How To Get An Investor Interested In Your Entrepreneurial Idea

by Matt lim

When it comes to big time investors, Mark Cuban might take the title. Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks, holds a seat on ABC's Shark Tank, owns - or has a stake in - multiple companies and even wrote his own book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business.”

Besides somehow landing a spot on an episode of “Shark Tank”, it might seem impossible to get someone as well-recognized and successful like Mark Cuban to take the time to listen to your latest business idea. However, securing an investment from Mark Cuban might not be as impossible as it seems. In fact, small Canadian start-up Procurify was able to secure an investment from Cuban without even meeting him in person.

Here's how you can get the attention and commitment from investors as well known as Mark Cuban:

Discover your most innovative idea.

Every great startup has roots in an ingenious idea.  It will take extensive brainstorming, but coming up with an idea might actually be the easiest part of starting a business.  If you're stuck thinking of an idea to develop, consider the many areas of our culture and vast world that need improving.  Recall a problem that has personal ties to you, and figure out a way to solve it.  If you're complaining about a major issue, chances are, someone else is too.  Do something about it.

Solve a problem.

If your idea doesn't touch any pain points, chances are, it's not worth anyone's money. Facebook helps people connect, Chipotle feeds the hungry, Angry Birds helps fight off boredom, and Procurify wanted to improve on a glitch in business software. Your idea does not have to be revolutionary; it just has to present a solution. If you can make people understand how your idea might make the world even slightly better, you might be onto something.

Get started!

Everyone around you has an idea that they believe will change the world.  Your ideas are worthless if you never do anything to make them a reality. Procurify started out as a school project long before the founders even contacted Mark Cuban. No one is going to pay attention to your idea until you start revealing it to the right people.  Start developing your idea, showing the true value in your startup, and people might just start paying attention long enough to hear you out.

Bring people together.

Find out what you need to develop your idea and fulfill those needs. You might be a one-man show, but your time is limited, and eventually, you will have to bring people on board to bring your dream to fruition. Investors commit to teams for a reason.

Find a way.

You're going to need help.  Ask for it.  You won't always get what you're asking for, but people are willing to help others if you give them a reason to do so.  Mark Cuban left his email address in his published book, and Procurify decided to send him a pitch email.

He said no.

Don't give up.

Being resourceful is extremely handy when trying to launch a start-up. However, arguably the most important skill to develop is tenacity. Anyone can coast through when things are going smoothly.  But unless you eat salads made of four leaf clovers, you are going to encounter problems. Not everything is going to go your way and learning how to push past the barriers is going to be your biggest feat.

Mark Cuban may have said no, but if at first you don't succeed, try; try again. Procurify followed up, and followed up again, before finally getting through and securing a seed round investment from Cuban.

The road to success for Procurify might seem like somewhat of a Cinderella story, but honestly, the same story has been written over and over throughout history.  Whatever innovative idea you have, accept your fear, embrace the fact you might fail, and go after your dreams.  They can't come true unless you try.

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