Thursday, September 4, 2014

Missing the point: "Its not fair than SAC only invests in one company"

Some investors have queried me about an entrepreneur commented on the Seattle Angel Conference process saying: "it was not fair that only one of the teams got an investment in the process"

I told him that this entrepreneur did not understand his job at the conference and that he needed to be seeking these other values.

I just send a note to an entrepreneur trying to get their focus on the real value of the angel conference. In that note I said:

However, I want to point out that the real value of the event is not winning the investment.

the Real value come from several things:
1) by having a deadline, you move things forward faster.
2) by having a reason to practice your pitching, your pitching gets better
3) by having a dozen people review your materials, your materials get better
4) by making connecting with several dozen investors, your story gets spread
5) by seeing the pitches of other companies, you learn things you would not know otherwise
6) by engaging with other entrepreneurs, you build a support network
7) by getting into the finals, you get all of your investor documents together and polished.
8) by sitting with your quarter-finalist investor coffee, you get a chance to engage a new investor
9) by being at the conference with 100 angels in the room,you build out your investor network. 
10) by being in the room with engaged investors, your goal should be to come out with an investor who is a champion for you. 

And most importantly, if you find a champion, who cares about what you are doing, the chances of finding a side investment are significant. 

As a CEO of a new Startup, make sure you know what the key conversation in the room is. Sometimes it is not about being the winner on stage, but about building the foundation for your investment regardless of who is on stage. 

1 comment:

  1. I get how an entrepreneur could feel like the odds weren't good enough, or it wasn't aligned with their personal or business objectives, wasn't a good use of time, wasn't a good fit or whatever. That's primarily an introspective matter of prerogative and perspective, and I feel like your advice on seeking the broader value speaks well to that.

    But still I find myself with a sustained major bio-reaction to the word 'fair'. Outside the context of the clearly stated SAC goals, was the outcome somehow biased due to the presence of only one award check?

    I personally don't see how, and looking past my bio-reaction, I'm certainly willing to concede that maybe I missed something. I'd love for others to comment on this topic and help me understand.

    Did having only one award make the playing field brutal? Sure. But it certainly seemed level to me.