GIST Insights - 5 Ways to be Ready for Investors

5 Ways to Prepare for Investment

At some point during their entrepreneurial journey, an innovator will need to seek investment in order to move their solution forward. Investment can take many forms from self-funding, to crowdfunding, to venture capital, to angel capital. Knowing the difference between them, and when to use them or to refuse them, allows an entrepreneur to find the funding that best fits their venture’s needs. We’ve put these steps together from our industry experts for you to understand and be prepared for investment in your startup.

 

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What You Need to Know About Preparing for Investors

Understand the types of funding available to you.
You bootstrapped your startup for a year while building a prototype. Next, you tested that product with actual customers and you’ve learned how to make your product even better. Now you need to bring that product to the market in a big way. But how do you get the resources for this next step? What kinds of capital are available to you and which kind  will best fit your startup’s needs?

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Be prepared to give your best pitch.
When you meet with an investor or an investment group, you will be expected to present your solution as a worthwhile investment. Your pitch should explain everything from how your solution meets a real need to how your startup has the potential to grow and succeed. Make it compelling!

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Show investors the money.
Investors will need you to explain where your revenue will come from and when. As the company grows, investors know that your expenses will grow accordingly. Show them how that will affect your revenue model. Be prepared to show investors the details of your startup’s cash flow and when you expect cash to come in and out of the business.

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Understand the VC firm’s long term goals.
When interviewing investors, go right ahead and ask the tough questions. You need to know if there is alignment between your startup and the firm’s goals. Having shared goals will mean that even if you have disagreements down the road, your commitment to the shared goals will allow both sides to compromise without compromising your goals. 

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Expect the unexpected.
Investors are not all the same. Some will ask very similar questions to learn about your startup and its potential for success. Other investors will choose questions that have a less obvious purpose or may not seem as relevant to your startup’s solution. Be prepared to expand beyond the standard set of questions..

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Additional Resources

For additional insights into accelerators and incubators visit our GIST TechConnect panels, our GIST Guru interviews, and GIST Innovation Talks podcasts:

 

The principles are explored further in our Startup Trainings, Virtual Accelerator, and Panel Discussions.

 

 

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