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Launchpad Venture Group understands that fund-raising is a difficult process which requires skills sometimes outside of the founders’ comfort zone. Regardless of whether we ultimately invest, our goal is to make the process as pleasant, professional, respectful, efficient, and helpful as we possibly can. Starting a company is hard enough - Launchpad wants to do what it can to make the fund-raising process as comfortable and easy as possible.
Launchpad members refer many of the companies which present. If you know a Launchpad member, that is often the best way to start your relationship with the group. Many of our members list their Launchpad affiliation on networking sites such as LinkedIn which can be a way to find them. If not, start by reviewing our investment criteria to determine if your company is a good fit with our areas of investment focus. If the fit seems good, you are encouraged to submit an application on-line as detailed below. (Launchpad does not accept hard-copy business plans.) If you are unsure about the fit, please send a request via our contact form to enquire about the likely level of interest.
Launchpad maintains a secure, password protected application portal which will walk you through the application process steps and help you outline your thoughts. Creating a thorough and competitive application can take some time, but the system allows you to save your work as you go and complete your application in a number of sessions (nothing is transmitted to Launchpad until you complete and submit.) You may also edit or supplement your application after you submit it. The online process allows for advanced materials such as a short video, inclusion of your logo, and uploading of other presentation materials. It also creates a level playing filed for like-to-like comparisons and helps manage communications over the entire time you are working with Launchpad. If you have any questions about the application process, there are help resources on the site, and you can always send an email to inquire about assistance.
Launchpad receives a large number of plans each month, but endeavors to respond to submissions very promptly. Where there is no interest, we can generally let you know quickly (i.e. within a few weeks), and in doing so, we will provide whatever suggestions or advice we can to assist you with your subsequent funding efforts.
Companies presenting a potentially good fit are assigned to small scouting teams who can have a look at the plan and possibly meet with or talk to the company. In some cases you may be deemed a fit for our main monthly forum and in other cases you may be referred to our Catalyst program which provides a way for interesting companies to present a summary and network to get to know some investors.
Prior to each main forum and Catalyst meeting we have a deal flow call to discuss the latest positive scouting reports and select the companies to receive presentation invitations.
If you are approved for presentation to the full Launchpad membership, you will be scheduled for the next available monthly meeting presentation slot or Catalyst presentation slot. Your scouts are available to help you prepare for your presentation and act as a liaison with Launchpad.
Companies invited to present to the full group in the main forum should prepare to deliver a presentation of not more than 15 minutes, followed by a question & answer period of an additional 10 minutes. Because of tight-scheduling, respect for other’s schedules, your time limit will be enforced strictly; you should practice with a time limit to ensure that you can deliver your presentation well within the time allotted (see here for a discussion of the importance of practicing your pitch). There are myriad resources available to assist you in preparing for an angel investor presentation; however if you would like some guidelines or advice, you can always send an email to enquire about assistance.
Keep in mind that the purpose of the presentation is not to do a deep dive into your company history, founder biographies or special technologies — it is a time for you to present an overview of your company, its products, the market it serves, and your hypothesis about why it will win. The due diligence process will provide ample time to dig into additional detail.
After the company presentations and Q&A are complete, Launchpad members discuss the companies privately and each member will indicate their level of interest on a summary sheet. Launchpad will contact you, generally later that day, to summarize the level of interest and discuss next steps.
Presenting to the Catalyst forum is much shorter and more informal - it is really more of a networking event to introduce your company and begin building relationships with interested investors, so you will do a 3 minute overview or "elevator pitch" followed by a couple questions.
Companies garnering sufficient interest coming out of their pitch will progress to a deep dive meeting. This is a precursor to diligence and affords you the chance to “unpack” your story in a bit more detail and address some of the key questions arising out of the pitch. If the deep dive goes well and their is sufficient interest to forum a diligence team, then diligence will proceed. If there is insufficient interest, then we will give you an honest and time-efficient “no” along with all the helpful feedback we can to assist you with subsequent pitches.
Where there is sufficient interest amongst individual members following a deep dive, a due diligence team will be formed and a point-person nominated to facilitate the process. Launchpad strongly encourages the use of cloud-based collaboration tools to ensure the process is efficient, and will make every possible effort to be respectful of the entrepreneur’s time to allow a speedy return to a focus on growing the business; however, the diligence process is work, and the Company’s management team must take an active role if the process is to be successful. How gracefully, efficiently and professionally the Company handles the diligence review is part of the overall evaluation. Please also be advised that during due diligence, steps will be taken to verify the key points in your business plan, presentation materials, and financial projections as well as to research your team’s background and track record. You should expect diligence to take three to six weeks; sometimes longer if there are special circumstances.
If the due diligence process is successful, one or more lead investors will begin the process of negotiating the structure of the financing round and drafting of a term sheet to reflect that structure (assuming an acceptable one is not already in place). The term sheet is generally based on industry-standard building blocks and will cover the type of security being offered, the protections for investors, information rights and/or board of director representation. No formal investment documents will be drafted until interest on the term sheet is verified.
Once a term sheet has been completed, it will be circulated to interested Launchpad members along with the diligence report. If there remains sufficient interest in the terms being offered, the Launchpad will engage counsel who will draft investment documents, at the Company's expense, in preparation for a closing. Assuming no unusual delays, the closing should be within 4-8 weeks of initial presentation to the full Launchpad membership; however, if the company does not have all the diligence answers ready or size of the round requires syndication with other angels or angel groups, it may obviously take longer.
Launchpad members will each invest in their individual capacity, however, companies receiving funding from Launchpad have access to the full network of Launchpad members for help, contacts, and advice in growing the business, regardless of whether Launchpad has taken a board seat. Launchpad’s goal is to help your venture succeed, and we will do what we can to assist you.