Archive for March, 2008

Practice makes perfect

The Mentre workshop finished last Monday, with a presentation of investment pitches to the judges on the final day. It felt a litle bit like Australian Idol, except no-one got a touchdown and none of the judges were as annoying as that boxhead Sandilands.

So ultimately, what did I get out of the workshop?

  • A presentation pitch really does improve with practice. While mine improved marginally, watching the degree of improvement in the other workshop participants was often a surprise. Practice really does help hone the pitch.
  • Getting out of the bubble of your own thoughts and receiving real world feedback from knowledgeable people is extremely worthwhile.
  • Not all business ideas are created equal, but people won’t always tell you what they really think. Complete honesty is rare.
  • There are Venture Capitalists in Australia who are really switched on when it comes to the web and technology. Who knew?
  • Raising money is hard

Parts of the workshop experience bordered on “Business planning for beginners”, but ultimately I got out of it exactly what I wanted, which was:

  1. Real world feedback from smart people on our business idea
  2. Access to investors

Overall, it was a well spent $500.

Some feedback on valuation which might be useful for those in Australia looking for funds. Without naming sources, I was told the following by people who should know what they are talking about.

Typical pre-money valuation for a start-up in Australia is between $2 and $4 million.

This doesn’t mean with just an idea you can go out and raise money on a $4 million valuation, but it at least gives you a line in the sand for your planning.

Raising $400,000 as an angel or seed investment, expect to give up around 30% in equity

To me this seems high (and I did argue against it), but then I’m not the one with the money am I.

Food for thought anyway.

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