Every year, at our Angel Oregon Showcase, we announce the winner of our Angel Oregon Investment Award. You might see the photos and news articles, but do you know what hoops the winner had to jump through to get on stage, and what considerations the investors took into account as they worked toward a final decision?
At our April PubTalk, Angel Oregon investors Traci Williams, Jeff Wiles, Ana Andueza, and Steve Mahon (pictured below from left to right) pulled back the curtain of Angel Oregon, revealing what exactly they look for in a winning company.
Just as important as what they look for are the red flags that will dissuade them from making an investment. Here are three things you should never say:
1. “I have no competitors.” As panelist Ana Andueza pointed out, “If you have no competitors, you might not have a market.” Don’t skimp on your market research and don’t assume that competitors will weaken your position. The key is how you differentiate yourself from them.
2. “My company will be making $15 million by the end of year one.” OK, this particular statement might be extreme, but investors caution against making overly aggressive projections. Of course, you want to communicate your potential, but you also need to show investors a rational business strategy with gross margins that are in line with your industry.
3. “I know everything.” Hopefully this is something you will never say, but don’t try to act like you know everything, either. Entrepreneurs must wear many hats, and they are not expected to be an expert in all aspects of their industry. Coachability is just as important as expertise. Investors aren’t just a source of capital, but also have rich business experience that can aid you in building your company. Take advantage of their expertise!
» Join us at our next PubTalk on May 11, featuring mompreneurs who are trying to ‘have it all.’
One comment on “3 Things Entrepreneurs Should Never Say to Investors – Takeaways from our April PubTalk”
All very good points. I think the vast majority of entrepreneurs underestimate the challenges their businesses will face in the first couple years.