100 books like Venture Deals

By Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson,

Here are 100 books that Venture Deals fans have personally recommended if you like Venture Deals. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Paul A. Swegle Author Of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors

From my list on startup success from someone with startup wins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked with startups since 2000, when I joined ShareBuilder, ultimately sold to Capital One in a $9.5 billion deal – one of my five successful startup exits to date. I am currently an officer of seven startups. Startups drive global job creation and problem-solving innovation. But 90% fail, often for preventable reasons. I am helping entrepreneurs beat those odds. I wrote Startup Law and Fundraising to help entrepreneurs build on a solid foundation, avoid common legal and regulatory mistakes, and fund their vision. My books are used globally in law and MBA schools, and I speak constantly on entrepreneurship-related topics, including recently to groups in Istanbul, Ramallah, and Tehran. 

Paul's book list on startup success from someone with startup wins

Paul A. Swegle Why did Paul love this book?

Pitch Anything is an established work in the pitching and negotiation book categories. It is not perfect, but it is one of the best books for introducing entrepreneurs to the importance of pitching, selling, and negotiating persuasively. Entrepreneurs must pitch to attract co-founders and early team members, to obtain early stage funding, to close customers and other commercial partners, to close later stage funding rounds, and, ultimately, to go public or exit in a sale. While Pitch Anything is a good book, the brashness of some of its advice, particularly around what Klaff calls “frames,” do not fit all persons or situations. Some contexts require full-on Machiavellian tactics; others warrant more of a “Winning Friends and Influencing People” approach. Nonetheless, it is useful to understand which situation you are in and the available plays to run.

Armed with those caveats, I suggest readers of Pitch Anything read Chapter…

By Oren Klaff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pitch Anything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gold Medal Winner--Tops Sales World's Best Sales and Marketing Book

"Fast, fun and immensely practical."
-JOE SULLIVAN, Founder, Flextronics

"Move over Neil Strauss and game theory. Pitch Anything reveals the next big thing in social dynamics: game for business."
-JOSH WHITFORD, Founder, Echelon Media

"What do supermodels and venture capitalists have in common?They hear hundreds of pitches a year. Pitch Anything makes sure you get the nod (or wink) you deserve."
-RALPH CRAM, Investor

"Pitch Anything offers a new method that will differentiate you from the rest of the pack."
-JASON JONES, Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle

"If you…


Book cover of See, Solve, Scale: How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem Into a Breakthrough Success

Paul A. Swegle Author Of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors

From my list on startup success from someone with startup wins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked with startups since 2000, when I joined ShareBuilder, ultimately sold to Capital One in a $9.5 billion deal – one of my five successful startup exits to date. I am currently an officer of seven startups. Startups drive global job creation and problem-solving innovation. But 90% fail, often for preventable reasons. I am helping entrepreneurs beat those odds. I wrote Startup Law and Fundraising to help entrepreneurs build on a solid foundation, avoid common legal and regulatory mistakes, and fund their vision. My books are used globally in law and MBA schools, and I speak constantly on entrepreneurship-related topics, including recently to groups in Istanbul, Ramallah, and Tehran. 

Paul's book list on startup success from someone with startup wins

Paul A. Swegle Why did Paul love this book?

See, Solve, Scale provides a proven three-part framework for entrepreneurial success called the “See, Solve, Scale Entrepreneurial Process.” Author Danny Warshay has been a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Brown University for 15+ years. Previously, after earning his Harvard MBA, Warshay spent time in brand management at Procter & Gamble, followed by several years launching, growing, and exiting startups in software, advanced materials, consumer products, and media. 

See, Solve, Scale unpacks key concepts from Warshay’s Brown University course on entrepreneurship. Warshay has also taught these concepts internationally to entrepreneurship organizations, private companies, non-profits, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations. His teachings have broad applicability to solving all types of problems and improving the functioning and results of almost any kind of organization, not just startups. 

Key lessons in the book include the importance of bottom-up research, being anthropological and empathetic and finding and validating an unmet need or problem to solve, recognizing…

By Danny Warshay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked See, Solve, Scale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by Brown University's beloved course - The Entrepreneurial Process - Danny Warshay's See, Solve, Scale is a proven and paradigm-shifting method to unlocking the power of entrepreneurship.

The Entrepreneurial Process, one of Brown University's highest-rated courses, has empowered thousands of students to start their own ventures. You might assume these ventures started because the founders were born entrepreneurs. You might assume that these folks had technical or finance degrees, or worked at fancy consulting firms, or had some other specialized knowledge. Yet that isn't the case. Entrepreneurship is not a spirit or a gift. It is a process that…


Book cover of Trajectory: Startup – Ideation to Product/Market Fit

Paul A. Swegle Author Of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors

From my list on startup success from someone with startup wins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked with startups since 2000, when I joined ShareBuilder, ultimately sold to Capital One in a $9.5 billion deal – one of my five successful startup exits to date. I am currently an officer of seven startups. Startups drive global job creation and problem-solving innovation. But 90% fail, often for preventable reasons. I am helping entrepreneurs beat those odds. I wrote Startup Law and Fundraising to help entrepreneurs build on a solid foundation, avoid common legal and regulatory mistakes, and fund their vision. My books are used globally in law and MBA schools, and I speak constantly on entrepreneurship-related topics, including recently to groups in Istanbul, Ramallah, and Tehran. 

Paul's book list on startup success from someone with startup wins

Paul A. Swegle Why did Paul love this book?

I love Dave Parker’s book, Trajectory: Startup – Ideation to Product/Market Fit, because it provides a clear, but detailed roadmap to guide entrepreneurs through and over all of the necessary steps and obstacles to entrepreneurial success. The nature and degree of the best practices and practical insights laid out in Trajectory: Startup is somewhat similar, but even more granular, to that found in my own book but for the business side of things instead of the legal, governance, or regulatory side.

There is a lot of intellectual and procedural handholding in these pages, including checklists, to-do lists, and template forms for gathering and analyzing research and data, that first-time entrepreneurs will find indispensable and that even experienced entrepreneurs will find illuminating and useful. In the book’s Introduction, Parker summarizes what he hopes to help aspiring entrepreneurs do: create value with your product or service; decide on primary and secondary…

By Dave Parker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trajectory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Listed #1 in "The 13 Best Business Books of 2021" by HubSpot

Have a startup idea? Want to launch it fast?

People often spend years on working on startup ideas that fail-and they could have known long before, had they asked the hard questions earlier. Five-time tech founder Dave Parker has been there, and in Trajectory: Startup he offers a path to get you from ideation to launch and revenue in just six months.

With a track record of starting companies from scratch, raising both angel and venture capital, and participating in eight exits as founder, operator, and board member,…


Book cover of Angel Investing: Start to Finish

Paul A. Swegle Author Of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors

From my list on startup success from someone with startup wins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked with startups since 2000, when I joined ShareBuilder, ultimately sold to Capital One in a $9.5 billion deal – one of my five successful startup exits to date. I am currently an officer of seven startups. Startups drive global job creation and problem-solving innovation. But 90% fail, often for preventable reasons. I am helping entrepreneurs beat those odds. I wrote Startup Law and Fundraising to help entrepreneurs build on a solid foundation, avoid common legal and regulatory mistakes, and fund their vision. My books are used globally in law and MBA schools, and I speak constantly on entrepreneurship-related topics, including recently to groups in Istanbul, Ramallah, and Tehran. 

Paul's book list on startup success from someone with startup wins

Paul A. Swegle Why did Paul love this book?

The second most common reason startups fail is that they run out of money. Sometimes this is because startups misjudge demand for their products, but equally often it’s due to unsuccessful fundraising. Angel Investing: Start to Finish provides critical insights into the thinking of sophisticated angel investors – key sources of early-stage fundraising dollars for many startups. This book is co-authored by Joe Wallin, one of the top startup and venture capital attorneys in the U.S. Few attorneys are capable of providing better fundraising counsel to startups than Wallin, and this book clearly reflects Joe’s deep experience on both sides of fundraising – representing investors and representing startups. 

Entrepreneurs should read this book carefully to understand the guidance angel investors receive from attorneys like Wallin and from their fellow angel investors or angel groups. Doing so will help entrepreneurs anticipate angel investors’ tough questions, negotiate term sheets, and maintain strong…

By Joe Wallin, Pete Baltaxe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Angel Investing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Angel Investing: Start to Finish is the most comprehensive practical and legal guide written to help investors and entrepreneurs avoid making expensive mistakes.

Angel investing can be fun, financially rewarding, and socially impactful. But it can also be a costly endeavor in terms of money, time, and missed opportunities. Through the successes, failures, and collective experience of the authors you’ll learn how to navigate the angel investment process to maximize your chances of success and manage downside risks as an investor or entrepreneur.

You’ll learn how:

Lead investors evaluate deals Lawyers think through term sheets To keep perspective through losses…


Book cover of Adventure Finance: How to Create a Funding Journey That Blends Profit and Purpose

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

This is a great practical read loaded with examples of all the innovative financing approaches that can be used to finance impact and social enterprises in emerging markets.

I had a chance to read and review the book before it was published, and I particularly appreciate how Aunnie is able to distill complex concepts into easy-to-understand prose. The structure of the book, which is organized around different innovative approaches and an extensive glossary of terms, is also very useful.

It is a great read for anyone interested in learning about and deploying alternative financing models. 

By Aunnie Patton Power,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Adventure Finance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The venture capital model doesn't work-at least not for 99% of startups and small businesses. In this 99% are a lot of companies with incredible potential: businesses headed by female founders and those from diverse racial backgrounds, organizations headquartered outside of venture capital hubs, and purpose-driven enterprises that are creating social and environmental impact alongside financial success.

Counter to what the press-savvy venture capital world would have you believe, there are a lot of funding options out there for startups and small businesses. Adventure Finance is designed to help you understand some of these options, and walk you through real…


Book cover of The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

Pamela Slim Author Of The Widest Net: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You

From my list on to build a business worth running.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a 25-year business coach, I have often assigned clients the task of wandering through a book store and acting like a heat-guided missile, letting themselves notice what topics and books they are naturally drawn to. For me, even as a liberal arts major with no entrepreneurial experience when I started my consulting business 25 years ago, I was always drawn to the business, psychology, and entrepreneur section. The world of work is my playground, and I am fascinated by how to help people build a powerful body of work while sustaining themselves financially and having a deep quality of life. 

Pamela's book list on to build a business worth running

Pamela Slim Why did Pamela love this book?

As the subtitle says, there are few people who have the experience and expertise to write “The time-tested, battle-hardened guide for anyone starting anything.” Guy Kawasaki brings the right blend of easy-to-understand brand and business advice mixed with a foundation of ethics and generosity. If you only want one startup book in your library, this is the one.

By Guy Kawasaki, Lindsey Filby (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of the Start 2.0 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE CLASSIC BESTSELLING GUIDE TO LAUNCHING AND MAKING YOUR NEW PRODUCT, SERVICE OR IDEA A SUCCESS.
'The ultimate entrepreneurship handbook' - Arianna Huffington
Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there's no shortage of advice on topics such as innovating, recruiting, fund raising, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, websites, blogs, webinars, and conferences that many startups focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they succeed.
The Art of the Start 2.0 solves that problem by distilling Guy Kawasaki's decades of experience as one of the most hardworking and irreverent…


Book cover of Viva the Entrepreneur: Founding, Scaling, and Raising Venture Capital in Latin America

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

This book is an excellent read for any entrepreneur who is looking for a firsthand account of the ups and downs of starting and growing a business in emerging markets.

I got to know Brian during my time living in Brazil and truly admire his story, as well as the candor and honesty that he brings to this book. Brian shares tons of funny and useful anecdotes, particularly as they relate to raising funding and negotiating with venture capital and private equity investors.

Filled with insight, this is a must-read for anyone starting a business or investing in startups that they hope to see scale and change the world. 

By Brian Requarth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Viva the Entrepreneur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The entrepreneurial journey is lonely—especially if you’re looking to start a business in Latin America, where opportunities are ripe but resources are scarce. Brian Requarth is well acquainted with the challenges unique to this part of the world, having grown Viva Real from two people to over 500 employees, and tens of millions in dollars of revenue.

Now, Brian wants to help demystify the obstacles you’ll face, teach what you won’t learn in business school, and offer you inspiration and encouragement on your journey.

Viva the Entrepreneur shares the lessons Brian learned while building his company. He shows how to…


Book cover of Beautiful Player

Skye McDonald Author Of The Not So Nice Girl

From my list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a woman. Laughing, crying, and swooning are all things I know intimately—sometimes heart-achingly. I’m living my life with my heart open, learning to be unashamedly me. That means I love, sometimes recklessly. That meant I hurt, sometimes more than anyone could know. And that means I swoon, not only for romance but also for the beauty of this “wild and precious life.” My recommended novels take you through all the feels. My own novels use my roots in Nashville, TN. Family and music are key. But more than that, my books are about learning to love yourself. I’ve learned personally that that’s the true happily ever after.

Skye's book list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon

Skye McDonald Why did Skye love this book?

Beautiful Player is my go-to steamy, fun reread. I love Will and Hanna’s quick-witted love story. I love that Hanna is a brilliant chemistry grad student. I love that part of the narrative is her opening up to her sensuality, not being afraid of it. And I love sexy Will and how hard he falls for his protégé!

Christina Lauren was my gateway into romance. While I have read all of their Beautiful Series, this one stands out as my favorite. Intelligent, driven main characters who go running together? Plenty of steam? A woman owning her value as a scientist and lover? Yes, yes, yes please!

By Christina Lauren,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Beautiful Player as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Hanna "Ziggy" Bergstrom moves to New York City for graduate school, Will Sumner thinks his responsibilities to his best friend's nerdy little sister will be limited to the occasional dinner and check-in. Little does he know that Ziggy is ready to break out of her bookworm academic shell and move more into bombshell territory. Of course she figures the gorgeous womanizing venture capitalist Will is the best person to help mentor her in this new field of study: dating.

Will takes on the challenge with more than a healthy dose of scepticism and humour, but soon finds that Ziggy…


Book cover of VC: An American History

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

I value this book as a comprehensive history of high-risk investing in America, from the Whaling Industry to Silicon Valley. 

Nicholas reveals the extraordinary skew and persistence in investment returns: a small number of investors are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the gains, and this holds true across widely varying institutional structures and technological domains.

And he explores the intimate relationship between the rise of the IT and Biotech industries and support from the U.S, Government. 

By Tom Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked VC as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major exploration of venture financing, from its origins in the whaling industry to Silicon Valley, that shows how venture capital created an epicenter for the development of high-tech innovation.

VC tells the riveting story of how the industry arose from the United States' long-running orientation toward entrepreneurship. Venture capital has been driven from the start by the pull of outsized returns through a skewed distribution of payoffs-a faith in low-probability but substantial financial rewards that rarely materialize. Whether the gamble is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the newest startup in Silicon Valley, VC is not…


Book cover of Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed--and What to Do about It

Cyril Demaria Author Of Introduction to Private Equity, Debt and Real Assets: From Venture Capital to LBO, Senior to Distressed Debt, Immaterial to Fixed Assets

From my list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

The financing of private firms is fascinating and a bit mysterious. It remains misunderstood and regularly gives birth to hype and excesses. I started my career working for a venture capital fund at the top of the Internet financial bubble, in 2000. This experience has imprinted my career and derailed my ambitions. It also fueled my thirst for knowledge. I started from essentially a virgin theoretical and academic land. I developed a body of practical and academic knowledge. Writing and publishing my books seemed to be the next logical step. I enjoy reading books on the sector and recommending them.

Cyril's book list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes

Cyril Demaria Why did Cyril love this book?

There is only one Silicon Valley – and there can only be one.

Harvard Professor Josh Lerner debunks enduring myths about replicating the success of this unique cluster dedicated to information technologies. He describes the different unsuccessful attempts of doing so by various public authorities and governments, and draws the lessons of such attempts.

He also identifies what are the conditions of successful local attempts to develop industrial clusters. In this context, this book provides a solid background to readers eager to understand the background of the emergence and development of private companies thanks to a complex web of interactions between public and private initiatives.

By Josh Lerner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boulevard of Broken Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Tel Aviv - the global hubs of entrepreneurial activity all bear the marks of government investment. Yet, for every public intervention that spurs entrepreneurial activity, there are many failed efforts that waste untold billions in taxpayer dollars. When has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? Should the government be involved in such undertakings at all? "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is the first extensive look at the ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents. Josh Lerner, one of the foremost experts in the field, provides…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in business, startups, and entrepreneurs?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about business, startups, and entrepreneurs.

Business Explore 2,511 books about business
Startups Explore 10 books about startups
Entrepreneurs Explore 287 books about entrepreneurs