So you’ve created the next hot product or service that everyone will love but you have no money to take it to market. How do you find the right venture capitalist (VC) to help build a leadership team, hire staff, develop the vision and keep the lights on? The latest episode of SAP Radio dives deep into this sweet and sour topic by gleaning insight from VC veterans.
“Go west,” suggests Chris O’Connor, co-founder and CEO at Taptera. “The Valley's VC climate is still the best in the U.S. and the world.” When it comes to new IT products, Chris said it’s imperative to have a pretty face (User Experience) to get attention. “The old desktop solution isn't very sexy with VCs", he said.
Chris brings up a good point. In this age of innovation, competition is fierce and full of “me too” products. So how do you differentiate?
While it’s no doubt important to have sexy user experience be it cloud, mobile, virtualization or gamification, the market rewards qualities that are scarce, said Gaurav Tewari, Executive Director at SAP Ventures. “As an investor, I am looking for game-changing, disruptive businesses with management teams who possess the knowledge, imagination and conviction to successfully execute upon a bold vision.”
Leadership’s ability to build and maintain relationships with investors is critical. “When you're raising money it’s important to remember that you're recruiting a team member,” said Sanjay Parthasarathy an investor and CEO and Founder of Indix, “If you wouldn't hire them into your company, why would you want them as an angel or a VC? When the VC’s ego is valued higher than the funding, it’s better to look elsewhere.”
MR Rangaswami of SandHill.com took a business view on the goals and longevity of a start-up. “In these frothy financial times, how many entrepreneurs want to use the strategy of a company that is ‘Built to Last’ versus ‘Built to Flip’?”
Flip your dial over to SAPRadio here to hear producer/host Bonnie D. Graham speak with these experts. Feel free to Tweet your comments using #SAPRadio or comment below.