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Finding a good investor is crucial for a startup, since they can bring more than just resources. However, it can be difficult to quickly figure out if an investor would be a good fit for your company. The founder of Amsterdam Capital Week, Anouk Bikkel, was named one of the 50 Future-makers in the Netherlands in 2018. With years of experience in the investors’ landscape and being an expert in investor-entrepreneur collaborations, she is one of the best people we could ask to shed some light on the subject.
Question #1: “What is the investment philosophy of the investor?”
As mentioned earlier, an investor can bring in more than just resources. According to Bikkel, “one needs to ask the investor if they are looking for long-term value creation or short-term profit maximisation. This question is also linked to finding the investment philosophy of the investor. One should aspire to find an investor who they would want to work with and who is offering a diversified portfolio of investments with a successful history.” “Did they just start investing? Make sure you take a look at the background of the partners,” Bikkel advises.
Question #2: “Human capital is the long-term differentiator”
“There are times when investors could join your ranks and work with you and your team. This means that the human capital that investors bring to the table can also be the long-term differentiator. Choosing a partner over money in such cases can be beneficial and to do that, one needs to understand how the investors are structured, will you and your team be spending a significant amount of time with the investor or their teams? Then, one needs to figure out whether their team will slow you down or help you find success.”
Question #3: Diversity is what you say, inclusion is what you do!
Bikkel opines, “With diverse teams and team members, the chances of success go up since there are different kinds of people with varying points of view, while solving a problem.” “FundRight was announced and VC’s are taking responsibility to invest more in women-led companies (and diversity is not about women only, it’s about inclusion). But is the investor doing it themselves as well? Diversity is what you say, inclusion is what you do!,” says Bikkel.
While people might say that they are diverse and have diverse members, their actions would let you know whether it is the truth. In addition, there could be some unconscious bias, which is okay, but only if the investors are open to discuss about it and work towards finding a solution.
Amsterdam Capital House
These pieces of advice by Anouk Bikkel could really help one find a good investor. However, if you are interested in sponging off more in-depth knowledge like this, attending the Amsterdam Capital House is a no-brainer. Amsterdam Capital House is one of the biggest growth and networking events. It will take place between September 23 to September 25 in Capital C, Amsterdam. The event welcomes all entrepreneurs that are looking for inspiration, co-creation, and networking possibilities. You can apply for an entry ticket here.
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