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Beyond The Pitch:
The Seedstars 8Qs
Best Practice Questions by Angel Investors from across ASEAN
05 April 2019
Who doesn’t want to ride
the next Unicorn?
In reality, they probably may
not appear as advertised
“Siberian Unicorn”
Elasmotherium sibiricum
...and
‘Cockroaches’
might prove
to be the
better bet
Both Angels & Start-Ups
should start with a plan
Even though your
mileage may vary
Do you
want
better
answers
Start
with
smarter
questions
What are
the best
questions
investors
asked you
https://tinyurl.com/seedstars8
• Is the opportunity truly worth
pursuing?
• Or is it a solution in search of
a problem?
• Why now?
Opportunity
What probl...
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1600/1*Y3ty23vRKnuaMrM4KNciEg.jpeg
Image: https://www.getsoaring.com/why-leaders-need-to-tell-failure-stories/
was a failed
experiment
• Are you solving for the right x?
• Or is it what is convenient?
• If it can’t be measured, will it
be investible?
Produc...
https://hackernoon.com/10-biases-concepts-to-consider-when-building-products-from-
thinking-fast-and-slow-e900db11271e
Is everyone aimed at the same
challenge & on the same page?
• Are they real people or talking
point?
• B2B or B2C? Have you met
them? Suffered with them?
• What are their actual name...
2.5%
Innovators
13.5%
Early
Adopters
34%
Early
Majority
16%
Laggards
34%
Late
Majority
Strategic Adoption: Don’t skip a st...
2.5%
Innovators
13.5%
Early
Adopters
34%
Early
Majority
16%
Laggards
34%
Late
Majority
Build Foundation
Principles | Proce...
• Do you know what it will take
to make it in the market?
• Will your solution or service
stand out?
Business Clarity & Ma...
Lean Canvas Project Name Date
Version
Cost Structure
Fixed & Variable Costs
Customer Acquisition costs
Distribution costs
...
• Passion is not enough.
• How do you think?
• How do you lose?
Founder Fit & Team Value
What makes you the best person to...
• Do you have the right mix?
• How do you actually work
together?
• Even if your idea isn’t a winner,
are you?
Founder Fit...
Distinct Personalities for
Different Parts of the Deal
Invent
Invite
Present
Contract
Fulfil
Satisfaction Metrics
Complete
Assess
Inventors
Performers
Producers
Judges
• What’s possible that we might
not see for ourselves?
Angel Fit & Impact (What you should ask your Angels & Investors)
Wh...
https://www.umbel.com/blog/services/know-what-you-dont-know/
Where are
your own
blind
spots
• Besides money, how can they
help us get to where we need
to go next?
Angel Fit & Impact (What you should ask your Angels...
Start-ups need to successfully make
5 pivotal transitions to achieve scale
Opportunistic
➔ Strategic1
Project
➔ Product2
P...
How can Angels
make a difference?
Pray for an Angel, an Exit or an Asset
❑ Personal Mentorship & Practical Experience
❑ Bu...
Source: Adapted with permission from Influence Ecology
How do we
get better at
each stage
of the
game?
What RESULTS do we ...
Thank
you
What will it take for your
next breakthrough?
Joseph de Leon | Director for Venture Strategy
jdl@gravitasprime.com | www.g...
The Seedstars 8Qs: Questions for Angel Investors
The Seedstars 8Qs: Questions for Angel Investors
The Seedstars 8Qs: Questions for Angel Investors
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The Seedstars 8Qs: Questions for Angel Investors

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The Best Practice Questions shared by Angel Investors from across ASEAN

What questions should angel investors ask their start-ups and themselves before making a bet?

A strategy playshop shared with some of the world's best startups at the Seedstars Summit 2019 in Palais de Beaulieu (Lausanne, Switzerland).

Check out the original article: https://tinyurl.com/seedstars8

#seedstarssummit2019

Published in: Investor Relations
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The Seedstars 8Qs: Questions for Angel Investors

  1. 1. Beyond The Pitch: The Seedstars 8Qs Best Practice Questions by Angel Investors from across ASEAN 05 April 2019
  2. 2. Who doesn’t want to ride the next Unicorn?
  3. 3. In reality, they probably may not appear as advertised “Siberian Unicorn” Elasmotherium sibiricum
  4. 4. ...and ‘Cockroaches’ might prove to be the better bet
  5. 5. Both Angels & Start-Ups should start with a plan
  6. 6. Even though your mileage may vary
  7. 7. Do you want better answers
  8. 8. Start with smarter questions
  9. 9. What are the best questions investors asked you
  10. 10. https://tinyurl.com/seedstars8
  11. 11. • Is the opportunity truly worth pursuing? • Or is it a solution in search of a problem? • Why now? Opportunity What problem are you really trying to solve?
  12. 12. https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1600/1*Y3ty23vRKnuaMrM4KNciEg.jpeg
  13. 13. Image: https://www.getsoaring.com/why-leaders-need-to-tell-failure-stories/ was a failed experiment
  14. 14. • Are you solving for the right x? • Or is it what is convenient? • If it can’t be measured, will it be investible? Product Market Fit of the Value Proposition What is the one unit to measure the pain you are solving?
  15. 15. https://hackernoon.com/10-biases-concepts-to-consider-when-building-products-from- thinking-fast-and-slow-e900db11271e
  16. 16. Is everyone aimed at the same challenge & on the same page?
  17. 17. • Are they real people or talking point? • B2B or B2C? Have you met them? Suffered with them? • What are their actual names? Customer Focus and Insights Who are your actual customers?
  18. 18. 2.5% Innovators 13.5% Early Adopters 34% Early Majority 16% Laggards 34% Late Majority Strategic Adoption: Don’t skip a step or you’ll stumble Source: Adapted from Roger’s Technology Adoption Curve Where is the business? Where is the rest of the market?
  19. 19. 2.5% Innovators 13.5% Early Adopters 34% Early Majority 16% Laggards 34% Late Majority Build Foundation Principles | Process Push Expansion Penetration | Innovation Reframe Definitions Category | Target Audience What’s your favorite part of the ride? Source: Adapted from Roger’s Technology Adoption Curve Strategic Adoption: Ride the Wave or Build a Tunnel?
  20. 20. • Do you know what it will take to make it in the market? • Will your solution or service stand out? Business Clarity & Market Reality Besides money, what will it take to truly succeed?
  21. 21. Lean Canvas Project Name Date Version Cost Structure Fixed & Variable Costs Customer Acquisition costs Distribution costs Hosting People, etc. Revenue Streams Sources of Revenue/ Value Revenue Model Life Time Value Revenue Gross Margin Problem Top 3 Problems Existing Alternatives Solution Top 3 Features Key Metrics Key activities you measure The Work & Action Unique Value Proposition Single, clear, compelling message that converts Unawares to Prospects Unfair Advantage What do you have that can’t be easily copied or bought Channels Path to customers Customer Segments Specify your Target customers PRODUCT MARKET High-Level Concept X for Y Analogy (Familiar + Twist) Early Adopters Characteristics of your ideal customers/ clients Fortune favors the prepared mind
  22. 22. • Passion is not enough. • How do you think? • How do you lose? Founder Fit & Team Value What makes you the best person to do this?
  23. 23. • Do you have the right mix? • How do you actually work together? • Even if your idea isn’t a winner, are you? Founder Fit & Team Value What makes your team the best to win this?
  24. 24. Distinct Personalities for Different Parts of the Deal
  25. 25. Invent Invite Present Contract Fulfil Satisfaction Metrics Complete Assess Inventors Performers Producers Judges
  26. 26. • What’s possible that we might not see for ourselves? Angel Fit & Impact (What you should ask your Angels & Investors) What is our potential?
  27. 27. https://www.umbel.com/blog/services/know-what-you-dont-know/ Where are your own blind spots
  28. 28. • Besides money, how can they help us get to where we need to go next? Angel Fit & Impact (What you should ask your Angels & Investors) How can they make a difference?
  29. 29. Start-ups need to successfully make 5 pivotal transitions to achieve scale Opportunistic ➔ Strategic1 Project ➔ Product2 People ➔ Process3 Ownership ➔ Partnership4 Relationship ➔ Brand5 Source: Adapted from Built to Scale: Taking Middle-Market Companies to the Next Level, Sawney (Northwestern University, 2014) Growth eats cash so think of success risks
  30. 30. How can Angels make a difference? Pray for an Angel, an Exit or an Asset ❑ Personal Mentorship & Practical Experience ❑ Business Networks for Sales & Scale ❑ Support start-ups, events, orgs & legislation ❑ Provide services that cater to your start-up ❑ The company could buy your start-up Always look for more than money…
  31. 31. Source: Adapted with permission from Influence Ecology How do we get better at each stage of the game? What RESULTS do we want? Financial, Social & Strategic What are your aims? What are their aims? How can helping them achieve their aims further yours? What RESOURCES do we need? HIT (Human, Intangible, Tangible) What ROUTE do we take? Make, Buy or Fake (Syndicate)
  32. 32. Thank you
  33. 33. What will it take for your next breakthrough? Joseph de Leon | Director for Venture Strategy jdl@gravitasprime.com | www.gravitasprime.com M&A Advisory | Capital Raising | Market Entry Partnerships

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