Archive for the ‘Finance/Funding’ Category

Looking for Money? – Ask for Advice

February 13, 2014

searching for money - UCC IGNITE Programme

Among the very many words of wisdom shared with IGNITE in recent months was the idea that if you want money, you should ask for advice. I can’t quite remember who said this* but whoever it was added an important rider: if you want advice, you should ask for money.

With a number of the IGNITE businesses actively seeking finance, with some success I should say, it’s been interesting to see just how true this has turned out to be!

If you want money, you should ask for advice.

I guess it makes sense when you think about it. If you speak with a prospective investor, explain that you are starting a business, make it clear that you value their advice and ask for a chance to meet, it sets the scene for ongoing dialogue.

Asking for advice shows that you value the opinion of others. Asking for an opportunity to meet again suggests that you are prepared to act on advice. Together they provide the basis for a relationship to develop. Then, if the idea is compelling enough, the offer of advice may turn into an offer of investment. So you end up with money having started out looking for advice.

If you want advice, you should ask for money.

On the other hand, while there are two possible answers if you ask for money – either a qualified YES or a certain NO – it is far more likely that the prospective investor offers advice. After making the pitch, how many times have you heard: “That’s very interesting but what I would do if I was you is ….” or “the really interesting opportunity for you is ….”! Leaving you with what might turn out to be great advice when you really needed money.

(* Among the entrepreneurs that have spoken with IGNITE are Fred Karlsson – Founder Donedeal, DC Cahalane – CMO Trustev, Frank Hannigan – Chair Razor Communications amongst other roles, Jim Breen – CEO/Founder PulseLearning, Johnny Walker – Founder Global Diagnostics and Healthfounders, Pat Lynch – Founder Microtech Cleanroom Services, Anne O’Leary – Founder CADCO, Declan Fox – Founder Comnitel, William Fitzgerald – CEO Inhance Technology, Fergus Hurley – Founder Focal Labs,  Owen Loughrey – Founder mystoreanaltics, Natasha Lynch – Founder Essential French, Raomal Perera – Founder Network365 and ISOCOR).

Eamon Curtin

Eamon Curtin is the programme director of the the IGNITE Programme, which is an incubation initiative at University College Cork to aid graduates with start up businesses, products and ideas.

The UCC IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme is funded by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Cork County & City Enterprise Boards and Bank of Ireland.