At Z2Sixty Ventures, we invest in mission-driven founders who are developing and utilizing key enabling technologies that create a smarter and more impactful society. We currently focus on the following areas: (i) building climate-smart infrastructures, (ii) empowering an aging society, (iii) improving access to financial resources and education, and (iv) improving health, well-being, and social connection. We also consider relevant environmental, social, and governance factors as part of our investment decision.
For each potential partnership opportunity with founders, we want to get a better understanding of their business. The following factors below are taken into account in our evaluation, but are not expected to be a comprehensive list. Even though some founders may still be at the idea stage at our initial meeting, we think these questions help set expectations of the journey ahead.
What’s the problem and what’s your solution?
We like to understand the specific problem you’re solving, what unique insight do you bring to solving it and why is it something that can and should be addressed today? For your solution, help us understand what makes it special or perhaps how your approach to commercializing the product is unique.
How big is your market and who’s the competition?
We want to understand how big the market is today and how big it can get in the medium term. Third-party top-down approaches can provide one level of insight, but we’d want to make sure how reflective it is of your business product versus a bottoms-up approach. In addition, we’ll want to get an understanding of how founders see the competitive landscape and market dynamics (i.e. barriers to entry, Porter’s Five Forces). We acknowledge some teams may not have this level of insight, but we use it as a discussion of the opportunities and potential challenges.
Who’s the current team?
We want to understand what everyone brings to the table at this stage of the business, including awareness of strengths and weaknesses, and how you’ll get to the next stage. If there’s some holes in the team for this stage, we want to understand how soon you’ll be able to address it and how we can be helpful.
What are your financing needs?
Tell us about how you’ve financed the business so far and how much has been spent to date building the business relative to what you’ve achieved to date (see milestones below). We’d like to understand your current cash burn and projected cash burn breakdown over this next period of development relative to the amount you are seeking to raise. For financial projections, we’ll like to understand the underlying assumptions.
What are your milestones?
Please share what milestones (i.e. product / technology / business) you’ve achieved to date. We’d also want to dive deep in understanding what milestones you expect to achieve during this next round of financing.