Venture capital · Investments

Like everyone, I have a million dollar idea/business. What distinguishes who gets heard?

Matthew Evon

August 23rd, 2016

When an investor is looking to put money into a business what distinguishes one person from the others?  Enthusiasm?  I can understand the numbers being important but there has to be a  that something that seals the deal.
All input would be appreciated.  
A great idea is 1% of the work. Execution is the other 99%. In this course, we’ll teach you how to conduct market analysis, create an MVP and pivot (if needed), launch your business, survey customers, iterate your product/service based on feedback, and gain traction quickly.

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

August 23rd, 2016

My investor group looks for the following: strength of intellectual property, size of market, competence of management, good timing, appropriate business model, clarity of thought and vision, speed to break-even, practicality of plan and budget, $s invested by founders, stage of development.

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

August 23rd, 2016

No one is interested in investing in your idea or your product. They MAY be interested in investing in your business IF it meets their thresholds for profitability, market size, growth, stability, etc. 

Enthusiasm is not a substitute for a valid business model and will always come out in due diligence and usually long before that.    

Ryan Mattock Co-Founder of Award Winning CommissionCrowd - The Home Of Independent Sales

August 23rd, 2016

At the idea stage the only investment you're likely to get is from your friends and family.

Typically - speaking from experience - You have to prove your business model, have many active (happy) users, prove the size of the market, demonstrate your uniqueness, profitability, scalability and above all else prove that you have the right team and people behind you to execute on everything you say you will.

Everyone has million Dollar ideas but your idea is worth nothing until you take action and get traction.

I would also add that when it does come time to seek investment you should do your due diligence and choose who you take money from wisely. Will that investor be able to open doors, do they have experience in your industry and be able to offer sound advice when needed? An investor should be treated like any partner you would want on your team.

Adam Pressman

August 23rd, 2016

What we've learned in building businesses is that if you can get 150 people who are as committed to the success of your venture as you are, you'll get funded, you'll be able to add great people to your team, you'll have people who can do all the things necessary to bring your idea to market.   If your enthusiasm is manifest in getting your tribe of 150 engaged, that enthusiasm will in fact bring you money and attention.   No bad idea can survive the scrutiny of 150 people all with different backgrounds.  One of them, if not you, will know best how to execute the idea and with whom.   Anything you're doing that isn't centered on getting your tribe of 150 built is a waste of time. 

Steve Owens

August 23rd, 2016

His assessment of your, and your team's, ability to execute and turn the idea into a business that has a set of repeatable processes and behaviors that generate an ever increasing profit.

Peter Kestenbaum Advisor, Investor, Mentor to Emerging firms

August 23rd, 2016

People.. Is founder investable or has he recognized he is not and surrounded himself with others who are. Who on team has done a startup prior ( failure or success is immaterial) Ability to execute in trial or limited fashion however preference is a working proof of concept, prototype, first revenue and client feedback Ability and plan to scale, potential for partnerships, and profile of first clients. Market attractiveness IP ( or what protects against someone else doing it ) Investment/risk/return/financials (assuming everything else passes)

Trevor Heisler Master Storyteller and Builder of Brands. PR, IR.

August 23rd, 2016

There are a number of ingredients (many of which have already been shared by others), but none of them matter if you're not able to properly communicate those ingredients to your target audience(s).  You could have a great business model, a great team, and loads of enthusiasm, but if you're not able to concisely tell prospective investors what you do, how you're different, and how you will make them money, it's all for naught.

Israel Roth Co-Founder & CTO at Labgoo

August 23rd, 2016

Few things:
1. Team (unless you have a track record of several past successes as single founder), and team strength - thinkers, proven track record of execution or very clear potential
2. Does it seem to answer a real need? this is easier. If you are inventing a solution and then will look for the problem, or trying to create a new behaviour that will require market education - much harder.
3. Market size - potential
4. Why now? Is this riding a trend or addresses an urgent need?
5. Do you have anything beyond idea & deck - a prototype, a market test, paying customers? - these helps and if you can get any of those before investment it will greatly increase your chances.

Irwin Stein Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.

August 23rd, 2016

Matthew: If you have a skilled maintenance company, meaning one with customers and revenue and have developed an app and wish to take it national it is a lot different than saying that you have  million dollar idea. Pitching to investors starts with precision; know what you have and know what you want. Even after your explanation I am not certain of either. If you are looking for investors you need to be able to convince them that you will succeed because the vast majority of the companies looking for funds will not. You are looking for talent and money.  You should not expect to find them in the same person.

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

August 24th, 2016

Said another way, entrepreneurs need personal credibility. Also, Musk uses a lot of his own money, which is also a positive trait.