Have you ever been to a world buffet restaurant and found yourself paralysed by the number of options on the table?

As you stand there with your plate, they may all look enticing – but you can only eat so much and you must choose wisely.

Simon Roberts, CEO at Heatio, uses the analogy to explain how various types of investors may or may not be a good fit for your business.

“Investors are like a queue at a world buffet restaurant, with sushi next to tacos, or you can go for pizza followed by Chinese food,” he tells TechBlast. “They all want something completely different and will happily tell you why their choice is the best.”

In January the Liverpool-based EnviroTech company revealed how it is part of two initiatives worth £1.2 million to help homeowners improve the heat efficiency of their properties and save on their energy bills. The funding was awarded by the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero through its Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) Green Home Finance Accelerator (GHFA) scheme. 

“My advice to startup founders looking to raise is to nail down the basics and common themes, implement them into your pitch and business model, and stick to your vision and mission,” he continues. 

Avoid falling into the trap of pitching what the investors want to hear. It will only come around to bite you in the a***.”

Roberts is among the masterclass experts who will pass on direct advice at FUEL Liverpool on Tuesday 14th May. The event – supported by Growth Platform and Clockwise – will see up to 100 people hear from a stellar breakfast panel before a select group of 20-25 founders meet 12 experts across pods focused on funding, growth planning, export and people.

Claire Lewis, co-founder & CEO at Liverpool’s Baltic Ventures – which today opened applications for its second Accelerator cohort – is on the breakfast panel.

“Prepare, prepare, prepare,” is her advice for those seeking investment. “There are a number of mistakes I see founders making when fundraising, but one of the key ones is not allowing enough time for the process – and not getting into the detail while preparing.

“Raising funding is like running a sales process; start building relationships with investors early on and prepare all the materials you need to sell your deal.”

Evoke founder to pass on ‘lived experience’ at FUEL Liverpool

Kathryn Bell, CEO at The Webinar Vet – which makes education accessible and affordable to veterinary professionals worldwide – is an expert on the growth masterclass pod and agrees that preparation is key.

“Prepare yourself for the significant time it will take to secure funding, all while maintaining your day-to-day operations,” she says. “Create a compelling story outlining your vision and why investors should believe in your startup, coupled with confidence in your ability to execute

“Finally, you must know your numbers and your data inside out.”

Antony Shimmin is a co-founder at Mycardium AI, which transforms how medical imaging is delivered in healthcare through the use of ‘super-human’ AI.

“Ask yourself what you’re in ‘this’ for and if this funding truly enables that or hinders your experience,” advises the chief commercial officer. 

“Finance is only part of it; VCs do want their pound of flesh and are accountable to their board, in the same way you are to yourself and your staff.”

Ben Davies, group marketing director at Praetura Ventures, added: “Always look at an investor’s criteria before you apply – focus on the ones who actually invest in your area.

“Speak to investors six months before you’re looking to raise, get them involved in your journey and show them the progress you’re making as you go.”

FUEL Liverpool speaking line-up finalised