In this article, I will open every day missing or unclear matters in startup applications and how to improve them. When a startup has these items in order the chances of getting to impress angel investors at the largest continuous pitching event in the Nordics increase significantly.

September was the month I took over as the Deal Flow Manager at FiBAN. The end of the year was very fast-paced with events like FiBAN’s annual delegation trip, EstBAN gala, Web Summit, and Slush but I have enjoyed every minute of it. 

Now, looking at FiBAN’s Deal Flow process with fresh eyes, I am excited to begin the development of FiBAN’s processes and to help match promising startups and angel investors. Lean methods will be at the center of this development. As a legacy of my previous professional roles decision-making will be led by data. This will benefit both the startups and investors by increasing objectivity and credibility.
In 2022, FIBAN introduced a new screening tool, Höpöhöpö, to support the deal flow process. Below are the results of the five most commonly used reasons for rejections by FiBAN screening board members. Having a single one missing might not end up in rejection but if a startup has issues with several of these, it is usually a sign that they are not angel investment ready.

The most common reasons and percentages why startups got rejected

  • Go-to-market strategy is unclear (60%)

The most common reason for rejecting a startup. A startup’s growth engine should be defined whether its sales-led, product-led, or other. It should also include how a startup is planning to take over the chosen market. 

  • Startup’s solution differentiation is missing (56%)

The startup’s application and pitch deck should clearly explain how the solution is unique or better than of the competition.

  • Competitive advantage unclear (55%)

The application should make it clear what gives the startup a unique advantage over those trying to compete with a similar solution.

  • Solution or parts of the solution are unclear (46%)

The startup should have a clear and concrete value proposition for the problem they are solving. This cannot be emphasized enough – everyone must understand the problem as well as the solution.

  • Competitor analysis missing (45%)

Competitor analysis is missing or is unrealistic. This is another commonly used reason for rejection. Competitor analysis should always be included but it should also be credible. There is always some type of competition for every startup!

Next time when constructing a deck for the investors, make sure you have these included. This will increase your chances of making it to pitch for FiBAN investors and getting angel investors onboard in your funding round.

All the applications that make it past the pre-screening phase in the FiBAN process will receive feedback from the investors. In a case your application gets rejected, use this feedback to work on your issues and there is a possibility to apply again in the future.

Is you a startup ready for investment? Do you have the above-mentioned in order? Read more about FiBAN’s deal flow process and apply for funding here

FiBAN Member – would you like to join the FiBAN Investor Screening Board? Register for the next screening board here.

More information:

Topi Laakso
Deal Flow Manager