One of the reasons we always discuss the merits or lack thereof, when it comes to funding is because we understand its importance. Funding is a necessary part of most startups in the region, though getting it is far easier said than done. For early-stage startups, the most likely form of investment comes from angel investors who are looking to help jumpstart the ‘next big thing’.
We spoke to investors and founders to find out their hot takes and what makes angels investors want to hear during a pitch.
Know what you need from them
Do not be afraid to flat out ask for what you need. An angel investor needs to know that your understand your own needs. They would rather have you making solid demands based on solid data and reasoning rather than you asking them what they think you might need.
Business advice comes laters, right now you are looking at one thing.
It’s as simple as that. Don’t go beating around the bush, just try to get straight to the point about what it is you need to make your startup a success.
Explain the basics properly
Save the aspirational ‘BS’ for later. A business needs a solid foundation and angel investors need to know your startup is no different.
They are often looking at a few things when they look at a startup. One of those key things is how strong the base is and how much effort has been put into establishing the company. This is often an indicator of the overall effort that will be maintained once their money has been put into the business.
Also, make sure you have a concrete understanding of the basic principals of your business.
Show them you know them
Put that effort in to research your investor. Imagine having someone you never met reach out to cold and ask for a cool US$500,000 – not exactly a high chance of success. That’s because reaching out to a stranger that you don’t have much information about and asking for massive amounts of money is not a good idea.
You need to know who you’re pitching your business to in order to be able to impress them in the proper way. Some research will help you predict the conversation and even give them the sense that you are someone who puts in the effort.
You can get to know them through people who know them or are in the same network. Try to find a way to meet them outside of a pitch meeting, so that they have an introduction point.
Being that cool, funky entrepreneur is great for the ‘gram, but let’s leave it there when you meet an angel investor.
Essentially, you’re auditioning for a part as a dedicated and organised professional who has his or her stuff together. The angel investors needs to feel confident that this will continue to be the case and you will do your best to avoid letting them down or causing them big financial losses.
This is an ongoing thing, so be prepared to ditch the antics when it comes to being an entrepreneur.