Getting outside funding

A common question I hear among early stage entrepreneurs is “I need an infusion of money to get my project going. What are they (banks, private and angel investors, and venture capital funds) looking for?”

At the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market tradeshow, the Outdoor Industry Association hosted a panel discussion of boutique investment bankers who answered this question. I found their top ten list worthwhile to keep handy—just in case. Experienced fund-seekers understand that the items in this list are necessary, but not wholly sufficient, for securing funding. Equally, if not more important, is persistence!

  1.  Brand name
  2.  Addressable market vs. the specific product offerings
  3.  Who the target customers are
  4.  Distribution channel(s) being used (or proposed)
  5.  Competition
  6.  Revenue size and growth rate
  7.  Profitability (or the horizon to free cash flow)
  8.  Management team and infrastructure
  9.  Intellectual property
  10.  Solid business plan, backed by a workable business model that is constantly being improved.