A partner with Madison-based Rock River Capital Partners says many young entrepreneurs in the state need to reset their funding expectations as they meet with venture capital firms.

Speaking during a recent Wisconsin Technology Council meeting held at UW-Whitewater, Andy Walker explained coastal startup culture is “a lot more cutthroat” than the Midwest. When meeting with early-stage companies that aren’t a good fit for investment, he said he strives to be supportive but direct in turning them down.

“A lot of times though, the second we give them a meeting, they think ‘I’m getting funded,’” Walker said, noting it takes about a dozen meetings on average to reach the point of making an investment. “Before we invest, we’ve probably seen the company and followed it for over a year, right? This isn’t how it works. We don’t have one meeting and hand you a check. And I think we have this very kind of naive mentality in a lot of these young entrepreneurs.”

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