Our Strong teams focus on guiding entrepreneurs with proven products through the fundraising process. Often the focus is on securing money, and not on understanding the principles of receiving capital.
These principals require a well-thought out capitalisation plan which is often eschewed by entrepreneurs in the early stages, and can usually leave one investor owning a majority of a company, however with little investment. There is an important strategy to executing a proper anti-dilution mechanism for founders. My focus is on enabling the secured capital to fuel growth and expansion toward this growth, not for it to ‘buy’ ownership of a company.
My network is extensive and includes many business people who have founded, built and scaled billion-dollar companies. I pride myself on presenting investable companies and their entrepreneurs to these networks after applying our strategies.
9 times in 10 the entrepreneur is not truly investor ready and has cobbled together a pitch, and perhaps a financial forecast. However, often the entrepreneur has not had the skills in order to develop a capitalisation strategy that has been adequately thought through which would successfully take the project from concept to commercial viability.
More often than not, start-ups are not governed in a way that optimises performance and decision making. Despite the best intentions and great experience, the reality is that time and energy is repeatedly wasted by startup CEOs and their directors.
My experience on the board of publicly listed companies and in fundraising has taught me that focus is key. The board should serve to help with the strategy and leadership of the company. This requires a balance of reporting and not getting ‘bogged’ down on the minor points. I help guide the board and founders toward shared vision and to align in high-stress ‘bet the company’ situations.
It needs to be emphasised that smart money, primarily invests in people but it also means that smart money follows management/governance and for that reason it is critical for the entrepreneur to surround himself with those who have significantly more experience. In short, a team is a critical component of a successful formula.
Every founder requires the support and backing to take their raw talent and turn themselves into a highly skilled and capable strategist. Seeing through the fog allows founders to execute their plan. I will advise you on what matters and what doesn’t. At the end of the day, keeping a focus on the now, and removing all distractions and staying objective can be a powerful ally in navigating the torrent of requirements that startups can create.
With our guidance, smart entrepreneurs can become savvy business people ready to scale multi-million to billion dollar businesses. The road is bumpy and long. It predominantly starts out with not enough money and fundamental uncertainty. However, if the product is well researched and actually wanted, it can be monetised and a distribution strategy can be executed, then the outcomes can be prosperous.
As many of the technology projects that are brought to me are either software as a service offerings (SAAS) or dynamic B2B or P2P market places I have industry experts who work with me in dissecting and breaking down these in order to provide the best advice possible. My associate Lewis Gyson works in the SAAS space full time and is involved in capital raising, scaling and operations.
I’m particularly interested in the strategy and preparation of core material that can take a tech project to sophisticated investors in the US either as private investors or sophisticated syndicates.
Typically my role is two-fold:
Getting the Investor and Client Company ready, in essence, Investor Ready; and
Assisting on the journey, more from a governance perspective, whilst endeavouring to assist the entrepreneur in avoiding one of many major pitfalls.
I’m keen to discuss projects with passionate entrepreneurs who want to take their project to the international market and secure capital from sophisticated investors both in the US and in the UK.