The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles recently held its fourth business seminar in the Making it in America-series focusing on the best methods to raise investment capital and funding for a new business. The experienced panel consisted of speakers with different backgrounds and experiences; Carl Josefsson, Vice Chairman and Co-founder of Saintstone S.A., Luxembourg; Julia Dilts, Co-Founder & CEO of Maverick Angels; David Drake, Co-founder of the TSL Capital Creation Event Series and founder and Chairman of LDJ Capital in New York and Gene Massey, CEO and Chairman of MediaShares.com. Lotta Alsén, the moderator, is the President of SACC-GLA and the Founder & CEO of Quickenings.
Major takeaways from the seminar:
Apart from a good product, the key to success is to be passionate, fearless and persistent. It is not news that it is hard to succeed with a new business. Actually, the majority of all great entrepreneurs usually fail several times before they succeed. The key is to learn from your setbacks and be creative in finding new ways to tackle your challenges.
One way to start a new business is to seek micro-loan funding or crowd-funding which is an emerging method for fundraising. Once your business is a bit more established you can go for angel money and venture capital. But it’s not all about finding an investor, it’s equally important to find the right investor that shares your values.
10 keys for success in building and growing a new business:
- Believe in yourself and never give up! Take the opportunity to learn from all your setbacks.
- Make sure you are perceived as credible; be cautious when choosing your allies such as board members, bank, lawyer etc.
- Also choose your team with care. The team can either make or break you.
- Learn to follow your intuition, aka your gut-feel!
- When meeting potential investors, make sure to be explicit when pitching your business. If you can’t summarize your business plan on two pages, you might not be ready yet.
- Do your due-diligence on your investors and make sure that they share your values.
- Keep in mind that your attitude is everything and care for your relationships. It’s all about your network.
- Always try to be one step ahead, follow the trends and analyze the consequences. What are tomorrow’s demands and needs?
- It’s not all about making money. It’s also about believing in what you do and doing that with your heart and with your ethics in mind.
- Last but not least, be fearless and have some guts!
Written by Camilla Westman
Marketing Manager, SACC Greater Los Angeles Area