Our man of noble inspiration, Rabindranath Tagore said: “All men have poetry in their hearts, and it is necessary for them, as much as possible, to express their feelings. For this they must have a medium, moving and pliant, which can refreshingly become their own, age after age. All great languages undergo change. Those languages which resist the spirit of change are doomed and will never produce great harvests of thought and literature. When forms become fixed, the spirit either weakly accepts its imprisonment or rebels. All revolutions consists of the “within” fighting against invasion from “without”… All great human movements are related to some great idea.”
Each week we receive dozens of business plan submissions from entrepreneurs and intermediaries seeking venture capital for their businesses. Some of these are narrative executive summaries and more often than not they arrive as powerpoint presentations. I recently received an innovative video e-mail that contained a personal product demonstration by the company founder. For the most part, these “asks” are dull, predictable and formulaic, borrowing their format from a business plan guide or competition framework. Occasionally a presentation speaks with poetry, expressing vision, passion and commitment towards an ambition that is extraordinary and meaningful. Many entrepreneurs, in their hearts want to change the world for the better and some even attempt to do this directly through their businesses.
I received a request the other day to look over a website and presentation for a young company that is making a line of beautifully designed eco-friendlier performance running shoes. The company has a neat product and a snazzy image, yet the sharp headwinds of rapidly changing consumer interest, values and capacity (are we going to enter the “age of frugality”?) and the global economic recession present many challenges for these innovators. I sent back a note to the young entrepreneur with my thoughts, which one of my business partners encouraged me to share more broadly.
Many thoughts on this from an (one) investor perspective. I hope you find this helpful.
Hope this helps. Best of luck. Stay resourceful, keep your overhead low and get to break-even as quickly as possible. Grow organically and steadily. (Capital is going to be very sparse this year.)
Investing in keeping people healthy
Physic Ventures, based in San Francisco, provides capital and support to entrepreneurs focused on building exceptional science-based, consumer-directed health and sustainable living companies.
Our approach capitalizes on major economic, social and political trends shaping the rapidly evolving landscape of personal and planetary health.