Snap Judgment on writing a $50K check to a startup
I'm a venture capitalist with Charles River Ventures and I LOVE your show. We have an seed financing program to fund Internet startups. We are allowed to commit up to $50K (on the spot - snap judgement) in a competitive situation if there is a committed, solid lead investor.
I am an investor, and on the board of directors of www.Scribd.com which now has 84 Million monthly members and is now a top 100 internet website. Scribd was the subject of a "Snap Judgment".
When the founders started their company they presented on a Friday afternoon (when most of our partners were gone). I liked the opportunity so much, I committed the entirety of what they wanted to raise at the time -- on the spot -- and told them that even if our partnership did not approve the opportunity when we had a chance to review it as a group, that i'd be good for the money personally. (I wrote them a personal check for the entire amount they were looking to raise; $300K - and handed it to them on the spot so they would know I was serious).
They never cashed that check but I funded them later. It's worked out well so far, Scribd is doing incredibly well. My bio is at www.about.me/BillTai or at www.crv.com. If you choose to do a show on this, i'd like to involve the founders of the company as it is a fun story to tell as a group. Info on Scribd: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/11/1112_most_intriguing_companies/21.htm
Best, Bill Tai