Penelope Douglas, who founded Pacific Community Ventures and is currently the Board President for Hub Bay Area and SOCAP, spoke about “Thinking Like an Investor.”
The workshop focused on two topics. First, the discussion was around what investors are looking for in entrepreneurs and their businesses. What are the key indicators that investors look for in ventures that they are considering investing in?
Clarity was one of the main points that was brought up, with a clear business model and value proposition being the most important factor. There are also specific items that entrepreneurs looking to attract capital often speak about in presentations, but are in fact turn-offs to potential investors. For example, making if/then statements where your financial potential is expressed in terms of “if we only penetrate x percentage of the overall market, then we will be making y in revenue” is something that may cause investors to walk out of the room.
The second main topic was the reverse question: what do entrepreneurs look for in potential investors? Especially in the realm of social enterprise, it is important to find investors that are interested in the social mission of the business so that the alignment of social and financial returns can be maintained over time. Also, understanding the importance and impact of seed-stage investment, despite the fact that it is often relatively smaller sums of money, is incredibly important for the long-term success of the enterprise.
Because we are having a strong social impact, are we asking investors to take a lower return on investment?
Next Week, Paul Weiss, who assists in presentations skills for the Keiretsu Forum, will be speaking about “How to Deliver a Winning Presentation.”
Remember to continue this discussion of ideas on Twitter: @HubVentures