I write to you from India – where I am on my regular eight-weekly pilgrimage to see tech companies to make global from the UK.
I see around 150 people in person about their technologies annually. Those are the ones who get past the filtering. The vast majority fail for the following reason:
1. They are solutions looking for problems. You have a limited amount of time to impress me or anyone else. So going on about how brilliant your solution is, without addressing what the global problem is that it solves wastes time and let me think you can’t run a company
2. Scientists who want to be control freaks. So it’s your baby and you want to run the company – really? Not gonna happen Einstein. The guy with the money calls the shots – not you. Don’t like it, go ask someone else for the money.
3. Focus, be professional, be on time, remember the correct day, arrive early, set up your laptop, find the location, have my number, tell me where you are seated in advance. All of this saves about 50 per cent of your allocated 30 minutes of fame. ONLY one person ever got all these things right when he came to meet me. His name? Peter Cruddas, now a billionaire. He came to see me at Bloomberg. Would not take no for an answer. Got everything set up beforehand without bothering me. Trust me, I interview you well before we’ve met.
Alpesh Patel·read Modern Greats at Oxford University (now better known as Philosophy, Politics and Economics). He is a former Visiting Fellow in Business at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and alumnus of Boston University, and lectured in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Guatemala and India on global economics. He has a degree in Law from King’s College, London, and is the author of 13 books. He is the founder of private equity and hedge fund firm, Praefinium Partners.