VC Lingo

As with any subculture, the world of venture capital has its own lingo, too.

Here are some terms and phrases you may not have heard if you’re new to the industry or trying to find a job in venture capital.

If you have others, please add them to the comments.

  • “Hanging around the hoop” – When angels and VCs wait for other investors to move first before trying to initiate an investment in a startup. As you might imagine, this is pretty annoying for entrepreneurs! I first heard this one from Rob Go at NextView Ventures.
  • “Playing the ground game” – When an entrepreneur gets people who know a specific investor to proactively make a reference on their behalf during the due diligence process. (Dave Beisel gets the credit on this one)
  • “Hair on the deal” – Describes a startup that will have a hard time getting funding. Here Dave Lerner describes a bunch of ways that a deal can be “hairy”.

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