Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting round the VC hurdle


A friend just introduced me to "the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint". Guy Kawasaki is right! It is true. Most start-ups are poor at delivering a clear strong message to VCs. VCs are not interested in working with companies that does not have the right management structure, etc because its hard work and they have many other propositions to choose from.

Many start-ups, specially those in the technology space, falls into catch 22 scenario, i.e. cannot develop product, generate revenue, let alone acquire clients without external funding. You have no chance of getting funding if there is no product, no revenue and no clients. So, what is the answer! Pack up and get a job! Perhaps there is another away.

You can attend many workshops that teaches you how to write a business plan, structure a business, get inside the mind of the VCs, elevator pitch, etc. You come out of the workshop thinking if I do a, b and c, then VC would come running to fund the business. Hell no chance! short dreams!! Remember, most VCs are risk aversed - most have never started a business - some comes from banking sector. So, what can you do?

How about you hire a VC to become your mentor. You work with the VC to identify the gaps. Both come up with joint solutions. Both take responsibility to deliver. Have you ever known a VC getting their hands dirty!! Perhaps not. But then again there could be few who might just do it!!! So, in a way, you hire the VC, infact paying him to do his own due diligence. You build a good relationship and once both parties deliver, you should be in a strong position to get funding. In addition, the VC gets a case study, which puts him in front of other VCs. A win win for all. Money well spent!

What do you think? Do you have more innovative ideas to share? How did you raise finance - share your story!

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