6 Ways to Stand Out to Investors

By Matt Plummer, The Yield Lab

Photo by Pexels / CCO

The Yield Lab Team has reviewed hundreds of investment applications over the past 3 years.  Whatever type of funding or program your business is pursuing via an application process, here are a few things that can help you rise above the rest:

  1. 1. What do you do? Be cognizant of time and use it wisely.  We have seen many applications that spend a lot of time talking about the growing need for agriculture technology to feed a rising population. This is common knowledge and also wasted time.  Keep it simple and free of complexity. Concretely communicate your value proposition.  Leave the grandiose vision for the follow up meeting.  Explain how you are impacting agriculture right now.

  2. 2. Focus on the problem. You may think you are solving a problem that is obvious so you spend little time explaining it. But thoroughly think through this. Communicate how you selected this problem for your company to solve.

  3. 3. How are you going to make money? Too often we have seen great explanations of complex technology but little time spent on how that they will make money. Be sure to communicate how you are going to monetize this technology.

  4. 4. Prepare a data room. Any investor is going to ask for items of due diligence such as revenue, profit and margin trends over the past few years.  Be aware of this and do your preparation on the front end.  Blast an investor with as much data as you can.

  5. 5. Don’t get bogged down setting the terms/offering. Many companies have their own idea of the terms of they’d like for a debt or equity financing.  More often that not, however, if you have a professional and bona fide investor in your round, they will be setting the terms, not you. Spend your time on how much you need to raise, spending plans and inflection points the capital will get you do. The terms will come later.

  6. 6. Be punctual. Be punctual with responses or action items on your part.  Investors understand the pressures and finite bandwidth facing an early stage company.  If you don’t have what they need, explain and provide background on when they can expect it.  More often than not they will understand, probably even empathize (they raise capital too).  Just be sure to communicate with investors consistently.

Finally, investors respect style.  Your company is a reflection of you and your team.  Be exciting. Take risks in your presentation.  It is also an opportunity to learn.  A deal becomes much more lucrative to an investor if they like the founder/entrepreneur and can see an energy and synergetic journey with your company.


Matt Plummer is the principal at Yield Lab. Plummer participated in the Agriculture Investment Summit as a speaker and an investor on the pitch panels. Plummer is responsible for the day-to-day investment and accelerator operations and drives the strategy of the Yield Lab. Plummer graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Political Science. From 2006 to 2014, Plummer lived in Salt Lake City attending school and was a competing member of the U.S. Speedskating Team.