Thomas Meyer

Selection of investment opportunities into start-ups in the early stage

Initial situation & problem:  

In most cases, and certainly in the vast majority of our cases, business angels are genuine early-stage investors who use their investment to enable a new, disruptive business model in the B2B, B2B2C and B2C world to see the light of day in the first place. 

According to all statistics and our experience, a large, indeed predominant, proportion of these approaches fail. Normally, the money is first needed to achieve a certain proof of market (PoM) or a real pilot application with a proof of concept (PoC) and/or a minimum viable product (MVP). So how, for example, do we as experienced senior advisors check an early-stage pitch deck before making an investment decision?


Solution approach & implementation: 

Our approach always consists of two stages. In the first go, we conduct in-depth interviews with the founding team to gain a comparison of our understanding of the four necessities of a successful business model.

It is easy to understand the four questions from the Japanese Ikigai model, which (see illustration) has long included the "purpose" factor in addition to the classic business school questions by asking what the world needs or could need. 

If we answer all four questions or dimensions positively for ourselves, we go into an early-stage due diligence. Here, we don't look at monsters of figures or dreams, but take the three to four premises on which the business model is based and try to "pick them apart". And only when we are convinced that the premises are valid are we prepared to invest.



A fairly large and so far successful portfolio with initial exits and only a few total losses across the start-up team of AAA Advisors - and for the founders, with all remaining execution risks, an increased probability of having embarked on a promising path.

About the author
Thomas Meyer

Throughout his operative career, Thomas has learnt to successfully build, grow, and manage a significant number of businesses in the wider world of B2B Finance, in international C-level positions with ABB Group and J.P. Morgan.