If I were an investor...

(I’m not), here’s what I would look for in a startup:

Must Haves;

  • BOTH Technical and Business-minded founders/team. By technical I mean the person who’s building it. By business-minded I mean someone who can sell it, drum up strategic deals and has a phenomenal sense of product.
  • A prototype (at least). If you couldn’t find anyone to help you get the idea off the ground without money, I wouldn’t be convinced of a) the idea b) the leadership.
  • A business model that a) exists b) isn’t ad based.
  • A large, underserved market with money.
  • Lots and lots of innovation. A significantly better mouse-trap.

Ideally;

  • Cheap keywords
  • CEO owns the product roadmap
  • User Experience Fanatics
  • 5+ years experience doing whichever function they intend to do with the company. CTO = coding. CEO = selling, leading, managing products. CEO could fall under the coding side too I suppose.

I’m totally biased on all of these things, and as I said I’m not an investor - but based on my current world-view, this is what I would look for.