Imperial College - Early Stage Investment


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Starting a business is hard, especially when you're a student or recent graduate. This webinar will guide you through those early stages of starting a startup, getting early traction and attracting investment. In 2014 there is a huge amount of optimism for startups and technology with a greater amount of investment and support available than in recent years but this does not mean it is easy! This webinar will equip you with the knowledge, skills and network to be able to startup and seek the first investment necessary for your business.

Matthew is a co-founder, with Christian Jakenfelds and Nick Wheeler, of @StudentUpstarts. Student Upstarts invests up to £15,000 in exchange for up to 8% into student and graduate teams to start and run their own business. Matthew and Christian also co-founded @UpstartsConnect - a co-working space in Kings Cross, London, and Matthew is a co-founder of @9others - a global network solving the problems of business that keep entrepreneurs up at night - all over a good meal with 9others.

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Imperial College - Early Stage Investment

  1. 1. Matthew Stafford @mstafford Fundraising for Startups
  2. 2. @mstafford MiniBar Mini MBA #10: Business Model Developm --- Matthew Stafford @mstafford
  3. 3. Never a better time • Global opportunities • Cheap(er) teach • Access to resources is high (global) • Startup support is high
  4. 4. Some Failures..
  5. 5. Money! • Accelerators • Crowdfunding • SEIS/EIS • Low interest rates (Start-Up Loans + Angels) • ‘City meets tech’ Corporate venturing
  6. 6. You..?!You..?! @mstafford
  7. 7. So easy money?Easy Money...? @mstafford #MiniBarCamp
  8. 8. @mstafford #MiniBarCamp
  9. 9. Why so tough? • Lack of skills/credible management team • No unfair advantage • Do not ‘do it’ • No proof of concept/No validation • Poor business model • Small market • No clear exit
  10. 10. So do some complaining! Moan, Moan, Moan @mstafford
  11. 11. @mstafford #MiniBarCamp
  12. 12. Wrong money, wrong time • Big VC • Small VC • Business Angels • Corporate Venturing • Grants • Accelerators • FFF
  13. 13. Wrong money, wrong time • Big VC • Small VC • Business Angels • Corporate Venturing • Grants • Accelerators • FFF Most start here Difficulty level
  14. 14. Venture Capital • Scale & Exit • Tech businesses • Big markets • 10x return • Milestones
  15. 15. So where to start? • At the bottom • FFF • Why should an investor back you if your own network hasn’t?
  16. 16. Wrong money, wrong time • Big VC • Small VC • Business Angels • Corporate Venturing • Grants • Accelerators • FFF
  17. 17. They all start this way [to Eduardo back at the Carribbean Night party ] Mark Zuckerberg: “We're gonna need a little start- up cash to rent the servers and get it online.”
  18. 18. What to raise & when When to Raise,Where? Pre-Seed Seed Pre-Revenue Early Growth Sustained Growth FFF Accelerators Business Angels Venture Capital IPO/Trade Sale @mstafford
  19. 19. What do you need? • Team • Market • Product • Traction • Potential returns
  20. 20. Milestones • Proven Team – have done it before in the sector? • Product – MVP with proof? • Exits in the sector?
  21. 21. Finding Investors • Do your research - right people, right time • Know your investor • Ask people to help • Network • And do something more than just write a plan - do it
  22. 22. Pitching Investors - the ‘Deck’ 1. Elevator pitch - “We solve [problem] by providing[advantage], to help [target] accomplish[target’s goal].” 2. The Problem - Too many startups create products that aren’t really solving any true problems - they’re looking for a ‘quick buck’. Tell a story - make it visual. 3. The Solution - How is your solution so much better than what’s currently being used? K.I.S.S. and make sure your demo works (with and without tech). 4. Market Size - Show the market is interesting for investors. Cite your sources. 5. Business Model - How are you going to make money? Recurring revenues or one time payment? Focus on one - the most profitable one.
  23. 23. Pitching Investors… 6. Competition - How are you solving the problem differently? If you’re the only ones doing it - well, you’re not! 7. Go-to-Market Plan - What have you done so far to capture new users and how will this evolve over time? 8. The Team - What relevant experience and skill sets does your team bring to the table? 9. Traction/Projections - What have you achieved so far? Are you generating revenue? User growth? Any top clients/partnerships that you can show off? 10. Needs - What do you need that you don’t currently have and why?
  24. 24. Success is…? • Not raising money?! • Raise money at the right time • Raise money from the right people • Network Intelligently • Seek Advice
  25. 25. Traits of successful entrepreneurs 1. Tenacity – the most important attribute of an entrepreneur is never being willing to give up.! 2. They’re smart and brave – Get out there and understand your customers is far more important than reading books or doing computer research. 3. Ability to ‘Pivot’ – You need to be sure you have a great product/market fit and that it is a big enough market to make money. The best entrepreneurs fine tune their product and their business model until they find this. 4. Resiliency – Being an entrepreneur is sexy - for those who haven’t done it. In reality it’s gritty, tough work where you will be filled with self doubt and the desire to give up. 5. Inspiration - You need to lead. You have to convince others to move mountains when they don’t believe they can.
  26. 26. Traits of successful entrepreneurs… 6. Perspiration - It’s not just about giving a rousing speech or sounding great in front of others. Don’t do this for the limelight. 7. Willingness to accept risk – Starting a business is a leap of faith. Don’t wait on the sidelines forever doing “side projects” until the day when they’re ready to start a company - you’ll never ‘be ready’. 8. Attention to detail – If you’re going to lead a company you need to be on top of the detail. You need to know your product and your financial model. You need to be hands on with product, marketing, sales - everything. 9. Competitiveness - Hate losing - get pissed off. “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser” 10. Make decisions - JFDI. This is what separates entrepreneurs from big company executives, consultants and investors. Everybody else has the luxury of “analysis” and back- up. 11. Domain experience – Domain experience is not an absolute requirement. Some people argue that the uber successful ventures come from people outside the industry willing to challenge the conventional wisdom. However having some domain experience and relationships gives you an unfair advantage. Better that you start with this than from scratch. 12. Integrity – Do the right thing. Integrity and honesty are very important to most venture capital investors - it’s a small world and you might have another business.
  27. 27. Read…
  28. 28. Watch… richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success
  29. 29. Ask me… @mstafford ! !
  30. 30. Ask others… @ImperialCollege