Serial entrepreneur Michael Burcham dropped into CO.LAB today to offer some guidance – and a little tough love – as our teams make their way through Week Two of GigTank.
CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, angel investor, Vanderbilt business professor: Burcham has experienced the startup world from every angle. Today, he took the perspective of an investor. And he had a lot to say.
His key message? If entrepreneurs want investors to notice their “shiny new objects,” they need to think like the people they’re pitching to.
“You’ve shown me your point A. Where is your point B?” Burcham challenged the teams after hearing their presentations. “If you can get a picture together of where point B is and how you’ll get there, investors will listen to you.”
Averse to sugarcoating, Burcham said that investors are driven by two things: fear and greed. Entrepreneurs must find a way to turn an investor’s fear (of losing money) into greed (for making money).
He provided some guidelines to help the teams flip that switch, like creating multiple revenue streams.
To illustrate: “A one-revenue-stream company is a one-trick pony. And when that pony doesn’t perform, we turn it into glue,” he deadpanned.
Colorful metaphors aside, Burcham said his big-picture concepts start with the GigTank-ers walking into CO.LAB every morning, asking themselves, “What can I do today that I didn’t do yesterday?”
Burcham spent the rest of the day at CO.LAB and gave the teams some frank feedback and insightful direction in half hour one-on-one sessions with each team.