People generally like success. But it would be fair to say there are a lot of time-wasters out there who like to ride it on the back of someone else. I am pretty sure that on your journey to building a successful startup, you have encountered a few of these hot air blowers with no real fire. Let me show you a few scenarios in how to suss out these ‘baddies’ and how to spot them from a mile away.
They PRETEND to be an Investor.
These ‘wannabe dragons’ are often failures in denial. They approach you at a networking event with an ambiguous business card, claiming to be an investor. When you ask for funding their answer is ‘you are not investment ready and could do with their help’. They kindly offer to help in return for regular payments. But they turn out to have no money and fail to make a successful introduction. They lose you time, money and help you gain nothing other than one BIG disappointment.
They don’t have RELEVANT experience.
They ran a cardboard box business about 20 years ago. They maybe even worked for the Government as a Business Link advisor. Do not fall for this. You need a TECH STARTUP FOUNDER who has been there and done it before. Even a failed tech founder is of more help than a successful business man from a non-related sector.
They won’t share the RISK with you.
Getting paid is their priority over your business moving forward. They want you to pay them £1000 per month whether they deliver what they promised or not. A good mentor will have confidence and determination that they will help you to succeed. They should be prepared to help you in return for a stake in your success. This can take the form of a % of funding or even a small equity stake in your business.
They are OUT of touch.
They are not on Facebook or Twitter. They don’t use any apps. They stare at you blankly as if you are talking in another language. You need people who understand technology and the market, not dreamers full of smoke.
So keep your wits about you, plug in your AAA (Alert Awareness Antennas) and listen to your gut with good advice in your pockets. A bad mentor is worse than having none at all because they steer you in the wrong direction and even cost you money.
LEARN the skill of spotting such characters and KNOW how to stay clear from them. This will protect your business and lead you to a proper investor who is serious about your startup. Then you can start sharing your success with someone worthy who actually drives you forward!
Dreamstake provides end-to-end support for entrepreneurs wishing to get a startup funded in the shortest possible time. The startup rating system allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor progress. Dreamstake Academy provides guidance on how to create a successful startup. Dreamstake will link startups with suitable mentors and professional advisors.
Startups that have successfully achieved an acceptable rating will be given the opportunity to feature at monthly demo days and investor pitching events.