preparing to raise funding is more than just a pitch deck.
Many years ago I was an entrepreneur raising my first round of financing for my start-up, I made every mistake in the book and it cost me dearly. I believed the hype about fundraising, I found myself "falling into it" and kicking off a fundraising round unprepared and for the wrong reasons.
I know how it feels to be overwhelmed, confused, unsupported, and stalled-out. Fearful that I wouldn't close the round, the fundraising efforts would be a complete failure, I'd make a fatal mistake, and we'd never get the capital to realize our dreams for growth.
Now that I am a venture capitalist, I see the world very differently.
My holistic approach comes from my unique place at both sides of the table.
Lots of people can help founders create a pitch deck and financials, but few have the real-world experience launching multiple funds, and raising multiple rounds, in the fundraising trenches day-in and day out.
EMPHASIS ON sales and Growth
In order to successfully raise financing on good terms, your numbers have to tell a story. Without compelling revenue and a system already in place to scale off of, you'll have a hard time convincing investors. Using the capital to figure out what your scaleable client acquisition strategy will be is not acceptable.
This area is often a sore spot for founders. No matter how busy and distracted you get, this one thing will continue to drag you down. You've tried bootstrapping, hustling, quick fixes and band aids. The time has come for a real, sustainable solution that is focused and do-able that you can feel confident that if you invest time and resources into it, it will produce results.
The truth is, I learned this lesson the hard way, but you don't have to. If you're pre-revenue or very early, check out my self-serve online course, Roadmap to Revenue.
Roadmap to Revenue is a self-serve online course designed to help founders increase their sales with a scaleable, sustainable process.
You will learn a focused strategy for generating lucrative B2B sales that will take you to the next level in sales growth, prepare you to hire strategic contractors or a team. Complete the course at your own pace. The content is videos, audios, worksheets and recommended resources.
MITIGATING YOUR RISK & STRENGTHENING YOUR OFFER
Once your opportunity passes the initial "sniff test" for an investor, their main focus will be on finding the areas where your business is the riskiest. All start-ups will have a high amount of risk, but it's important to address what's possible. We use our expertise, as well as the considerable expertise of our partners and network to help find and address the risk factors in your business and strengthen your offer to create the most attractive possible investment opportunity.
Areas we work to mitigate risk involve:
- Cap table risks, exposure with prior investors, negotiations.
- Legal risks including potential compliance issues, company structural issues, agreements, contracts, etc.
- Financials and taxes.
- Sales, pipeline, revenue and run-rate
- Product risks and product-market fit
THE FUNDRAISING GAME PLAN
It's common for founders to feel the stress from lack of cash flow, or find themselves in a pitch competition with some interest from investors and suddenly they are fundraising. This approach is guaranteed to fail from the start. Planning and preparation for 3-6 months before officially opening a round allows founders the best chance at success.
- Financial forecasts for growth
- Telling a compelling story with your financials
- Structuring the right blend of financing for your unique growth plans. Can include venture, angel, non-bank or non-traditional financing, revenue royalty, equity crowdfunding, bank loans, etc.
- Creating pitch decks and executive summaries
- Pitch coaching and training founders for investor meetings
- Targeting and prospecting to potential investors, institutions and organizations
- Assistance with legal and terms