How to screw a funding deal up

The Canadian Broadcaster CBC is running its own version of "Dragons
Den", which I've previously written about in relation to the BBC version
running in the UK.

The clip above is the coverage of the firstmeeting following one venture having been awarded funding on the show.Unfortunately, during the meeting a huge conflict arises between the investors & an adviser to the young entrepreneurs. Aside fromcheap insults about the VCs, the adviser outlines a completely different vision of the company to that which was originally pitched and won the funding. This vision appears to be supported by the management team. What a surprise therefore that the Dragons withdraw their offer as it a) wasn't the vision they bought into b) createsenormous concern about the management team that they are so hugelyinfluenced by an outside party, sufficient that their vision can so quickly change.

Now its certainly the case that the prelude to deals is usually more than an hour - even if you love the concept, buying into an existing legal entity exposes one to legacy risks/baggage, so you do need to do some investigation. Some pushy advisers will play the silly card of "its such a good deal, why do you need more time" - if it's that good, why isn't the adviser all over it. An investment begins a marriage and some potential partnerships just don't have the right chemistry.

Most fundamental thing in funding meetings - be yourself and say what you passionately believe, not what you think you should say. There's just no point being false because that will come back and bite you when you actually revert to whoever you really are. Moreover, if you don't know something you may as well confess, since the other person may already know they answer and will conclude you are either stupid or misguided - instead, just add that this is how you will go about finding out. If the chemistry isn't good between entrepreneur & investor it much better to find out beforehand because it sure is messy after consumation!

Likewise, it can be important to jointly demonstrate your abilities in these forums. More companies are testing candidates out on their skills/experience against real life challenges. I always use the "job interview of the juggler" story to illustrate this, which I had a long time back. Essentially the juggler is asked questions about whether they can perform various named tricks (2 balls, 3 balls, from behind the back, on one leg, blindfold, 4 balls) and answers yes, so is given the job. At the end of the interview, the juggler says "Would you like to see me actually juggle?"

I was reminded of this on Billions with zero knowledge blog post on aceing a job interview.

posted by John Wilson @ 12:59 AM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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