Getting investor-ready and bridging the Valley of Death? Jan Geert van Hall answers
Getting investment as a startup is such a challenge that there are specific hurdles, one of which is the Valley of Death. YES!Funded team from YES!Delft aims to demystify this challenge during the Rotterdam Capital Days with a dedicated event. During September 18th – 22nd, the three-day event aims to demystify the world of capital, boosting access to funding for startups and scaleups. Ultimately, with the goal of connecting entrepreneurs and investors. Anyone with an interest in how to attract and raise capital in the area of Rotterdam is invited. Mainly, there will be investors – angels, corporate venture, venture capital, impact, public, and more. YES!Delft service YES!Funded will host an event about the so-called Valley of Death in funding.
What is the Valley of Death?
Jan Geert van Hall, the investment director at YES!Delft describes the Valley of Death as a European problem – the funding gap startups almost inevitably run into. This funding gap usually comes about around the time they have a well-working prototype and some paying pilot customers but need a financial boost to start production and activate sales. At this point, the startups are too advanced for government subsidies, and at the same time too early stage for VC’s. At least in Europe. During the YES!Delft dedicated event at Rotterdam Capital Days, Jan Geert and guests will share the experiences of YES!Funded about the Valley of Death and explore possible solutions to this problem.
Through the YES!Delft service YES!Funded startups can get help with financial lifecycle planning and securing the right funds. The initiative is lead by YES!Delft investment director Jan Geert van Hall, who employs his decades of experience in tech and finance to help tomorrow’s leading firms. Is your startup is looking for its first investment or your startup is further down the road? Here Jan Geert shares his top five tips that are essential to make and keep your startup investor-ready. Join YES!Funded at the Rotterdam Capital Days, and learn about bridging the Valley of Death.
1. Financial forecasting
“The ability to look ahead and anticipate for the future is a basic entrepreneurial financial skill. The lack of such a vision within a company is a definite red flag as it shows a lack of financial discipline.”
2. Top team
“This is a big one. First off, the chances of receiving investment are very low if you are a single founder. Ideally, you have a team of people with different disciplines. Secondly, there is a shared long term vision in the company. Especially the founders should be on the same page and have the same ultimate goals, whether that is an acquisition or scaling up.”
3. Intellectual property
“IP is another facet investors will look at, and for several reasons. First, to make sure you will be able to defend your product from infringement. But parallel to that, they want to understand what it is your product is capable of and the problems it claims to solve. Why is your product unique, and why hasn’t it been invented before?”
4. Checking important milestones
“Having a roadmap with milestones and a clear vision is essential. It shows your estimated worth at each milestone but also the amount of money you need to get there is invaluable when presenting yourself to investors. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it demonstrates you understand your product, your market and you have thought about de-risking your proposition.”
5. Quantify the risks
In conclusion, everything comes down to this. When you look from the perspective of the investor, you want to be able to assess the risk of your investment. Sure, you can never completely eliminate risk, but startups who can at least show an understanding or can quantify the risks and milestones, have a stronger case for investors.”
Make sure not to miss the event Bridging the Valley of Death during the Rotterdam Capital Days!