“A zygote is the initial cell that…constitutes the first stage in a unique organism’s development. Zygotes are usually produced by a fertilization event between two haploid cells…which combine to form the single diploid cell. Such zygotes contain DNA derived from both the mother and the father, and this provides all the genetic information necessary to form a new individual.” (Wikipedia)

When an entrepreneur first partners with an outside investor, something new is created, something which neither the entrepreneur nor the investor could have created alone. That new entity, like a zygote, contains DNA from both sources — a vision and passion from the entrepreneur, capital and experience from Zygote Ventures. This is the entity that will, hopefully, grow into something new and great.

It is critical for an entrepreneur to choose a partner at this early stage that is compatible with the vision for the company. There must be mutual trust and respect, and a shared vision for how to work together to create and grow the new enterprise.

At an implementation level, it is critical to create a capitalization and corporate governance structure (including a capable board of directors) that will foster growth and additional financings. Zygote is willing and able to lead an early financing round (A, or even pre-A), but equally happy to follow another capable investor’s lead.