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VIRAL Level 1: Getting the Band Together
You’ve got a team that is ready to go.
What investors at this stage are likely to like about your business:
People back people, not business models. Tell a story about your team. How do you know each other? What have you done in past roles and jobs that predicts that you’re likely to be successful? What obstacles have you overcome in your personal life that might predict your grit and resilience? What sacrifices have you made (quit your job, emptied your savings, working round-the clock) for this company?
- Your vision. Tell investors a “before and after” story about the way you’re going to change the world. What is the world like today? What is broken about it? Why is it a problem? How are you going to solve it?
- Your customer focus. Who is your “bulls-eye” customer? It’s better at this stage to be “specific and wrong” than “vague and right.” For example, eBay’s first customer was not “buyers and sellers,” but “sellers of hard-to-find collectibles.” Get as specific as possible about who you are solving for.
What investors at this stage are likely to ask questions about:
How do we know that your team has the experience to solve the problem?
Make sure you highlight you and your team’s experience. What can you share about your experience with this market? How can you give investors confidence that you know how the market operates?
- What is the specific problem you’re solving–for your customer? Too many ideas are a solution that’s looking for a problem to solve. You might want to try this simple “Mad Lib”: “We sell A (Product) to B (Customer). B has a problem, and it is C (Problem). We solve C (Problem) through D (Solution).” Let’s take, for example, Google. “We sell consumer data to advertisers. Advertisers have a problem, and it is that they don’t know how to reach the right audience online. We solve this problem through the world’s best search engine, which gives advertisers highly customized information.”
- Legal/regulatory concerns. Do you need patents? Regulatory approval? Licenses? Investors will want to know that you have license to operate. At this stage, you may not have it, but you need to be clear that you’ve thought through how you will develop it.