Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Have a Burning Business Question? Ask the Expert: Venture Capitalist Tony Conrad. Venture capitalist Tony Conrad is looking to take your questions on raising funds, approaching investors, structuring deals, making your pitch stand out and more.

By Andrea Huspeni

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When it comes to starting a business, money is always on entrepreneurs' minds. How are they going to get their startup dream off the ground?

Often, they think the answer is raising a round from a venture capital firm. But with less than 1 percent of startups funded by VCs, this approach is a unicorn in itself and an extremely difficult path for founders. Fortunately, we have Tony Conrad as our expert this month.

Conrad is part of the founding team at True Ventures, a San Francisco-based firm focusing on early-stage startups. He has worked alongside a number of high-profile companies including WordPress.com, Blue Bottle Coffee, MakerBot and High Fidelity. He is also a personal investor in fast-growing messaging service Slack.

Conrad also serves on the board of directors of the Tony Hawk Foundation and is an advisor to Noise Pop, a music festival.

Related: 8 Things You Need to Know About Raising Venture Capital


Tony Conrad of True Ventures
Image credit: True Ventures

"It is easier today to start a company than ever before in the history of the world. What this means for entrepreneurs is meaningful access to capital, to talent and to a community of seasoned and like-minded entrepreneurs trying to build incredible products and services that capture our imagination and impact our world," Conrad says. "I want to support those type of founders in a way that empowers them to go for it."

Besides being a venture capitalist, Conrad is a serial entrepreneur, having started Sphere, a search engine, and About.me, a social platform that wants to be "the web's starting point for identity." Having sold both to AOL, Conrad ended up repurchasing About.me in 2010.

We couldn't be more excited to have Conrad as our expert for the month of September. As someone who has been on both sides of the table – entrepreneur and VC – he is open to answering a variety of questions including how to approach VCs, fundraising, structuring deals, how to make pitches stand out, dealing with equity, along with questions about starting a business -- scaling a company, dealing with co-founders, building a team and managing employees.

Submit your questions in the comments section below or tweet us, using the hashtag #ENTexpert. One topic will be selected by the editors of Entrepreneur and addressed by Conrad in a weekly writeup.

Related: The Do's and Don'ts of Asking for an Intro to a Venture Capitalist

Andrea Huspeni

Founder of This Dog's Life

Andrea Huspeni is the former special projects director at Entrepreneur.com and the founder of This Dog's Life.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Starting a Business

I Wish I Knew These Four Things Before Starting My Own Business

Starting a business is hard work to say the least. These are four lessons I wish someone had shared with me before going solo, so I'm here to share them with you.

Side Hustle

These Brothers Had 'No Income' When They Started a 'Low-Risk, High-Reward' Side Hustle to Chase a Big Dream — Now They've Surpassed $50 Million in Revenue

Sam Lewkowict, co-founder and CEO of men's grooming brand Black Wolf Nation, knows what it takes to harness the power of side gig for success.

Science & Technology

3 Major Mistakes Companies Are Making With AI That Is Limiting Their ROI

With so many competing narratives around the future of AI, it's no wonder companies are misaligned on the best approach for integrating it into their organizations.


How a $10,000 Investment in AI Transformed My Career and Business Strategy

A bold $10,000 investment in AI and machine learning education fundamentally transformed my career and business strategy. Here's how adaption in the ever-evolving realm of AI — with the right investment in education, personal growth and business innovation — can transform your business.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Growing a Business

Don't Play Catch-up With Your Competition — Use These 3 Essential Technologies to Power Up Your Small Business

Here are three technologies for you to embrace in your business for faster growth and higher success.