In the VC community, it is often said that the founding team is the most important parameter for evaluating a startup. 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 has dedicated her career to understanding these dynamics and coaching founders for peak performance. Starting in the IDF, Noa has guided teams through high-risk decisions and execution in stressful and uncertain conditions.
By now, she has guided dozens of startups, some among the best known in Israel, and helped to establish F2 Venture Capital as one of the most active VC funds in Israel.
Unique in her field as a Startup Psychologist, Noa developed psychological models and methodologies to assess and support teams. In due diligence, Noa analyzes founder personalities, team dynamics and team-market fit. For portfolio management, she uses similar methodologies to coach founders through change. The result is teams performing at their best.
“Time and time again we have seen that founder dynamics determine startup success or failure. At F2, we are a group of operators and engineers leading a new generation of venture capital,” says F2 Managing Partner Barak Rabinowitz. “Given her pioneering work, we are so proud to promote Noa to Operating Partner and amplify her positive impact on our community.”
Earlier this month, Noa directed the first in a new series of F2 playbooks called “Deep Dive, The Psychological Playbook for VCs and Startups” together with Vintage Investment Partners.
This playbook offers practical building blocks for successful founding teams based on Noa’s lessons from the field.