Getting a startup off the ground? Learn how to think like an investor
There are many ways to get funding for your business but – according to this tech startup founder – if you’re pitching to venture capitalists you need to speak their language
I played with the idea for my tech business for a long time before a friend of mine actually pushed me one day, over a long lunch, to make it happen. He had worked in Silicon Valley and suggested hiring a chief technology officer and going in to see some venture capitalists. If only it were that easy.
At this point I didn’t have a clue what a venture capitalist (VC) would be looking for, or how you talk to one. I’d done business in San Francisco and knew a few people there, so I took my friend’s advice, and managed to get meetings at some big-name investors. I walked into a major VC firm’s offices with just 15 minutes to pitch my business. I had arrived at this point feeling pretty optimistic, but quickly realised that this was a totally different world. Despite my best efforts and obvious enthusiasm for my business idea, they didn’t call me back.