At Under30CEO we are all about asking ourselves the tough questions as entrepreneurs. But what happens when we simply don’t have the answers?
As young entrepreneurs it is critically important to surround ourselves not only with an amazing peer group, but also with the best mentors and advisors we can. To help us in our journey, Under30CEO has teamed up with G+ and their database of seasoned executives, and consultants to get us the answers to these tough questions.
Check out our new forum and take a look at these 3 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Answer…
“I’m having trouble securing a programmer for equity or an investor to hire a programmer–suggestions?” -Ricardo Lopez, Drive Taxi Inc.
The top reasons guys like me won’t work for a business guy for equity:
1. You have ZERO skin in the game right now. Your product depends on technology, and you don’t have the ability to build it on your own.
2. An idea is completely worthless without the right connections and proof of a customer base.
3. You are not qualified or well-connected enough to run a business like this.
4. I don’t trust you.
Here are some tips and questions you should answer when wooing good developers:
1. Have you done detailed market research?
2. What unique or high-level connections do you have in the industry?
3. Don’t tell me you’re going to magically get 1,000,000 users because the product I help you build is just that great.
4. Offer pay before equity.
“What is the most effective way to meet the influential leaders in your marketplace?”-Greg Rollett, The Product Pros
In my opinion and based on my experience, most effective business networking these days happens through the LinkedIn network. It truly is like a cross-company email system sustaining a personal touch.
Executives are desperate for new idea sound bites. They, versus their traditional gatekeepers, are likely just learning how to use their new iPhone or iPad. The math of getting introductions leaves a high probability of success at getting an introduction to or their attention for our point of view.
We may think we are blocked from seeing senior level executives. The reality is the people we want to see at the senior most levels want and need to see fresh, new, market making or market bending people and their ideas. The opportunity rest squarely on our ability to connect within seconds and close on a face to face initial five minute in-person visit.
“I developed a retail service based platform, what are the best ways to get my next round of funding?”-Gina Mancuso, LoveThatFit
Here is a good list of places to find investors:
- Google: “angel groups” in your area
- Ask your local economic development organization or Small Business Development Center
- Check though if your State Economic Development Agency has a program for financing startups
- Kauffman Foundation – http://www.kauffman.org
- Angel Resource Institute – http://www.angelresourceinstitute.org/white-papers/
But first, make sure you have a comprehensive business plan, a corresponding financial plan, a good one-page executive summary of everything about your business, and a 1 to 2 minute “elevator pitch” to get people interested in listening to a longer pitch.
But don’t brag about a provisional patent. A provisional patent merely establishes a date for the invention but gets no review. It doesn’t even require claims to be filed. So, realize that it really has no meaning to anyone. What has meaning that should be the subject of your filing is the proprietary content you possess that gives you a competitive edge.
And one final word, I don’t know if someone did a patent search for you but make sure you’ve researched competitors very well, as well as the technology in this space
Ask your tough questions in our forum!