Kentucky Startup Lawyer


Matchmaking for Startups

When it comes to choosing angel investors, it can be tempting to take what
you can get without much hesitation or thought. After all, it's money you
didn't have before, so the decision to accept is a slam dunk, right?

It shouldn't be--and if it is, you may be doing yourself and your startup
a disservice.

Capital is extremely important and can be the determining factor in the
success of your startup, but that doesn't mean you should bow to the
almighty dollar of the early-stage investor--they may have the gold, but
they don't have to make the rules. While it is true that you are, in a
sense, selling angel investors on your company and your vision for it,
that doesn't mean your efforts should be concentrated entirely on
convincing them to open their wallets and then gratefully accepting what
they toss your way. The most successful investor-founder relationships are
based not on sales pitches and pie-in-the-sky promises, but rather on
earnest discussions and the free exchange of ideas, goals, and plans.

Looking beyond the dollars and cents of the deal, it is important to
consider what the potential investor brings to the table and how your
relationship can be a mutually beneficial one. Be on the lookout for
investors who know the market, have valuable connections and realistic
expectations. This isn't just a single transaction, it's the beginning of
a relationship--and an investor who can make the occasional relevant
introduction or provide valuable insight into the market is worth her
weight in gold. At this seed stage, expect investors to take a hands-on
role, and that is all the more reason to ensure that you are making the
right relationships with the people that can help your startup realize its

Of course, that isn't to say that the numbers aren't important or should
take a backseat to other factors. If you raise a lot of money, that's
great--but it can lead to difficulties with investors in the future. It is
important to be aware of the fact that more money comes with greater
expectations and a loftier definition of what "success" for your startup
will look like. It is easy and far too commonplace for founders to
overlook the risk of dilution of shares over time and not pay enough
attention to ownership percentage and valuation. The money from investors
is great once it comes, but it needs to come only after frank discussions
and diligent review of your stake in the startup and its path to success.

As a founder, you need to decide on a model of growth and find investors
with goals and expectations that align with your own. Depending on when
and how quickly you desire to scale, you may end up needing more cash to
support your vision. For most startups, lack of capital can be fatal to
aspirations of manageable growth.

Funding is important, but it doesn't exist in a vacuum and all investor
dollars are not created equal. Entrepreneurs must make informed decisions
on how much funding should be accepted at what time from what investor.
When a young startup is just establishing its own identity, people can be
just as crucial to success as money.


Nathan S. Fort, ESQ
Fort Phelps PLLC
415 E. Market Street, Suite 101
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 509-3678
Fax: (888) 710-0379


Stay In Touch

facebook      twitter      linkedin      googleplus_g_32      rss

Back to top This web site is intended as a service to the clients, friends and visitors of Fort Phelps PLLC for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor should it be construed to provide legal advice; create an attorney-client privilege; or maintain the confidentiality of any communication between Fort Phelps PLLC and anyone using this site.