A Crash Course in Deals Led to Career Pivot
Michael Harrington Unexpectedly Discovered His Niche During the Dot-Com Boom
Venture Capital Journal
Before he was chair of the firm's Corporate Department, Michael Harrington was a new associate attempting to help his friends during the boom of the dot-com industry.
"Of course I can do it," he would assure them. Then he'd hang up and admit, "I have no idea what a Series A financing deal is."
Needing help in the financing arena, Harrington traveled daily from Philadelphia to meet with a partner in the firm's Princeton, NJ office who was willing to teach him the basics.
Years later, Harrington now focuses his practice on advising early and growth stage companies in technology, life sciences and cleantech.
In his interview with Venture Capital Journal, Michael discussed the trend of life science companies looking for capital in new places, such as private wealth and professionals, as well as his ideas for building a pipeline between Silicon Valley and the mid-Atlantic early stage companies in need of funding.
He also offered the following advice for venture capitalists:
"My advice would be to be very aware of your key management, the good people, who are going to get you to that exit. Make sure they're very involved with the exit strategy that's being accelerated, that they've bought into and, more importantly, are economically incented--even in those companies where VCs are deciding to get out early and they know they're not going to get significant returns."