Tips for Becoming the Kind of CEO Investors Want to Back / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

It can be confusing for CEOs to know exactly what will attract new investments in your company or product. These timeless ideas will help.

With the news of a new investment rule being passed by the Obama Administration, it can be confusing for finacial advisors, investment firms, and CEO's to know exactly what will attract new investments in your company or product now or in the future.

While landing capital for your company relies on many factors about the product or service itself, it’s important to remember that investors are also keen to know that the person behind the brand is worth supporting.

This is where knowing the types of traits, skills, and experience that investors typically look out for can come in handy. And these principles will always bear a lot of weight with investment companies no matter what regulations are in place at the time.

There are many things you can do to help put “your best foot forward,” such as earning a flexible MBA or other course in your spare hours, brushing up on your communication skills, demonstrating your passion, adaptability, openness and drive, learning the ins and outs of operating and leading a business, and understanding your industry. Read on for some tips to becoming the kind of CEO that investors want to back today.

Related Article:5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Raising Money With Investors

Demonstrate Passion, Adaptability and Drive

There are a variety of key personality traits that investors like to see in CEOs before they buy into a venture. While these can vary from person to person, there are some that they tend to look for more than others.


Passion, for example, is commonly expected. This is because being passionate about your potential or current business is something that you need to not only draw people in, but also to carry you through the hard times, and all entrepreneurs have those at some stage. Having passion will help you to work hard, come up with solutions to problems when other people might quit, and be able to entice the best employees to your company.


Adaptability is another desirable trait that investors tend to look for. After all, many of them want to mentor and advise the entrepreneurs they back, and as such need to know that each CEO is open to learning new skills, taking on new ideas, and adapting to changes in the market. You can prove your adaptability in several ways that may or may not have anything to do with directly running a business. 

If you demonstrate to investors that you are teachable, they can feel confident that you know how to listen, will acknowledge and learn from mistakes, and will be continuously adding to your wealth of knowledge. On the other hand, investors will generally be turned off very quickly if they get the impression that a CEO thinks that they know everything and have all the answers.

Related Article:Snag a Shark: How To Bait Investors


Drive is also important in business and will be a trait that most investors will want to see in an entrepreneur before they part with any cash. Investors realize, after all, that starting and/or building a company is incredibly tough, with ups and downs inevitable along the way. As a result, founders need to be able to weather the storm and have the drive to keep on working even when things aren’t going to plan, and to make difficult managerial decisions when that is what the best thing for the business is.


It’s certainly not the be-all and end-all to receiving investment, but having a degree behind you can definitely stand you in good stead as an entrepreneur needing a capital injection. Apart from the information you take away from time at college, you’ll find that many investors prefer to back CEOs who are highly educated. This is partly due to the fact that having graduated shows you can:

  • Stick with a program for multiple years, which is possible to do with certain flexible mba programs
  • Get through challenges
  • Meet deadlines
  • Adhere to set requirements
  • Deliver quality work
  • Communicate your ideas well
  • Absorb and analyze large amounts of information
  • Conduct in-depth research and distinguish facts from popular opinion

Communication Skills

Communication is always going to be an essential part of building a business. As such, CEOs must be able to not only communicate well with their investors, but also to lead their team and speak confidently to board members, journalists, clients, suppliers, and any others that they encounter in the course of doing business.

Look at successful entrepreneurs around the world and you’ll notice that they almost always know how to:

  • Command attention
  • Inspire and motivate people
  • Communicate ideas effectively
  • Listen to the concerns and the suggestions of others
  • Persuade others

Related Article: 10 Entrepreneurial Lessons We Can Learn from Shark Tank


Investors also typically like to see that CEOs have considerable experience in their field. While the type of experience looked for can vary according to the investor and the industry, it usually pays to show that you have a record of leading a team, operating a business (or a least some large projects), and that you know the particular industry or sector that the organization is involved in inside and out.

Investors will feel more confident about backing you as a CEO if they can see that you already have some good experience and that you won’t be starting from scratch in every area.

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