Bill Maris, managing partner at Google Ventures, sat down with VentureBeat yesterday to discuss what Google looks for in investment opportunities.
Google Ventures is the search giant’s venture capital arm, investing in technology companies such as HomeAway, EchoEcho, RelayRides, HubSpot, and WhaleShark Media.
According to Maris, who the founders are is more important than the business plan or the product. Google Ventures is drawn toward engineer types, people who are “earnest in their presentation and highly technical.” That’s because Google’s roots are in engineering: Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are steeped in engineering backgrounds, dating all the way to their college degrees.
Aside from engineering, Google Ventures looks for big ideas.
“Big ideas we tend to like are the ones that seem impossible or crazy,” Maris said during a panel at the 2011 DEMO fall conference. “We’re looking for people who are working on things that seem out of reach, uncomfortably difficult.”
Maris also mentioned at DEMO that his investors will stop a company’s pitch if it seems too rehearsed or scripted. It’s more important for the partners to get to know the entrepreneurs, since it’s all about the personalities and making they mesh.
As Maris put it, you’re going to war together, you have to get along.
See below for the video interview with Bill Maris and VentureBeat’s Meghan Kelly.
[Photo courtesy of The DEMO Conference]