Do you have a startup and are you looking for a backer? Say, an angel investor or a venture capitalist? Or perhaps you are betting on crowdfunding or want to attract the attention of managers from the relevant departments of credit institutions? Congratulations and welcome…no, not to a club or even an army, but to a whole planet of start-ups, where about 137,000 new projects launch daily and, alas, about 120,000 die. In any case, these numbers are according to a study from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), published in 2020.
You took a look at these figures and with surprise began to calculate the totals? You don’t have to double-check your work. You are not mistaken. That’s right – there are about 300 million startups every year. And yes, most of them die before reaching the success of Apple, Facebook or Uber. All the same inexorable statistics say that the average life of a small business does not exceed four years. To put it very bluntly, the motto of survival in the planet of startups is “Grow or Die.”
And in order to grow, you need money. You can say as much as you like that the main thing in a startup is an original idea, but this is nothing more than a seed. If it is not watered with investment, it will wither on the vine. And the low cost of launching a modern business is nothing more than a myth. At least that’s what the great and terrible Bill Gurley, one of the most famous venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, thinks (Uber, Twitter, Yelp, Zillow, Dropbox, Instagram and Snapchat ring a bell?). In one of his interviews, he noted that a cheap startup is nothing more than talk, since specialist labor costs have risen so far in price these days: “If you are going to hire people, it will be expensive to create a company. Engineers come out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology earning $175,000 a year. If you need at least 30 people, it will be very expensive.”
If you’re going to hire people, it’s expensive to build a company. There are engineers coming out of MIT making $175K. If you’re going to hire 30 people, it’s expensive.
Is it bad? Gurley believes that it is not, because, in his opinion: “A good entrepreneur is one who systematically receives benefits in conditions where it is difficult to raise capital.”
A good entrepreneur is systematically advantaged in an environment where it’s tough to raise capital.
In other words, the ability to find investors is one of the ‘Abitur exams’ for a novice businessperson. It is logical – because for this you need to learn how to clearly and concisely convey the essence of your startup to your interlocutors. Or, taking into account globalization and digitalization, organize a remote presentation. A presentation that is designed to interest a potential investor and open the door for further, more substantive, conversation. And at the same time, it must be borne in mind that any presentation should be understandable to a non-specialist. You do not expect all angels and venture capitalists to understand the nuances and details of the idea that you want to offer them, do you?
Just in case, keep in mind that this kind of investment is often made by people who are ready to risk money in an area far from their main occupation. A successful doctor can invest their savings in a “garage” robotics startup as an angel who is practically removed from the process, and a law firm can fancy itself as a venture capitalist, not only offering money but also legal support to small firms developing software for smartphones. But this does not mean that they will invest without thinking and without trying to understand the essence of the proposal.
It simply is not wise to delude yourself about this. After a series of crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, the global economy is by no means overflowing with money looking for any, even illusory, opportunity for growth. Potential investors must choose between traditional, perhaps not particularly large, but stable income directions, and risky start-up investments that can take off or may never leave the garage, and they do so with equal frequency.
So, think carefully about how to make your presentation accessible and compelling. And prepare in advance to patiently answer numerous questions with a twinkle in your eye, including those that may seem elementary to you. And you should be ready for this at any time of the day or night. Have you already thought about the feedback system that you will utilize with your presentation? This is not something to overlook. The faster and more convenient it is to contact you, the higher the likelihood that an angel or venture fund manager who is interested in your presentation will not have time to cool down.
From this point of view, an excellent solution is the presentation service Roi4Presenter (itself, by the way, a relatively recent startup), which reduces to a minimum the effort to establish a direct connection between the presenter and a potential investor. Perhaps the main feature of Roi4Presenter is the notification to the presenter that someone is watching their presentation that comes at the exact moment it is opened.
Immediately after that, the presenter can send a message that it is online, ready to answer any questions, clarify the nuances, and generally communicate until everything becomes clear as a summer morning. At the same time, a potential investor himself, if desired, can use the button, with which he signals to the presenter that he wants to talk.
Of course, the presentation in Roi4Presenter is easily integrated into other sites and platforms, and the service itself works with presentations created using almost any tool – such as PowerPoint, Keynote or YouTube.
Thanks to Roi4Presenter, your presentation will literally catch a potential investor around the clock in all countries and time zones. The only question is whether you are ready to keep your smartphone at hand even when you sleep and communicate with someone who is thinking about investing in your startup at any time of the day or night.