Questioning Startups

With Game Tech Hub, we have been interviewing startups to join our first cohort. This is similar to how we have interviewed companies for our long-running SIEGE Investment Conference. I heard a lead for another accelerator talk about how he did not like to question startups about their ideas. He thought that investors who did so, trying to poke holes in it or offer other suggestions, were mainly trying to make themselves look good and were failing in their role as mentors. In my experience, the purpose of these questions is exactly the opposite. It is the investors’ attempt to determine how open the founders are to feedback, how ready and able they are to take advice. Other investors have told me that one of the greatest threats to new companies is the owners’ hubris and inability to accept input from others. How founders respond to questions about their central idea, often one of the concepts that means the most to them, is a great indicator of how easily they can accept feedback and coaching across the board.

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