How to approach investors?
Tips on raising venture capital
|"We are group of MBA graduates from MIT and we are launching a fund that will invest in making movies targeting ethnic groups in the United States. All we want to do is to raise $30 million but we are having a very difficult time convincing investors despite the fact that we have a very solid business plan along with a financial engineering component that is unique. What are we doing wrong?"
Merely having a solid business plan and excellent financial projections is not sufficient to excite investors. Smart investors are a skeptical lot. As Peter Miller said, "Investors always walk into a presentation with the expectation that they will find something wrong with the business plan." In other words, you have to convince them that they are wrong and that is not always easy.
Here are a few more things to know about investors and that might help you in not only rewriting some parts of your business plan but also change the way in which you approach investors:
- Investors see a lot business plans. After some time, they all look the same - highly optimistic, many competitive advantages, breakthrough technologies, change the paradigm, etc. Your plan has to stand out among all these great business ideas.
- Investors do not have time. Typically you will never have enough time to help them understand your business. So if you cannot make a great impression within minutes, they lose interest.
- Bad investments are extremely costly. No investors want to lose even a dollar if she can avoid it.
- A missed, excellent opportunity only has an opportunity cost. Many investors often learn from these missed opportunities and become smarter over time. But they will still not invest in what looks like a "bad" investment.
- So a great way to approach investors is to work with the hypothesis that they will find that something is terribly wrong with your plan and then you must systematically prove that they are in fact wrong. If you use a fact-based analysis and solid supporting evidence, you should be able to convince that one or two investors out of 100 that you need.
presentations for venture capitalists
for entrepreneurs on how to raise venture capital
to start a business?
to network with investors?
comments, feedback, and suggestions