Getting to the Top Isn’t As Hard As It Looks for Tech Entrepreneurs

The New Ventures BC seminars continue this week with a focus on Corporate Structure, following on the heels of last week’s excellent presentation on the Business Case by Mike Volker, Angel Investor.

Looking back on last week’s seminar, there was a great section noting the bright prospects for tech entrepreneurs developing their startups into successful enterprises. Volker compared an entrepreneur’s challenge to that of an athlete:

I was at the Olympics. One of the things I learned from being involved with the Olympics and looking at the athletes, and seeing some of them fail by a fraction of a second, I got thinking about it… to be successful and recognized in something so competitive is so hard to do.But you can win gold in your business. In the Olympics, you have to play by very firm rules. But in your business, you define the game you’re playing in. You set the standards.This is how being an entrepreneur is different from being an athlete or actor or performer… it’s much easier to get to the top.

The main thrust of the presentation covered the essentials of developing a business case that will provide a fair chance of success. His section on what angel investors are looking for in a business plan in terms of a return on investment was particularly instructive for business hopefuls.

“An attractive return is 10 times to 100 times the original investment. To get a 20 per cent return on a basket of investments, you need at least one or two home runs,” Volker says.

“When you’re investing, you’re not going in to get a marginal return. If an investor comes in with $2 million, they’ll want to see an exit strategy of no less than $20 million.”