Entrepreneurs' CVs - Dos and Don'ts


2

"We invest in people as well as business opportunities" is probably one of the more frequently used phrases by investors.

Besides getting to know your potential investors personally, the situation may arise that they get a first idea of you through your business plan (e.g. via a business plan competition). I have two questions that I'd like to pose in this regard:

  1. Would you rather go for a resumé style or CV? Are there notable differences for US vs. Europe? Any remarks on the content?
  2. In general, when submitting your business plan, would you always add the founders' CVs? Is the Appendix the right location?

Thanks for helping me out on this one (and yeah, I know it's rather 5 questions than 2).

Ben

Entrepreneurs Business Plan

asked Oct 19 '09 at 21:57
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Ben
11 points

2 Answers


2

I am a two time entrepreneur that successfully raised VC capital and I think the statement "we invest in people as well as business opportunities" is definitely a factor in the equation. You seem to be thinking of this in the form of evaluating your resume or CV, but I believe this statement applies even more to evaluating you as a person. While clearly relevant experience matters especially in the CTO/founder role, however as a CEO of a potential new venture, unless you have already literally taken a company from zero to $50M+ they are going to care less about what you have done and will be trying to figure out how you are going to scale/respond within the context of new venture.

Things along the following lines come to mind:

1) Are you going to hire and select people (and have you hired and selected people) strictly based on their skill sets and capabilities or based on the fact the they are your friends or family

2) Do you have an accurate and rationale view of your own capabilities

3) Push comes to shove, if you prove not to scale well as CEO as the company grows, are you going to step aside gracefully or go kicking and screaming

4) Are you clearly dedicated to the venture and not going to accept failure as an option

etc.

Relative to your specific question about whether your resume or CV should be included with the business plan I would say that it depends. If the resume or CV seems highly relevant to the venture in some way such that perhaps you have a PhD or 10 years experience in research and applying some patented technology or something that is being used in the venture, I would probably say yes. Otherwise, I don't see it as critical or even necessary. Somewhere earlier on in the plan where you have a page on the executive team, certainly you should have a paragraph describing who each person is and what key skills/experience they have that are critical to contributing to the success of the new venture. Beyond that, generally I would leave the CV/resumes out from the plan completely and let that be an opportunity to discuss more details/questions when the potential investors have them at the next step in the process.

answered Oct 19 '09 at 22:38
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Tall Jeff
1,406 points
  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jeff. Haven't thought much about the investors' approach of looking at potential future performance and behavior rather than past achievements, but this makes perfect sense. Having that one paragraph on the core team in the Business Plan should suffice to give investors a first idea of who we are. The confidence that we'll be able to execute the vision we put forward will (hopefully ;) come when meeting them personally. Additional info (if someone else wants to weigh in): we're a young team, have some experience, BA rather than VC round. – Ben 10 years ago

0

For the written word, the bio is probably the most important - patents, domain experience and / or effort directly related goes a long way here. Describing what makes you an important part of the funding proposition helps them (and other involved parties) come to a decision. It completes the face to face assessment they make.

Yes, this is very investor side focused - my experiences are similar to Jeff - CTO, VC backed.

answered Feb 20 '10 at 03:51
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Jim Galley
9,952 points

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