Seeking Venture Funding? Have a Clear Understanding of your Financials

Recently, I've discovered the blog of Robert Ochtel. He's an author and a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years experience. He's also raised over $50 million for his businesses, and started VentureBlue, a national Angel network. And, he's just up the road in Carlsbad, CA.

Robert wrote a post explaining why entrepreneurs should be comforatble and intimately involved in the company financials. Most VC's hail from business schools and if they have not ran a company themselves, they do know how to analyze financial statements. So it becomes paramout that the entrepreneur be able to explain the projections and the assumptions underlying them.

Startup Financing CycleImage via Wikipedia

Don't defer your financials to someone else. You can have mentors help you with it, but it's important that you, as the CEO, understand the key variables that shape your business. By doing so, you can understand why your projections were off (which, in most cases, they will be).

"When presenting to venture capitalists, the CEO of your start-up company needs to be an expert in all aspects of your company, including its financial statements. It is not a good idea, as the CEO of your start-up, to defer the financial statement related questions to your CFO or another third party. As the CEO, you are the one where the “buck stops”, so venture capitalists expect you to be able answer any and all questions regarding your start-up company’s financial statements. Therefore, as an entrepreneur you need to study your company’s financial statements from an investor’s point of view, including being able to recite the underlying assumptions of your financial statements. If you cannot do this, you will not get far with the venture capitalists and your ultimate goal of securing funding."

Read Robert's post here

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