Guest post by Brian Witlin, COO at Yummly. The views expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of Food+Tech Connect.
This is part III of III of of a 3 part series on venture capital fundraising. Click here to view part I and part II.
Don’t stroll into an investor’s office without a monetization strategy. Most likely, you are not Instagram. Some of the largest value appreciation milestones you can plan for include initial substantive revenue, positive unit economics (making more per user than you spend to acquire them), and the holy grail – profitability. Separately, it will be good paint the picture of how big your business can be and where the revenue will come from (your customers). Here are the questions you will be asked:
Funding is one of the last topics discussed in a typical investor meeting. You are almost through. Having a firm grasp on what you want to raise (and how long it lasts), how you plan to use the money, and the key milestones you will achieve are very important. If you have done your homework elsewhere (financial model, hiring plan, company strategy) the numbers here should roll right onto the page. Here are the questions you will get from investors on the topic of funding:
I have seen countless Quora questions asking about what to wear, how to act, and what to do to impress investors. The most important thing you should know is to be comfortable with is yourself. Know your strengths and also acknowledge your weaknesses. Note that nobody can do everything well, and you are most likely already extraordinary. Make sure to convey your infectious enthusiasm and passion. This will matter more than a perfectly polished “presentation.”
I hope this post is helpful. Would love to hear your comments below.
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn on October 3, 2014.
Brian Witlin is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Yummly. Brian is a serial entrepreneur and design leader who has co-founded and led three companies to successful acquisitions.Brian currently heads all mobile and platform expansion initiatives at Yummly, the fastest growing digital foodtech startup where he launched the #1 iOS recipe app and the leading recipe API platform.
Prior to his tenure at Yummly, Brian served as the CEO and Founder of ShopWell, the first truly personalized nutrition resource (acquired by YottaMark).
Brian holds a Lecturer position at Stanford University’s Hasso Platner Institute of Design, serves as a startup mentor at 500 Startups and works with a portfolio of startups and IDEO’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. He has also formerly held EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) positions at IDEO and StartX. He writes on the subject of entrepreneurship and startups on his blog DesignDoing and guest writes on occasion on VentureBeat.
Previously, Brian co-founded Golaces, LLC, a product company (acquired by a publicly traded footwear company) and LeverWorks, a software development consultancy (acquired by LEO Media – now Quasar Strategies).
Brian holds a M.S. in Engineering and Design from Stanford University and a B.S. in Business and Economics from Lehigh University. He is a classically trained artist/draftsman, an aspiring mixed martial artist, and has a love for his hometown Chicago-style hotdogs and deep-dish pizza.