In this series of blog posts, we’re revisiting our Education Seminar Series and bringing you the top three takeaways from each lecture.  

Geared toward early stage ventures, our seminars are a valuable resource for new companies and entrepreneurs looking develop a solid business foundation.

seminar-series-3

In the third seminar, Mike Volker talks about the importance of making a business case, and what angel investors are really looking for.

Think locally, not globally

Although angel investors are a global phenomenon, it’s important for a new venture to seek out financing from local investors before the national or international community.  If you haven’t gotten any local investors on board, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get an international investor. They’ll want to talk to your existing investors, and not having any local ones will make them nervous and suspicious.

Angels like to use their own contacts and networks – people who they know who can help you. Local investors help connect you to more, and other investors nationally, then globally. Luckily, here in Vancouver, we have a number of angel venues. These including VANTEC, Powerhaus, and K4 Northwest.

Perfect your investor pitch

The goal of an elevator pitch is to describe how you and your company will make money. Although you will want to give your elevator pitch to an investor, first and foremost, angels are interested in how they are going to make money.

Investors want to know how much money you need, how much ownership they’re going to get, and when and how they’re going to get out. Your exit strategy is the most important piece of information to the investor. They want to know how long their money is going to be tied up, and how much they can expect to be paid out.

Don’t let investors win at BS Bingo

Angel’s BS Bingo is a game that prevents you from using fillers. If you say a long sentence made up of some of these phrases strung together, angels will sit there and ‘X’ out the boxes as they listen. When an angel can say “bingo,” your pitch is over.

Angel Investor's BS Bingo
BS Bingo for Investors

Although it’s all in good fun, keep this in mind because these phrases don’t mean anything to angel investors. Everybody says them. It forces you put real numbers and real names, and real facts into your pitch. Ultimately, it’s the facts that will convince an angel to invest in your company, not the fluff.

Watch the full seminar

About the Education Seminar Series

The Education Seminar Series offers a mix of seminars and workshops to tech entrepreneurs. Focused on business education, the series is a valuable resource that teaches the essential building blocks for an early stage venture to move their business forward.

We typically hold our seminars in the Spring. Sign up for our newsletter to be invited to the next educational event.

In the meantime, check out our other startup resources:

If your startup is in need of mentorship, consider joining one of our Venture Acceleration Programs.

About the speaker

Mike Volker

Angel Investor

Mike Volker is an entrepreneur and angel investor, active in the development of new high technology ventures. After graduating from the University of Waterloo in engineering, Mike started his own company (Volker-Craig Ltd) in 1973, which he sold in 1981. Since then, he has been involved with many technology enterprises as an investor, mentor or director. In 2009, Mike was named Angel Investor of the Year by NACO, as well as as well as B.C. Angel of the Year by the BC Angel Forum.

Mike presently serves as the Director of SFU’s Innovation Office, Chair of TIMIA Capital Corp, CEO of WUTIF Capital, President of GREENANGEL Energy Corp, President of Keiretsu Forum, and Principal Operator of the Vancouver Angel Network, VANTEC. In 2000, Mike co-founded New Ventures BC. He continues to serve as a Board Director.

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