Paul, will you sign an NDA before I send you my business plan?
As a VC, I am often asked by entrepreneurs to sign an NDA before they send me their business plans. I think entrepreneurs should understand that this is an unreasonable request. We see dozens of opportunities each week, and there's no way we could sign an NDA before looking at each one.
The reality is that confidentiality is guaranteed by all of the VCs I know (and certainly by me). There's no motivation for a VC to steal an idea or use the information contained in a business plan inappropriately. Reputation is everything in our business. We rely on it to source deals and to build relationships with entrepreneurs. VCs, more so than almost any other professionals, are men of their word.
So, send those business plans with confidence, and don't worry about NDAs. Ideas sent to The VC Whisperer remain 100% confidential.
Stay tuned for some examples of how and why reputation matters to a VC.