FAQs for Partnering with ACM
What should we look for in a venture capitalist?
Look for a partner. This is a long-term relationship, so it should be with an organization that you feel will provide you with the widest array of resources, active leadership by its investment team, and the financial stability to grow with your company. Talk with the entrepreneurs that the firm has backed before - successful and unsuccessful ones.
How do I approach ACM's Investment Team with an executive summary?
If your business is within our investment criteria, please send an executive summary via email to the Investment Team member with the industry expertise that best fits your company's profile. We will get back to you quickly as to whether or not there is interest.
Which components of the executive summary are most important to ACM?
Is it possible to get funded without a formal business plan?
Yes, provided that the diligence phase of the investment opportunity has sufficiently addressed the areas of most concern:
If we have a strong interest in your technology as a result of the due diligence phase, we will work with you to create a comprehensive and realistic business plan.
How much does ACM typically invest in an early-stage financing?
We invest at the early stage - the point where we think we can add the most value to the enterprise. Investments in the first round of financing can be between $1 and $5 million.
How much does ACM typically invest over the life of an investment?
We expect to invest between $5-10 million over the life of an investment.
What if our market strategy needs refinement?
As a lead investor of early-stage applied technology companies, we are very actively involved with our entrepreneurs and will work with you to refine your market strategy if the investment opportunity meets our investment criteria.
What if our team has not yet identified a CEO?
While we prefer to have a strong CEO in place at the time of investment, we understand that the founders of applied technology companies may be more interested in pursuing the development of the technology and product line, than operating the company. In these instances, we utilize our rich network of resources and nationally recognized recruiters to find the best CEO for your business.
Do you sign non-disclosure agreements?
Our reputation is predicated upon our maintaining strict confidentiality. ACM, like other top-tier venture capital firms, does not sign NDA's until a term sheet is signed and the deep due diligence begins. The foundation of a successful relationship between a venture capitalist and entrepreneur hinges on the trust between the investor and the company.
How long does it typically take for ACM to review an investment opportunity?
The due diligence process for a typical investment takes 4-6 weeks, and complex patent reviews may take longer.
If ACM is interested in my technology, what happens next?
ACM's investment decision process is made by the consensus of its Investment Team. Once our team becomes engaged with an entrepreneur, the transaction specific due diligence begins, including a comprehensive review of the technology, enterprise model, customer and supplier reference checks (as applicable), and personal reference checks. Before consummating an investment, the entrepreneurial team makes a presentation to the entire Investment Team.
Is a board seat always required?
Historically, ACM has led 90% of its deals since inception. We prefer to lead all of our initial investments, which requires a board seat. This level of involvement enables us to provide leadership and goal alignment to our management teams.
Is an IPO the only exit opportunity that you work towards?
While an IPO is often a desirable outcome, it is not the only exit strategy that we work toward. In some instances, a merger or outright sale makes the most sense. Our structured navigation system is built to reduce risk, add value and create exit options. We encourage our entrepreneurs to develop relationships with corporate partners and ACM may assist your team with the identification, creation and management of strategic alliances at the appropriate time.
FAQs for Partnering with ACM