Failing to surround yourself with the right people
This is the biggest mistake start-up founders make. It comes as part of the territory that entrepreneurs will be experienced beyond their years, overachievers and disruptive to the old guard in their industry, so they tend to overestimate their own abilities and underestimate how much an investor needs reassurance that the team is reliable. For an investor, the most investable team is both disruptive and has industry experience, while also being able to demonstrate they are among the best in the business. You don't need to have personally spent half your life working on your trade - it's actually very easy to get board advisors for your company to tick the industry experience box, who only need to attend an annual general meeting and be available for the odd phone call. As a bonus, they will likely save you a fortune relatively small retainer or a bit of equity.
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