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Moving to Close
After the diligence is complete and the open questions answered, the team must decide whether or not to invest. It's important to identify the risks and write them out in the report. The team should articulate an investment thesis that includes the opportunity in the deal such as how big…
How the Startup Can Lead the Deal
Startups can raise funding even without a lead investor. In this situation, the startup acts as the lead. Here are three steps to take: First, the startup must present investor-friendly terms and conditions. There should be no push back on the terms. Second, the startup must supply a due diligence…
When to Stop Following up With an Investor
Startups who find an investor expressing interest often stop their fundraise as they believe - or sometimes hope - this will be the one who completes the rest of their raise. I tell entrepreneurs to continue the fundraise effort until the funds are in the bank account. I've seen deals…
Stages of the Deal Process
A startup investment goes through a series of stages. It starts with the pitch presentation in which the startup introduces the deal to the investors. Then there's the first follow-up meeting in which the investors dig into the deal to learn the details. Investors want to think about it and…
Signing NDAs With Investors (When and Why)
I've had startups approach me and give me one or two lines about their startup. When I start to ask questions, they say they can't tell me anything more without signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA. I often find this puzzling, as investors don't sign NDAs to find out what…
Diligence Report
In running a deal follow-up process, you'll need to create a diligence report. Here are some key points to consider: - Start with a template that lists the required information. - Include instructions in the original template for the team members to follow. - You may be cycling through many…
How to Craft a Good Startup Story
To pitch an investor, you'll need a carefully crafted startup story.  Just any old story won't do.  Tell the story in your own words as if you're talking with a friend at a bar. Show how the story is relevant to those in the audience, something everyone can relate to.…
Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: The Plot
There are five key elements to a startup story. Today we'll talk about the Plot. After you establish the theme, hero, mission, and obstacle, you can start working on your plot. The plot is a series of events that leads to achieving the mission. Plots can be set up in…
Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: The Mission
There are five key elements to a startup story.    The Mission is the job to be done.  It's the goal of the hero both now and beyond the story. For your startup story, focus on what the CEO is trying to accomplish and how he plans to solve it. Outline…
Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: The Hero
There are five key elements to a startup story. The hero is the character whose journey the audience cares about the most.  In a startup fundraise story, this is the CEO. Most heroes are trusty and likable.   The audience empathizes with them in some way. Your story should focus on…