Your startup’s future hinges upon your ability to secure two key ingredients for success: money and great people. Angel investors are among the best resources for these, however, angel investors vary widely in their expertise and abilities. Below is a look at the top qualities to seek in an angel and some key traits to avoid as you meet potential investors.
As an entrepreneur, you've turned your trailblazing idea into a company with a couple of years of operations and a growing number of customers under its belt. Now you are ready to attach a business valuation to your startup.
Pitching to investors during the fundraising stage can be exceptionally nerve-wracking. After all, the entire fate of your business idea or product is in the hands of investors whom you need to impress and build rapport with. Many first time entrepreneurs make amateurish mistakes when pitching to investors, and most of these mistakes are easily avoided with a little advance planning, research, and forethought. Here are four of our favorite tips for pitching to investors in a way that will bring the outside capital you need while helping you to avoid common pitfalls:
As an entrepreneur one of the most critical potential inflection points for your startup is when it comes time to pitch to investors and raise capital. Until now, you've been in control of your own destiny. You found a solution to a problem and turned the answer into your startup.
“Pitching” means delivering your investment story. Doing this well is absolutely essential to your chances of pulling off a successful equity crowdfunding offer. Far from the perception that crowds are unsophisticated, the crowdfunding public will in fact listen very carefully to what you say.
Unfortunately, most of what entrepreneurs have been taught about pitching comes from TV. If you have watched shows like Dragons Den and Shark Tank, then you might need to first un-learn a few things. Remember that these programs are made to be entertaining, but they are not an accurate portrayal of what it really takes to pitch. You won’t be brought into a room, in front of a panel of judges who are itching to tear you to shreds for the benefit of the cameras. You will be asked to explain your business in simple terms people can understand, even if they have never heard of your company before.
Every startup business faces a unique challenge when raising investment capital: how much money does the company need to advance its operations and to achieve enough momentum to develop a viable, ongoing business? Not enough money will starve the business, but too much will dilute the founders’ equity and minimize the chance of a bigger payout at a later date. Moreover, the startup may need to take preliminary steps to position itself for better funding and to attract the right type of investors.
In this post I explore the importance of investor communications or investor relations for startups and suggest that taking an investor relations style approach before raising capital could be beneficial to a startup. The two main reasons for Startups wanting to raise their profile are customers (finding, acquiring and keeping) and seeking investment. In this piece I will focus on investment and will seek to answer four simple questions Why, When, Where and How. Why take efforts to raise your company’s profile when raising capital? Where, geographically should those efforts be focused? When should a startup start raising their profile and finally how can a startup go about raising their profile?
As an entrepreneur looking for startup capital and advice, it's a good idea to stay connected to as many experts as possible. One way to ensure you have a good handle on all of the venture capital opportunities available to you is to keep up-to-date with angel investor culture. Reading angel investor blogs is a great way to do this, while also gaining valuable new business insights that can help your startup succeed. These seven savvy angel investors have their finger on the pulse of venture capital, and the engaging blogs to prove it:
Being an investor, advisor and founder of several companies I can say that having smart, motivated, connected and culturally aligned investors is such an incredible benefit to a startup.
The right investors can make all the difference. The doors they can open and the credibility they can give founders cannot be understated. I’ve seen startups that have no track record or traction meet and negotiate huge deals with some of the biggest companies in the world because of the assistance of their advisory board.
So you have done the work to get the right introductions to investors and they're hot to meet you. Awesome! But now what?
Following are my top tips on how to become Investor Meeting Ready!