This Top Investor Shares What Do VCs Look For in an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
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If you are an entrepreneur and a seeker of expert mentorship whilst being desirous of raising venture capital (VC) funds; but with mentoring as the key focus; then it is worth your time to know that even today’s investors are seekers. In this regard, to decode what investors and mentors seek in your innovative ventures, Entrepreneur India spoke to Alok Goyal who is Partner at Stellaris Venture Capital – a Bengaluru-based venture capital firm with a portfolio of having mentored ventures harnessing technology to solve societal issues. He is also a veteran entrepreneur.
Investment in entrepreneurs is a focus
“Our single biggest thesis in any investment is the entrepreneur. When we come in to ventures, we are aware of the macro space,” states Alok Goyal to Entrepreneur India.
Alok informs that Stellaris is an anti-pattern business, which means that the conventional set patterns are analysed with unconventional approaches. In this regard, if you are looking at approaching VCs, the key is your entrepreneurial focus. Primarily, the entrepreneurial spark and focus needs to be showcased at appropriate levels to even get an investor (and mentor) interested.
“We track if there is a real entrepreneurial spike, in entrepreneurs,” adds Goyal.
By spike, Goyal refers to diverse aspects ranging from the idea itself, to sales skills, and leadership. Now, this is something to cheer for as you could explore your key merits and differentiating factors even before you approach a VC. Remember that merely identification of your (business) USP is not sufficient, what matters is evaluation of these skills even before a mentor is identified.
Analysing the “Drivers of Change” in entrepreneurs
Today, with the entrepreneurial surge at an all time high, it becomes imminent for investors to look at only those that are potentially potential; whilst eliminating those ventures which overly tread on the conventional path without proper vision on problem solving (vision is on deriving profit here).
Here, Goyal chimes in with the fact that it is problem-solving through technology which makes sense to him. Hence, it is imminent that societal problems require technology-driven models for better mitigation; you could step up your technical offerings.
“We seek people who are bold entrepreneurs,” informs Goyal. He states that whacky entrepreneurs who could stick on to their idea for a sustained period of time whilst incorporating effective improvisation are the ones that would excel; apart from easily connecting with investors and VC firms (irrespective of their size).
Develop scalable models
With business scalability also being a focal point for VCs, Goyal adds that aspects such as the geography which businesses look at catering to and even sales teams; matter and cannot be overlooked. He states that Stellaris would mentor ventures with innovative models requiring a helping hand in scaling.
“There are a lot of strategy elements which needs to be looked at by entrepreneurs, from a business perspective,” explains Goyal.
Cater to sectors that could witness maximum technological disruption
With the technology window constantly on the move, innovations have comparatively short shelf life. In this scenario, technology like the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has been disrupting things in a way which was traditionally considered to be outside of the purview of human beings.
“The amount of computing power has changed dramatically. Sectors like healthcare, financial services, retail, and more have started to see optimal disruption through technology,” informs Goyal.
This is a clear indicator that data-driven models are the in-thing for you to focus on as an entrepreneur. Specifically, the healthcare domain is believed, even by investors (apart from data scientists) to witness the maximum impact from data-driven entrepreneurial models.
Goyal also expresses his optimism about modern-day logistics and the technology-centric approaches that these have taken. Also, considering the recent investment trends in logistics startups, the domain seemingly holds potential for overseeing data-driven models.
“Question yourself very heard during the early part of your entrepreneurial journey. If you think you have found the right answers, hit the road,” signs-off Goyal.