Conversations with Investors - Chapter Two
Dr. Earl R. Smith II
J. S. Gamble, Founder and CEO, Montis Group, LLC
In this series of articles, I describe several discussions that I had with investors in theWashington DC area. They range from angel investors to senior partners in wellestablished funds. I have known most of them for many years. That allowed us to cut through the usual PR crap and get to the heart of the process of reviewing investment opportunities. When I told them that my objective was to provide a series of articleswhich would help companies seeking funding, each was very willing to help it is, afterall, in their interest to improve the process. I owe each of them a debt of thanks foragreeing to sit down and open the kimono so to speak.The first article in the series Conversations with Investors Chapter One focused on Jim Hunt of The MITA Group. Jim is afairly typical angel investor a successful entrepreneur who hasturned to investing on early-stage companies. My next interview waswith a close associate of Jims whose background and experiencemakes for a different approach.
vive la différence
Every investor is different they have different backgrounds and approaches to theprocess. This is one of the greatest lessons that founders need to learn. Each investorhas a common characteristic they have money to invest. But their life and businessexperiences are always more important than their bank balance. In the first of thisseries, I emphasized the need to match the investment opportunity to the interests of the investor. Many meetings are wasted because founders did not take the time tomatch their opportunity to the investors interest. The lesson for this chapter is the needto match the presentation to the experience and tendencies of the investor to realizethat each investor is unique and will respond better if approached in terms theyunderstand.
Visit with an experienced analyst
I have known JS for a number of years. He is Founder and CEO of Montis Group, whichis focused on investing in and advising Early Stage Technology Companies. JS is an Advisory Partner of The MITA Group. In addition, he is a member of New VantageGroup, the Active Angel Investors of Vienna, Virginia, and a member of the Capital Access Network at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. He is currently working with a dozen like-minded private investors to form a