Entrepreneur Mistake from Not Knowing the Investor

I am constantly surprised when I see an Entrepreneur presenting to a group of investors and they make a real minor league mistake. The one I encountered recently was a company who passed out a Fact Sheet and in the Pro Forma Financial Projections indicated that the financials were available via an NDA.

The first, obvious problem is that investors don’t sign NDA’s to listen to an introductory presentation and anyone who does the slightest due diligence would uncover this. Second, since these are basically projections, they are, in fact, part of a story that the entrepreneur creates to explain their opportunity. If you tell me that you believe the financial projections are so sensitive that you will only provide them under an NDA, I assume there is something you are trying to hide. Since I am looking for a reason to say “NO” to a deal, this certainly qualifies.

You work pretty hard to get your business/plan together, and it seems like such a waste to get to the point where you are talking to investors and then eliminate yourself with such a rookie mistake. If this is new to you, take some time to learn about the investors and what we look for, both positive and negative. There are a number of venues where you can talk with investors in Southern California and I recommend you attend a couple and get some insight. It may be the difference between funding and frustration.

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