There’s many great ways investors see startups. They’ve invested millions of dollars in companies like Airbnb that are disrupting travel by allowing you to book your own room. The same principles that will make your startup a success apply to investors. They value a high return for investors, so they won’t invest unless they have clear and compelling business plans that create value for their portfolios. In contrast, if you have an interesting product that allows investors to see how the company grew, your startup will be much harder to evaluate and sell to investors.
For investors, a product has to be easy to install, simple enough to learn, and easy to use. You need someone to be your angel-in-training or mentor that will teach you the product basics. You need to bring in early clients that can offer you a referral deal. These are all important steps, but it is the “how” for your product that distinguishes a startup from a good idea. This “how” is not easy to find. It is more likely to exist in a startup in the early days than after two years – a situation where the founders are not even married.
There may be a lot of startups that have a lot of hype, but none of them have a good idea of how to raise money. If your pitch is just a big fat pitch that doesn’t have a lot of detail, you will be ignored by investors.
I have a great startup idea! What do I need to do to get funded?
There are two things that the investors will look for if you can write a well-written, well focused, and well executed pitch. The first is how quickly the problem your product solves can be solved. Some ideas can be solved with one simple application of technology, but if you are able to show people how you can solve more complex problems, that will help you get funding faster. The second is how well you can execute business plans along with the business. Your idea should make sense to investors and make investors feel they are getting a real return on their investment.
I think my idea is a great idea, but I don’t really have a product that makes investors feel really great. How can I keep them intrigued?
There are two parts to your business plan. First, the product, the thing that makes the startup stand out. Second, the business plan and the business model. The main thing that separates good ideas from bad ideas is their business plans. These are the things that get investors excited.
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