A VC behind $5 billion Slack shares what it takes to convince him to write million dollar checks to startups looking for investors

  • GV general partner Dave Munichiello has met a lot of founders, and his favorites always have one thing in common. 
  •  The best of the lot are open and vulnerable when pitching investors, Munichiello said. The worst leave the room, and he has no idea who they really are or what they’re like.
  • It all comes down to why GV is investing. Munichiello wants to work with startups that are open to experimenting and solving problems — and you can’t do that if you think you’re already the best in the game.

Dave Munichiello has a word of advice to hungry entrepreneurs: be real.

In his five years as general partner at GV, formerly Google Ventures, Munichiello has taken a lot of meetings with founders hoping that the firm will invest a few million dollars to give their startup legs.

The best founders, he told Business Insider, are open and vulnerable about their work, and empathetic to other people’s points of view. The worst are, well, the opposite. 

“Sometimes when entrepreneurs come in and pitch us, they can appear bulletproof,” Munichiello told Business Insider. “They can say, ‘I’m the smartest person in this space. I’ve never made a mistake. And we’re gonna be huge and you’re about to miss out on this big opportunity.'”

“It feels egotistical — it feels out of touch. And as somebody who’s seen all of the challenges of startup world, and all of the risks and that every day is either a huge high or a huge low, it just doesn’t feel real,” he said, adding that it’s a bad sign if a founder walks out of the room and Munichiello feels like he doesn’t have a sense of who they are. 

Once upon a time, Munichiello was on the other side of the table. After five years in the military, he joined the robotics company Kiva Systems as a senior director and worked there through its $775 million acquisition by Amazon. He packed up soon after the change of ownership and took his Harvard MBA to GV in 2013.  

Since then, Munichiello has invested and advised a cohort of enterprise tech companies with a focus on …

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