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Published 13 September 2012 05:02, Updated 13 September 2012 09:25
How did you get into angel investment?
As part of Bishop Innovation Management, a joint venture between the Bishop Technology Group, one of Australia’s most successful intellectual property generation houses, and my own company, CK Corporate Consulting, I assisted entrepreneurs with the commercialisation of their IP. Capital raising proved to be by far the hardest part of the entire process. The idea was born to establish Sydney Angels.
What was your best investment?
While Sydney Angels has recently seen its first exit through the acquisition of BuzzNumbers by Sentia Media, I have not yet had the satisfaction of experiencing an exit.
What makes a great pitch?
A clear and concise presentation in simple words delivered with passion from an entrepreneur who knows the market, target customers and competitors, the value proposition, the business model and financials. They also must be likeable and trustworthy.
What are some common mistakes entrepreneurs make when pitching?
Not being able to reduce complexity and articulate what the business is about is one. All too often I wonder what actually is the product or service that was just pitched to me.
What is your attitude to failure in business?
Mistakes or failures, other than fatal ones, are critical and even necessary for any business. They are a rich source of learning and the only trigger of change. A good entrepreneur is someone who makes mistakes, who is capable of identifying the root cause and who takes corrective actions quickly, often by adapting the business model or product.
Why or when shouldn’t a business raise equity capital?
Start-ups should always raise capital. Not only is funding likely to accelerate growth but angel investors (and venture capital funds to a lesser extent) bring in invaluable expertise and experience that most entrepreneurs so desperately need at an early stage of their venture.
What kind of companies or sectors are you keen on?
While my approach to investing is opportunistic and broad, most of my portfolio businesses happen to be in web services. The common denominator is a disruptive business model and the ability to scale.