Editor’s note: “The Angel Connection” is a regular feature in WRAL Local Tech Wire. LTW asked consultant Bill Warner to share advice for entrepreneurs seeking angel investors and/or venture capital investment. He is chairman of the Triangle Accredited Capital Forum, an angel investor network with over 100 members throughout the Southeast.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – I just got through working with a team of business people that are coaching some of the entrepreneurs who are trying to get ready to make their investor presentations at the Angel Retreat program of the upcoming CED Venture Conference that will be held on April 16-18. It reminds me how important it is to be able to get your story across in just 10 minutes – and in a way that is compelling and complete.
Here’s a reminder of what you have to talk about in the 10 minutes. You need to deliver 12 important messages:
• The problem – Explain that you are solving a very important industry problem and why it is a problem that needs to be solved.
• The solution – Show that you have a unique and compelling solution to the problem that nobody else has.
• Market definition – Define the size and growth of the market segment that you will focus on and that you know all about the buyer of your product or service.
• Competition – Summarize your understanding of the competitive landscape and that you know your differentiation and how to beat them all.
• Product and service definition – Describe the most important features of your product or service and the quantifiable benefits they bring to your buyer.
• Barriers to entry – Show how difficult it will be for anyone else to replicate what you are doing and that you are protected from the copying and theft of what you have innovated.
• Value proposition – Summarize the major customer value points that make your product a “must have” for the buyer.
• Marketing plan – Demonstrate that you know how to create market awareness and generate sufficient leads for sales to achieve their sales forecast.
• Sales plan – Explain the sales channels that you will actually use to achieve sales results and make sure that it links to the revenue in the financial forecast.
• Management team – Describe who the top management team and explain why they are the best to lead the company through it’s start up phase.
• Financial forecast – Show the five year forecast of revenue, profit and cash and highlight when you will be profitable and cash flow positive.
• Investor highlights – Describe the financing strategy of the company and how much money you need, along with what the investor gets for the investment, the use of funds and the potential exit strategy.
You can get this across in 10 minutes, but your goal is to generate tremendous interest by the investors so that they want to meet with you and learn much more about your company. In other words, this presentation is a tool to “get a meeting” with the investors.
About the author: Bill Warner is the managing partner of Paladin and Associates, a business consulting firm in the Research Triangle Park area of central North Carolina, and is the chairman of the Triangle Accredited Capital Forum, an angel investor network with over one hundred members throughout the southeast.