You’re a smart entrepreneur. You have a good idea. Your pitch is spot-on. So why can’t you raise money? It’s usually this simple: You’re thinking like an entrepreneur, not an investor, so you’re not getting through the “second filter”. The key is to understand that the second filter exists, how it works, and how to get your company through it.
Filter 1: Team, Market and Product
Most smart entrepreneurs understand the first investor filter. Team, market and product are the starting point for any investor’s analysis. And team is the top priority for most investors because they have seen enough company pivots to understand that A-quality teams with B-quality ideas will generally outperform B quality teams with great ideas.
When it comes to assessing a team, investors look for things like a deep understanding of the market or customer, high integrity, tenacity, a strong work ethic, and exceptional people skills/EQ that will drive great communications, leadership, coachability and allow for some charisma. (Here is more depth on what I look for in a leader.)
Read more at INC.