Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Participating in a shark tank

Since it was recently Shark Week, I felt compelled to dedicate one blog post to my experience pitching Bimotics in a shark tank. Investment groups, entrepreneur clubs and academic programs have all jumped on this trend of hosting business shark tanks. Active entrepreneurs that seek funding from outside investors these days, most likely will find themselves preparing for our actually pitching in a shark tank.

It is especially important that an entrepreneur to have their startup story crisp and solid.  I have found that talking to individual investors will be a be more inquisitive and casual in talking about your business. But in the tank, the story needs to fact based and all the latest numbers and metrics rolling off your tongue effortlessly.  Although passion for your business is important, there is less time to convey it.

The sharks in the tank may not be evaluating your business under the same criteria.  Some may be looking for only early stage business. Others could be looking for strictly B2Cs. Others are looking for that one story that is missing from their portfolio. This makes it hard to because you cannot tailor your message just the one investor or topic of interest. If you have the luxury to know the background of each perspective shark, I would just tell the story targeting the very most one you want.

It is rare that your startup will get all the investors to be frenzied over you. The businesses that do are special enough to have their story told on business insider. Just like a shark attack on the beach, its uniqueness is why its news. However, it just takes the one right investor to make it all worth it.

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