Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Spring Forum Part 2: Hot Trends in Early Stage Capital Funding

03 Mar Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Spring Forum Part 2: Hot Trends in Early Stage Capital Funding

In part one of our Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Spring Forum recap we provided an overview of Sudhakar Kesavan’s Fireside Chat with Tien Wong and the really cool companies that pitched their ideas to a room of investors and influencers. Now let’s dive into part two of the event – the “Hot Trends in Early Stage Capital Funding” panel. We were able to experience firsthand from a panel of seasoned venture capitalists on what the newest trends are in the early stage capital funding world. They also provided valuable insights on what venture capitalists are looking for when evaluating a company they are interested in investing in. The panel consisted of:

  • Moderator: Tom Dann, Venture Partner, New Atlantic Ventures; former Managing Director, Maryland Venture Fund
  • Randy Domolky, Managing Director, Private Access Network
  • Jiemin Jordan, Managing Director, Decisive Investment Group
  • Mark Levine, Managing Director, Core Capital Partners
  • Doug Muir, CEO, Muir & Associates and Co-Founder, CAV Angels

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A few key insights from the panelists:

On investment strategy: It’s all about the team. Panelists expressed that they prefer to invest in a “B” company with an “A” team rather than an “A” company with a “B” team. It’s a huge value add to investors if a company knows how to put a good team in place. They also expressed that before investing in a company, they want to know what their return on investment will look like.

On exit strategy: It’s important to know who your potential buyer will be in the beginning. This is also vitally important to the investor you’re working with. Typically, an investor will not make an investment unless he or she understands the buyer. Panelists also noted that when selling a business, it’s good to get interest from partners with whom you’ve already worked, because they understand your company.

On the perfect pitch: When going into a pitch, don’t focus too much on the demonstration of your product. Tell the investors what you do, what you are selling, what your growth rate looks like, and explain what the depreciator is. You’ll get attention if you have a strong business strategy and growth plan. It always comes down to the numbers.

To top off a great event, it ended with a networking session and book signing by Danielle Tate who is the author of Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founders Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Company.

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We look forward to attending the next Big Idea CONNECTpreneur event on April 28th at Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland. For more details, click here.

(Photo Credit: Tien Wong, Elegant Entrepreneur)

Jennifer R. Sherman
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