Friday, June 08, 2007

Two days in the Den

If you don't mind one more report from the Dragons' lair, here's a link to my PROFIT column this month on the lessons I derived from two days as a deputy dragon at the DD auditions in April. Title: Two days in the Den.

Here's an excerpt for those too busy to click:

Ever since I began covering entrepreneurship, I have been puzzled by the great venture-capital divide. Entrepreneurs complain they'd have to be Bill-bloody-Gates to raise venture funding, while VCs say they can't find enough ideas worth investing in. It's easy to side with the people who sacrifice everything for their business and still come up short in the eyes of professional investors. But as a deputy Dragon, I soon realized entrepreneurs are responsible for some of this gap.

I talked with people who have worked on their product for decades but have never done any market research. I pleaded with people to tell me what makes their product unique. I called one woman on her claim that Canada has 93 million consumers. And I tried to persuade several entrepreneurs that saying, "If we could get just 2% of this market …" does not constitute an investment-grade marketing plan.

For more, click here.

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