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What to know when approaching investors

Monday, September 8, 2008
In The Mom Entrepreneur Online Support Group, I recently posted a topic on how to secure investment money to start or grow a business. There is a speed venture summit coming to our area hosted by the NH High Tech Council and I am considering presenting my business plan for The Mom Entrepreneur.

I asked members of the group if they had any advice. Julie Lenzer Kirk, president & CEO of Path Forward International offered the following tips:
  • Know the forum, respect the forum. If you have 2 minutes, do not go over by even a second. If they give you an outline, follow it.
  • Know what type of investor you're pitching to. Angels are different than VC's and will be listening for different things
  • Be able to tell the investor how they will make their money back, how much they will make, and when.
  • Focus on the problem you're solving and monetize it if you can.
  • Have a compelling elevator pitch ready and practiced. Include the market size (in $) where you can. For example, "We are targeting the 10M women entrepreneurs" is not as compelling as "We're going after the $10B women entrepreneurs are spending on x".

Susan Marks, CEO of Pinstripes, Inc. suggests checking out the Kaufman Foundation website. This organization is dedicated to all things entrepreneurial, and is a great resource for a wide variety of information, education, tools and connections.

Susan is both an experienced angel investor and a recipient of venture capital. She also recommends the book "Winning Angels: the 7 Fundamentals of Early Stage Investing" because it helped her think about her business plan and company from the investors perspective. "For a young company and entrepreneur, this is invaluable in shaping the message to the investor community." Thanks to our members for their helpful information.

If you have any additional tips or resources you would like to share, please comment below. Thanks!