10 Sep Preparing you for launch
Thinking about seeking investment for your start-up, but unsure where to start? AJ, BioCity’s Business Accelerator Manager gave us a step by step guide and some preparation tips for getting your company investment ready.
What are the key points to consider when preparing for investment?
There are a few, but I’ll focus on three:
- Why do you need the money?
- What are you going to do with it?
- Do you have enough time to raise the round?
So, if we start with why you are trying to raise investment, then the answer can’t be because you want to pay yourself, or because you are running out of money; the answer needs to be because you are trying to execute a strategy that will create, deliver and capture value.
Capital is an accelerant, like fuel to a rocket. If facing in the right direction – fuel will help you accelerate to the stratosphere. If you’re facing the wrong direction, your rocket will accelerate straight into the ground. Money isn’t valuable, unless you know where you’re going, then it only helps you get there faster.
How can the Accelerator programme ease the journey to gaining investment?
The Accelerator can help make sure you are facing the right direction. For your rocket – the Accelerator programme is a GPS. Firstly, the programme will help you to establish which way you are facing, so that when you get investment you are aimed straight towards the sky.
When participants begin their Accelerator journey, they often have in-built assumptions or have gathered some expert opinions about where they need to go. The Accelerator challenges those assumptions. Of course, they may be right – but to make sure, they need to be validated.
Often, the most important assumptions are the smallest but can make all the difference to which strategic direction you choose. There are four main questions to help you challenge these assumptions.
- Who is your customer?
- What problem do they have?
- How big or important is that problem?
- Can your solution solve that problem?
By asking these questions, it helps to orient your business, so when you raise capital, you can execute in that market.
Any extra magic tricks that get you noticed by investors?
During the programme, we ask people to go out and gather information, however, it’s rare that humans transact purely on logic; emotions play a big part in our decision making.
Take for example the iPhone X. Why would someone go out and spend £1000, when you can get near enough the same product and features for £600 – that’s illogical. So why do they do it? Because there’s an emotional underpinning in Apple’s message which drives them to spend the extra cash.
So, it’s important to be able to evoke emotion as well as logic when seeking investment. Tell a story that focuses on your passion and drive. A good story also needs time. It’s important to give yourself enough time to pitch your company right, to the right people who are willing to part with their money and invest in you.
Time to accelerate your startup? Apply to our next programme.