Two of our team went to Capital Factory recently — for Austin’s Startup Grind’s meeting — to learn more about Ian Lucey and his quest to
take over the world invest in Austin start-ups.
Investing – the Initial Interview
Ian is a fellow investor from the homeland who offers an uncommon but refreshingly logical approach to investing. His general interview is pretty much an easy two-step process:
Once you’ve given the very short version of your idea, you’ll get one of two answers — “I like it, send me what you’ve got,” OR “Nah, I don’t think I’m interested.”
Lucey’s main interest is not just in whether or not the idea has merit, but more importantly, whether you’re just looking for more money to spend or if you’re determined to turn a profit as soon as your doors are open. If he likes your idea, he’ll give you the developers and other workers you need to make it happen. They’ll help you hire long-term staff when it’s time to set you on your own two feet, and Lucey will stick around as a loyal supporter unless/until you want to buy out his share of the company he helped you build.
“I might build a 5,000 or 10,000 person company at one stage. I’m might do x, y, z; but first and foremost, I’d like to make sure I’ve maximized the return on the ideas that I bring to the market.” ~ Ian Lucey
Two Types of Start-up
There are two types of start-ups right now. One works on a prototype, and as soon as it’s passed all the testing stages and it’s ready for the consumer, sales begin. The second type is all about building with no real value placed on profit. These guys are perfectly happy to keep spending your money as long as you’ll give it to them. The only thing they have to show for your investment is a higher valuation of the company.
That’s a really shi**y way to work a business, to be honest. If you’re going to do something well, make every penny count. Do you really need all those SaaS accounts? How about that fancy office on 6th Street vs. renting a room on the north side? The more investment money you use, the more you have to pay back when you turn around and sell your company, and some business owners find that they’re left with nothing at the end of years of effort.
So if you think Ian Lucey is the man to invest in your start-up, be sure to have a good plan in place to work hard at selling your product/service the second it’s ready. And if you don’t, please don’t bother the man.
“I believe ideas are worthless unless they address a need. Find the pain point in your industry, look at that pain point, and ask yourself how you can completely change how you’d go about financing, building, and selling a product that fixes that pain point in that particular market.” ~ Ian Lucey
If you still think you’ve got what it takes to make a man like Lucey interested in investing in/buying a portion of your company, message him on Twitter @ianlucey and see what happens.