Although the number of angel investments in New Hampshire only dropped 2.6% during 2008 (55,480 entrepreneurial ventures receiving funding—2.9 percent less than the 57,120 total ventures in 2007), the amount of funding dropped 26%, declining by nearly $7B to a total of $19.2B for 2008.
This data is from the Center for Venture Research at University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business. The Center’s director, Jeffrey Sohl, said New Hampshire is a good indicator of investment activity throughout New England.
To get above the noise of your competitors and win this decreasing pot of gold, it is imperative to speak to investors in the manner in which they want to receive information. Investors have a rather straightforward wish list—and if you know what it is, you can give it to them.
Here is the list I use in preparing investor presentations. My proprietary presentation structure, which I prepare for my clients, allows only a few pages to pitch, plus detailed financials. Investors rarely read more than this to begin with. In fact, this structure is the beginning of my own due diligence with my clients to determine if they have a shot at investment from private, angel, VC or strategic corporate capital. If they pass this initial screening with me, we can get to the real work of convincing investors.
Best case scenario (my list): Have a unique idea in an empty space, make certain your product or service will scale and can be defended from competitors and copycats, and have a management team onboard (or lined up and committed) with experience in the market space. After that, know enough to ask for sufficient capital in the first (and subsequent) rounds to get the company to the next benchmark—and offer some rationale to prove it.
Most importantly, when you present, do not talk about your product, or service, or vision for more than a couple of sentences—only enough to make your point. Although investors will admire your passion, they care about the deal. Talk about the deal most of the time. If they think the deal can work, they will ask you more about the vision.
For more on this please click here to download “The Investor’s Checklist” (PDF).