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You’ve just received your first venture capital term sheet. Congratulations—you’ve earned it. Now what does it all mean? “Pre-money valuation,” “ preference,” “pro-rata participation rights”? A seasoned venture capitalist (in this post, a VC or investor) has seen and invoked these concepts hundreds, if not thousands, of times. You? Maybe not so much.

Creating and maintaining strong working relationships with your directors and building a track record of trust and open dialogue is essential for the success of your company. We've got five tips for managing your private company .