Gaining access to funding is one of the most crucial factors for entrepreneurial success, especially at an early stage. Capital can be raised in several ways, from using your own money to borrowing from a bank, or accepting a third-party investment to help you get your business up and running. Getting a venture capital is one of the best ways to launch your business when your company isn’t at an IPO stage or in the stock market yet. Venture capitalists offer a wealth of collaboration, investment, and other opportunities for startups, but many entrepreneurs and startups in Hong Kong don’t know how the venture capital investment process works. Here are 3 major elements that can help you to pitch your business ideas successfully:
Venture capitalists are highly selective, they are looking for startups with enormous growth potential that caters to the bigger market. All investors operate on a “Go Big or Go Home” mentality, so you'd better be going after an enormous market opportunity! You might be wondering what exactly is a "big" market? And how do you define "big" in this case? For “big”, we mean multi-billion dollars, venture capitalists want to see an outcome of $100 million net worth or more, they are not satisfied with $10 million, $25 million, or $50 million exits. Venture capitalists are here to help you grow, and a big market provides your firm with a larger room to develop. On the contrary, a small or medium-sized market may not have enough room for decent growth, therefore, satisfying an investor’s aggressive return expectation is the key to seeking venture capital.
A distinctive product or service is able to draw the investors’ attention instantly. Developing a one of a kind product is not easy, yet, its uniqueness makes it harder for competitors to replicate what you have. Investors will not only try to understand the technical capabilities of your product but also determine if the product is solving problems for potential consumers and hopefully, change the world like other revolutionary inventions did. Here are several ways to stand out:
• Product differentiation: Distinguish your product from similar offerings on the market
• Process differentiation: Provide newer and more efficient ways of solving the same problems
• Price point differentiation: Sell your product or service with a different pricing strategy
Your idea is not good enough if it is not backed up by data. Data is king when pitching your company to venture capitals, as investors love figures! Make sure you back everything up with metrics and solid data. Providing solid data can not only help them better understand your business but also instills a great degree of confidence into investors that your business is worth investing in.
Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.
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