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Guest Blog - How Investors Make Better Decisions

posted Jul 1, 2014, 11:02 AM by John Selep
Posted on July 1, 2014 by steveblank at steveblank.com

Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class team.  Other than “I’ll know it when I see it”, there’s no formal way for an investor to assess project maturity or quantify risks. Other than measuring engineering progress, there’s no standard language to communicate progress.

What’s been missing for everyone is:
  • a common language for investors to communicate objectives to startups
  • a language corporate innovation groups can use to communicate to business units and finance
  • data that investors, accelerators and incubators can use to inform selection
Teams can prove their competence and validate their ideas by showing investors evidence that there’s a repeatable and scalable business model. While it doesn’t eliminate great investor judgment, pattern recognition skills and mentoring, we’ve developed an Investment Readiness Level tool that fills in these missing pieces. Background about the Investment Readiness Level  here and here.

While the posts were theory I was a bit surprised when John Selep, an early-stage investor, approached me and said he was actually using the Investment Readiness Level (IRL) in practice.

Here’s John’s story.

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