Investors are searching for a lot of things; they want to see an opportunity, a point of difference, a viable business – but does an investor actively look for creativity?

We got a glimpse into the minds of three investors in the community on this very topic.

“Creativity goes to the heart of making something ‘new’; it’s certainly what I’m looking for in startups or early stage companies.” Said Surend Dayal, CEO of Magia Solutions.

Through an investor’s eyes, creativity shines through in all areas of a business, not just the visual elements. An investor might be looking at how the company is uniquely positioned and how they’re doing their deals with early adopters.

“Investors look for entrepreneurs who can find creative approaches to get past the barriers that block others,” said Craig Davis, Angel Investor and General Manager of Growth at the Canberra Innovation Network.

Investors are not only looking for creative outputs (like an innovative product or service), but how it’s embedded in a business’s culture. They want to see original, unexpected and innovative solutions to the obstacles that startups find as they grow.

“Creativity for investors will translate into businesses that find a special space in their market, and that are ready to pivot into the next special space if needed,” said Michele Troni, Chief Investment Officer at Significant Capital Ventures.

“A creative team will think laterally in an enthusiastic way and then distill solutions from a wide range of thoughts,” said Michele.

Craig agrees, saying that fresh, lateral and surprising ideas are the ones that will stand out and excite people to adopt them.

“Imagine a better world and find creative ways to achieve it,” said Craig.

But what if you’re not that creative?

“If you are not naturally creative yourself, make sure you have some creativity in the team,” said Surend.

When asked what piece of advice they would give to an entrepreneur or startup struggling with creativity, Michele summed it up perfectly:

  • Spend time with creative people.  Don’t try to actively learn, just allow yourself to be dragged into conversations.
  • Respect those who have knowledge and experience, but don’t let your creativity be bound by their thoughts.
  • No matter how busy you are, allocate some thinking time.  It could be while you drive, cycle or walk, but you need some time every day in which your thoughts run free – even down paths that initially seem absurd.

“Persevering with creative thinking will generate a constant and improving flow, which will eventually lead to many good creative ideas,” added Michele.

What would you like to ask an investor? Let us know.

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