'Investment Readiness: Preparing for a Successful Funding Journey' was an interactive workshop held for Moreton Bay's entrepreneurs. Crafted by the consultancy Innovation Architects and local early stage VC firm Mandalay Venture Partners, the workshop pooled together a wealth of experience from diverse domains, including startups, corporate innovation, venture capital, accelerator programs, and government.
This page contains some key insights and strategies from this unique event, serving as an informative guide for those navigating the funding and investment landscape. Additionally, you can find some images taken on the day at the bottom of the page.
A significant focus of the workshop was understanding various capital sources. Participants were introduced to a range of funding options, extending beyond traditional venture capital and private equity to include grants, philanthropy, and impact investments.
Indeed, early-stage founders often think of raising capital as a one-dimensional space but in fact it is extremely important to understand the various types of capital and how they might align with your mission and vision, and of course your business model. Other things to consider are the type of company you are and your stage (maturity). The investment process can be a rewarding journey if there is a great match between the founder(s) and investors, a relationship that is more than transactional and a win-win mentality.
This session also helped participants speak a common language with investors, covering commonly used terms such as runway, burn rate, cap tables, due diligence, term sheets, liquidity and exit, dilution and more.
Next, the workshop transitioned to 'Mastering the Art of Capital Raising': a toolkit for successful capital raising, offering insights on creating persuasive pitch decks, identifying potential investors, and establishing a robust data room. Founders were coached on the need to prove their ability and credibility to deliver on their business promises.
It also covered topics such as dilution, how much of your equity you can give away through the process, and control, how does the founder remain in control of their company and incentivised to keep growing.
Lots of real-world examples were shared, helping to illustrate the theory and making it extra practical for those who joined.
Through their stories the voices of “the founder”, “angel investors”, banks and debt financing providers and “venture capitalists” were shared. Ultimately, everyone is looking for success. That is when everyone wins. But there are important differences in how the various financial products work, and how they are brought into the business: ranging from gut feel to advanced credit rating systems, the level of due diligence and hence documentation required, and the expectations of return. Banks are in it for the long haul, think of it as a 100-year relationship, while angels and VCs may want returns after 5-7 years. Founders on the other hand, should be focused on building the best possible business. “Too much focus on an exit might be detrimental to your business”, Ash shared during the session.
Regardless of the mechanics, the entire panel agreed that the human element in all of this remains the most important one. This is about great relationships, and radical transparency between investors and investees. Otherwise, when problems arise, they become very hard to solve because there is no foundation of trust. As such, it is never too early to build relationships with (potential) investors. In fact, being a founder and being an investor is a journey and the more touch points we have along the way the better we can assess great opportunities.
The workshop presented participants with a host of practical resources and tools and left them more prepared and confident for their investment journey. The facilitators, panel, and all others involved were delighted to have contributed to building Moreton Bay’s innovation, startup, and investor ecosystem.
Innovate Moreton Bay is dedicated to connecting individuals and organisations from throughout the Moreton Bay Region with opportunities to advance innovation in our community. We regularly host events and workshops like this, as well as promote events hosted by other organisations that align with our mission. Not only this, but we highlight opportunities for funding, awards & recognition, education, and more that stands to benefit you and the rest of #TeamMoretonBay.
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This workshop was a part of a suite of innovation programs being delivered by Innovate Moreton Bay, as part of the Council’s commitment to the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) which includes the objective of becoming a top 10 regional innovation hub. For more information about Council’s innovation programs see: www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/innovation