Get more money by better document filing

One of the secret fundraising weapons in our platform, IncMind, is a structured, shareable document filing system. But Kamal, you say, with Dropbox, Google Drive and countless others, does the world really need another shareable filing system? Yes, it does. The key word is structured. IncMind offers a pre-existing structure, designed for all types of small businesses. And can a document filing system really help you raise or save money? […]

Our brain can hold 3 ideas

We are living in a very interesting time: advances in knowledge about the workings of the human brain are being applied directly and immediately to business. You can join this revolution by learning the basics rules of brain science, or you can try to communicate with (sell to) human beings while ignoring their design rules. The choice is yours. One of these basic rules is that the human brain is […]

‘Only morons’ take debt

I’ve written in the past of the risks of venture debt. I watched a video today by Mark Cuban, who said it clearly: “if you’re starting a business and you take out a loan, you’re a moron.” As he points out, “there are so many uncertainties involved in starting a business”. Your lender doesn’t care: “the one certainty you have is paying back your loan”. Bankers make a lot of money […]

One-pagers: how and why

by Kamal Hassan The second stage in raising funds is the executive summary (here’s a list of all 4 stages). At this point the investor has decided to take about 5 minutes of his or her limited time and attention to decide whether or not to think seriously about you. Something you said in your elevator pitch got them interested, or they were introduced to you by someone they trust. […]

4 simple steps to raise funds

At its core, investing is a trade of information for money. (It took me over a decade, and raising money from over 50 investors, before I understood this.) As an entrepreneur you share information with an investor. If they like the information, they ask for more information. Do well, and they keep going … deeper and deeper each time. At the end, if they like the information they give you […]

The 10 ways businesses fail

I was a trainer, mentor and judge for a (impressive) group of Caribbean entrepreneurs this past weekend, in Jamaica. Rather than asking these entrepreneurs to blindly memorize ‘here’s things investors want to see’, I thought I would explain why investors look for these things. If you’ve invested for any amount of time, you’ve seen (many) businesses fail. And as you invest, you start to see that businesses seem to fail […]

Do you have a $20B market?

Does your business have a $20B market? We don’t really care: so stop trying so hard to prove it to us. I’ve just finished reading a series of business plans, where a number of entrepreneurs went out of their way to try to prove that they were targeting a massively big market. One even had financial projections taking his business through to something like $40B in sales (at a nice […]

How to get pitches rejected

I have recently been reviewing pitches as part of our Ready for Funding competition. And I have been stunned to see one simple error being repeated multiple times, by otherwise smart people who are hoping to raise money. What is this fatal flaw, which is likely to get your pitch rejected immediately? Strange though this may sound, it is spelling.

4 reasons for a business plan

by Kamal Hassan Over the past few years, business plans have become controversial. Some investors fall into the Lean Startup camp and think a business plan is a waste of ink. Other investors will demand a business plan before they will even take a meeting. What is an entrepreneur to do? A lot of confusion comes from the name itself: a business ‘plan’. Entrepreneurs expect the document to be a […]

Do I need a business plan (for Ready for Funding)?

by Kamal Hassan I’ve had a couple more questions from applicants for our Ready for Funding competition (if you’re Canadian and you haven’t applied, you’re missing out on a great opportunity – Oct 31st deadline). The answers to these questions have general applicability to anyone raising funds, whether in this competition or through your own efforts: