Most tech start-ups will be bootstrapped and not need funding. However, there are technologies and start-ups that do require funding, sometimes millions of dollars in capital. In order to prepare for investors, the following is typically required:
– An Executive Summary
– A Pitch Deck
– Financial Projections
– A Business Plan
Can you meet with investors without this stuff? Sure you can. What are their expectations? That you have it ready to go. There is a bit of a sequence involved. First you should have the 30 second pitch in your mind ready to go. Once you pitch this to an investor at a network meeting, you should be able to send them an executive summary. If they want more info, you offer up your pitch deck. Finally if they are serious you have the projections and the business plan ready to go.
Can you get by without all these documents. Yes you can. However, there is more to this than meets the eye. The executive summary and pitch deck are really a necessity. The business plan and pro forma projections are not always needed. The business plan is a document for you, not the investor. By writing a business plan it will tell you a lot about your businesses weaknesses and issues. You can then make decisions to either fix these weaknesses or take actions to make sure they are dealt with. One area of a business plan that is critical is potential risks to the business. You need to let investors know the risks involved. And most importantly you need to make sure you have answers in your plan to overcome these risks.