Take-aways from a talk in the Trust Center on 7/5/16
- Investing in students/ young entrepreneurs:
- VCs generally are open to invest in young entrepreneurs/ startups
- If you’re a student you don’t get a “discount”. you only get one first impression! and need to demonstrate:
- A great team
- Product market fit
- Solving a need
- ROI for customers
- Handling competition
- Addressing risks and challenges.
- With young entrepreneurs, vcs will look for people who:
- “Achieve the impossible” – Achieve a lot in a very small $/ little time.
- Coachable, willing to listen, willing to partner.
2. Relationship building with VCs
- Build a relationship before you come with the ask. You only have one chance when it comes to asking money so present only when you’re ready: “Ask for money get advice. Ask for advice get money twice.”
- Working with a VC is working with a partner, and that what makes or breaks your company. Do your diligence and sign a sheet with a partner that will be a good fit for you.
- Even within the same firm there could be different types of VCs – try to get the initial introduction with a VC you think will be a good fit (similar interests).
- Different VC firms might have different approaches. Even if one rejects/ invests, it might be different with others.
3. General feedback/ tips:
- The VCs invest in your team as much as they do in your product - present your team upfront
- If the beta customers are paying or you have high retention rate mention it.
- If you are presenting a complex product, break it down more simply to set the stage – don’t assume it’s clear.