The people behind the money matter

July 15, 2014

PUBLISHED BY Sophie Lebrecht


Why Neon picked MDV to lead our recent investment

One afternoon in April, I was having a coffee with Bill Ericson, our General Partner from Mohr Davidow Ventures. As I updated him on the results from recent pilots, customers in our pipeline, and the stack of upcoming industry events where Neon was scheduled to present, he paused to ask a critical question. What would happen if all of these potential customers wanted to buy our product? How would we support them through sales and implementation, and ensure a high quality service? He was referring to what I now understand as a “success disaster,” and it became the push for our recent investment led by Mohr Davidow Ventures, positioned to help us scale to successfully meet the needs of new customers.

It’s everyday moments like this that shape your business. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s people like this who are instrumental to your success, people who are able to spot patterns and are willing to ask the difficult questions.

Because Neon is solving a complex problem in an unusual way, using brain science to change how digital images are selected, it was clear from day one that we needed bold investors committed to real innovation. Which is why it’s no surprise that we met our investors—MDV, True Ventures, XSeed Capital, and Steve Blank—through The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program, a program that helps scientists transform basic research into commercial products capable of delivering unique and scientific solutions.

When we raised our seed investment in February 2013, I wasn’t looking for the first investor to hand us money. I wanted to work with people daring enough to believe we could model the human brain, confident enough to take risks, sensitive enough to mentor, and trusting enough to let me figure things out for myself. Working closely with each of these investors over the last year proved that was possible.

Read the full post here.