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Founder and Director Keegan Sard is Passionate About Opening Up Opportunities for Investors
By Julie Lam
Welcome back to another episode of the “Perfect Pitch Show” where Brandon Burns, Head of Community – Runway Virtual, interviews small business founders / entrepreneurs about the secret sauce to their successful start-up journey.
Today on the Perfect Pitch Show we speak with Keegan Sard, the Founder and Director of Keegan Ventures and Capital Evolution Groupe. Keegan Ventures is an investment and consulting firm that seeks to help organisations solve issues that they cannot achieve independently. As an Angel investor, Keegan has helped to create opportunities and progress for startups on an international level. He describes his vision for Keegan Ventures as gradually taking a step back from paid consulting and moving towards more early stage investing. Keegan declares a preference for early stage companies, rather than large corporations, because he feels they tend to be solution-oriented and really take on customer feedback.
An Investor’s Perspective
From an active Angel investor’s perspective, Keegan is attracted by investments that tell an engaging story. He feels that pitches by Australian startups tend to neglect this essential element. Keegan explains that he invests in the people, and his decisions may ultimately come down to whether he can get along with and work well together with the founder.
Keegan notes that he has a personal investment interest in the industries that tend to be neglected, specifically ‘side hustle businesses’ and in digital nomads.
The Venture Capital Trend
Keegan predicts venture capitals to grow in popularity, specifically through micro-funds. For those who are interested he recommends checking out a podcast series that provides a wealth of valuable knowledge, The Twenty Minute VC by Harry Stebbings. He also recommends keeping an eye on Tyler Tringas from Ernest Capital who is driving incredible progress in the industry. Traditional startup capital raising methods typically involve equity SAFEs or convertible notes, however with the growth of freelancers who disliked these models, Ernest Capital developed an innovative shared earnings agreement (SEAL) option that appealed to the needs of this group.
Advice – The Good & The Bad
Based on Keegan’s personal experience, he finds regret in not trusting his gut sooner. Audiences who might have an idea they want to explore are asked to consider “What’s the worst that can happen?” His answer, that someone will say no. Keegan implores these individuals to “just try it and give it a go”. And, even if the attempt doesn’t succeed, there are always other jobs.
His personal advice to those to may just be starting out is to try a ‘give first’ approach - to offer services with no charge. Although there will be no financial compensation, one can ask for a glowing testimonial, refer to the experience as a case study, and help develop a trustworthy reputation.
Like many, Keegan has received counterproductive advice. A common one is to create a perception of the business as a large corporation. Instead, Keegan believes one should highlight the fact that they are a “one-man team” or a small local business. This image when also supported with exceptional customer service builds a trustworthy and relatable brand.
Entrepreneurs who may in the phase of raising capital should start with first thinking about the business goals. Depending on the organisation and the stage they are in, financial investments may not always be necessary or helpful. Consider if it may be more beneficial to secure knowledgeable investors, or gain a warm introduction to a particular individual.
If financial investments are the goal, Keegan recommends covering how the capital will be utilised, and highlighting any previously secured investments during the pitch. The phenomenon of FOMO cannot be understated in this respect.
In today’s modern age, many influential individuals can now be reached directly through email or Twitter DMs. Keegan advises that many people, including himself, have open Twitter DMs so people are welcome to contact him.
For more information, you can contact Keegan through the following links:
Capital Evolution Groupe