What Startups Need
Angels Den sees around 120 business plans a day from startups. Every single one of them asks us for the wrong thing. Every one of them asks us for money. But what do they really need? What they really need in my humble opinion… three particular things.
Sure they need money…but money would be fourth. They need the mentoring that comes with the money, they need to be able to help you actually in your business, deliver it at whatever stage it is at, depending on the geography, depending exactly where you are. You need mentoring.
The second thing you need is the experience of that Business Angel. You need their help in actually getting to where it is that you want to go. If you don’t understand that it is going to be very difficult for you to build your business. Building a business IS difficult, but it makes it that much more complicated for you.
The last thing that you need is the contacts that come with the money. Getting $100,000 from an investor would be great but that investors contacts will be worth 50 to 100 times more. He can introduce you to the people who can get you sales, distribution, logistics, and explain everything that you need to know.
THEN you need the money. Every day we see 26 businesses who know everything already. So they go “just give me the money”. Well the UK has probably the world’s most advanced equity crowdfunding platforms and what they do is just give you the money. So every day we send 26 businesses to them, therefore we are by far and away the biggest introducers to these companies. What happens? They all get funded. They all say “YAY! We got funded!” Then….100% of those businesses go out of business in 15 months…100%. Not one of them is left.
Because they didn’t understand what they really needed. The American model of investment where most have done their MBAs in fancy American schools or whatever, it teaches you to chase the money. It teaches you what money is all about. The money covers the inefficiency of your business model. If your business is crap, it is just going to be a crap business with MORE money. If you haven’t gotten it right at the start and then you start scaling up an inefficient model, guess what is going to happen.
The reason that they fail, is the same reason most businesses will fail out there. It is because of things you don’t even know, it is the Rumsfeld Paradox, it is that which is going to kill you. It is the stuff you THINK you know, the stuff you DO know, that is fantastic, you can read all the books, read all of Steve Job’s memes and inspirational quotes. You will think you are equipped but the things that are going to kill you are your competition moving into the marketplace.