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Should you be on my team?

You know that Investors, Business Angels and Venture Capitalists are looking for a team that can execute the plan you are presenting. They are looking for a team that is agile enough and strong enough to work though the ups and downs of creating a strong, vibrant and ultimately profitable company. It is the second hire that demonstrates what the culture of the company will be going forward so how do you present this all on one slide?

Broadly there are two areas your single slide of your investment deck has to demonstrate – the experience and knowledge/capabilities of your team.

Experience

Experience can be demonstrated by a list of all the applicable positions that executives have held in the past. The key word here is: applicable. For example, if you are an AgTech company and you state that the CEO’s experience is a banker, this is unlikely to encourage people to invest. However if they had experience running their own farm with 100 cattle, then this is relevant experience and should be included.

Knowledge & Capability

Let’s consider what the full range of knowledge and capabilities that an ideal team would have:

  • Every team needs a leader who can motivate and lead the team through the rough times. The leader will have high empathy and Emotional Intelligence so that they can identify how the team is working together.
  • This role is all about making things work – for example, insurance is paid, contracts are held securely, regulations are complied with as well as the basics of making sure product is delivered to customers when they pay.
  • A person who has a good understanding of how businesses work, business models and variations will provide the ability for the team to flex their approach to market as they learn more about their customers.
  • This role is all about identifying the right sort of people to be working in a company. They will have deep knowledge of many tools that can be used to identify and select new team members as well as ensuring the correctly skilled people are available when the company needs them.
  • The person (or people) filling this role know all about the technology required to convert the company’s inputs into outputs. They will also be aware of process improvements and what can be done to update and change the product to make it more beneficial to customers for the minimum cost.
  • Domain experience. This role is for someone who has great connections within the vertical industry sector and may well have worked in similar businesses which have the problem the company is solving.

It is possible that all these traits can be found in one person – but it is rare. Usually a team will share responsibilities for these functions between them. For example, the Leader may also be in charge of Personal and have Domain Experience when the company is just forming.

If your team can not cover all the above areas, then you certainly have a gap which may impact your ability to deliver the product or service to customers. This is what the investors are looking for – where is the gap? And how can it be filled?

There are two last points that it is worth getting across if you can: how coachable is the team; and is everyone working full time. If the Leader is currently only part time, there should be a good reason for it. If he is going to remain part time after investment, I would struggle to think what that reason might be!

That’s all for the second most important slide – next we will look at the Business Model.

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