A Story of Funding
Entrepreneurs often approach us to help prepare them for a funding event. Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, we’re surrounded by brilliant technologists, engineers, and scientists. When finance is outside of their comfort zone, it’s understandable that they might seek assistance in readying the appropriate materials for prospective investors.
A recent example had a pair of founders from a technology startup turn to us to educate them in the process and help assemble credible documentation for them to do the “Sand Hill Shuffle” (an affectionate reference to pitching their business plan to various venture capital firms prominently located on a stretch of Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California.) The business model was sound and their expertise in the industry was outstanding. The only question they had was, “What do investors want to see from us from a financial perspective?”
How did we help?
- Since continuity between the written plan and the financial projections is crucial to the credibility of the overall plan, we began with a comprehensive read-through of their full plan. As their vision was presented, we extracted key elements, knowing they would play a part in the financial model. These included revenue sources, method of delivering their services, location and staffing of the organization, plant and equipment required, how they would attract and retain customers, and key drivers of growth. This exercise got them to think about just how much was going to be involved in building a company.
- From the answers found in the exercise above, we built a financial model to represent their business, being careful to formulate as many aspects as we could into ‘variables’ which could be modified later when more accurate data was available. The financial results were projected by month for a period of 3-4 years, to the point when the new company would be both profitable and cash flow positive.
- Armed with the fully developed financial model, we read through the plan again with an eye toward those areas that would be enhanced with the inclusion of summary data or graphs. Select outcomes of the financial plan were sprinkled throughout the written document as well as summary financial statement pages attached as addendums.
- A single page of “Assumptions” was extracted for use in the funding presentation to demonstrate to the investor audience the level of detail that was driving the projections. The full detail of the model was kept in reserve with the intention of only using it if investors took discussions to the next level.
For more than fifteen years, our team members have worked with startups and emerging companies. If you’re looking for investors, we can make you “funding-ready.”