We know fundraising sucks. It’s a soul-crusher, especially for first time founders. That’s why we are putting together an epic guide called ‘101 Fundraising Tips'. The guide will have insider advice from CEOs who have "been there, done that, and lived to talk about it."
Here are an initial ten pearls of wisdom to get you started; check back frequently for new posts in this series.
Kris Duggan, CEO, Betterworks
"When you secure meetings with VCs, measure the amount of sparkle, or contagious enthusiasm they show for your ideas, and future of your company. Consider what the investor offers behind a signed check. Your'e entering a long term relationship where they can and should offer their connections and feedback to help you reach your long term vision."
Jeffry Khoury, CEO, Doctorpocket
"What I wished I could've been told was to be straight forward, especially while dealing with VC's. All they want to know is why you are doing what you are doing, what the demand is in the market for it, and how your'e going to be doing it better. Hitting those three points before they even ask will exponentially increase your chances of getting an investment."
Eileen R Bernardo, CEO, Linquia
"It's important to focus on the basics: revenue, repeatability and being close to your bottom line. VCs today are looking beyond the 'next great idea' and invest in companies that can demonstrate these qualities. When times get tough, you must be anchored on driving revenue and repeatability
Ajay Yadav- CEO, Roomi
"Building long-term relationships is everything in fundraising. I kept all investor relationships friendly and professional, and stayed in regular contact with them, especially those who had turned down the opportunity to fund Roomi. Sometimes the investor who says no initially decides to fund you later."
Jessica Dilullo Herrin CEO, Stella & Dot
"Raising money is hard. Remember you are asking for advice, not just money. You are learning, listening and evolving. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince."
Hanson Grant - CEO, Think Board
"Bring as much passion and confidence into your pitch as possible - it reflects on you as an entrepreneur and the potential of your business."
Greg Parisse, CEO, Events.com
"Follow up is critical. be persistent."
Jeff Ellman, Co-founder, Urbanbound
"The 10/20/30 Rule. It's simple. The pitch deck should be no more than 10 slides, 20 minutes in length, and the font size should be no smaller than 30."
Eileen Carey, CEO, Glassbreakers
"Think about what your company needs and go after investors who understand what you are building. Diversify who you work with, the more perspectives you get the better."
Michale L Torto, CEO, Embotics
"The biggest mistake you can make is getting in to bed with the wrong investors or sell to the wrong enterprise. Avoid taking money from just anyone, as you may wake up one day unpleasantly surprised by their lack or inability to support you, especially during difficult times."
A big thanks to everyone who submitted tips!
Have you raised money? We want to feature you! Send us your best answer to one question:
"If you could give one piece of fundraising advice to your 'pre-funded self,' what would it be?"
Contact me: Pip@foundersuite.com