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Beyond technology: investors are interested in financial models and strong teams

Interview with Rhea Hamilton, Managing Director Ventures at OGCI Climate Investments.

Rhea Hamilton explains what startup investors look for in business case presentations.

What do you look for in an interesting business case?

There are 3 main things that I look for:

  1. Is the solution solving a critical problem? There are a lot of great ideas out there, but they’re not realistic or scalable unless they solve a real need in the market.

  2. Has the team really looked into their financial model? Many times, a startup is highly focused on technology and product design - which is important; however, by taking the time to build a financial model, the entrepreneurs also need to consider other factors such as pricing, manufacturing, sourcing, working capital etc. This is key to understanding whether there is a path to viability.

  3. Do they have the right people for the right stage of the startup? Even with the most brilliant idea, best business plan or a lot of funding, a start-up may fail if they do not have a strong team to execute.

What is a question you'd like to answer, but no one asks?

What types of skill sets should I be bringing on board at this point? This question is so important given that the team is critical. Oftentimes a team will hire for a position from a pool of like-minded individuals, but what they may really need is a different skill set with a different point-of-view to give an out-of-the-box perspective all the while keeping the right dynamic within the team.

What do you trust more when investing - Graph or Gut?

It’s a great question! I love numbers and I love looking at numbers to calculate risks. In the end, however, it’s going to have to be the gut, BUT not without some guidance from the graph.


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