In A Silicon Valley Startup Deal, The Coffee Shop You Choose Is Crucial

Madera RestaurantYou don’t want to be here.

Photo: Madera

A very successful entrepreneur who sold his company to an Internet giant just dropped a bit of local lore on us over lunch in Palo Alto.The exact location of the coffee shop in Palo Alto you choose says whether the entrepreneur or the investor has the upper hand in a negotiation.

The closer you are to Caltrain, basically, the more eager the venture capitalist is.

Coupa Café? Ask for a higher valuation.

University Cafe? You might be able to lower the rate on the cumulative dividends.

Cafe Venetia, the former Caffe del Doge? This is a venture-capitalist haven. Get ready for some serious liquidation preferences.

Oh, and if someone offers to meet you in Madera, a fancy restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel across the street from the cluster of venture-capital firms on Sand Hill Road?

You might as well kiss your ownership stake goodbye.

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