The other side of the investment table: three tips from our EIC business coach
When it comes to scaling up a business, in today’s challenging market it can be difficult to attract investors. There are a plethora of startups competing and trying to secure the exact same time with the same investors. To make it more difficult, many SMEs pitch to many investors without receiving any concrete feedback. So, in a sea of many, what should companies be doing to stand out in the crowd? The EIC Business coach Martin Theyer defined the top three ingredients to present your company to the other side of the investment table.
Martin Theyer has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance and M&A and. As a PKF Partner, he works with many promising start-ups in the tech field worldwide and he’s appointed Business Coach of the European Commission‘s Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME). Check below the three key tips from our EIC Business Coach to improve your chances when approaching investors.
According to Martin Theyer, raising capital isn’t easy and it all depends on what stage the business is in.
“The first thing that SMEs need to take into account is timing: Is this the right time for the investor to come in? And if so, which investors? Everyone seems to underestimate the factor timing for a multitude of reasons. The innovators are so caught up in their work, they are so excited about their projects, that don’t consider the aspect timing; is now really the right time to make this move?”
Secondly, it’s all about matching.
“SMEs need to match their views with those from the investor. Most SMEs feel it’s a one-way street: you tell the investor your story and that’s it. But what they don’t realise is that the investors might have better access, more info and more knowledge about the industry. An investor sees many different people, CEO’s from all over the world and gets insights that SMEs don’t gent. In short, SMEs have to change their view and go from selling their product or idea to matching the investors’ views.”
Lastly, and also the most challenging aspect, it’s the approach. A big issue associated to investment is keeping investor attention. They can get hundreds of pitches and you will need to stand out to raise funding.
“You need to know how to approach investors. Sending an email or giving a three-minute pitch might not be the best engagement. Content, timing and storytelling is important, but also how to get access. How do I get their attention?
On 7 April, the European Innovation Council organised an online Community Event focused on this process of raising finance. The training was led by the EIC business coach Martin Theyer and gathered 16 EIC innovators in a virtual interactive session, designed to invite in-depth sharing of experiences, active participation and real-world problem-solving.
The Community Events are a regular part of the European Innovation Council Business Acceleration Services. For the month of April 2020, we have planned one additional online event: Community Talk: Ask me Anything on Corporates. Keep your eyes on our EIC Community for further details!
For any questions please do not hesitate to contact us through our contact page (choose ‘Ask a question /get support about an event’).