You’ve gotten the meeting—now don’t blow it.
There’s nothing more frustrating for me than when, after listening to an entrepreneur talk about his business for 15 minutes, I still have to ask him the basic questions:
- What do you actually do for your customer? Who are your customers/markets?
By this time, I’ve sat through either techno-talk or a disjointed conglomeration of PowerPoint slides (or worse, both), when all I really wanted the entrepreneur to do was tell me a story. Continue reading “Making the perfect investor pitch – in 3 little stories”
One of the jokes in the early-stage investing business is: How do you tell an entrepreneur that her baby is ugly? Of course, we’re usually referring to the “idea”—but too often we also mean the physical document itself. So if you have a great idea, make it pretty. Continue reading “Don’t show me an ugly business plan (baby) – literally”
Financial projections from a startup are, essentially, a paradox. Almost everything is an assumption, and there aren’t any historical trends to project outward. Furthermore, if you could produce believable industry averages to build from, I’d assume either you’re in a relatively mature market or you’re a “me too” company—and neither is of much interest. Your goal in this delicate balancing act is to find the investor’s “Greed-spot” . . . Continue reading “Some practical tips on financial projections”
When you boil it down, you really have to convince an investor of only two things: (1) the war you’re fighting is worth winning and (2) you’re the one who is going to win. I want to focus on the latter here, and will address the war itself later.
Loosely construed, your odds of winning a battle or a war are based upon your competitive position or, ideally, your competitive advantage. Unfortunately, as a startup, your competitive advantages will be generally limited—and subject to some skepticism. So play it straight in your business plan and cover some or all of the following, making sure you put your biggest strength first: Continue reading “What is competitive advantage when it comes to getting investors?”
You have to focus on convincing an investor of two things: (1) the war you’re fighting is worth winning and (2) you’re the one who is going to win. This issue focuses on the first item: making the spoils of your war seem worth the battles you’ll need fight in order to win. Continue reading “Is your market worth it?”