Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask me about stock option grants to founders and employees of their startup. The questions range from how much to give to founders and when to vesting schedules and everything in between. This week the following blog post showed up in my Medium thread.
One question that kept coming up this week was whether investors are more interested in a growth story or a path to profitability. Everyone, especially those from outside the U.S. are baffled by unicorns like Lyft and Uber that state in their respective prospectuses that they may never be profitable. As you can imagine the discussions and opinions on this topic are wide ranging.
On the final day of The Entrepreneur’s BootCamp we have each participant deliver a three minute pitch. No slides, notes, or props of any kind are allowed. Just you and three minutes in which to engage the audience and explain the target audience and the problem, your solution and how it gets the job done, why it is unique, and how you make money. It may seem a bit unfair, but as it turns out three minutes is enough time to convey the value that your idea creates for the target market at the intersection of desirability, feasibility, and viability.
This is Part III of a four part series.
Approaching the Market
Preparation as described in Parts I and II of this four part series will help to improve your chances of success when it comes to securing money from investors. Here are a several items to consider as you begin to schedule meetings.
I field a lot of inquiries from founders wanting advice and assistance with their pitch. An awful amount of preparation and perspiration goes in to creating a presentation that most of the time no one ever gets completely through. Strategy development through PowerPoint iteration is a terrible way to attempt to build a business. Your time would be better spent on developing and testing the business model.
I don’t usually delve into politics on this blog, but when the actions of the government begin to affect the economy and in particular small businesses, I’ll break my rule.
I was a bit shocked to learn recently that Congress continues to get paid while government workers remain unpaid due to the shutdown. Some of these workers must continue to work because their jobs are essential to our safety and security.
The Sunday New York Times featured an article about how entrepreneurs are resisting turning to venture capitalist for money. As you can imagine the article has generated a lot of buzz and the usual “piling on” that follows a media attack on a group, especially a wealthy group. The article describes how venture capital is bad for some startups and attempts to provide some reasons for this.