Founder Focus: The Potocki Communications Company
We asked all of our entrepreneur users to share their funding journeys, for other start-ups to learn about how their peers approach raising capital.
We will be running a series of blogs about these journeys over the coming weeks, today it is with Teresa Potocka (https://www.linkedin.com/in/teresa-potocka-a7769710), CEO & Founder of The Potocki Communications Company.
What’s the name of the company?
The Potocki Communications Company.
What’s your elevator pitch?
A new innovative service called sensethefuture.net is being set up as an online international TV, news and lifestyle content channel to meet consumer needs across territories. The channel is a go-to, anytime anywhere access point for your living-room content and will be available on your smartphone and tablet for viewing across the world.
When did you start trying to raise your most recent round?
How did you work out which investors you were going to approach?
We familiarised ourselves with the landscape by talking to people who had already invested in scale-ups, delved further into the investor’s journey, and expectations specific to the sector, and subsequently revised our own.
What documentation did you initially send to your targeted investors? I.e. a one pager?, a short slide deck? a long slide deck?
Our first pitch was a video interview for which I had to record answers to a few pre-set questions about the business for a one million pound investment. Whereas the documentation sent out to targeted investors was first sanity checked by the banks through our contacts, and our 13 page deck was positioned to facilitate a faster response rate and to gauge interest.
Was there a typical response from the investors you targeted?
Revenue is a driver and development capital is not an option.
Have you received any interest from investors and have you had any meetings?
Yes, several meetings followed with a range of investors from corporate financiers to private individuals. We have turned down one investment proposal so far.
What common questions have you been asked by investors?
Do you have a business plan, financials and any presentations of the service, have you personally invested, how much is currently invested etc etc etc? .
Is there anything you wish you hadn’t said in an investor meeting?
What do you wish you had said, that you didn’t say?
In one scenario, I should have met the investor face-to-face before proceeding with a deep dive discussion.
In your opinion, what are the “no-nos” worth bearing in mind when talking to investors?
If you understand the risks and go beyond the risk appetite of the investors you’re in discussions with, you could jeopardise the early negotiation. It is also the decision of the business owner whether the investor is suited to the project or not, and if the investor presents any risk then it is a consideration, and the reason we decided not to proceed with one investment proposal. We have been advised a blacklist is currently in circulation.
Have you got any advice for other entrepreneurs who are preparing for an investor meeting?
Understand your investor and why they have agreed to meet you. Don’t give everything away but do provide enough information to whet their appetite and learn more about their expectations before proceeding further.
Have you raised anything so far as a result of your efforts?
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced along the way?
An insufficient understanding of market opportunities in the UK market, and a lack of understanding around the development of new business concepts particularly in broadcast tech. .
What’s your overall view on the UK funding market? Tough? Easy? Over-hyped?
It is over-hyped to the extent that angels are now mocking people who present unprofitable ideas during their pitch to entrepreneurs. I work in the television business and would be happy to explore some of the ideas put forward in the pitch to investors for television but at this point I no longer take what is being said seriously as an entrepreneur seeking investment to grow our channel business internationally.
Any last tips?
Only you really know your business and making that accessible to the investor in an entertaining way can take you to the next level.