Riley Gibson is the CEO and co-founder of the Boulder based Napkin Labs, a startup that helps companies manage and engage their Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Napkin Labs launched an updated version of the service today (read, Napkin Labs Lets Brands Better Understand Their Customers (And Turn Them Into Collaborators). Prior to launch, Gibson flew to New York to get advice on building his company during Founder Office Hours with Hunch Co-Founder Chris Dixon and First Round Capital’s Managing Partner Josh Kopelman.
Based in Colorado, Gibson suspects his company might be at a disadvantage because it is not located near vast sources of venture capital. He wonders if moving will help. Kopelman doesn’t think so and responds by saying, “I am not sure it makes sense to move to be near a VC … I think you tend to move if you are finding that you are starved for talent, if you are not able to hire to fill the positions at the right levels. We’ve funded companies all over the country.”
Dixon chimes in with a tongue-in-cheek response that it is often better to move away from sources of venture capital.
Following the exchange, Gibson asks Dixon and Kopelman about raising money. The question is should Napkin Labs attempt to achieve certain benchmarks before raising money, or should it not worry about the benchmarks and just go for it? Dixon and Kopelman take a similar position, with Kopelman saying “it probably makes sense to have just a handful of conversations, test the appetite and responsiveness of investors.” He notes that you don’t turn fundraising on and off, but rather it is a continuous process of engaging backers.