Do investors pay more attention to the paper trail or the people?

Metiquity Ventures’ Bryan Slauko says investors aren’t only reviewing the books when considering which companies to invest in, they’re also keen to understand a founder’s motivations.  

A few tips for new founders and entrepreneurs from Metiquity Ventures co-founding Partner Bryan Slauko 

Authenticity is key 

Bryan encourages prospective founders to have a clear purpose behind what they are doing because their motivations (or lack thereof) will be under scrutiny from potential investors who are looking for founders who show clear authentic intention to solve problems through digital innovation. 

“Some of the best ideas come from founders who were deeply embedded in an industry and can see exactly where the holes are in that industry. They have great insight into those market gaps. If they can communicate that gap, and the solution process to potential investors; that allows us to understand what’s driving [your business],” Bryan says. 

“If it was only about money and revenue numbers, then when the going gets tough a founder is going to leave and find something else to do that will make them more money. But founders who see a problem and market gap that they are passionate about solving and filling… they aren’t going to leave or abandon ship before they reach their goal. Those are the kind of companies and founders investors love working with.” 

Foster your relationship with your lead investors

Bryan adds that once that understanding is established then fostering a strong founder-investor relationship becomes key to helping companies succeed.

“I always say to people: we’re investing in relationships, not in transactions,” Bryan explains. “We’re not transactional in nature. We want to get to know people and what makes them tick. They [have to be] the kind of person that’s going to stick with it when the going gets tough because they’re going to have a roller coaster ride. It’s going to go up and down.”

Be ready to weather adversity

It’s often the way founders respond to challenges and successes within their respective industries which showcases their long-game ability to scale and grow. Investors want to be assured they aren’t working with someone who will “just throw in the towel and go find a job” at the first sign of difficulty and has potential for growth.

“We want to invest in the people that have to make it work. Not just because they’ve put their own resources into their startup and want to see it scale, but because they simply can’t imagine not making it work. They are determined to succeed,” Bryan adds. 

Likewise, Bryan encourages entrepreneurs (and especially first-time founders) to be coachable and open to feedback.

“First-time founders who haven’t done this before – they have a lot of blind spots, and we want to fill in those blind spots for them. And help them connect the dots. Part of being an entrepreneur is having the strength to challenge your own ego,” Bryan says. 

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