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WBS Entrepreneurship Mentoring Workshop -28 July 2011 - Tim Powell

WBS Entrepreneurship Mentoring Workshop -28 July 2011 - Tim Powell



What investors look for in Early Stage Opportunities

What investors look for in Early Stage Opportunities



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    WBS Entrepreneurship Mentoring Workshop -28 July 2011 - Tim Powell WBS Entrepreneurship Mentoring Workshop -28 July 2011 - Tim Powell Presentation Transcript

    • Wake up Investor – I‘ve got a great proposition
    • Tim PowellSenior Executive University of Warwick Science Park
      Director of the Minerva Private Investor Network and Access to Finance Programme
      024 7632 3114
    • Minerva
      • Minerva is a Business Angel network operated by the University of Warwick Science Park since 1994
      • We have 100+ members and operate two syndicates who meet monthly to consider opportunities
      • In the last 15 months I have seen over 120 Business Plans- interviewed 54 companies and invited 36 to present of whom 15 received offers with 11completing deals attracting £1.07m from Minerva Investors whose money helped lever in another £2.6m
      • Sectors invested into :- Clean Tech- Silicon Carbide, Health & Beauty Equipment Technologies, Medical Devices, Telecomm/Broadband, nano DNA technologies, Forensic Science, Software & IT, Automotive –Electric Diesel Turbocharger….and more to come
    • £10m+
      Venture Capital
      Regional Finance & Venture Capital Funds
      Specialist Funds Private Investors
      Friends & family
      Enterprise Finance,
      Factoring, other debt
      Public Funding
      Seed Funds, Grants etc
      Low Risk High Risk
      The “Funding & Equity” Landscape for early Stage Ventures today
    • Can Private Investors fill the funding Gap ?
      Early Stage Ventures are considered HIGH RISK
      Seed Funding is in short supply & often sector limited
      Banks do not fund unsecured high risk ventures –
      Banks will fund revenue earning concerns & provide significant “ooomph” to aid growth
      Friends and family often carry the start up burden but are limited in funding, experience, time
      Angel Investment is filling the ever widening gap
      But with the supply of money limited it’s attract the early stage capital – a simple matter of supply & demand
      But the combination of Angel money plus expertise may be the difference between failure & success
    • What do Private Investors/Business Angels do?
      Consider investing in pre-revenue early stage High Risk ventures in exchange for Shares in the business
      But HIGH RISK doesn’t mean Gamble or Speculate
      They anticipate a difficult journey but will have identified characteristics that suggests they might make a profit
      They buy “in low” and hope to “sell high”
      Some are passive - most will get involved individually or collectively through a group of investors
      Bringing expertise, experience & Contacts hopefully
      Drive towards a profitable exit – usually by attracting a trade sale/acquisition and/or “cash in” when the opportunity arises
    • What do Angels look for in a proposition ?
      • A Business Plan that makes sense! -Viable, Achievable, Realistic, ,
      • Well balanced team –if only for this stage of its development
      • Product or technology that has some element of Proprietary ownership :- Patent, Design Rights, Niche …
      • Pre-Revenue – validated time and cost of developing a market ready product - accurately documented and assumptions evidenced.
      • Upto date Intelligence on the Market, Competition, Technology and evidence of demand/appetite – “Voice of the Customer “
      • Sales & Marketing Realism – covering time & cost to enter, launch & penetrate the market.
      • Financial forecast that reflects all the above and not wishful thinking
      • Profit…….and
    • Is there any difference between what an Angel and an early stage fund look for ?
      A Fund makes equity investments on the basis of anticipated strong capital growth and high levels of return -Typically, expect a 5 to 10x increase on exit.
      Exit is fundamental most - likely through a strategic trade sale, occasionally through flotation
      Technology biased funds especially look for a strong focus on sector-specific, proprietary technology and innovation
      (i) clear evidence of significant technological innovation with respect to the company's commercial product(s);
      (ii) The company may be expected to operate within certain technology sectors eg:
      Medical & Healthcare, Advanced Materials, Clean Technologies, ICT & Digital Media
      (iv) protection for their proprietary technology through ownership of granted patents, pending patent applications, design rights, and other recognized forms of intellectual property rights (IPR);
      (v) An experienced management team in place ( ??) and/or internationally acclaimed technology founder(s); and
      (vi) A business plan that demonstrates a well-defined strategy capable of achieving strong capital growth and a highly profitable exit for investors within 6 years of an initial venture capital investment ..they hope!
      (this was taken from a fund web site ..Angels and Funds look largely for the same things)
    • What do Angels want ?
      They don’t want is to lose money
      Honesty – No surprises
      They don’t want to run your business
      A realistic valuation ... and trust
      Dilution is OK if for the right reasons !
      You to have as much pain as they if it goes wrong
      EIS approval
      Profitability & Potential
      A shareholder agreement that underpins your relationship
      Clear descriptions of your roles, responsibilities and rewards
      They are backing your ability to deliver at least the first part of the plan so they will want to see plenty of :-
      Energy, Enthusiasm, Ambition, Focus and Direction
    • Preparing for Investment
      If you have decided to go for investment
      Get professional advice – understand what it is you are giving up and what might be expected of you
      Build a business plan you believe in ….not dream about!
      Realism in everything …A problem shared can be solved
      A problem hidden will surface later when you least expect it!
      Identify & address the strengths and weaknesses
      Understand the “risks” ..the “what if’s” and the “pinch” points
      Validate and evidence assumptions – avoid the “ I think” syndrome
      Be ready for Investigation (“due diligence” ) it will take a lot of time
      Most investments take between 3-6 months to complete – so start asking for money before you need it!
    • Getting Prepared – the “What” Questions
      What is the history of the business – how long established,
      What previous funding have you had?
      What have you invested in hard cash ?
      What have you done to date and what you intend to do ?
      What experience do you have about market
      What are the skills in the team and what is missing?
      What do you know about your competition?
      What exactly is your product/service & What IP do you have?
      What Resources do you need to launch/commercialise ?
      What are you going to spend the money on ?
      What are the time lines and what are the key risks?
      What do you want to achieve ?
      What’s the deal ?
    • Getting Prepared – The “Who “ Questions
      Who prepared the plan
      Who prepared the forecasts
      Who has the Vision
      Who is the leader – driving force
      Who has most to lose
      Who owns the IP
      Who owns the shares
      Who does what – roles & responsibilities
      Who are your advisors/partners
      Who works full time in the business
      Who else is investing
    • Ultimately it’s Management who deliver the results
      The team must be …
      • Knowledgeable
      • Honest
      • Committed
      • Hungry to learn
      • Hungry to succeed
      • Tenacious
      • Hard working
      • Fit for purpose
      • Able to work together
      Tell me again …
      What are we looking for?
    • A mix of personalities & Skills is good …however there must be plenty of “doing”
      • An investor will help if you are floundering :-
      • Finance & control
      • Selling/Marketing
      • Operations
      • Raising more capital
      • Executing the plan
      If there is a group of investors call on their
      collective experience knowledge and contacts
      Most investors are good at “doing” and where
      they are involved businesses
      tend to succeed quicker.
    • What do you want in return for their money?
      You don’t want any surprises either – use the “Due Diligence “ period to
      get to know the investor :-
      The chemistry must be right
      The investor must be a good fit
      A shareholder can’t be sacked
      Don’t be short changed in Expertise
      You have surrendered shares and
      therefore some ownership – if you have got
      the forecasts horribly wrong you may have
      to sell more and with it may go control
      & ownership ….
    • What does a typical deal look like
      EIS status approved & in place
      Angel must have Ordinary Shares with no special powers attached
      VC Funds may vary their stake with preference shares /debt aswell as Ordinary shares
      Angels are restricted on clauses in in the shareholder agreement – but a VC is not …
      There will be restrictions on what you can and can’t do
      You will have to negotiate a NEW employment contract
      Funding is often released in tranches against delivery of business plan milestones- so make sure milestones are realistic!!
      Some Investors will insist on following their money onto the board
      THE BIG QUESTION – how much of my equity will they want?
      THE ANSWER – One that reflects the risk and your potential !
    • Finally
      • Private Investment & Venture Capital is a special type of finance.
      • Early stage investment is usually seed or pump priming capital and therefore you will always be selling at a lower valuation than later but without the money and hopefully the added expertise would you make it to “later” ?
      • Always consider the range of other types of funding
      • Take advice, don’t rush, be prepared and start early if you want to raise money
      • Financing a business is rarely a single stage process - it takes time to build and grow and along the way different types of finance are needed at different stages of development.
      • The appropriate finance depends on the risk/reward profile of the business at each stage of financing.
    • Where to find Business Angels and more information on Angel Investment