One Big Tip for Startups

On April 25th, I attended the California Tech 100 Showcase in Irvine. I was invited since I am a Venture Partner with California Capital Partners and we were a sponsor of the event. With four partners from our team sitting on panels, I got to watch two panels and sit on one so I was able to see about 20 company presentations.

It drives me a little crazy to see companies spend so much time on the products and technologies, throw it all together into a power point presentation and then not spend very much time on their sales and distribution strategies and tactics. An investor is listening for reasons to say no and not hearing a clear description of how the company intends to sell their products and services that ties to the overall financial plans they present, is just such a reason.

It also doesn’t help to have half of your proposed capital going for Marketing and Sales while you don’t have those management seats filled. How do you know you need that much? If you have identified the people and they have helped you with your capital requirements and uses of funds, then say so. Otherwise, it seems like you are shooting in the dark.

Obviously, you need products to sell but they usually don’t sell themselves. Be smart, think through your distribution strategy, get some help from some resources who understand the area and then then present a cohesive picture of how your products and/or services will get to customers. Give us one less reason to say NO.

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