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Start-ups: Two things to remember before approaching potential investors

05 July 2018 by National Bank
potential investors

To improve your chances of getting financing, it’s important to take certain steps before organizing your first pitch meeting.

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When Mathieu Lachaîne started at Ubios, a young company specializing in residential technology, it was his sixth start-up. A true serial entrepreneur, he believes the first step for any start-up business project involves attracting customers, even before looking for investors. “If a product is clear and interesting enough that customers are ready to commit to it before it’s fully developed, then the company has managed to clarify its place in the market. That’s the moment investors become interested.”

Since investors are in very high demand, Mathieu Lachaîne also recommends that the first investments in your start-up are your own. “By being the first to invest both your time and money in your start-up, you will be included in every stage of the development process. This allows you to understand the value of what you’re creating in the long term, and to be aware of your place in the market, and will make the steps that follow much easier.”

How can you reduce financial risks?

“When we say start-up, we’re also taking about a new market, and this implies taking risks,” says Mathieu Lachaîne. According to him, the ideal approach is to gradually invest in your new business and perform tests. You should gradually inject capital so that you get conclusive results, so you’re aiming for a growth curve in the shape of a hockey stick.”

Establishing a customer base as early as possible and investing in your own project allows you to reduce risk taking. That way, it’s easier to move on to the next project if this one doesn’t work. Mathieu Lachaîne recalls that, on average, only one out of ten start-ups manage to survive, so don’t be afraid to experiment while staying aware of risks.

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