Questions for ventures seeking funding

People regularly approach me or one of my investment entities asking for a meeting to discuss their venture and possible investment.  If I know them, they’ve been referred to me by someone I trust, or they have an amazing LinkedIn profile I usually take the meeting.  If they’ve crafted a great short pitch or include an succinct one-page executive summary in their email, I’ll also be interested in having a look.

However, if they just send me an email requesting a coffee without much detail, I usually send them the following set of questions… the more complete and interesting the answers, the more likely it is that I’ll be interested in investing my time into finding out more.

  1. Your name:
  2. Email:
  3. Phone:
  4. LinkedIn URL:
  5. GitHub URL:
  6. Name of your venture:
  7. If you can, please provide a < 3 minute video describing your venture
  8. If you can, please provide a < 3 minute video describing your team
  9. Describe your business in 140 characters or less
  10. In more detail, what will your company do or make? What’s new, interesting, or different about what your company will do?
  11. Who are your customers?
  12. What’s your distribution strategy (how will your customers learn about and buy your product)?
  13. Explain how the company will make money.
  14. Who are your competitors (please include URL’s), and how are you different from them?
  15. Why is now the right time to be doing this?
  16. What are your key challenges?
  17. Please describe current progress or traction. Include customers, user metrics, revenue, or any other indicators of progress.
  18. What consideration have you given to applicability and opportunity in international markets?
  19. Have you considered an exit strategy?  How and when do you see your involvement with this business coming to an end?
  20. Please provide information on money the company has already raised, and any information on fundraising plans for the future.
  21. How much investment do you think you need to achieve your current goals?
  22. Please tell us about each founder and their role.  Include LinkedIn, GitHub, and any other relevant URLs.
  23. Not including the founders, how many additional employees are there? Include LinkedIn, GitHub, and any other relevant URLs.
  24. What are some things that the team (or its members) have built in the past? Please include URLs.
  25. Why is your team the right team to be building this business?
  26. How much time can you and your team members commit to working on your company?
  27. How much do you think your company is worth today, prior to investment?  Why?
  28. What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done (other than this project)?
  29. What has been your biggest personal failure, and what did you learn from it?
  30. Why should we choose your company to invest in?
  31. How do you think we can best help you?


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