I recently completed a thought experiment to write down what the ideal investor looks like for Twine and myself as a founder. This was to ensure I’m focused, don’t waste my time, and don’t waste the time of investors.
Mark Rowland told me a good analogy that the relationship between a start-up and an investor is like the relationship between a horse and jockey. If the horse is the investor and the start-up is the jockey, both can get to the finish line on their own, but neither can complete the race without each other. Investors need entrepreneurs as much as entrepreneurs need investors. This is often forgotten in the weird world of start-ups.
Without further ado, here is my list with the most important at the top:
- I’m looking for an angel or early-stage fund that I can trust will be open, honest and direct and not bottle things up so they become a big issue.
- They need to be smart, give good input and up for a healthy debate — but not overbearing or defensive.
- They need to be familiar with venture capital, that there will be future investment rounds with a tech business and ideally have the capacity to follow on.
- This would not be their first investment but they would have made a few investments before if an angel, or have good experience if they are a fund.
- They need to understand tech growth mechanisms and be able to see growth tactics in other marketplaces or tech sectors and see how we can apply those tactics to Twine.
- They need to understand our timeline that if it makes sense with will do a 3–5 year exit, but be aware that it didn’t make sense then it could take 5–10 to take it to IPO.
Not only will this help me be focussed, but it will help me get in the mindset of what my ideal investor is looking for in me and a start-up.
Now universe, help me find this person for Twine!
Update 9th March 2017 – we raised our investment round. I would certainly say this helped and we did find our perfect investor…