VC & Angel Investing: The Next Big Opportunities
The Babson Entrepreneurship Forum has been a flagship event during Babson’s Global Entrepreneurship Week for a few years now. This year, the 2015 Babson Entrepreneurship Forum transformed the traditional conference. Speakers and attendees had the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops and engaging panels. One of the panels I attended was VC & Angel Investing: The Next Big Opportunities.
The panel consisted of Graham Brooks of .406 Ventures, Lucia Epstein of Golden Seeds, Rob Go of NextView Ventures, Anupendra Sharma of Siemens Venture Capital and was moderated by Rohit Gupta of Techstars.
As the majority of attendees were aspiring entrepreneurs, hearing tips from investors was very insightful for many. One of Gupta’s questions to the panelists was what was one common mistake entrepreneurs made when seeking funding. Here were the takeaways from the panelists:
- Approaching investors too early. Investors are looking for opportunities that has a market fit and an entrepreneur’s solution needs to be better than what’s out there. Make sure you are ready when you start engaging.
- Do you your homework. Make sure you research the investor before pitching to them. Make sure you understand terms investors might use.
- Entrepreneurs that have investors or advisers should not do everything that is suggested to them. Being too accommodating can be an issue. Make sure to keep your momentum going and think thoroughly about what actions you want to take when you get advice.
Be strategic on what funds you want to raise and from what sources. Investors want to go for the winners – if there are too many investors in the round, there may be some who want to pull out.
The session closed with all panelists agreeing that it’s always good to reach out to potential investors early on, in other words, when you do not need money. This gives an opportunity for the entrepreneur to observe how it is working with a particular investor and vice versa. Investors want to build relationships with the entrepreneurs they could potentially work with. Fostering those relationships is key.