Since we began back in 2008 we have met many entrepreneurs with different ideas, products and concepts, some have gone on to succeed and others not, but all have learnt valuable lessons on the way. Below are some tips Jake Hoffart our Investment Associate has for startup entrepreneurs.
Be honest, always.
At an early stage, investors are backing you and your team, not your company, they expect things will go wrong. Honesty and integrity are always rewarded and respected in the long run. The NZ early stage ecosystem is very small.
Founding and growing a high growth startup is gruelling. You are expected to be a good boss, co-worker, visionary, strategist, developer, engineer, administrator, presenter, capital raiser and communicator. You are also expected to keep your suppliers, staff, customers and investors all happy at once. Which leads to the next point.
Play to your strengths and implement good governance early.
You can’t actually do it all, even if you want to. Be willing to hire and onboard other brilliant individuals and build a well-rounded, high functioning team. Get good board support early. Good governance is the opposite of a hinderance, and it makes you more investable.
Ask for help and leverage your investors.
Good investors know how hard the journey is and want to help and support you. Examples of help given by our investors include pro-bono advice on legal matters, Intellectual Property, strategy, technical and mental health support right down to offering their bach for much-needed weekends away for founders to recharge with their spouse.
Over prepare for capital raising.
Raising capital is usually far more time consuming and difficult than new founders anticipate. Get administrative support, take advice, ensure you have a due diligence data room ready with all relevant documents available. It is often a full-time job – ensure you have someone to support you in this process so you can keep your eye on the business – a lead investor will be your ally in that respect.
Work alongside your investors.
Collaborate with investors you trust and want in your business. Take their feedback onboard, particularly around terms and valuation. Companies that blatantly ignore advice of professional investors and then fail to raise their round as a result are rarely looked at twice.
To find out more about capital raising click here.
Get in touch!
We welcome engagement from anyone interested or involved in the early stage investment market – Investors, Angel Members, Strategic or Corporate Partners, Founders, Incubators or Accelerators, Deal Referrers, Acquisition Partners etc.