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Innovating in National Security with Raj Shah

September 22, 2022

Village Global's Venture Stories


Raj Shah, Managing Partner at Shield Capital, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways:

- Raj and Shield don’t care whether a founding team has experience selling to government, because the firm can help with that. They evaluate the team, the market and the tech when they’re looking at an investment.

- Ash Carter was the first sitting Secretary of Defense to come to Silicon Valley in decades when he visited to jumpstart new initiatives to encourage startups working with government.

- Raj recommends that startups work with organizations within the government that have a mandate to move quickly.

- If a company decides to work with consultants, ensure that incentives are aligned such that the consultant benefits when the company benefits, rather than the consultant receiving a large payment regardless of the outcome.

- Many more generalist investors have been investing in defense, but it’s a very difficult space to invest in. It takes time for investors to learn the jargon and the players.

- When a company is evaluating and investor, it should ask two primary questions: 1) Does this investor truly understand the customer set? 2) Can this investor be helpful in company building in the boardroom?

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