3 Ways to Smartly Interact with Smart Investors For the First Time
Entrepreneurship undoubtedly has got a huge fillip in the form of startups which are truly working at developing smart solutions to solve societal issues. Another contributor to this smart entrepreneurship trend has been the venture capital (VC) investor community which constantly seeks smart ventures to mentor along with just pumping-in money. In such scenarios, the interest level amongst budding entrepreneurs would generally be on the higher side with respect to both creating smart solutions and approaching leading VCs for equity investments and mentorship.
Here comes the tricky part. If you are a startup owner for the first-time or simply an entrepreneur with a great product but with visions to get funded, it goes without saying that you would need to inculcate the right approaches when it comes to interacting with investors. Now, apart from maintaining the right body language, there are other aspects which deserve exploration; from a startup point of view; regarding the pointers to follow while you interact with your VCs for the first time in 2018 and beyond.
Don’t squander the opportunity
“In Ideas where there are few precedences, help investors understand the opportunity and the nuances in detail,” states Saurabh Tandon who is Co-Founder and COO at BetterPlace which is a blue-collar focused employee lifecycle management startup based in Bangalore.
He stresses on the aspect that value-additions should be the highlight while interacting with investors. Smart solutions, if possible the potential societal impact of such solutions should be the aspect on which the interaction with investor should revolve around.
“It took us some time to make Investors see where we were going and once investors saw value addition we were capable of, top investors like 3one4 capital and Unitus Ventures funded our growth ambition,” adds Tandon.
"Entrepreneurs must be open to being challenged and be receptive about receiving feedback. The best investors are often those who find the weaknesses in your business model and help you fix them," states Piyush Jain who is Co-Founder and CEO at ImpactGuru.
Make mistakes – but avoid the rookie ones
While interacting with modern day “smart” investors, it becomes imperative that you showcase what your team is capable of and avoid mistakes that could take away even the second meeting with your investors.
“If your team is experienced, you have already successfully sold a company in the market you are entering. This should keep you in good stead to avoid making mistakes that hit your business before you build a revenue engine and expand into a larger enterprise offering or ecosystem play,” says Darshan Shah CEO LenddoEFL - a Fintech startup.
“More importantly, investors needs to see traction or momentum,” adds Shah.
Hence, it becomes imperative for you to step up your game when it comes to connecting right with modern VCs.
Your Story Telling must indicate genuineness
Entrepreneurs today agree that genuine storytelling is a skill, as much as an art. Here, the onus is on you to ensure that you do not disparage competition. Convince investors about your competition as well; give them an outline (not presentation) on who your competitors are and how your smart solutions would stand out from the crowd. This traditional practice now assumes the “smartness” factor.
"Get your narrative right - whats your story, why is it unique, why can it fetch the outsized returns that the fund requires," adds Viswanathan Ramakrishnan who is Co-Founder and CEO at Bengaluru-based Magic Crate that works in the child engagement space.
“Be completely on top of your category and competition information, both in India and abroad,” chimes-in Gaurav Gupta who is Founder and Chief Editor at BookBhook which offers wholesome summaries (dynamically) from important books, to readers.
“No investor wants to miss funding a category breakout,” says Shah.