8 of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when presenting to investors

Pitching your business to potential investors can be a gruelling process. You need to create a well-crafted pitch deck that captures your audience's attention with a compelling narrative that demonstrates your strengths as a business. And you need to be prepared to answer some tough questions. Business growth expert Scott Duffy has years of experience, both as an investor and as an entrepreneur raising funding. In this excerpt from his book Breakthrough, he shares some top tips on how to av...
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Seven different types of investors and how to win them over

No matter how great your idea for a new service or product, you'll need access to capital to get a new business off the ground. Many entrepreneurs start out by using their own savings or credit card. Bootstrapping and borrowing from friends and family will only get you so far however and when it comes to growing the business, you'll need to raise additional funding. "You'll meet many different types of investors for startups," writes James Church. Here, he shares "a few to lo...
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Every potential investor will ask you about these 3 things. Here's how to be prepared

Entrepreneurs looking to raise money from venture capitalists (VCs) know they face a formidable and often demoralizing challenge. It isn't just a case of preparing and presenting your pitch, then waiting with bated breath for an investor to say 'yes.' There'll be meetings and discussions, and there'll be questions. And some of those questions can easily trip up a founder going through the fundraising process for the first time. Here, Mark Suster reveals how a typical conversation with a VC ...
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Seedcamp closes €68.3 million seed fund to invest in next generation of European unicorns

With an influx of more than 100 new investors, London-based Seedcamp has announced the final close of its fourth fund at £60 million. This latest fund is more than 30x bigger than the firm's initial fund, dating back to its launch in 2007 as Europe's first seed fund. And in just six months since the first close of Fund IV at £41M the firm has already made 15 new investments. The firm is now planning to invest in up to 100 startups from across Europe at pre-seed and seed stages across a variety o...
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10 British VCs to start sharing diversity data on all the startups they meet

Research shows only 9% of UK startup funding goes to companies with a female founder and only 13% of key decision-makers in Britain's venture capital industry are women. And the biggest problem is the lack of data about what's going on, says Francesca Warner, the cofounder of policy group Diversity VC. Announcing the launch of a new initiative, Warner says leading British VC funds have agreed to gather anonymized demographic data from the startups they meet so researchers can gain an insight int...
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Why you should never have a data room — the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice

Fundraising for your startup can be a slow and painful process involving a lot of documentation. Being prepared for due diligence by having all of your paperwork in order from the outset can increase your chances of a successful funding round. However, that doesn't mean you should hand over all your documents at the start of the process. Although investors often ask for access to your "data room" so they can analyse whether your company a good investment for them, there's no good reaso...
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Advice for VCs from a serial founder

Building a successful startup isn't easy and fundraising is one of the first major challenges first-time founders have to get to grips with. It's a daunting process and getting the right advice is crucial. Fortunately there are plenty of founders willing to share the fundraising lessons they've learned. And there's no shortage of advice from Venture Capitalists (VCs) either. What seems to be lacking though is founder advice for VCs. Inspired by a tweet from Bryan Birsic notin...
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Why you need to pitch to investors' hearts, and not their pocketbooks

Convincing potential investors to write you a check isn't easy. They need to know how your business is going to make money, in what timeframe and what the return on their investment is going to be. And your investor pitch needs to include solid financial projections to back up your claims. Return on investment isn't the first thing to address in your pitch, however. "Instead, you should focus on the impact their investment will make," writes business coach Bruce Eckfeldt. Here, he shares how to ...
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3 components of the perfect elevator pitch

When you have to deliver a succinct and persuasive pitch in 60 seconds or less, every second counts. The aim is to grab your audience's attention so they'll want to know more and the key is to crystallize your speech into a brief and compelling message that's infused with personality and passion. Whether you are pitching a product, a service or yourself, there are three essential components in an elevator pitch, writes entrepreneur, CEO and founder David Meltzer. To help you become pitch-perfect...
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Investors don't ask women founders the same questions as men. Here’s why that's a problem

Gender bias in the questions investors ask entrepreneurs impacts the level of funding they receive, with men typically receiving higher levels of funding than women, according to research. When Dana Kanze and her colleagues analyzed question and answer sessions between investors and entrepreneurs, they discovered the venture capitalists were asking male entrepreneurs questions about the potential for gains while asking female entrepreneurs about the potential for losses. And because their a...
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