Seeking Outside Investment? You’ll Need an Executive Summary

From Mike Drzal of LeClairRyan, a VT KnowledgeWorks sponsor. A version of this post appeared on Handshake 2.0.

For entrepreneurs beginning to seek outside investment, I identified the Executive Summary, the Business Plan, and the Slide Deck as Three Fundamental Tools in the Fundraising Tool Box.

The executive summary is a door opener, a 2-to-3 page way of seeking an invitation to enter into a wider discussion of your company or product.

Executive Summary - One of Three Fundamental Tools in the Fundraising Tool BoxTypical content for an executive summary includes:

  • The company
  • The problem/opportunity
  • Large market size
  • Competition position and barriers to entry by competitors
  • Go to market strategy
  • The team
  • Financing requirements
  • Exit strategy

Always include the founder's contact information and a securities disclaimer.


Mike Drzal, partner with law firm LeClairRyan, and Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, are GAP 50 Regional Ambassadors for the GAP 50 Entrepreneur Awards, a program designed to identify and celebrate Virginia's next generation of entrepreneurs in the areas of life sciences, technology and energy. 

Nominate Virginia entrepreneurs here through September 20, 2012.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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