Co-founder and CEO of iRokoTV, Jason Njoku was a guest at Bounce TV’s technology programme, Talking Tech, last week.

He spoke on a number of issues relating to his film distribution business and trends in the tech ecosystem including the dearth of venture capital for African startups.

As you may know, Jason is not only a film magnate, he is also a startup investor, having launched an investment vehicle to that end in 2013, alongside his business partners Bastian Gotter and Mary Njoku. 

Spark has gone on to back some successful startups including Hotels.ng, ToLet.com.ng, Drinks.ng and recently, OgaVenue – an online venue booking platform.

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Jason spoke on how startups can attract investors and here are the three criteria that he says he looks out for before parting his money as an investor.

1. He Wants A Business Owner He Can Trust:

“Trust in this market is very important,” he said.

What you see in Nigeria is that most business owners wreck their businesses by taking money out,” said Jason. So you want someone you can trust. It’s very difficult but you can get a sense of (how trustworthy) the person is.”

2. He Desires An Entrepreneur With Deep Knowledge Of Their Market:

“I want someone who, when I sit down with them and have a conversation, they tell me stuff I never looked at or even realized,” stated the serial entrepreneur.

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“If I can look at a situation and have more insight than you about it, or challenge what you are doing, and you do not have sharp and pointed view to buttress whatever I am saying, that cannot serve you because I cannot do the thinking for you,” he said.

According to him, as the business owner, “you have to have deep strategic mind around your market, what you are doing and your approach to it”.

This he believes, is really important because, “then, what it means is that the entrepreneurs can navigate what it basically means to be in the market.”

3. Finally, He Wants Someone Willing To Toil Away For Years And Years And Years…

“I need someone who is ready to toil away for years trying to build the business,” he said.

“If it is going to take ten years to build this business, and if I look at you and you don’t get a sense that you are not willing to toil at it for ten years, (then I’d likely not invest).

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“Some people will tell you, I want to do this thing for six months and if does not work, I’ll do something else, that kind of person, forget about it, in no shape or form is he going to get my money,” he explained.

And he has this advice for entrepreneurs getting started and looking for funding: “Do not focus on the cash, focus on building an interesting business. If you find an interesting business which is being built, then investors will come.”

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