Network to Succeed

Network to Succeed.

Getting on the Same Page – Talking to Investors Part 1


In the ecosystem one often hear entrepreneurs saying where is the money or from whom can I raise money from? And you ask the investors pat comes the reply where are the quality entrepreneurs or in our conventional investor language (investor ready deals). This change can only be brought about if both investors and entrepreneurs work together. While there is no quick fix to this, what it needs is a deeper understanding of where the other person is coming from and what are they constraints.

I mentor a lot of entrepreneurs seeking funding – my advice just put yourself in the investors shoes. Imagine if your friend approached you with your idea, business plan etc for funding how would you react? What are the questions you would ask, what would be your concerns etc? As entrepreneurs we also need to realize that while investors would love to fund every great idea, the reality is they are bound by fiduciary responsibilities and like entrepreneurs they also raise money from their investors (Limited Partners). So investors also go through similar fund raising cycles and raise funds with the expectation of delivering maximum returns to their limited partners.

Its definitely not rocket science but as entrepreneurs we get so consumed by our idea and business plans sometimes we forget to ask ourselves some hard questions! So what are those hard questions, that we should definitely ask ourselves before approaching investors, here a few to get the ball rolling :-

- Do I have the right team with the required skill set to implement this business opportunity?
- Have a clearly identified who my customer really is and what is the pain I’m solving for him or her?
- Size of the addressable market opportunity – Is that really mapped out or number from some report?
- Have I figured out who is going to buy your product/service and how much they would pay for it.
- Do I know why would customers choose my product or offering over others?
- Can I clearly articulate the key differentiators in customer benefits, not just an internal perspective on technology superiority?
- Do I clearly know how my service or offering will make money(example who will pay me, who will charge the customer, how, when etc)
- Do I know how I”m going to market and sell my products/services (Go to Market Model)?
- Do I know who I’m currently or in future likely to compete against and what is my plan to win this battle? (Remember that competition is not just those providing a similar solution to yours, but all those addressing the same customer need through variety of approaches)
- Have I planned for all the market risks, financial risks, business model risks, execution risks, etc?
- Can I clearly articulate what I intend doing with these funds?

This by no means is an exhaustive list only an indicative checklist of questions to which you should have clear answers too. In my next post I will dig through each of the questions in more detail and highlight some quick tips as well :)

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This is a forum for entrepreneurs and professionals to connect, learn and grow with each other. The objective of this blog is to give you access to relevant resources, business opportunities and networking opportunities to enhance your entrepreneurial and professional lives.

About Author:

Digbijoy has a wide ranging experience across diverse sectors, initially started his career in education marketing with reputed educational institutes and then subsequently joined the advertising and events industry to execute several projects including a state election campaign for a national party, conceptualizing and running a restaurant chain in Delhi and several other projects.

He joined the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Delhi), where he worked for over 3 years and drove various key initiatives like mentoring, deal flow, marketing, sponsorships etc and left his last position as Associate Director of the chapter in 2008 to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. He subsequently joined techTribe- India largest Career Networking platform where he served as director strategic relations and drove unique initiatives and partnerships for building and sustaining community engagement. Post techTribe he co founded an online supplemental education start-up – TenMarks Education INC. which was acquired by in October 2013.

Post TenMarks he lead Ennovent India as its country director which is an innovation accelerator. Ennovent provide services to accelerate innovations for sustainability in low-income markets in developing countries. It specializes in helping clients discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business models to start-up enterprises, provide finance by facilitating early-stage investments and grow operations to scale profit and impact. Since 2008, Ennovent has worked with over 4,800 Network members, 15 Circle members and 10 Solution clients to accelerate over 80 innovations in 10 countries.

Currently Digbijoy Co-leads the Startup Program for Amazon Internet Services Pvt Ltd enabling the best startups leverage the power of cloud.

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