Revolution.Aero: How do VCs vet early stage startups?

The Revolution.Aero article, “How do VCs vet early stage startups?” – August 23, 2023, features venture capital insights from Benjamin Zeitoun, an Investing Partner at Starburst Ventures, our seed fund focused on early-stage aerospace startups. Starburst has supported over 120 startups, including providing breakthrough support for successful sustainable aviation companies ZeroAvia, Ampaire, Odys Aviation, and Destinus.


The world of venture capitalism is about identifying outliers and making informed decisions about founders’ potential to succeed. Zeitoun discusses what to look for when evaluating early-stage startups, including various startup approaches, factors that attract investments, and upcoming investment trends.


Criteria for vetting startups: Zeitoun emphasizes that the evaluation of early-stage startups largely centers around the founders themselves. When investing in such startups, evaluating the founders’ experience, motivations, and technical capabilities is crucial, as the companies are usually in their infancy.


Startup approaches: The article showcases different startup trajectories: some startups focus on specific parts of the value chain, while others aim to develop all aspects in-house, which can often be riskier and more complex.


What attracts investment?: Zeitoun points out that startups working on hybrid-electric solutions are attractive to investors as they offer a more straightforward path to market and require less investment in infrastructure compared to entirely new technologies.


Timing & trends: Timing is highlighted as a critical factor in technology investing. Zeitoun acknowledges that misjudging the timing of regulatory changes can lead to missed opportunities. He predicts another wave of startups in the aviation sector emerging in the next few years as regulations mature.


The opinion piece underscores the importance of finding startups with the right timing, product, and angle for investment success. Read the full Revolution.Aero article.