To raise capital, make your company smell like money

An alternate title for this post. Use money deodorant.  I just had coffee with an entrepreneur who was bemoaning the woes of the fund raising process.  He's been unsuccessful to date in raising 600K for his internet company.  And he's dismayed and disheartened by success that others are having raising their rounds.  He asked me, what is he missing? 
I told him investors will invest -- even in this crazy economic climate -- if his deal smelled like money.  He then asked what makes a deal smell like money. Below is my list of things that make your deal smell like money (you don't need all of these things but the more the better ):

  • Proven entrepreneur -- someone who has sold a business before for 20MM or more
  • Proven technologist -- some high level geek at Google, Oracle, or Microsoft
  • A determined, hungry entrepreneur with integrity
  • An easy to understand product or business, and preferably one that is fun
  • A clear path to making money, and preferably proof on making money is even better
  • Customer traction -- the more the better, and preferably evidence of accelerating customer traction
  • The stamps of big company endorsements always helps -- as customers or partners