For the VC who has everything

The next T-shirt that Andrew Hyde and his business partner Matt Emmi sell will probably say, “Who’s laughing now?”

The two Colorado entrepreneurs last month launched, an e-commerce site that sells T-shirts printed with VC-related sayings, such as “VCs do it with entrepreneurs.” Some of the shirts have slogans that are a bit more crass, such as, “I wouldn’t use that term sheet as toilet paper.”

In its first few weeks in business, VCWear sold 20 of the shirts, which go for $100 apiece. The biggest seller is the one that says, “Don’t pitch me bro.”

Next up, Hyde and Emmi will explore new sales models in which they will sell new shirt slogans for $500 a piece and provide the first buyer with a portion of future sales of the same shirt.

Hyde confesses that the website started out as a joke. He and his buddy’s business pitch, which is posted on the site, says that undershirts worn by VCs are not funny. Thus, the two came up with a solution: “Make funny undershirts with jokes only VCs can understand.”

That would probably be the end of the story, but Hyde and Emmi took the joke further when they posted an option in the site’s shopping cart for a VC to buy the company for $100,000. That will get you the T-shirt printer and all the brain power that went into creating the shirt designs. Hyde says the asking price was based on what Google Checkout could manage in an online transaction.

Yoga sans golf

Women may be underrepresented in the investment community. But the gender balance was reversed at last month’s Women’s Private Equity Summit at the posh Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif. As one attendee observed, over the course of two days, the only men present were taking pictures, serving food and parking cars.

One who appreciated the exclusivity was Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier, who in a keynote speech detailed a recent call from the unnamed chairman of a large private equity firm who was traveling in Kuwait. He heard that she was at the event and fished for an invitation. Says Nappier: “My response was: ‘It’s a clubby thing.”’

Nappier says she also got a kick out of the summit agenda, which included a 6:15 a.m. yoga workout for early bird attendees. She declared it a sign of progress that “we shall have yoga instead of golf on the itinerary.”

Political chatter

Now that former Bain Capital pro Mitt Romney is out of the presidential race, VCs can look to Oregon to watch an ex-peer run for office.

Republican Allen Alley—who was a general partner with Battery Ventures in the mid-1990s—is running for state treasurer in the Beaver State. Alley recently quit his job as deputy chief of staff for Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski. In that role, he served as a liaison to the state’s business community, focusing on the economy, technology, transportation and trade with China.

Toot, toot!

Forgive us for tooting our own horn, but we can’t help it.


is a finalist for four Maggie Awards, which are a pretty big deal in the journalism world. Two of our cover stories from 2007 are finalists for the “Best Interview or Profile” by a trade publication—Senior Editor Joanna Glasner’s December profile of Tom Perkins and Senior Writer Alexander Haislip’s August profile of angel investor Morten Lund.

Joanna is also in the running for “Best How-To Article” by a trade pub for her July cover story “Five Ways to Jumpstart your IRR.” Finally, VCJ itself is up for an award in the category of best single issue of a “Business, Finance & Management” magazine.

With any luck, we’ll be able to say in May that you subscribe to an award-winning publication.

Tim’s fantasy island

It seems when Tim Draper isn’t making venture capital deals, he likes to unwind on a 110-acre island named Lupita, which is located in Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika. In an interview posted on YouTube in February, Draper says: “It’s an amazing island and I actually own it. We have no rules on the island. People get on helicoptors and go to different locations. It’s a fabulous place to go.”

We did a little snooping and found that the island’s main feature is The Lupita Island Resort and Spa. Each of its 14 villas goes for $1,725 per night. Before you complain about the price, you need to know that also gets you gym access and all the Internet you can consume. Butler service is available upon request. We were unable to learn if any of the butlers is named “Tattoo.”