What is the best way to present our business plan to potential investors or to a bank?


3

We have an excellent Business Plan, for some fantastic mobile ideas. The down side, we need funding to get these ideas developed and to market. What is the best way to meet with potential investors? Attempt to schedule a face to face appointment? How exactly does this meeting happen?

Funding Angel Business Investors Plan

asked Jul 21 '10 at 11:31
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Gulu Apps
41 points
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  • You're much better off developing something and showing it than trying to get funding based only on an idea. A few months of effort would go a long way to showing investors or banks you are capable and serious. – Tim J 9 years ago
  • that is an excellent idea. I would love to present a proof of concept to an investor, unfortunately, we do not have the capital to have one created – Gulu Apps 9 years ago
  • Are you saying that there's NOTHING you can develop on a shoestring? Again, having something to show to potential investors goes a long way in many respects. – Tim J 9 years ago

3 Answers


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Proof of viability is the key. So showing commitments to sales from customers and showing evidence that the product you want to complete is feasible (like a prototype or commitments from team members that have made a similar successful product in the past) would address those concerns.

Banks have difficult hurdles to pass as they really only want to fund projects with outcomes that are profitable and certain. Most business plans from a stratup are based normally on a bunch of assumptions that have no basis on proof of viablility. Also most business plans fail to get investors to provide funds.

So your business plan right now probably has a sound budget for creating this product and I don't think that the questions will hammer on that but your business plan in the marketing will likely have a bunch of assumptions based on demographics and other busineses sales levels in the target market with some conversion factor that is really a guess on what is the rate of conversion and return that you would receive for the fantastic mobile ideas your team has. If though you have commitments on sales for a specific application that will solve a specific problem from a group of people that fall in that group then you have something that can really pull in the investors.

So failing to answer the question up front because the premise of the question is that you already have a good business plan and presentation. I'm guessing that though worked on for hours it is missing the critical piece, customers.

Normal process for a start up who doesn't have contacts and a track record is starting and progressively succeeding from left to right:

Personal / Founder Investing>Friends/Family>Angle Investor(s)>VCs>IPO

So the personal and friends / family funding gets the startup to where they have a prototype and hopefully sales commitments. It looks like your trying to skip this step and go right to angle / VC investors.

The bank idea well I'd suggest its just not a real opportunity for funding. You can though test this out by setting up a meeting with the bank, going over with the BP and presenting. Good to get a practice run in where you believe it counts anyways but I believe you'll find that the bank will only allow you to leverage against real assets or a track record of revenue.

So after going through the prototype then hopefully the business has created something viable then additional funding and your question about how to present to an angel inestor becomes logical. At that point the business plan is really a combination of a real working operational/budget plan along with historical sales data with now evidence that market penetration is possible from additional funds.

Good Luck

answered Jul 22 '10 at 04:26
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John Bogrand
2,210 points
  • I really like the idea of presenting a working prototype to an investor. The app itself is fairly complex, so I'm sure development cost will be beyond our budget. Any ideas or thoughts on how we can get this prototype created on the cheap? – Gulu Apps 9 years ago
  • Old school has to do with ui drawn on paper. There is a mock-up software that I've heard is quite good. http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups. So you write up what the app does get a ui person to create some mock-ups and then present it. – John Bogrand 9 years ago
  • Try to do a basic prototype. It doesn´t have to be the final product. Instead of building a mansion, try to build a basic shelter, so to speak. – A. Garcia 9 years ago

1

I recently wrote this article as an intro to a 15 page guide on How to Secure Angel Investor Funding. This guide is available for free on my blog, www.theexecutiveplan.com

According to a report by the Angel Capital Education Foundation (ACEF) only between 1 and 4% of entrepreneurs that apply for angel investment funding will make it through this process to secure angel investment. This means that there are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs that are denied angel investment funding each year. If you need this capital to grow or sustain your business what should you do after your denial to keep your business alive?

Vision, Strategy, Tactics Plan - Your first step should be to go back and develop a vision, strategy, and tactics plan to re-assess your situation. What is your vision for this business? What handful of strategies are you utilizing to reach your vision, and what day-to-day tactics are you using to best implement your strategy? If you do this one of two things will happen, you may realize you don't need the extra capital right now to accomplish your vision, or you will determine what steps you need to take to prepare your business for success and a successful capital raising campaign.

Develop a Killer Elevator Pitch - Because you never know who you might meet, you need to have an elevator pitch ready to go at all times. The key is practice! When someone asks you what you do they don't want to be listening to you rambling 17 minutes later. In one minute you need to be able to explain the essence of your business. You might stick to simply identifying the big problem and unique solution to that problem that your business provides.

Generate Revenue - Unless you are a life sciences company developing a drug or a new medical device you need to be generating revenue before you start to seek angel investment. Of course there are exceptions, but typically an angel investor is going to want some assurance that you can sell even just 1 product before they make an investment.

Get Your House in Order - If you are lucky enough to make it past the prescreening round of the angel investment process, you better be ready for questions -- Lots of questions. Make sure you spend some time with your accountant to get your tax information and business financial statements in order.

Prepare a Powerful Executive Summary - The executive summary is the first 2 pages of your business plan. This is typically used as a prescreening tool for angel investors. Only 25% of entrepreneurs will make it past the prescreening round so your executive summary is probably the most important 2 pages you will ever write!

Write Your Business Plan - This does not have to be a work of art. Most investors simply want to know that you have spent considerable time developing strategies for your business. They will also be interested in your cash flow projections so that they know what kind of capital you need to grow.

Network - Now it is time to network. Although you might be able to make it to the second round by simply submitting your executive summary to an angel investor group, your chances for success will skyrocket if you are introduced to the group by a reputable CPA or attorney. Now is the time to use the elevator pitch that you have been practicing. Tell others your story and look for ways to help them. If you help others be assured that they will look for ways to help you.

Now that you have all of these things in place you are ready to apply for angel investor funding again. Don't give up after one more denial because many of today's greatest companies were once denied angel investor funding as well. Good luck in your new venture!

answered Sep 22 '10 at 13:05
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Adam Hoeksema
96 points

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Ideas really aren't worth anything. Sorry, but there it is.

Anyone funding you is going to look for evidence of your credibility, compatibility and commitment. Your job is to demonstrate each of those three.

Credibility - what can you say with authority about the problem you propose to solve, the gap in the market you've identified? How do you prove your credentials? What have you done already with the resources you have?

Compatibility - if you're a team, that has an interior dimension: do you complement each other? are there gaps? is there clarity on roles? And whether you're a team or a solo star, have you researched the person/institution you've approached? Do you understand their technology interests, their contact base, their investment criteria?

Commitment - where's the evidence that you're someone who'll stay the course? Do you finish what you start? How do you sustain the pace when you hit the 80% ready stage and have to confront all the issues you've parked?

If you can pull together a single page summary, a short slide deck (or if you can, a hand-drawn presentation in an art book) that establishes these three things, every encounter you have will teach you something and you'll make an impression.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 16:37
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Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points

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