How to Put Yourself in the Shoes of an Investor

During our first Make a Wave Growth Readiness Bootcamp in Manchester, we played the Dragon’s Apprentice Den!“

The group of participants was divided in two groups One one side: the investors One the other side: the entrepreneurs. (1 participant put her business idea forward and got support from her newly formed team)

1st part

The investors co-designed questions they wanted answers to, after hearing the pitch. The entrepreneurs group decided on one entrepreneur’s case-study to put forward. The designated entrepreneur explained her idea and others asked questions to understand as much as they could about the business.

2nd part

The entrepreneurs pitched. Investors asked questions. Entrepreneurs provided answers and suggestions to support the “founder”.

Key learning from the participants:

  • Put yourself in the shoes of a potential social investor is insightful.
  • Investors will have to understand someone’s business to be able to help them as much as you can
  • You need to articulate what your business is about in a limited amount of time, show passion, but also discipline and enough evidence, numbers, details to be able to give a realistic picture of what your business is about.
  • Go from Vision and Purpose (Why), Principles (How), to Products (What)
  • Look at answering questions when, for instance, you are just starting up and haven’t got traction yet. Think strategically: how can your team help you provide this traction, how can you insert existing research and evidence into your business case?
  • To demonstrate potential impact as a start up: you can use co-founders track record, use academic research, use other businesses track record as evidence, and how valid it would be to duplicate a business in a new market..

Further thoughts…

  • Vision without evidence is not enough
  • Passion without discipline is not enough
  • You  need to bring the business case, (find a niche and simply what you want to deliver specifically instead of willing to change the world… tomorrow!!)
  • Having critical friends is so useful
  • Articulating your ideas out loud helps shape your pitch
  • Your business is not who you are and you are not the sum of your business. But who is who?
  • The exercise helped me get new perspectives and new ideas.
  • The exercise helped me think about the way i need to show results.
  • We realised we needed to put ourselves in front of the right investors. Not all investors are relevant, and our products wouldn’t be all relevant to what they want to support or invest money in..
  • So… knowing how to "recruit” your angel, or your investor, is necessary, as it is a two-way process.
  • Angels will ask: “What do you want? Just money? Or relationships, expertise, access to networks, access to market?” Be ready to answer this.

Investors  can get excited by your passion too. They have feelings and emotions that help them make a judgment beyond just a track record, order sheets or promises of sales. Useful to remember!

  • Have hope
  • Just do it
  • Trust yourself
  • Be prepared, do your homework
  • Know your figures!!!

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