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February 1, 2012

Andrew Bell's big question on BNN The Pitch

Do you notice on the BNN hit TV show, The Pitch, Andrew Bell often asks the private equity panel this question: “How do you decide which entrepreneur gets the thumbs up?”
Andrew is asking for the secret recipe that gets one owner the investment but another seemingly good business owner gets rejected. Invariably, the private equity experts will say it is the people.
What is it about the people?
Well, they have to be passionate.
Yet many passionate people do not attract financing. What is the issue?
It really does come down to how open the person is to critical probing about their business. Do they answer questions directly or fudge? Do they listen to ideas by the private equity experts or do they dismiss, or even worse, ignore concerns?
When private equity says they invest primarily in the people, they mean they invest in people willing to move over and share the steering wheel.
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