What do investors look for when deciding whether to fund an entrepreneur? It depends on whom you?re asking, and how far along your startup is.
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A seed-funding specialist isn?t necessarily impressed by the same traits as firms that focus on later rounds. At Signal Peak Ventures, we specialize in Series A rounds, and the success indicators we look for are fairly consistent. When vetting incumbent startups, we examine three primary areas: people, product and potential market.
Everything else comes after.
On that note, ask yourself: “Does my startup have these areas locked up?”
Whether you?re a proven entrepreneur or a willing-to-learn first-timer, the kind of foundation you bring to your company is what we look at. Optimism and passion are trademarks of successful leaders. You can?t be risk-averse, and you?ll need a lot of physical and mental stamina to keep going when conditions get rough, which they invariably will. But if you have the right characteristics, you?ll attract the second must-have in the people area: talent.
Winning startups must be able to grow from day one by attracting talented employees, who attract other talented employees and so on. Bringing in great people is the way you grow a great company. Success as a tech startup depends on collaboration, and that requires building a team who will follow you into the trenches and bet that the risks will pay off.
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