Differentiate!

Remember your executive summary and/or elevator pitch and/or slide deck is one of dozens or hundreds a potential funder will look at. EVERYTHING you write/say needs to help differentiate you from the other exec sums being looked at. When seeking funding your competitors are not the other companies selling stuff like you – they are everyone else trying to get money from your funding source!

Undifferentiated (BAD):  “Our team is passionate and knowledgeable.” – Who wouldn’t claim the same thing?

Differentiated (GOOD): “Our CEO founded and exited a venture in the same space last year.” – Shows the team has an accomplishment!

Undifferentiated (BAD): “We represent an amazing opportunity!” – And everyone else asking us for $$ thinks their idea will loose money? Oh. :)

Differentiated (GOOD): “The company launched its first product 18 months ago, attained positive cashflow six months ago, and secured a strategic partnership with a major player in the target market.” – A list of results that offer credibility & validation.

Undifferentiated (BAD): “Exit will be via acquisition to any of the large players in the industry such as [X], [Y], or [Z].”

Differentiated (GOOD): “Six niche [industry] companies have been acquired over the past 18 months.  Acquirers have shown interest once the startups attained $400-800 thousand in monthly revenue.  Acquisition prices have ranged between $15 and $40 million.  Investors in these companies have earned roughly 10x within 3-5 years.”

-Paul

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