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10 March 2020

Business Financing: More Than Just Money…

Auteur : Marie-France Audet

To mark its 10th anniversary, Sherbrooke Innopole is publishing 10 columns related to business and innovation in the daily newspaper, La Tribune.

Financing, isn’t it the crux for any young innovative company preparing to take off? Yes… and no. Money is not the sole guarantee of success. When it is time to search for funding, the first instinct should not be to think of where to go, but rather who you want to succeed with in your business venture.

As a matter of fact, financiers and investors do more than simply inject money, they become partners in business that should bring added value to your business project. Their participation should go beyond money – for instance, they should share with you their business experience and contact network.

Since it isn’t possible for one person to play every role – technological know-how, management, marketing, recruitment, etc. – surrounding yourself with the right people is vital to success, and this starts from the initial stages of the first search for funding.

How could you succeed in attracting these people to eventually become your most precious allies? Here are a few avenues to success.

Have a realistic business plan

Being overly optimistic – or excessively elaborating on targeted objectives – may result in a business plan that is too ambitious to be capable of delivering results. Remain grounded in your projections.

If your business doesn’t unfold as projected, stay transparent. Everyone makes mistakes, but informing your investors about the situation, the adjustments to be made, etc., is essential to maintaining a relationship of trust. The greater your credibility, the more access you have to the investments that will eventually be used to leverage traditional funding.

Be humble and open to new ideas

Today’s investors want to be a part of a company’s success and they have experience they want to share. Therefore, they hope to align themselves with entrepreneurs who are willing to collaborate and listen to their suggestions and vision.

In financial jargon, these entrepreneurs are defined as coachable, i.e. they demonstrate an openness to working with investors to make their business grow.

Wouldn’t you like to work hand in hand with your investors? It is better to sell your technology, than exploiting it yourself as an entrepreneur.

Prepare to share property

Not only must your mind be open, your books too! Investors need to have access to all of the desired indicators to continue investing… until they become shareholders, and thus propel the company even further. Over time, the entrepreneurs and investors become intertwined in a true relationship, and experience has proven that this approach is successful.

Sherbrooke Innopole offers a variety of investment funds to innovative technology companies from start-up to growth. Our team can also provide assistance in validating your business model and connecting you with potential investors interested in giving back to society by helping young businesses get started.

Contact your expert:

Marie-France Audet
Director, Business Services – Financing
819 821-5577 ext. 203 / mfaudet@sherbrooke-innopole.com

Text published in La Tribune of March 10, 2020, page 6

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