Investors ARE Looking For Compelling Entrepreneurs That Fit Their Investment Criteria

Sramana Mitra and the One Million by One Million initiative are connecting investors with appropriate entrepreneurs.
By: Maureen Kelly
Oct. 12, 2010 - PRLog -- One of the many inefficiencies working against the U.S. economy is that a large mass of entrepreneurial energy is consumed with hunting for investors.  Simultaneously, a huge amount of investors’ energy is spent screening promising entrepreneurs.  By creating a channel for connecting the right entrepreneurs with the right investors, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant Sramana Mitra and the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative aim to streamline this process.

Through her Seed Capital From Angel Investors interview series, the One Million by One Million entrepreneurs have heard from several of the most active investors that, while they have very large deal-flows, they invest in very few companies:

“We get about 1,500 pitches a year. I look at all of them,” says Paul Olliver, Wider Wake Networks. “Only 5%-10% pass the initial sniff test.” In the past twelve months they have made four investments.

In one month Mike Maples, Founder And Managing Partner, Floodgate, says, “We get about 600 pitches. Out of 600, we’ll probably meet with about thirty or forty. And we might fund one of those companies in a month.” That is 12 out of 7,200 in a year.

When asked how many investments they have made in the past 12 months, Peter Birkeland, RAIN Fund Program Manager, RAIN Source Capital, says, “On average, we probably do 15.” Since they receive about 150 pitches in a month throughout their network, that is 15 out of 1,700 deals a year.

Investors also spend a great deal of time screening deals.  Jeff Clavier, Founder and Managing Partner, SoftTech VC, is a solo operator managing a $15M super angel fund who gets 2,000 deals a year and invests in 12.  He constantly gets pitches from people who view all investors in the same light without knowing the scope or types of investments, markets, and industries that interest him.

Mitra says, “Entrepreneurs are going to investors much too soon, and without doing adequate validation, positioning, and other homework. As a result, most of them fail to raise money and waste precious time and energy.”

By combining the pre-screening and coaching process of the 1M/1M program with Mitra’s extensive knowledge of how the investment eco-system works, entrepreneurs are first advised to follow a specific methodology, and only when they are ready are they introduced to the most appropriate investors efficiently, quickly, and without wasting time.  While introducing some entrepreneurs to investors, the 1M/1M will also introduce some entrepreneurs to customers and channel partners, which will help to further validate their businesses.

“Most investors are looking for a reliable pre-screening method, and they use their trusted networks for this,” relays Mitra.  “In 1M/1M, we do a lot of pre-screening and coaching of the entrepreneurs before sending them over to the investors.  In doing so, we make sure that a square peg is not trying to fit into a round hole.”

Mitra is a passionate entrepreneur who has three of her own ventures under her belt and knows the pain of funding an early stage business first hand. An MIT grad in engineering, Ms. Mitra learned business by building her own companies. She parlayed her own experience and expertise into a successful consulting practice, where she has advised over eighty small and large businesses on their positioning, product validation and go-to-market strategy.

Earlier this year Mitra launched the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) global initiative that aims to help one million entrepreneurs reach $1 million in revenue each. Bootstrapping, idea validation, and crisp positioning are some of the core principles of building strong fundamentals in early stage ventures and they are emphasized throughout the program. The 1M/1M initiative, as Ms. Mitra sees it, is a pro-active, hands-on comprehensive support for entrepreneurs through education, business coaching, feedback and personal introductions:

1M/1M is an educational program, not a funding broker. While connecting the dots for some entrepreneurs, the initiative is also extremely committed to helping those entrepreneurs who are not yet ready for any dots to be connected.  The basics of entrepreneurship are taught using the EJ Methodology, Mitra’s Entrepreneur Journeys book series and during the free, online 1M/1M strategy roundtables for entrepreneurs held every week:

Entrepreneurs interested in benefiting from the education, business coaching, feedback and personal introductions that the 1M/1M offers can register to “pitch” at an upcoming roundtable or can pitch to be featured on Sramana Mitra’s blog following these instructions:

1M/1M is working with investors looking for investment opportunities in the following geographies:
-New York
-North Carolina
-Washington DC

1M/1M is also working with investors looking for investment opportunities in the following industries:
-E-commerce and Web 3.0
-Cloud Computing
-Healthcare IT
-Mobile and Social Apps
-Online Education

1M/1M is currently looking for compelling entrepreneurs working in any of the above geographies and/or industries.

Media people covering any of these geographies and/or industries who are interested in sharing our message with entrepreneurs, please contact Maureen Kelly  Sramana Mitra is available to discuss 1M/1M and other ways to help alleviate America's economic woes.

Additional 1M/1M Resources:

-Free online 1M/1M strategy roundtables for entrepreneurs held every week:

-Instructions for entrepreneurs interested in being featured on Sramana Mitra’s blog:

-The EJ Methodology:

-Entrepreneur Journeys book series is available from

-One Million by One Million group on LinkedIn:

-One Million by One Million page on Facebook:

-Follow One Million by One Million on Twitter: @1Mby1M

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About Sramana Mitra:
Sramana Mitra is a technology entrepreneur and strategy consultant in Silicon Valley and runs the 1M/1M initiative. She has founded three companies, writes the business blog, Sramana Mitra on Strategy ( and is the author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series, including Entrepreneur Journeys, Bootstrapping: Weapon Of Mass Reconstruction, Positioning: How To Test, Validate And Bring Your Idea To Market, and Innovation: Need Of The Hour (June 2010), as well as Vision India 2020 (all available from
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