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What it means to be a founder-friendly investor with Jason Babcoke

Sumeru Managing Director Jason Babcoke, explains the art and science of product marketing, the value of brand advocates, and why a founder-friendly investor investor is more than just a passive investor.

Babcoke has an MBA from Harvard, a master’s in mechanical engineering from Stanford, and extensive leadership experience as a founder-friendly investor.

What is the true definition of a founder-friendly investor?

“It’s a great question and we get this a lot,” Sumeru Managing Director Jason Babcoke answered during this episode of the Scaling with Sumeru podcast.

“Some will say, ‘isn’t the true definition of founder friendly investing being passive? Whatever the founder wants to do, have at it, call me when you need more funding.’

“We would argue, no. We would argue that true founder-friendly investing is having an active partner to help ensure success. Maybe a better term is founder-enabled or founder-supportive.

“So we’re not only doing this because we think it’s the right thing to do. We’re doing this because we have a true vested interest. When we make an investment, what’s very typical for us is a company has fantastic product. Fantastic market, reputation, and customer references.

“The company has customers that are truly advocates. So those are the pillars of strength. Inside the company, there are usually one to three founders who have grown the product based on their own personal pain and experience. And they’ve done quite well.

“But these founders also see a whole new set of challenges over the horizon. When that realization happens, that’s the perfect time for us to step in. Founder-friendly investing strategies help become a solution set against those challenges.”

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