Lean investment tool for pre-revenue start-ups

Bridging the gap between investors and lean entrepreneurs

City University

Challenge: City University Research and Enterprise Unit, a university based business incubator, identified that no model existed for conducting pre-revenue due diligence to give decision support to the appropriate level of investment due to the:

  • Communication gap between entrepreneurs and investors
  • Failure of quants in addressing the qualitative aspects of investment criteria
  • Lack of structured evaluation techniques fully incorporating qualitative dimension of due diligence
  • No meaningful feedback to entrepreneurs from the angel due diligence process

Intervention:  Strategy Foresight Partnership facilitated City University Business Incubator and seasoned SME industry professionals develop a novel decision support framework for start-up and early stage companies using a combination of morphological analysis with the analytical hierarchy process.

Outcome:  A comprehensive system to operationalise investment due diligence across multiple projects, investment opportunities, business sectors, and lifecycles was developed. This resulted in a multi-level business evaluation model of value to both investors and budding entrepreneurs alike. The framework has also been licenced to an SEIS investment fund employing the model to select and validate viable pre-revenue start-ups for its portfolio of investments.