Hi, I’m Maxine Kozler. A General Partner with LDR Ventures and an LP with Belle Capital Fund USA an all Female VC firm. I invest in and mentor woman and minority founded and led businesses. I’m a wife, a mother of two boys aged 16 and 4.5 and our rescue dog Kozie and CEO of my family.
As a Founder, Investor, Mother and Executive, I have the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many woman just like me. They’re pitching and presenting their business ideas, dreams and challenges. And it’s not easy. I learn from everyone, listen closely and share. My goal is to find ways to help with money, experience and/or my network and resources.
LDR Ventures is a proud and active partner of SheWorx, the leading organization for female founders with over 20,000 members worldwide. At a recent breakfast in Los Angeles with a very impressive group of female entrepreneurs from the LA chapter, I shared the following Four how-to success tips for presenting one’s personal brand and business for funding. These come from my own personal experiences as both an entrepreneur and investor.
Step 1. Do your research – know who you are presenting to – and have your questions ready. Is the investor already invested in businesses like yours? Do they invest in the stage your business is at? Do they have expertise in your industry that can add value? Have you read the bios of each person you will meet and searched for information that will help when assessing fit?
Step 2. Take all feedback openly and objectively as knowledge you didn’t have before. You probably have great passion for your idea/plans and business, but an investor might see something in your idea that could improve it, expand on it, highlight a key strength, weakness, vulnerability or competitor, etc. Maybe even take the business in a different direction. This is not a bad thing. Thank them for their insight and ask how they think their idea(s) could be implemented for your business and what the benefits would be. It’s also good to present your thoughts if you don’t agree.
Step 3. Know your business, the addressable market, your industry, your competitors and most importantly yourself. Be prepared to answer, “what’s your why”? Why are you doing this business, what is the chip on your shoulder that is going to keep you going when you hit every brick wall you can image? (Question courtesy of Barbara Boxer – Belle Capital Fund USA)
Step 4. Know how to run a business and build a team. No one person can know everything or do every job. At the end of the day you’re running a business and it’s hard. Resiliency is key to sustainable success. Let investors know that you understand the numbers and can manage a budget, a staff, inventory and are signed up to do whatever it takes to be resourceful and will reach out for help. Surround yourself with experts in all areas that affect your business and engage them.
Each meeting presents an opportunity to learn something we can apply to our business. In some cases we learn about ourselves, our values, our deal breakers and more.
Through it all I’ve come to realize that personal growth and having a positive impact on the lives of others is the best part of the adventure. Business success is the by product because as an investor, it takes a long time if ever to realize monetary success.
Embrace each experience, enjoy the learning that comes with it and help others along the way.
General Partner @ LDR Ventures
LP @ Belle Capital USA
Founder of MKKPR