Getting Started: Investor Group Account
Welcome to Gust!
Congratulations! Your group has been approved to use Gust's Group Investor Platform. You can use this guide to configure your group's settings and get started managing your deal flow. To get started, you should have received an email from Gust that you can use to login to the platform and start getting things set up for your group. The subject line of the email is Welcome to Gust!
You'll be taken to the signup page, where you'll need to input your name, the city you personally are located in, and choose a password. After you've completed all the fields, click "Sign Up" and you'll be taken to a welcome page.Once you've signed up you'll see a screen that says "Welcome to Your New Investor Workspace" you can review to see what your members will see once you've invited them to the platform, but since you're an administrator for a new group, you won't have any deals to review yet, and you'll probably want to skip ahead to setting up your group.
The Deal List
By default, you'll be taken to your Investor Workspace page when you log in. Since you're getting your profile set up though, you'll want to navigate to the main deal list page. The deal list page is like the command center for group administrators. It's where you'll find links to all of the tools available to your group, your settings, your group's profile, and of course your deals.
To get to your deal list, click on the name of your group in the navigation bar at the top of the page.
Before you can start receiving deal flow, you'll want to get your Public Profile setup. Your Public Profile is what companies see when they're searching the platform for investor groups. It tells them about your group, what your investment focuses are, and where you're located.
The first thing you should add is your groups logo and a banner image to make your brand pop on Gust. For best results, your logo should be a square image file, around 400x400. Your banner image stretches across the top of the profile, and it's 1280x260 pixels, but you can select a portion from a bigger image to use if you don't have something in that exact size.
Next you'll want to start adding information about how and where your group operates, what types of investments you make, as well as what screening criteria you'd like to use.
- You can use multiple locations if your group makes investments in more than one region.
- Preferred Industries and Locations can be used as screening criteria so you'll only receive submissions from qualified companies.
- You can also use amount seeking and valuations as filters for screening companies.
Once you've completed your profile, you can either choose to be published in our searchable directory so that founders can find your group and apply for funding, or if you'd rather not be searchable through Gust, you can put a link to your application on your main webpage or in an email. To do so, copy the address from the Public Profile page from the URL address bar in your browser and cut off "/public_profile." What remains is your profile URL.
If you want to link to your application but bypass the profile, you can right click on the "Apply for Funding" button and select "Copy URL." You or your webmaster can paste that URL into a link on your site or include it in a mailout, and it will lead directly to your application. Founders following the link who've already got a Gust profile will automatically be able to use it as the basis for their application, and those who don't will be asked to sign up and immediately start filling out your application.
The next thing you'll probably want to do is set up your Entrepreneur Application. Gust uses a standardized "Company Profile" as the basis for investor group applications. The Gust Company Profile portion of the application is not editable, however you can indicate which portions should be required, and which ones you can live without.
There's also an "Entrepreneur Instructions" section to the application where you can any specific focus you'd like your applicants to consider when completing the application.
The last part of the application is the "Additional Questions" section where your group can include custom questions unique to your application. These questions do not become a part of the Company Profile, and you can choose whether to make them required or optional.
To find your application and start configuring it, from the Deal List navigate to Settings > Applications > Entrepreneur Application > Update Entrepreneur Application.
When you're ready to start receiving applications, you'll need to turn your application on by clicking "Start Accepting Applications" this is also where you can turn your application off if you're taking a hiatus or not looking for new deal flow.
Building a Deal Pipeline
Your deal list will be organized by Stages. Stages are created by admins for the group, and they can exist under one of three categories: Active, Completed, and Inactive.
Active stages are for deals that are currently under review. There is one default Active stage for "New." When a deal is submitted to your group or created internally it will always first appear under the "New" stage until it's been moved.
Completed stages are for deals that have to come to a positive end. By default, there's a stage for "Invested" deals.
Inactive stages are for deals that you won't be considering. The default stage under Inactive is "declined" but you may want to create stages for junk or duplicate deals, or deals that you put on hold indefinitely.
Your pipeline should reflect your group's deal flow process. A typical active pipeline might look like this: New > Screened > Considering > Pitching > Due Diligence (You can drag stages to reorder them).
Once you start receiving deals, you'll be able to move a deal by checking the box next to it and using the Move to Stage button. Your deals will be organized according to the default columns that appear in the deal list. Which columns appear is not customizable, but you can use Labels to further organize your deals.
Adding Your Members
To add and manage your group's membership, go to the Members tab. To set up your group, you'll probably want to do two key things that can both be accomplished under the members tab. Add your members so they can access Gust, and create subgroups so you can easily message and add groups of people to deals.
To add a member, you just need to click Add Member, and enter a name and email address. You can also include an optional message to the member.
Your members will receive an email invite to sign up for the Gust platform. When they follow the link they'll be prompted to create a login and be given the opportunity to create a personal profile. Personal Profiles include contact information, if you don't want your members to be able to view each other's profiles or contact info you can toggle privacy in the Settings tab.
If you want to add admin users to your group, you can check the box next to their name after they've been added and use the Actions button to "Grant Admin Privileges."
You'll probably also want to create subgroups, subgroups are just sub-groupings of members in your organization. You can group members by role, expertise, or any other vertical that makes sense for your organization. To create a subgroup, first use the Create Subgroup button.
When you create a subgroup you'll have the option of making it Private or Public. Private subgroups can only be viewed by admins and members of the subgroup. If a subgroup is public, everyone in your group will be able to view it, and send communications to the subgroup.
Members of your group won't necessarily be able to view all deals that are submitted to your group. When deals come in, you'll still need to add your members as Participants in the deal so they can have access. Once you've created subgroups, you can associate a subgroup with a stage in your deal flow pipeline. When deals get moved to that stage in your pipeline, the members of the subgroup will then be automatically added to the deal. Otherwise, you can add your members manually using the Add Participants button on the deal list.
There are two types of deals you'll have in your deal list, Internal Deals and Entrepreneur Submitted Deals. Internal Deals are deals your members add directly to the deal list using the "New Deal" button. When you create an internal deal, you'll be able to add the information about the company yourself, but you can also use the Invite Entrepreneur feature to invite a founder to complete the deal details themselves. You can invite the entrepreneur at any time after creating the deal.
Entrepreneur Submitted Deals
By opening your application and being searchable in Gust's directory of investors you'll be visible to companies seeking investment. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply to your group by completing your application, and their submissions will appear as Deals in the Deal List in the New stage of your pipeline.
Founders have the option of "Publishing" their Gust profile, making them visible in Gust's directory of Companies. If your group proactively sources deal flow, you can browse company profiles through the global search feature. When you view a published company profile, you'll only be able to access high level information about the company. To get more detailed info like financials, or the executive summary you'll have to send a request to the profile owner.
After you've been granted access to the full profile, you'll have the founders contact information. In order to create a deal for your group with the company, use the Internal Deal functionality and invite the founder to submit. They'll be able to use their Gust profile as the basis for the application.
Companies can only apply to your group once in a funding round.