The Psychological Playbook for VCs and Startups


In the VC community, it is often said that the founding team is the most important aspect of an early stage venture. While products pivot, go-to-market strategies evolve, and customers come and go, the founders are the most consistent factor in the startup journey and are consequently a crucial parameter in the due diligence equation.

In a data-driven world filled with engagement metrics and gross margins, it is still difficult to find the right template to discuss this key matter - the team.

Despite the analytical nature of VCs, the process of evaluating a team has remained emotional and often led by bias. When it comes to evaluating founding teams as part of the due diligence process, the VC industry still uses an intuition-driven approach.

The reasons for this blindspot in team analyses are varied; but they revolve around one principle: the psychological realm is less quantitative in nature and it is hard to adopt a mental scorecard that would fit the entrepreneurial spirit. There are multiple psychological factors to take into consideration and prioritizing among them is not easy.

Noa Matz
Operating Partner, F2

I have experienced countless founders entering my office in a state of crisis. Many times, all they needed was the ability to talk to an empathic person who understands their position, their venture, and is familiar with the entrepreneurial jargon. It is in a place like this where they can finally take off their mask, put their stress on the table, and talk it through - leaving the room emotionally and mentally recharged.

From my host of sessions guiding founders, I have been able to isolate those traits most beneficial to them on their challenging journey. Since I can’t let you in my session room, in this Playbook I share those insights gleaned. Dive in!