At any given point, there are a host of budding startup entrepreneurs with great ideas and models looking for funding. Likewise, there are an equally large number of investors looking for investment opportunities. Silicon Valley practically runs on funding streams from venture capitalists and large hedge funds. To get your funding opportunity, you have to be in the right place at the right time, and you have to be prepared to present your idea, model and prospects in 30 seconds.
At a recent investor meet organized by Dig South, over 200 small business owners were allowed 30 seconds to make a pitch for funding. Of these, 50 were shortlisted for a formal presentation and 38 received funding. Investment opportunities are all around you. You have to be connected to the environment around you, and you have to be ready to make your pitch in 30 seconds. That just gets your foot in the door.
Private equity funds are another source of funding. In return for the investment, the PE fund will typically pick up a stake in the company, in the form of shares. The idea is to sell the stake at a profit once the company goes public. Sometimes, the owner doesn't want to go public and chooses to buy back the shares at a premium to the issue price, thereby giving the PE fund a profit on their investment. Most funding opportunities that aren't outright loans work on this principle.
The chairman of the Wafra Investment Advisory Group, routinely deals with business owners, both large and small, looking for funding opportunities. He has interests across various investment companies, and he stresses the need for business owners to be tech-savvy and connected. Advances in wireless technologies now allow you to be constantly connected with your customers, vendors, and investment partners.
Here are some tips for business owners:
- Stay connected; don't miss important calls.
- Make sure your phone and laptop have broadband connections. Answer emails on the spot and stay connected to business operations.
- Connect directly with your mobile phone. To stay in constant touch with your clients and colleagues, get a phone that can be used as a walkie-talkie.
- To keep up with your competitors and investment and business opportunities, you need to stay connected to industry news.
- Secure your mobile phone. As you conduct business on the move, the safety of the data you work with becomes paramount.