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And On Your Left . . .

What are investors looking for when they take the tour of your business?

You've got a great business you know will wow investors . . . if you can get them out to your site to take a look. When you do-which usually happens in the later stages of discussion-what will they be looking for?

Rick LeFaivre, a managing partner of San Diego high-tech incubator ideaEDGE Ventures, and Kyp Sirinakis, managing director of the angel-investment club WomenAngels.net, offer the following advice:

LeFaivre: We're interested less in the physical space and more in the cultural aspects of the team. Who are the people? Is it a good team and do they work well together? We want to see the synergy, the fire in the belly, the glint in the eye, how much excitement surrounds the team.

Sirinakis: If I walk into an office and it's beautifully furnished, a red flag goes up for me. Are they spending too much money on office furniture? In a manufacturing company, I like to see the production line and understand the manufacturing process. I'll probably talk to some of the workers, and I like to talk with the founders and senior management. A lot of it boils down to observation and gut feelings.


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This article was originally published in the September 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: And On Your Left . . ..

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