My talk at the Dublin City Enterprise Week

In Slidedecks from Conferences I have spoken at, What I'm working on at the moment on September 7, 2011 at 9:04 am


====How to raise investment======

What are investors seeking

Type of investors – Ent Board, banks, Enterprise Ireland, VC (rarely an option)

What they want

– VALUE – “Where’s the value” is the first question an investor wants answered, is it primarily the customer base or the IP.

– INCOME – Locked in, annually recurring income from quality customers.

– EXIT – A clear, credible exit strategy

– Something extra/special (this comes last not first)

What investors don’t like

– High sunk cost before start making money
– Over optimistic estimates of market worth
– Lack of focus

======How to successfully sell a business======

– Start with the end in mind – have a good idea of your exit strategy when you start your business. If you have a long term potential acquirer in mind make sure you make them aware of your existence at an early stage.

– Be Ready to respond at all times to an approach – Keep standard operating procedures such as monthly management accounts, software licensing records, customer contracts all referenced and up to date. If someone comes knocking on the door you may only have a window of a couple of months to get the deal complete, delays in due diligence increase the risk of a purchaser walking or a recession getting in the way!

-What you get will usually be based on turnover rather than profitability (ESAT example where turnover was ramped up at a loss in the final years before takeover)

======Opportunities in the I.C.T. industry======

It depends on whether you want a lifestyle business that provides you with a living (one or two customers that account for 90% of your business) or going the medium term exit route (opportunities in software as a service).

A major change is the Semantic Web whereby what is termed the productisation of traditional business services will occur with increasing rapidity. Amazon and ebay started it, then moved to betting, travel. Next phase will be “local” traditional services such as book keeping, graphic design,legal services.

I would restrict myself to where Enterprise Ireland are focussing their efforts: Internationally traded services. There are opportunities for companies as the ESRI requires that services account for 70% (as opposed to 43% at the moment) of our exports by 2025.


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