Starting a business has dramatically changed. A year ago, many people would never have downloaded Zoom to hear a friend’s business pitch. A decade ago, I remember friends going on “road shows” to a group of people and putting funds into an escrow account until the round was fully subscribed.
Today, founders are able to do a single pitch and Q&A session to a group, deliver paperwork and put a 30-day timeline on the fund. You’re in or you’re not, and we’re forging ahead either way.
Yesterday, a friend hosted a Zoom session about his new business idea. He has a positive track record, a wide network, and good taste.
There were quite a few people on the Zoom call, and during the Q&A section, everyone got to listen in on the question and the answers from the Founder. None of this was rehearsed, and there is no room to skirt around an answer.
This gave everyone on the call great insight into the founder and how he’ll behave as the leader of this organization. I got to learn how other investors think based on their questioning. I learned from the founder’s answers, but also what the other prospective investor’s fears, and/or concerns are and where their excitement lies.
I took all this into consideration when making my decision. I talked with others I knew on the call and got their take.
He could easily have gone to a bank and leverage himself to fund a his new idea, but he didn’t. Instead, he gathered friends who place value and trust in him and are willing to take a bet.
Another advantage over a bank for founders, you write the terms and operating agreement. As an investor, you have to trust the board and founder with your money.