Renewal Funds is a mission venture capital firm based in Vancouver, Canada. We’re rooted in social and environmental impact—investing in organic food and green technology.
Having the astuteness to create powerful teams is essential Tweet This Quote
After 21 years of successfully investing in entrepreneurs and management teams, we’ve been able to distill the characteristics we look for in startups. But it’s also essential for entrepreneurs to define what they need from investors and partners—how to go about accessing capital.
What Renewal Funds looks for in entrepreneurs and startups
Entrepreneurs with an authentic mission and purpose are the first essential. Of course the product must make a meaningful difference in the marketplace, and the business potential must be strong. But a people focus is the starting place for us: personal skills, emotional maturity, wise relations, conflict resolution, personal practice lifelong learning, diversity affinity, and integrity. For example, how will this person (and team) handle difficult times?
Who ever said everyone could be a successful entrepreneur? Tweet This Quote
Effectiveness as a human being must accompany financial acumen, recruitment and management, working with a board and investors, ability to raise funds, build and execute strategy, adaptability and change management, communications, sales, operations, and all the rest.
An impossible list? The solution is a great team. Having the astuteness to create powerful teams is essential. Who ever said everyone could be a successful entrepreneur?
How entrepreneurs should go about accessing capital
Honest assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses means building a continual list. The list is everyone you know who may have investable money or connections to it. Cultivation of that list is ongoing and rarely ends. Learning how to ask often begins with asking advice. That puts people on the same side of the table looking at the challenge together. Reliability, honesty, follow through, empathy, ability to listen, homework on the prospective funder, practice, refinement, aiming for a yes to something—even if it’s, “Can I send you my material to look over?” Then, “Can I get 15 minutes to hear your feedback?”
Learning how to ask often begins with asking advice. Tweet This Quote
Don’t worry if one’s list is too short. There are now continually expanding angel groups, online forums, support infrastructures, government funders, lenders of different types, money being made every day.
Hard work, an honest story, track record, team, board, advisors, professional services, references, research, and well-thought-through, plausible strategies that demonstrate realistic success potential, logic, marketplace comps, proof of concept, existing sales, and other backers all contribute to a more successful investment potential.
Accessing capital is one of the mysterious arts, but it’s also a learnable science. Tweet This Quote
Another impossible list? Some people simply have the knack for sales and closing, but they may have no real substance. Others are solid as the earth, but they may be clumsy at raising money. You want the balance, whether as an individual, or as a team.
Use these checklists to create an investible team then access needed capital and the relationships necessary to foster growth. Accessing capital is one of the mysterious arts, but it’s also a learnable science. Who said we have a birth right to have people write us cheques?