By Evan Carmichael
- The first meeting is primarily a question and answer session to see if you have the right management team in place. However, the venture capitalist can have specific questions for you to test such things as your technology. They may bring in a technology expert to get further clarification on points made in your business plan.
- The venture capitalist can also use this meeting to test you on sensitive areas such as your company valuation and the eventual exit strategy. Investors will not want to go too far down the road with you if you cannot agree to basic terms with them. If you think your company valuation is $100 million and they determine your value to be $20 million, you have a sizable gap that may be too large to close and come to mutually acceptable terms on.
- Another potential problem is that if you are wedded to your company and do not ever want to sell, it decreases the likelihood of an investor exit which lowers your chance of receiving the necessary capital you need to grow.
- One example from Northern Crown Capital’s experience was when they found a perfect venture capital match for their client but the company’s management started disagreeing in front of the venture capitalists during the meeting. The marketing people were arguing with the research people and the venture capitalist needless to say did not invest.