Many of us think we have a “great idea,” but getting that idea to a point someone will write a check for is far more complex than many may think. To get funded, it’s important to look for three key elements: Is the idea scalable? Is the team behind it solid and capable to get it there? And is the market actually ready for it? The goal is to convince the potential funders that these three areas are 100 percent solidified.
To do this, a pitch deck is the best starting point. The entrepreneur’s first step in this is to put everything he can find in it — capturing data points, competitors, profiles of the team and their experience, and a plan on how to grow and scale. The next step is to start combining all the slides that are similar and distilling them down. In the end, there should be no more than three points per slide, and as few slides as possible to still get the investor to see the plan and believe in the vision.
Next is networking — a must. For every 100 potentials a person will meet, he can expect maybe five to be willing to listen to his pitch. From those, he can expect one to possibly write a check. This illustrates the importance that one should be out pitching 24/7. Early-stage companies should not rule out anyone as a potential investor. If they can believe in the plan and have liquid capital, they are a target.
Ben Smith is a seasoned entrepreneur, executive and marketer with nearly three decades of experience serving across a variety of sectors; building corporate structure; creating global brands; overseeing complex mergers, acquisitions and integrations; and developing high-performing teams. In his current role as CEO of Xcellerate Biomedical Technologies, he is fostering growth and helping bring products and services to market that have a positive impact on health and humanity.