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When evaluating a new business opportunity, what are your "rules of thumb"?

I guess this will be more of a question for early stage investors. However, we all evaluate business opportunities on a daily basis. What are your rules of thumb?


4 Replies

Martin Omansky
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Our group looks for strong intellectual property positions, large markets, cash investments by principals, sophisticated or at least competent management, financial chops, independent third-party endorsements. And although not governing, selection of good lawyers and other professional advisors. Brand-name partners, distributors, and/or customers also a plus. Sent from my iPhone
Robert Warren
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Robert Warren Entrepreneur
Founder and Managing Director, Mean Eyed Cat Venture Labs
Management and market are the two things I consider. Management includes both the core team, and it must be a team not a single entrepreneur, and the advisors. In the team, I'm looking for domain knowledge, startup experience and balance between the technical and business functions. The advisors must be experienced in the space and have a focus on the business side. the more experience they have the better. I'll also look at the lawyers and accountants selected to ensure they have the skills and experience to help the venture grow. In terms of the market, I like to see they ave validated it and can provide quotes/anecdotes to support the value proposition. The more customers they have spoken with the better.
Arthur Lipper
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Arthur Lipper Entrepreneur
Chairman of British Far East Holdings Ltd.
Scope and achievability.
Alistair Fox
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Alistair Fox Advisor
Sales and Marketing Director – Business Development, Sales Enablement, Propositions and Partnerships
Three questions:
1 Does it address a real need
2 Is it realisable i.e. can a soluton be developed/approved
3 Is it scaleable - can a sales machine be built

And if it's a business to invest in:
4 Does the founder/team know the solution AND the target market (or can they get people on-board that do).
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