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Entrepreneurs: Beware of the valley of death

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Business owners know it takes money to make money; production expenses must be paid before products are sold and revenue is received.
Entrepreneurs with a business idea have an even greater need for up-front cash.
They must have enough capital to cover negative cash flow in the early months or years of new business creation and growth.
Without adequate initial investment, they risk falling into the so-called valley of death – the deep and wide gulf that separates a company’s need for capital and investors’ willingness to supply it.
Also known as the grand canyon of capital need vs. availability, the valley can be shallow or deep depending on the amount of money needed to develop the idea or product.
Width of the valley is the difference between initial investment and the amount that is available from professional investors.
For example, technology startups often need a minimum of $1 million of initial investment to generate evidence or proof of concept that will provide professional investors with confidence to invest.
Initial investment is typically raised from friends and family, and entrepreneurs are lucky if they can raise the full amount needed from these initial sources.
More often they find themselves short of funds, peering from the precipice into the valley depth.


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