Ozan Sonmez (Angel Investor to Early Stage Global Startups & Global Accelerator Builder/Advisor/Mentor)Invested +10 & Mentored +1,000 Startups Globally
Bio

Pre-Seed Angel Investor to Startups in SF & MENA. Social Impact Program Lead for UNDP, Connector for Multi-Cultural Startups Globally. I deliver programs for Stanford CPD, UC Berkeley IAG, and MITEF Pan Arab Globally.


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Dear Founder (to be) I need to be perfectly honest with you, you are not going to like the answer to your question. You need to STOP looking for investors. Here is a step by step, scenario by scenario explanation based on who you are looking for investment from: (1) You are be looking for Angel Investors (2) you are looking for VC's (3) you are looking for friends, family and fools.

(1) Angel Investors that actually know what they are doing and that have invested in more than 5 startups (not SME's) would immediately tell: you don't have a technical cofounder (big red flag) and you don't have the basic technical foundation to build a technical startup. You could have gotten away with a launched MVP (small chance) but now since you also have not launched, it's a dead end. There is nothing valuable for an Angel if there is no product, no validation, no revenue model tested, no acquisition strategy executed etc. So I'd not waste my time with real angel investors. There are "So-called angel investors" (everywhere in the world), who are in the business of buying super cheap startups and asking for 40-50% of the startup. Believe me this is not a journey you'd like to go with such people

2) VC's: The institutitonal VC Partners have so much opportunities to choose from, you need to promise them a growth trajectory that exceeds market returns for at least 10 times. They rarely invest in non-launched-single-founder-ideas. Traction, Team & Target Market are the primary decision drivers for them you don't have much to show in the first 2 categories. Don't waste your time.

3) FFF. Here you might have a chance based on your network, HOWEVER, if you have a network to exploit, better look for a technical cofounder then money to get from people you know. Depending on where you are based, there is a chance that you won't be able to find much, and whatever you find will go to waste since you don't have enough technical skills or have built some traction (I am assuming from your description)

So this leaves me to the last option, PreAccelerators and Accelerators. If you are serious about being a founder, try and get into pre-accelerators first. I don't advice going directly to accelerators without a cofounder which you can find in a pre-accelerator. You need to learn a lot about launching a product, the startup way of doing things and I hope you have a Founder Institute Chapter or any similar local/international probably university based accelerator around you. If you can't find any, go to Startup School's program in Youtube or apply to their flow.

Sorry to break some of your thoughts and dreams, I feel for your struggle and hard work and I wish I could help. But currently reading through this answer and double checking some of the points I made with other startup founders is a good use of your time and money. Hope all goes great for you in the future.


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