In terms of advancement for the collective, more blacks need to learn how to execute better strategies as we’re witnessing zeitgeist changing companies being formed and we’re being passed by. More individuals have to create a system for reaching people with money and for making connections who understand what you’re trying to do as a founder.
The group also touched on milestone-based Investing. If you need about $10M for your company, allocate the amount over an 18-month period and cut it in thirds. You’d approach an investor and tell them you’d need around $7M, with $2M for proof of concept. If you meet your milestone (target goal), investors will be more likely to release the rest of the funds you seek.
How Do You Find Investors?
- Research! Take a look at the investor’s website or web presence and do some research on the type of companies they’ve invested in.
- Boost Your Social Circles - Donray Von used an example from his personal life about volunteering at a place for six months where he knew he’d have access to the mayor of the city. Participate in philanthropic and art-related events that attract a varied crowd and monied people.
- During the Q&A session that followed the panel, entrepreneurs were advised to hire a top-notch law firm because of the kind of access they have.
Things That Make You Attractive to Investors
- Appealing Narrative – Who you are, what you have accomplished in your life thus far, what ideas you have, what makes you unique, etc.
- Solid Management Team – If you’re part of a group that has had previous experience with entrepreneurship and can point to successes, more investors will be more readily available. Also, investors want to know if you have a cohesive working group that gets along.
- If you are a young person, don’t panic if you have little to zero experience. Find someone to advise you. Build a support system. This is good advice for anything you want to achieve in life, professionally and personally.
Finally—and this goes without saying—investors want to make sure they’re not already investing in your competitor.