Worauf schauen Investoren?


What do investors focus on?

To market a new idea and to start with it the own company sounds great. That’s what inventors all over are aiming for. Investors who will be approached in this context to fund the enterprise however are examining  the risk of their investment in the first place. Here are three of the major points they consider.

Source: InventorSCOUT - F. Krick - Factors to the uncertainty of innovations

Source: InventorSCOUT – F. Krick – Factors to the uncertainty of innovations

The Team, the Team and again the Team

The composition of the team is by far the most looked at by investors. The team is the driving force in any enterprise. The team is responsible for decisions that make or break the invention and the positioning in the market.

The foundation for a successful team is openness and mutual trust. To foster an open feedback culture right from the beginning and to acknowledge criticism as a personal enrichment pave the way to solve future conflicts in a constructive way. Ideally, each member of the team should have a solid network and the single team members should occupy the positions where they have their best competence. The better the single characters complement each other the smaller the remaining element of uncertainty will be for an investor. It may be helpful to find a senior partner (i.e. an angel investor) especially for a young team that is not able to demonstrate a long track record.

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The Complexity

This second ingredient can also create a huge uncertainty factor. The higher the complexity – the higher the risk. Just to illustrate this fact with the example of airplanes: Both Boeing’s Dreamliner and Airbus A380 were encountering difficulties during tests thus delaying the roll-out and raising costs significantly which in the case of a start-up will undoubtedly have lead to failure. Management and development teams can easily reach their personal and intellectual limits. Thus keeping a project or product as simple as possible will reduce costs and lead to clearer structures. This in the end will enable the company to focus on relevant questions regarding customer needs.

The Degree of Novelty

This feature describes to what degree an idea is new or disruptive. An idea can be new to the inventor or the company, thus creating new knowledge inside the development team. However it doesn’t necessarily imply that others haven’t worked on the same or very similar idea. Ideally an innovation is new for the market creating a disruptive potential.

Investors are checking the novelty of innovations to asses possible risks.

Investors are checking the novelty of innovations to assess possible risks.

Source: F. Krick, interpreted  Strebel, H. 2007 p.33 – Classification of innovations following their degree of novelty

On the first view it looks like one needs to have ‘just’ a new idea that is unknown to the market. However everything new carries automatically many unknown variables which describe the relevant factor of uncertainty. Each uncertainty alters the level of risk for an investor.

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