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What Documents do you Need?
Before you launch your fundraise, you'll need to build some basic documents for pitching the investor and following up their due diligence. Start with a basic pitch deck, ten to 12 slides, that includes a non-confidential introductory version of your deal. For first presentations to an investor, keep it simple…
Where to Look for Funding
I'm often asked where startups should look for funding. There are many sources. First, start with your family and friends, as they already know you and believe in you. Second, expand the circle to include current and previous coworkers. If accelerators are appropriate for your deal, then consider those not…
What Type of Investor Should You Seek?
For early stage funding there are several types of investors. Angel, VC, Family office, or customer funding. So which type is right for your deal? This depends on your type of business, the return and timeframe for that return. VCs want standard business models in high growth sectors with a…
What Deal Structure Should You Use
There are two primary deal structures for your startup fundraise. There's the convertible note which is a debt instrument that converts to equity later. However, if you want to use a straight debt instrument you should use a promissory note. Then there's equity. It gives ownership rights in the company.…
How Much Funding Should you Raise?
Every day I ask entrepreneurs how much they are raising. Most begin with the big number--the full and complete raise they anticipate to run. This ranges usually between $1m and $10M. It's good to have the big picture in mind. Some actually consider raising it all at once because "they…
Five Competitive Advantages: Virality
Competitive advantages increase revenue by 30% over the competition or decrease cost by 30%. Virality is a key competitive advantage in which users invite other users to join your platform. Virality reduces your cost of customer acquisition. It's is different from Network Effects. Network Effects shows the platform increasing in…
Five Competitive Advantages: Network Effects
A competitive advantage increases revenue by 30% over the competition or decreases cost by 30%. Most businesses increase in value as the customer base grows and validates the product/service. Users encourage others to join the platform. This is called Network Effects. As the number of users grow, so the value…
Five Competitive Advantages: Platform Based Solutions
Competitive advantages increase revenue by 30% over the competition or decrease cost by 30%. A platform-based solution is a competitive advantage over a single-product company, as a platform brings an inherent cost advantage. Platforms reuse the research, design, architecture, and product packaging. Customer support is also reused. Consider adopting a…
Five Competitive Advantages: Recurring Revenue
Competitive advantages increase revenue by 30% over the competition or decrease cost by 30%. Recurring revenue is a key competitive advantage. In today's world you would think every business has recurring revenue. Yet, I find most businesses who are raising funding did not structure their business for recurring revenue. Recurring…
Five Competitive Advantages: Channel Access
A competitive advantage increases revenue by 30% over the competition or decreases cost by 30%. Channel access is a key competitive advantage. Channel access lets you connect to a set of customers that others cannot. Perhaps your previous job gave you contacts throughout the industry that you can now leverage…