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What to expect when expecting investment

Some of the start-ups that approach our investment team about venture capital are led by seasoned entrepreneurs. Others are led by fresh-faced student innovators pursuing entrepreneurship for the first time. And all the others come from every other background you can imagine.

Many of these founders tell us they don’t really know what to expect during the fundraising process. Venture capital is “a bit of a black box,” we’re told. So we’re taking the mystery out of “the process” of early stage venture capital investment. 

We often get asked “how long does the process take?”

That’s tricky to answer. The average is about two and a half months.

However, the timeline from initial pitch to close (money in the bank) is impacted by a variety of factors – not all of which are in our control! Sometimes it takes several weeks for us to get to know the founders and understand the technology, the market, the business strategy and revenue model; sometimes our due diligence uncovers some work the start-up needs to do before we can proceed; sometimes having several investors at the table (a great thing!) can slow things down.

The best advice for speeding up the process is for the start-up to arrive prepared (i.e., know your market, your opportunity) and then responsive when the investors ask for information.

One last note: While our aim is to find, fund and foster innovative Nova Scotia start-ups that strive to change the world, naturally a decision to “not invest” can be made at any time within the investment process.