Diary of a Startup - Presenting to Investors

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It's Thursday evening April 28th and the past week has been stressful. Last week, a potential investor had submitted a due diligence list to us that we had five business days to complete. Rather than completing just what he asked for, I decided that we should be exhaustive and go far above and beyond his expectations as we are attempting to sell him on the notion that we are a quality company to invest in, with hard-working managers. Thus, last Thursday and Friday, we worked through the night and completed a 300-page investor deck for him. He was very pleased with our efforts when I presented it to him Friday morning. The nice thing about this investor deck is that we built a process around it so that it will be easy to replicate in the event that we have to produce it again.

Since then, our very serious potential investor has taken off for Italy for a one-week vacation and we have not wanted to stand idle. As such, I presented to four more groups this week, enduring an inquisition from a team of five venture capitalists in one case. If you have never been in a position to present to VC's and pitch them on your idea, it's quite an experience and I would highly recommend that you wear plenty of deodorant because they certainly make you sweat.

I have found that as an entrepreneur, I constantly need to be traveling down parallel paths and multi-tasking as there is always some dilemma. That being said, one of the issues surrounding our very serious investor's interest in our business is that he will absolutely not invest until I have fully bought out my former partner. My former partner and I had an agreement on a buyout that would take place over the course of twelve months, because we could not afford to pay him everything in one lump sum. But now I need him out of the business immediately. So I have gone back to him to renegotiate and it has not been a pleasant process as it has included a few discussions with raised voices.

Over the next week, we plan to hear a definitive answer from our potential investor as to whether or not he would like to move forward. We also plan to nail down and finalize the renegotiation of the buyout contract with my former partner. I'll be back next week to report.

Diary of a Startup is a weekly blog written by Pete Kadens, founder of Acquirent, an outsourced sales execution company based in Chicago. Click here to read last week's column.

Last updated: Apr 29, 2005




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