business development manager, and is a result driven CEO. Jason has a determination to succeed that would be an extremely valuable asset to any company. He is likeable, well respected, and a talented executive. I was the CFO of Ikanos Power and Jason and I developed comprehensive financial models to secure project funding. We pitched our company's plan to hundreds of VC's and traveled extensively to secure additional assistance for Ikanos
I worked with Jason for six months as part of the Ikanos Power team developing a plan to commercialize a number of University of Michigan fuel reforming technologies. Our team traveled across the nation to 14 business plan competitions and pitched against some of the best start-up companies from around the world. Working with Jason was definitely an enjoyable experience. His technical background helped him quickly grasp the technology and his business development experience proved invaluable as we efficiently crafted and refined a top notch business plan. His charisma, dedication, and excellent pitching ability carried our team from one successful business plan competition to the next. In short, I would highly recommend Jason Townsend to lead your next business development project or high tech start-up.
Jason and I, were part of a University of Michigan based startup, Ikanos Power that was commercializing catalytic fuel reformers. With Jason leading the efforts as the CEO, we won a plethora of business plan competitions all over the nation. He is a very charismatic person and it was always a privilege to hear him present, be it in a closed group of seasoned Venture Capitalists from all over the USA or to a packed auditorium full of young student entrepreneurs. Having an engineering background, vast experience in business development meant that he was able to fully grasp all the technical details and communicate lucidly to both communities. In short, he is able to bridge the chasm between the technical and business worlds quite seamlessly. Moreover, he is a great personality to work with. While his level of commitment and attention to detail are mind blowing, his ability to motivate others around him and still maintain a fun working atmosphere have been quite instrumental in keeping us going even on 20 hour working days.
I am very confident that Jason would be an asset to any endeavour.
I worked with Jason for 2+ years as the technical support for his business development activities. Jason did a great job ramping his territory activities and partner exposure in a new geography. His technical prowess meant he only relied on me for deeper dive discussions with customers that needed the additional technical focus. His business savy showed on a daily basis as he routinely and accurately balanced his customers' needs with his company's directives. He showed great self-starter skills, staying focused and on track while in a remote home office / geography setting. His ability to influence customer choices and partner directions helped grow the company's installed base footprint while generating substantial corporate press in the territory. Jason would be a significant addition to any organization looking to start a new business, open a new territory, or expand into new market segments.
Jason is a talented and dedicated marketing professional. During the 3 years we worked together at Intel, Jason exhibited excellent people, communication, and account management skills. His passion for technology, and how to effectively utilize it for practical business solutions was highly appreciated by his clients and colleagues. As his mentor for 1 year, Jason was always open to personal improvement and communication. I would recommend Jason for any mature or upstart organization that fosters innovative and creative thinking.