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Just Before you Approach Investors

It's Monday, the hustle and bustle has commenced in the streets of Lagos, Just stepping outside to get gas at the closest filling station to fuel my generator I got stuck in a 30 mins traffic, various thoughts immediately started swarming through my head; could this be startup founders running around seeking investors? (lol crazy right? I thought so too).  Immediately, I knew what I was going to talk about today.

Just before you approach Investors, chill and take a few steps back
So here's the deal, as startup founders we all have peculiar problems we're very passionate about solving, it often starts with an idea and then a prototype or MVP of some sort, which in turn leads to beta testing (private and/or public) and eventually market roll out. These different phases often require funds especially if you don't have all the necessary skills to achieve this.
In most western parts of the world (after watching silicon valley series of course, lol), Investors often in the likes of angel investors, etc can seed-fund business that are even just at the "IDEA" phase 'cause as Michael Seibel CEO of Ycombinator told me during one of our conversations; in the United States for instance investors are often scared of missing out on investing in the next "Facebooks" and as such will readily pull out funds to invest in what ever idea seems like the "next big thing".

In Nigeria, the tables are turned, and the conditions are different, Investors are scared about investing in wrong businesses that'll swallow up their funds (especially foreign investors) and as a result are usually very skeptical about investing yet alone at just the idea phase, plus recent happenings in the tech industry in Nigeria about companies shutting down / folding up are not helping.

And that's why I'll advice from my personal experiences, just before you approach Investors; do well to scale your business from just an idea to actually having paying customers. Do whatever it takes, bootstrap as much as you can, crowdfund from friends, family members etc, show that your idea is actually something that people want and you're ready to do whatever it takes to make it succeed, and just like I advised in my previous blog post (click here) identify alternative means of generating revenue that's independent of your online customers (at this time).
And then you can approach Investors.

Thank you for taking out time to read today's blog post, I hope it's really helpful, be good and never stop pursuing your dreams, stay consistent and till we meet again I remain Gerald Okonkwo.


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