How can I get investors to sign my "Confidential Disclosure Agreement"?
I have a VERY UNIQUE Business "Concept", complete with a full business plan. I need 3.2 million for a startup. This is a simple concept, and is recession proof. In fact, the worse the economic times, the faster this business will grow! My problem is... 1.) Because it is a business concept, the only protection I have is a signed non-discloser, non-compete form. All of the potential investors who may have the resources will not sign first.
Joseph, No rudeness intended but, if I was your potential investor, from what I have read above, I'm NOT impressed. I'd say, "What are you coming to me for and then, throw it in the trash can."
YOU: "This is a SIMPLE concept, and is RECESSION PROOF!"
POTENTIAL INVESTOR: If it is "simple and recession proof," what are you coming to me for? To waste my time and my money? I don't deal with simple stuff because you (the owner) should be able to handle "simple stuff" yourself. What you are telling me as your potential investor is that if it is simple and you CANNOT handle/fund "simple stuff,' how can you handle complicated/heavy stuff? What you are telling me up from is that you have NO BUSINESS HEAD and you CANNOT manage money/capital. So, to give/lend you my money - fund your project, is like throwing my hard earned money in a dumpster. There is NO WAY that I am going to entertain you or your thought any further.
End of Critique.
Here's my advice.
First of all, your presentation has to be IMPRESSIVE. A good first impression is worth 80 points or 80% of the game. The next 20 points or 20% closes the deal. So you've got to be a good presenter.
Here's what to do! Write a draft and then put it away. A day or week later, when it is digested in your sub-system, take it out and read it aloud to yourself. You will be amazed to find that the draft is NOT what you r e a l l y want to say. This is the time to correct your errors. If you feel that you need more time, repeat the process. After the third attempt, you should be at the top of your game and and should be able to convince your audience with just the central thought. Your potential investors will be sitting on the edge of their seats with enthusiasm. They could hardly wait to sign your Confidential Disclosure Agreement.
Try it and let me know what happens.
It will be very difficult to get investors to sign a non-disclosure first. I am always amused when people want to float a business idea by me and ask me to sign a non-disclosure when they have not even given me anything to disclose.
In addition, investors will see hundreds of business ideas in very short time, many of them very similar, and every business person believes that their idea is VERY UNIQUE.
Personally, if I sign a non-disclosure, if I know a potential investor who might be interested in your idea, I cannot approach them on your behalf.
A good idea will stand the test of the time...and usually no one but you can IMPLEMENT your good idea...
You will not get an investor to sign an NDA, remember they are not interested in stealing your product or idea but investing in winning products. Part of your problem is you are asking for a great deal of money for a business that is basically a sketch on a napkin. What I believe you need is to look for a small amount of funding to get you a salable or at least a product that can be demonstrated to a potential investor. You can't need $3.2 million to get to where you need to be from an initial investment.
Your starting point needs to be to develop an executive summary of no more than 3 pages (preferably shorter) that "sells" all of the benefits of your idea without sharing any proprietary secrets. This should include the problem/s that you are solving (and/or opportunity/s you're creating) and why this is so attractive to your market, including the projected financial benefits for investors on a ROI basis. I like to create 3 scenarios i.e. best-case, worst-case, middle-case, which vary due to different assumptions relating to your model.
In short, you need to build such a compelling case that the investors will override the "stock" legal advice and agree to an NDA. But you will need to provide enough information to show them they are not going to be unnecessarily restricted (relating to other projects they're invested in or considering) by your NDA, without disclosing anything proprietary.
You haven't conveyed enough of the right information to motivate the prospective investors to take the next step/action.
Work on making your initial presentation more compelling.
Well Joseph, it is evident from your question that you have as yet not spoken to ALL of the potential investors, in fact you have not yet spoken to even one!
Someone who will not sign a non-disclosure is definitely not an individual worthy of consideration as an investor or extending access to your IP.
What could be your major constraint is that say you need 3.2 million. You even flag this in your question! Do not mention this figure as most investors will not even consider such a sum without first viewing your start-up’s idea.
Once you have an investor’s attention and they are impressed with your concept, only then do you begin to establish the size of their investment and what they receive for their financial backing.
Remember you are not seeking money (that’s what banks are for); you are recruiting a full business partner who will own and profit from a proportion of your idea!
Being the conceiver you have the legal right to demand signing of NDNC by prospective investors or funders . In normal circumstances serious investors would be more inclined to sign such documents wherein you can put some CLAUSES FAVOURABLE TO THEM and an exclusivity can be offered for a certian period which will make them interesting. It all depends on how you draft your NDNC . If you , like millions of "SUCCESFUL ENTERPRENUERS" try to do legal drafting on your own using templates , then of course , prospective investors will be reluctant to sign such documents. You can check with our Satrtup Support Platform ( MASS ) to get further guidance on the subject . www.mastartups.com
Frankly, self-serving answer, but that is one of the principal reasons for using an intermediary. As a business broker, I establish confidentiality all the time.
Bankers, lenders, investors, business plan writers normally will not sign these documents. They see too many plans with multiple ideas each of which can be perceived to be similar, even if they are not. Many start-up concepts think they are unique, but are not. I consult with restaurants who think having "fresh" food is unique. Oh, really? Your idea may be one-of-a-kind- but the trap has been set before you came on the scene.
Perhaps you can reach and pinpoint someone? Never say never, but it will be a needle in they haystack, if at all. But, Good Luck. Charlene Finerty