All successful investors in new enterprises agree that you invest in people first
and business plans second. SDL Ventures looks for founders who are technically
savvy and are market insiders, i.e., in tune with market needs and with access
to leading customers, with flexibility to change plans rapidly to respond to
market shifts, and leadership and execution skills to deliver on commitments.
In reviewing business plans, SDL Ventures primarily looks for confirmation that
a worthwhile target market exists and is accessible and profitable, and that the
proposed product or service offers a significant sustainable technical advantage.
Ideally, a new enterprise should initially serve a very specific unmet customer
need which, when successful, will enable the company to address a broader list of
similar needs in the same industry segment and adjacent segments.
SDL Ventures highly values customer involvement in product plans, early customer
testing and feedback, and plans targeting rapid initial revenue and cash flow.