Our Venture Team spends a lot of time hand selecting the best companies that apply to SeedInvest to present to our Screening Committee each week. Around 80 companies apply to be on SeedInvest each week and an average of 10 of those are selected to be presented to the Screening Committe. Screening Committee is a crucial step towards becoming accepted onto the SeedInvest platform.
SeedInvest’s Screening Committee includes our entire Investment Team. Each week, we discuss prospective companies one at a time until a decision is ultimately reached. If a company gets the green light at Screening Committee, they are able to move on to the next phase of our process – due diligence. Typically only 2 or 3 companies make it through Screening Committee each week.
Several of the reasons that companies get approved or denied are the same week-to-week. Below are 8 tips to consider when submitting your application on SeedInvest to help improve your chances of successfully getting through the initial screening process:
1. Clearly articulate your value proposition
We need to be able to understand what you do very quickly. If the Screening Committee cannot readily comprehend what your company does and the value that you deliver to your customers, we will assume that our investor base won’t be able to understand you either.
2. Tell us the problem
We want to understand the problem that your company is solving and how big this problem actually is. Without this information, it’s hard to judge your company’s long-term prospects.
3. Show us why your product is superior
In order to succeed, your company must have competitive advantages over existing solutions and some defensibility against new competitors. The Screening Committee will want to know why you are best positioned to solve the problem you are addressing. For example, does your product cost less than existing solutions? Is it easier to use than your competitors’?
4. Introduce us to your team
For many investors, team is the most important factor they consider when evaluating a potential deal. Be sure to answer basic questions, such as: What was your team’s experience before your current company? Were they previously successful? Have you previuosly worked with the other members on your team?
5. Explain the potential
As an entrepreneur in your space, you have the best insight into the future prospects of your market. Be sure to let us know how big your target market is, who you are you targeting, and how you will reach them.
6. Acknowledge your competition
Whether direct or indirect, your company does have competition. If you don’t demonstrate to the Screening Committee that you’ve seriously considered your competition, we will assume that you don’t have a solid grasp on your market.
7. Show us your traction
The easiest way to demonstrate that your business can work is having a track record of success to point to. Be sure to show how many customers you have and explain how your revenue has grown over time.
8. Present the investment opportunity
The final, and key piece, to a successful outcome at Screening Committee is being clear on the investment opportunity. How much are you raising? At what valuation? How much have you raised so far this round? Who invested? What’s your financing history? Without this information, we have no way of knowing whether your deal is a good opportunity for our investor base.
Following these tips isn’t a guarantee of securing a spot on the SeedInvest platform, but it will help your company get past the first line of defense and successfully pass the Screening Committee.
This post was written by James Han on May 20, 2015
Tips to Get Past SeedInvest’s First Layer of Defense: Screening Committee