Both sides of the table – Guest post on Startups.co.uk
On my post Two Way Street on Startups.co.uk, I discuss my experiences of securing financial backing for DAD from the relatively unique position of being both an investor and an “investee”. My conclusions were:
“There are four main lessons I’ve learned from being on both sides of the table that I’d like to share with you. Here they are:
Investors need to be visible, and entrepreneurs need to take the time to network. A good investor will get out and spend time among entrepreneurs to find good investments. Entrepreneurs need to go to networking events, build a network and ask that network for introductions.
Investors need to be clear on their criteria and amounts. Entrepreneurs need to look at these criteria and, if they meet them, tailor their pitches accordingly.
The best business relationships are based on open, honest conversations, all undertaken politely. Investors need to be helpful; entrepreneurs need to be honest enough to ask for advice. A good investor will seed the community with help and advice. A good entrepreneur will accept that it is unlikely he knows everything, will consider the gaps in his armoury, and seek and listen to this advice. The “pay it forward” principle is the key here.
A good investor will ask questions to inform rather than to belittle, and will provide clear, honest feedback. A good entrepreneur will listen to questions and will seek to answer the point made in detail. He or she will learn to improve the business or a subsequent pitch.”