What An Investor Hears

It’s easy for a seasoned investor to determine if he’s talking to a seasoned track record CEO or a first time CEO who is learning on the job. Examples include: “we have no competition”, “we only need 1% of the market”, “our forecast is conservative”, and more.

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Build Your Team

Unless you are self funding the business or have friends and family giving you a “loan”, you might have to build your business team without money. So you’ll probably want to use stock options and give up some ownership in your company. Maybe it’s just begins with evenings and weekends when work is getting done. Start with worker bees at the lower levels. You don’t need a bunch of Vice Presidents or Chief Executive Officers. You need great marketing, sales, and implementation people. Create a prototype. Even if its in your garage, get your initial product off the ground. Get some customers first. Once you prove you can sell it and get some customers it’s much easier to prove the concept for investors.

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What Venture Capitalists Hear

Venture capitalists have an easier time than you might imagine distinguishing between experienced CEOs and first-timers.  It has a lot to do with the “language” a presenter is speaking.  Here are some examples:

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What are company building skills and how do you get them?  

Why would a CEO who had previously managed a start up have an advantage over one who had not?  One reason is that he might have developed a unique set of “company building” skills.  These are an unheralded set of skills that can make the difference between failure and success for a start up. What are they, and how does an executive obtain them?

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What’s Behind the Questions Investors Ask About a High Tech Startup Business Plan?

When you create a business plan slide package for your high tech startup, make sure you understand and answer the question that is really being asked.  It’s easy to “fill in the blanks” of a business plan outline without really giving investors the information they want.  Here are some topics where it’s easy to give quick answers without really answering “the question.”

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