Raising Capital is intimidating and exhausting:
DO's 1. Ask yourself, am I suitable? Not all deals are ready for investor funding. Investors want a highly scalable business model, a clear exit path
2. Have you worked out how much capital you want and how to deploy it - link to milestones in the next 12-36 months, ask for enough capital to sustain this runway or a drawdown structure. 3. Research Investor’s experience (deals/exits) and history. Don’t approach unsuitable investors. 4. Take your time - raising capital is a process, not an event. It will absorbs 000s of C-level hours over 9 to 18 month period. 5. Handle the investment process like a sales funnel, always moving to the next step. Assess investor's decision-making processes. Set up regular meetings. Create a reason to close. 6. Work on a lead investor - you will need an investor to lead the funding round. A lead will be a vote of confidence for other investors to “co-invest” or follow.. 7. Build your data room early - it takes a lot of effort. But a “right first time” data room shows you are thorough and organized. 8. Make an internal list to Address key risks and show your mitigation plan to overcome them. 9. Save good news for middle of the process. New product features, new deals or industry awards adds momentum in your investment process. 10. Get a warm introduction - find common contacts and secure an introduction. Try to reach out to the right partner/investment manager for your area. DON’Ts 1. Do NOT downplay competition. "No one can do what we are doing" is generally BS… Show you know your competition intimately and what makes you different. 2. Don’t Be sloppy and unprofessional. Maintain an air of professionalism. Be prompt, show and expect respect. Keep commitments you make. Don’t get defensive. 3. Don’t Over-complicate the pitch deck. Try to keep it simple. Quickly and articulately communicate your value story. Explain concept to go-to-market in 10 minutes. 4. Don’t use jargon. Avoid slang and dense technical explanations. Explain what you do, why you do it (which pain do you solve) and what makes you the best in the field as simple as possible. 5. Don’t Oversell – the capital raise journey is not a smooth ride, there will be plenty challenges. Don’t hide bad news, let your (prospective) investors know when it occurs. There is a difference between being optimistic and being untruthful and amateurish.
6. Don’t Take the first money if it’s not right. Investments are for the long term, so are relationship with your investors. Choose your investors wisely. 7. Don’t create delays. Don’t say you will be “more ready” in two months. Investors will get bored. 8. Don’t Pitch your ideal prospective investors first. Your first pitch will never be as smooth as the later ones…. Do some trials and mock pitches.. Record them and watch them… Review your body language and use of filler words.. I help Founders and Early Stage companies navigate growth and funding - talk to me -