Monique Idlett-Mosley is an entrepreneur and investor who has conquered both the world of entertainment and tech. Idlett-Mosley founded Reign Ventures Capital, a 25 million-dollar fund that focuses on women and minority-led startups in 2017. She is also a host on a new talk show, “Chatter,” which airs on FOX Soul. We spoke with her about her strategy as an investor and what business owners can do to survive the global pandemic.
As a CEO, what key performance indicators are you’re looking for before you invest?
Usually when you’re the first or second investor, you don’t have too many KPIs. When it’s that early of a stage, there [are] a couple of things. The first thing is that we’re betting on the founder. We’re betting on the integrity of the founder, on their abilities as a team, or a team of advisers that they may have, definitely on the market opportunity and having a real idea that has a solution to a problem. It’s a lot of work, a lot of hand-holding, but I tend to say it’s the same way I was able to select artists for our label. Founders have that ”it” factor. There’s something special about that founder when you not only know that they’re going to make their company work, but that they also understand having advisers, and they have a real solution to a problem.
How far in advance are you planning and making decisions as it relates to your company?
My company is planning 24 months in advance. Millennials, now they’ve kind of taken the shortcut to everything by saying there is no such thing as a business plan and things like that. The reality is you might have to make sudden decisions; for example, like with COVID-19. Planning will always be an essential part of any business model. You have to plan, predict and understand what your numbers are going to look like, understand what your product and what your consumers are going to look like. That’s really important.
What does pivoting mean to businesses who want to survive post-COVID-19?
Pivoting has always meant what am I willing to continue to learn? How am I willing to continue to grow? How willing and how flexible am I going to be in my business model and how flexible is my business model? You have to think about all of those things. Unfortunately, for so many small businesses right now, they didn’t integrate technology into their business model. Most companies that are thriving during a pandemic were already communicating digitally. I get phone calls every day from founders, even the ones who aren’t in my portfolio company saying, ”I don’t know what to do, we’re shocked. we’re finished.” At the time of a problem, you should actually be figuring out a new business model.
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