There are numerous new companies, ideas and technologies fighting to be recognized. You have to stand out from the crowd to take your entrepreneurial effort from the idea or prototype stage to market success.
If you are looking for venture capital, don't expect your idea or technology alone to tempt the venture capital markets. VCs see great ideas all the time. Thousands of patents are issued every year, and enormous sums of money go into university, corporate and private research and development.
These funds are regularly generating products and technology. The amount of new "stuff" developed every year is amazing, so you'd better have more than another great idea.
Entrepreneurs have heard over and over that to succeed in funding efforts, in addition to a great product, they need a great management team and a large market into which they can sell. This is all true. What is often missed is that you also have to have swagger.
This swagger must be based on reality. A product rarely sells itself, and neither does a company, no matter how good each might be. You have to sell your concept, team and your ability to make money. Shrinking violets will have a difficult time getting noticed.
If you are not the brash type, someone else on your team needs to be. Someone must be able to dynamically present what you have, why you are so good and why you should be funded.
In your business plan, you've been told to make sure there is a value proposition that will wow the reader at first glance. This is nonnegotiable. But it's just as important to present your company in person the same way. You have to instill great confidence that you know what you are talking about, not just about your product or service but about how you are going to make money.
As Ulla says, if you've got it, flaunt it.
Erwin Bruder is president of The Gordian Organization. Reach him at (216) 292-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.