I am peripherally involved in a startup in Denmark. The company has been in business for close to 10 years and is still mostly a 2-person company. During this time the company has been mostly self-funding and has spent only a little angel capital. It has now got to a stage where the (patented) product has been developed and a production machine has been produced and demo'ed at a big conference - where the machine was big news.
This means that we now need to take the business to the next level and really capitalize on what has been done, and to this effect need to get a serious investor on board that can help out both with money and with help and contacts to grow the business.
How would you suggest we go about finding the right investor? The product is for the printing industry (think labels, tickets, packaging, etc), in case you think it matters.
As a secondary question, how much and what kind of material should we prepare? We have tons of detailed business plans and supporting that need just a bit of a refresh but can be quite daunting and technical. We also have a short slide deck that contains most of the important highlights on both the technical and business side - where would you spend the effort?
I would like to get an investor that knows the European market and has the right kinds of contacts here, although the product will be sold globally, including the US.
You're probably going to have to knock on a lot of doors. For now, the material you need is a one or two page summary of what you're trying to do, how you're going to do it and why it's going to work.
You might want to start looking at a geographic region where printing is important (so investors understand it). For example, Cambridge (UK) has an inkjet cluster, and some local investors (eg Amadeus ). Other European cities probably do.
Of course, VC isn't the only option. You could approach a company with the right expertise, or a wealthy individual who knows your market. Like I say, a lot of door knocking.