Have you ever heard the saying “bet on the jockey, not the horse”? It means savvy investors will invest in an “A” team (the jockey) and a “B” technology (the horse) but not the other way around.
(1) Strong background: When marketing your product in advance of your crowdfunding launch, make sure to highlight the experience and background of your team. If your management team experience is weak, that’s okay if your product background is strong. For instance, if you are inventing a new light bulb and have an electrical engineering background, that’s good. If you are inventing a new light bulb and you are a psychology major, that’s bad.
(2) Strong advisory board: Even with an inexperienced team, smart people surround themselves with people that are smarter than them. You should focus quickly on building an advisory board of people that have “been there and done that”. There are usually lots of them out there and most would like to help. Just remember you will need to compensate their efforts with options.
(3) Be honest: Don’t skirt the issue. In your pitch, if you don’t have the “A” team right now, and you haven’t built a solid advisory board, make that clear. But, make it clear as well that you understand the need to make this a priority. Skirting an issue as important as this will be perceived as hiding something – not what you want to do when you are trying to attract investors.
Don’t get caught up in product perfection, at least not yet. So often I have seen great products fail because the team is poor and as a result, the execution of the plan is horrid. If you are entering a crowded market, like shoes for example, it really does not matter how innovative and new your shoe is. Uncharted waters are hard to navigate with no experience. Build a strong team who understand the rip currents and the tides and you have a fighting chance.
What is your investment strategy? Do you bet on the jockey or the horse?