Questions Prospective Investors Will Likely Ask Startups…

Michael D. Moberly, Principal, Founder kpstrat and ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog – Business Intangible set Strategies and Risk Mitigator

The following series of questions ‘prospective investors are likely to ask startups’, are experientially derived. I have observed these and their ‘investor specific’ variants posed repeatedly over many years.

These questions are universally relevant as business development economics and operational realities in which every startup which I am familiar is, irrespective of sector, maturity, size, scale, location, sponsor, or mission…intangible asset intensive, dependent, and reliant.

Unabashedly, the questions – discussions presented here are respectfully intended to draw attention to the various and ‘mission essential’ roles, contributions, and advantages played by intangible asset underliers. I urge startup founders and management teams to always recognize, distinguish, consider, and factor same, particularly when they are competing for private (venture capital) investment and/or engaged in any transaction.

Prospective Investor Questions Every Startup Should Prepare Responses…

  1. describe how – whythis startup differentiates – prioritizes particular ‘performance indicators and metrics.’
  2. describe how, why, waysthis startups’ defines – manages internal – external collaborations, especially those which are interconnectedly reliant – dependent on various forms, contexts, and applications of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital and how each converges in current + future operating culture.
  3. describe the startups’ unique capability – preparedness to recognize + execute ‘mission essential’ priorities (near term + strategic) and how same are to be effectively – sustainably led – managed – safeguarded.
  4. describe why this startup should appear on prospective investors’ radar.
  5. describe particular-legal, regulatory, technological and/or liability hurdles and/or risks, etc., related to innovations, R&D, and proposed products – services, etc., which, should either become prematurely public and otherwise materialize could stifle startup momentum and undermine its operating culture.
  6. describe how-why this startups’ business model complies with applicable laws, including expanding privacy protections?
  7. describe specifics for which – how – why – when – where this startups’ anticipated innovations, R&D, products, services, and brand, etc., will be lucratively, competitively, sustainably differentiated in projected market spaces.
  8. describe the proprietary + sustainability status of particular-innovations, contents, ingredients, processes, procedures, etc., associated with any-all projected products or services, i.e., their origins, development, ownership, management-oversight, assurance, supply – distribution chain, manufacture, and application, etc.
  9. describe how-why-ways each-of-the above is projected to be uniquely – proprietarily – competitively introduced and applied.
  10.  describe why will-do users – consumers care about – want the product – service this startup proposes.
  11.  describe major milestones – stages for this startup to realize – monetize – bring-to-market its innovation, product, and/or service.
  12.  describe the various, relevant, and marketable differentiators to this startups’ innovation, R&D, product, and/or service.
  13.  describe particular ‘lessons learned’ which this startup has experienced to date, e.g., testing, producing, introducing, applying early versions – prototypes and describe any – all (additional, new) features, ingredients, and/or enhancements projected.
  14.  describe when-where-how and for what the sought-after investment capital will be applied and how it will contribute and why same is essential.

The ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ is experientially-researched, written, and produced by Michael D. Moberly, to provide perspectives, insights, and additional and sometimes alternative perspectives to readers, ala business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors, etc., to aid in identifying, distinguishing, assessing, valuing, safeguarding, and lucratively – competitively utilizing -applying their ‘mission essential’ intangible assets. 

Readers are-encouraged to review and comment on this, and other posts wherein arrays of issues related to business things intangible are authentically and practically conveyed.

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