UPDATE: David Rose makes it even better, improving on the below.
Angel investor and pitch expert David Rose was in fine form at the Shake Shack gathering this evening, holding court and telling us the key traits he tells his biz school students make an entrepreneur. They are, as I remember:
- Integrity. The most important trait. Rose won’t give money to you if a whiff of dishonesty crosses his sensors. He’s giving you his money for your idea, and he wants to make sure it’s in the right place.
- Great idea
- Domain experience (helps if someone’s done something related before, and, perhaps, had successful business)
You also need a team: sales, tech, BizDev, … and an entrepreneur, who can be one of the folks doing other function(s) on the team, someone to marshall the others — a team can’t really be bought, Rose says, and who lives, eats and breathes the stuff. Someone who is by nature that person, an entrepreneur. Someone who, if this one fails, is going to make it on the next one, or the next, or one of the ones after that and so is worth the investment because s/he’ll eventually pay off. You need 30X potential return, because only 1 of ten ventures will make it, and it has to pay for all the rest, at a rate that’s better than if you, say, put your $$ in a hedge fund.