I seem to find myself speaking to a lot of corporate finance people at the moment, and getting mixed messages about if and how it is possible to raise money for business ventures.
Based on these dealings, and reading up on the subject in general, it seems there are some clear criteria that most active investors use when deciding who to invest in:
1. management with passion and commitments to the business
2. management with a track record of success in business
3. management willing to risk their own money on the venture
4. a scalable business
5. businesses that offer cost savings to their customers
6. businesses making good use of IT and other technologies
7. a well-differentiated business, with innovative products/services
8. a projection showing a 15%+ rate of return
9. a cash-flow positive, predictable income stream
10. a clear exit plan
Or course, different types of investors will emphasise different criteria: e.g. a venture capitalist may be very regimented and focused on the numbers, whereas a private business angel is much more likely to be influenced by personal chemistry with the owners/management team.
Let me know if you agree, or if you can add anything to this list.