When it comes to technology ventures, software has been taking the lead in terms of the number of rounds cleared, however shifts in technology have made it practical for hardware companies to raise capital for their projects. The biggest reasons why software has taken the lead is because the iteration cycle is smaller and also the fact hardware tends to be more cumbersome.
Today however, investors are now branching into hardware startups because device development has become much easier than in the past. Rather than requiring specialized equipment which often filled entire labs, Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards now allow virtually anyone (including children) to hone their Electrical Engineering skills with only a standard computer and a curious mind.
Ultimately however this shift in hardware will be covered in a later article, but it is important to note that venture capitalists are now warming up a bit to hardware despite it being more complex than software.
The Benefit of Crowdfunding
While many venture capitalists and traditional financiers look down on crowdfunding as being a modern day gold rush where everyone is looking for a quick buck, crowdfunding can be a vital entrepreneurial tool if used properly. In particular a crowdfunding campaign can be used to test the waters and make sure your idea actually has a market. Additionally if you have a successful crwowdfunding campaign, you can take that to an investor to justify your request for funding.
Keep in mind that this method only works with hardware/product startups since crowdfunding isn’t really intended for service oriented companies.
What VC’s Look for in Entrepreneurs
One of the most important points taken from the venture capital panel at CES is that the average venture capital investment lasts longer than the typical marriage. This means that one of the biggest factors an investor considers when making a decision is how well the team members know each other. Ultimately investors will only consider working with teams who have already weathered major challenges since entrepreneurship is rarely a smooth path.