What matters most (to investors)?

Occasionally, we have guest speakers at Babson College, and sometimes we get a really good guest speaker!  Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Friend from Bain Capital Ventures.  He was extremely sincere and provided very useful feedback about what matters most to investors, and how he evaluates the pitches he receives. 

When evaluating a company to invest in, Scott listed several things that he focuses on:

  1. TEAM
  2. TEAM
  3. TEAM
  4. TEAM (do you get the point?)
  5. Market Dynamics
  6. Differentiation
  7. Defensibility
  8. Rapid Iteration
  9. TEAM
TEAM was the most important thing he focused on.  I think this is true when evaluating performance as well.  Success projects involve great teams, and great teams have great people.  This information was particularly helpful for me because I had been hearing that investors don't invest in your idea, they invest in you - and this proves it.  Next time I pitch, I'll keep that in mind!

Some of the other advice that Scott passed on...
  • Fail fast, and then rebuild
  • Tell a compelling story
  • Focus on how you can get FREE marketing
  • "Whatever it takes"; focus on the customer experience
If you were investing, what would matter most to you?  Would you have to be bought into the idea, or would the person make all the difference?  What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

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