Sunday 17 November 2019

What do the venture capitalists think of the local offerings?

Orla Rimmington of Kernel Capital
Orla Rimmington of Kernel Capital
Con Quigley of BDO

Con Quigley

Corporate finance partner at BDO

"There are three things that I look for in a start-up, and I'd be pretty clear on these. The first is that it is always about the market. There is no business without a marketing strategy. When I first meet a start-up or I am assessing whether we are going to get involved with one, I try and ensure that the conversation is around the market and how well it's understood - how well the strategy fits the opportunity.

"The other two legs on the stool for me are to do with the promoter. To start up a business you need to have exceptional leadership qualities of some kind or other. You are always looking to see if there is a real spark of leadership there.

"The third thing is that the ambition has to be big. If the ambition is small or if it is not there, there probably isn't going to be enough momentum to get through. It is a tough thing to succeed as a start-up."

Orla Rimmington

Partner, Kernel Capital

"At Kernel Capital, first and foremost we invest in people, intelligent people. We've had many successes where we have changed the company's idea - in fact we do this quite often.

"However, we do not recommend changing the people. If you need to do that, then it's the fund who made the mistake, not the promoter.

"The key is finding the right teams with the best ideas and ensuring that they are funded from an early stage.

"The most common mistake is the most basic. Entrepreneurs are often so focussed on their pitch that they neglect to research whom they are presenting to. Before approaching an investor, a promoter should research whom he or she is presenting to. Why is their pitch likely to be attractive to this person, do they have suitable skill sets and a track record applicable to the proposed investment?

"It is also really important that a company seeking investment secures the right investor. Investing is not roulette; we invest where we know we can add value."

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