The CTO’s Role in Securing Funding and Investment
The aim of Third Republic’s CTO Roundtable meetup series is to bring together technology thought leaders to discuss trends in technical leadership, best practices, and movements in the tech market.
For this meetup we were delighted to be joined by Johannes Scharlach, Director of Platform Engineering at Frontier Car Group, who facilitated the discussion around the CTO’s role when it comes to securing funding and maintaining investor relationships.
Investors receive a lot of pitch decks; how to do get them into a face-to-face meeting?
For the first topic of the event, attendees shared their thoughts and advice for getting investors interested in your pitch deck and meeting face-to-face.
It was quickly highlighted that the way to approach this depends on who your investors are. If they are business angels for example – people you have a mutual connection with or have known beforehand – they tend to be much easier to get in touch with. Looking into your network is a great place to start opening doors and seeing who is willing to invest in your business.
For VCs marketing is fundamental. It’s all about having customers and traction to create noise around your business so that they want to get involved. This also enables investors to understand what your vision is, for your venture, prior to meeting. However, the importance of being realistic with regards to venture capitalists was emphasised during the topic; not all VCs will respond to your pitch deck, to reduce the likelihood of this occurring, filter who you send your pitch deck too and only send to people who invest in the topic or industry your business is working in. Being present in the industry is key, aside from sending pitch decks, utilise other forums like meetups and events to get your business noticed by potential investors.
How to deal with investors who don’t care about tech
A few attendees shared their experiences of being overlooked in meetings with investors who don’t prioritise the tech aspect of the business.
Amid discussion it was suggested that maybe this is a blessing in disguise which allows you to ascertain which investors are a good fit for your business. However, this is dependent on whether your product is highly tech focused and what ‘round’ you are at in securing funding.
What’s the right amount of effort to invest in due diligence?
In answer to this question, it was emphasised that being effective for the stage of investment round that you are in and focusing on the life cycle of your start-up, will help to determine the level of effort towards due diligence.
It was also recognised that if you are approaching due diligence from a mindset of fear towards not being ‘good enough’, it is important then to take a step back and reset. It is all about being confident in what you are presenting and if investors have additional questions, they will be sure to ask them. It is also worth considering the strategy of ‘going broad before going deep’ with due diligence questions.
For full insight into all the topics discussed as part of the event, watch the full video linked above!
We’d like to thank Johannes and all the attendees for making the event such a success. We are already in the process of planning the next one!