We pitched one question on Quora.com one day, and didn’t expect too much, but we did invite some professionals and experts who have plenty of experiences.
So ……only a few days pass, some magic things happened! There are actually many kind people answered our questions and gave us some helpful advices.
Here is our question:
What’s your suggestion about graduates’ business plan? How can they attract investors?
Here is some of their answers:
1. First one answered by Qasim Choudhery (Writer, Entrepreneur, Martial Artist, Introspectre)
Getting experience and knowing how businesses work to help in that regard would be a help. Having another person on board to help write it who has the experience will help as well, if going that route instead. To attract investors, they shouldn’t just make their plan attractive; an investor invests in the business itself, which is made up of people as well. They have to believe in that. So showing that one can do that would be critical.
2. Second one answered by Doug Gilligan (A very experienced Hardware Engineer who wants to fix the world. I have a broad range of interests and passions and have studied the world and the way things work, including how people think.)
If you are graduating from a prestigious school (Stanford, MIT) then that will help. If you have personal connections with people that know people who are investors, that will help. If the degree you are graduating with is a PhD, that will help. Otherwise you have more disadvantage than the rest of us, so you are going to have to prove your product (both functionally and with actual profits) before they will notice you, as a rule.
The other method is to self promote. This is harder if you do not know the right people, so your first job is to get to know the right people. They will not trust your business plan. Even if it is a work of art with real world experience behind it and an astute evaluation of the market and its needs, they will not trust it. Investors bet on people and on proven solutions, or a combination of proven people and solutions that have already been shown to be successful, with a new twist of course. They do not trust their own judgement when it comes to evaluating new ideas, so they prefer to see ideas that have already been proven to be successful, then they want to see people they can trust to deliver a new (and hopefully better) twist on that proven idea successfully to market.
In a hot new market (like wearable’s) you may find investors that do not normally invest in the first round, getting excited (when they shouldn’t). If you go with them, it is more likely to be a case of the blind leading the blind. You are a fresh graduate, with no significant real world business experience and they have no real experience in helping people like you start a new business. Often ends badly, but it may be worth the ride.
Best advice, get some experience, or make your business without investors, or find investors through personal connections. If your idea requires a significant team and lots of money to develop, good luck. It may be the best idea in the universe, but not likely to get buy in.
Alternatively you could publish your business plan, and at least then the idea may get acted on, by someone. If you publish it there is the potential to attract investors, partners, or if they take your idea they may bring you in (in a supporting role) to help. At a certain point, keeping your idea secret is no longer important.
Thank you again for all your help, here is our question link: http://www.quora.com/Whats-your-suggestion-about-graduates-business-plan-How-can-they-attract-investors
Please keep following Perfect Pitch.