Investment expert Alicia Syrett maintains that the average investor says no 98-99% of the time, although this figure fluctuates depending on the type of investor. Angel investors typically invest in one out of every 40 pitches they hear, while with seed firms that number drops to one out of every 400. Knowing this, a rebel entrepreneur understands that if they pitch to an investor without doing any research, they are unlikely to seal the deal.
Another fundamental area of research for the rebel entrepreneur is the investors themselves. Most VCs have an investment philosophy – they may be particularly interested in specific business models or industries. Some may only invest in certain geographic regions, or entrepreneurs at a specific period of business growth. Many VCs operate strategically. Take Apple for instance. Apple only invests in products that can be seamlessly integrated within Apple’s own technology – like Siri. Siri started off as a restaurant reservation app before Apple invested in it and made the voice activation technology a built-in feature of their products. Apple acquires companies that can make their own brand better.
Without proper research, the rebel entrepreneur is at a distinct disadvantage as it will be impossible for them to communicate exactly why that particular investor should be interested. Rebel entrepreneurs emphasise the reciprocal element of the potential relationship. They don’t focus indiscriminately on the investor’s money, but on what the investor can offer in terms of guidance. This is called “smart money”. They tailor their pitches to ensure that they are able to communicate their compatibility.
The truth is investors say no the vast majority of time, so don’t take it personally. But, in carrying out thorough research, rebel entrepreneurs can put their best foot forward and bulletproof their pitches.