Yet none of the aforementioned is enough to make any of those investors invest in you.

The fact is that you are more than often missing one part of the puzzle which none of them have said out loud.

I meet entrepreneurs on a weekly basis. I am no big-shot investor. I am a startup mentor, passionate about helping other entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

I listen to these startup founders tell me their grandiose ideas of doing this and that where in the process they will generate XXX millions of Euros or Dollars. Some are interesting ideas, some are amazing ideas, and some are worthy of the cause.

All good until we get down to the business of crunching numbers. Who are the clients, who will pay for it, can they afford, does the price tag justify the gain, how many clients are there amongst a given population, who will sell it, how much will it cost to produce one unit of product or service and how much will it cost to sell.

It is amazing how so many of these good ideas fall flat on their face once you get down to business. Seemingly good ideas, noble and innovative but at the end of the day, we are talking about a business. A business that is expected to generate a profit. Unfortunately, many of these business plans and ideas fail to look at the most important aspect of their plan: Revenues and profits.

Last week I presented one of the startups I am helping with fundraising to a prominent lawyer with very good connections. He was interested in hearing about the project and found it worth his while to speak to his contacts. However, he made one thing clear before we started. He said it out loud “My contacts are top CEOs, possibly with several millions of cash sitting in their bank (if not a hundred). They don’t understand tech. They understand the physical world of brick and mortar and they are ‘numbers’ people. They understand excel sheets, P&L. This is what they are good out.”

Do I need to reword the above? He said the one thing, most VCs and Business Angels are interested in. They often take it for granted and that’s why they never mention it.

Most VCs talk about looking for passionate entrepreneurs, founders with failure experiences and etc. However, this criterion comes only after you have met the first criterion; “presenting a sound, profitable business plan”.

Yes. All investors have one thing in common. They are all interested in a return on their investment (I exclude social entrepreneurship or philanthropy). Startups are only interesting if first of all they generate or forecast a good interest that is well supported by sales processes and channels. Only then do the rest of the criteria matter.

If you want to stand a chance in getting funded, make sure you get this first part right. Learn to speak the investors’ language and you are well on your way to getting funded.

Happy hunting and happy funding.

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