Spencer Lake is a partner at Element Ventures, a $150m fund founded in 2019 focused on 4 verticals: Fintech, Insuretech, Asset Wealth management and platforms for SMEs with 1 horizontal layer: Infrastructure as a service. Spencer holds an MBA from NYU, has over 30 years experience in banking across the likes of JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch & HSBC (most recently vice chairman of global banking & markets) and holds positions as a chairman/advisor/investor across multiple early stage companies.

When Unicorns Fly | Episode 4
Building and strengthening your relationship with a VC both pre-deal and post-deal

In this episode, we welcome Spencer Lake who guides us through a textbook journey of relationship building with a VC both pre-deal & post deal. Specifically, we cover:

  • What makes a company an attractive investment proposition

  • Preparation & expectation required for a first meeting

  • Good questions founders should be asking

  • The importance of soft skills

  • Good practices for maintaining your investor relationships

  • What a founder should expect from a VC joining their board

  • Managing conflicts between founders & investors



  • Intro & Life operating as a VC in today's climate
  • 4.20 - What makes a company attractive
  • 6.20 - The expertise VCs are looking for in the management team
  • 8.20 - How much importance is put on key logos in management team & start-up awards
  • 9.30 - The ideal first meeting
  • 11.30 - Founder's questions for VCs
  • 12.55 - The importance of soft skills
  • 15.35 - The dataroom
  • 18.00 - How to form an excellent working relationship with your investor
  • 20.05 - What a founder should expect from a VC joining their board
  • 21.45 - Reshaping the cap table
  • 22.40 - Managing conflicts between investors & founders
  • 25.10 - Wrap-up